Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Clat? Well fancy that!

In my previous post - borrowing heavily from the first chapter of H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man - I used the word clat. Wells used it in his chapter and I liked the sound of it. I didn't actually know what it meant.

That'll teach me.

Last time I used a word I didn't know the meaning of, I was twelve and used begotten in a poem as I thought it sounded much more poetic than forgotten. The Begotten Doll was quickly forgotten - thankfully, no trace exists of this juvenilia. (And this admission won't stand up in Court, so sue me.)

(Apologies - it's been a lifelong ambition to say so sue me to someone. I saw the chance and took it.)

The Urban Dictionary has lots of meanings for the word clat - none of them suitable for sensitive souls. If you are a sensitive soul, don't click here.

I imagined that when Wells used it, it was intended as a derivation of éclat meaning a brilliant display or effect. So I checked other texts and - stone me! - he had written éclat in the first place.

Still, suggesting that Mrs Hall carried the cloth, plates, and glasses into the parlour and began to lay them with a group of promiscuous men shows a certain éclat, no?


  1. Very amusing! I am extremely sensitive, but I clicked on the link anyway.

    I really, really, really want to read 'The Begotten Doll'. Are you sure you couldn't rewrite it?

  2. I am sure that I can't rewrite The Begotten Doll, but am EQUALLY sure that a certain number of POETS in Blogland could cobble something together to do the title justice ...

  3. I want to see that poem, by whoever. You can't just dangle a title like that and not DO something with it.

    Highly entertaining, Moptop, and this time I understood everything. As I will shortly be in the company of numerous young males* whose penchant for slang befuddles me (or maybe it fluxx...oh you know) I can hardly WAIT to just drop CLAT right in the middle of the conversation, and will try to do it with a certain élan Thinking of you all the while.

    *sons and their friends, just in case you had doubts

  4. I have an uncle of the Sosiouxme tribe.

  5. Do you get to say it often, Lane?

    My planet's in Uranus so I'm moving into a litigious phase ...