Kryponite and garlic

Sun Jan 10 04:29:12 UTC 2010

I summarized the story at
        There is a more verifiable account of this type in Napoleon
Chagnon's book Yanomamo - The Last Days of Eden, pp. 24 - 25, where he
discusses his collection of genealogical information, which in fact
amounted to an invasion of the Yanomamo system of prestige and
etiquette, if not a flagrant violation of it.  The Yanomamo for a period
of five months maintained a systematic sabotage of his project.  The

        <<My anthropological bubble burst when, some five months after I
had begun collecting the genealogies, I visited a village about ten
hours' walk to the southwest of Bisaasi-teri.  In talking with the
headman of this village, I casually dropped the name of the wife of the
Bisaasi-teri headman, to show off a bit and demonstrate my growing
command of the language and of who was who.  A stunned silence followed,
and then a villagewide roar of uncontrollable laughter, choking,
gasping, and howling.  It seems that I thought the Bisaasi-teri headman
was married to a woman named "hairy cunt."  It also came out that I was
calling the headman "long dong," his brother "eagle shit," one of his
sons "asshole," and a daughter "fart breath.">>
John Baker


From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Joel S. Berson
Sent: Mon 1/4/2010 11:07 AM
Subject: Re: Kryponite and garlic

At 1/4/2010 10:28 AM, Charles Doyle wrote:
>I.e., the four sounds that elephants make to signify (with various
>shades of meaning), "Humans are listening!"

Charlie, remind me of the ur-story of the anthropologist who visited
a primitive tribe, asked what various things were called, published,
and it was later discovered that ... they were being
obscene?  calling him derogatory names?


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