Friday, December 8, 2017

New AHD entries

Burner, saltimbocca, GOAT: among the additions this year to the American Heritage Dictionary.

I know burner from The Wire; GOAT, from Infinite Jest, where it’s turned into P.G.O.A.T., a name for Joelle van Dyne, the Prettiest Girl of All Time. Saltimbocca? As my mom would say, I never heard of it. Saltimbanque, yes. Saltimbocca, no. The words have a common source in the Italian saltare. A saltimbanque jumps on a bench or platform to perform. Saltimbocca, as you may have already figured out, jumps into one’s mouth. I know about saltimbanques from Guillaume Apollinaire and Pablo Picasso.

[The Apollinaire link goes to Ron Padgett’s translation of an Apollinaire poem. The Picasso link goes to a catalogue from the National Gallery of Art. I always love a free PDF. Also, free association.]

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