[Ads-l] a relaxed, happy rat

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Jan 23 21:19:59 UTC 2016

>From a story in tomorrow's NYTimes -- you are reading it here first --
about a new instance of the classic show-biz story of an unknown who steps on
stage an unknown, but comes back  a star.  In this case, the unknown is a
white rat, but it's still heartwarming.

She was brought to the theater and introduced to her co-stars, both bipeds.

"And then Rose did something special. She bruxed, and she boggled. Bruxing
is when a rat grinds its incisors together. Boggling
<http://www.ratbehavior.org/Glossary.htm#EyeBoggling>, a muscular side
effect of bruxing, is when a rat bugs its eyes in and out rapidly
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcHoyG0PbVY>, like a possessed vaudeville
They are the ultimate indicators of a relaxed, happy rat."

I do not find "bruxing" in the OED; the OED has several senses for
"boggle", but all are more or less antithetical to relaxed or happy.
The show is “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
which features a rat, originally played by an albino rat named Toby
Toby became ill, and his understudy was unequal to replacing him.  This
gave Rose her chance, and she seized it.

The article will be "Enter Rose, a Rat with a Past", NYTimes, January 24,
2016,Metropolitan section, p. 2, cols. 2-4
George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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