Monday, August 6, 2007

Today's Word: mundungus

mundungus: Bad-smelling tobacco. Not derived from dung but from the Spanish mondongo — tripe. "Cigarette smoke is one thing, but the mundungus Percy stuffs in his pipe is the quintessence of malodor!" Proof positive that JK Rowling didn't name the Harry Potter characters randomly, although the total effect of "Mundungus Fletcher" is a bit odd. A fletcher, after all, is a maker of arrows. Some people in this anti-cigarette age may argue that "mundungus" is inherently redundant. After all, doesn't all tobacco smell bad? (Okay, at least after you light it...)