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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekly Words No. 5

This week's word is one I picked up in the Sydney Morning Herald Saturday broadsheet and was, interestingly enough, used by two separate journalists in separate columns and discussing different topics and issues.

The word is Argopelter 

Argopelter – It is a mythical creature. This fearsome critter said to inhabit hollow trees of the conifer woods from Maine to Oregon.

 From this vantage point, the creature would await an unwary person and hurl wooden splinters and branches at the intruder. Some have described the creature as being so quick that it has never been seen.
 
Leading a vengeful existence, resenting the intrusion of the logger, the argopelter deals misery to the lumber jack from Maine to Oregon. Ill fares the man who attempts to pass a hollow tree in which one of these creatures has taken up its temporary abode. The unfortunate is usually found smashed or pinned by a dead branch and reported as having been killed by a falling limb.

So unerring is the aim of the argopelter that despite diligent search I have been unable to locate more than one man who has been the target for one of their missiles and yet survived to describe the beast. This is Big Ole Kittleson, who, upon a certain occasion, when cruising timber on the upper St. Croix, was knocked down by a partly rotten limb thrown by an argropelter. This limb was so punky that it shattered on Ole's head, and he had time to observe the rascally beast before it bounded from the tree and whisked itself off through the woods.

According to Ole, the animal has a slender, wiry body, the villainous face of an ape, and arms like muscular whiplashes, with which it can snap off dead branches and hurl them through the air like shells from a six-inch gun. It is supposed to feed upon hoot owls and woodpeckers, the scarcity of which will always prevent the argropelter from becoming numerous in any locality.

One reference describes the creature as having a "slender, wirely body, the villainous face of an ape, and arms like muscular whiplashes, with which it can snap off dead branches and hurl them through the air like shells from a six inch gun."

Its pups are born on February 29 and always arrive in odd numbers. Also known as a "Shnickum", one of the key features of this monster would be its height, commonly reaching 10 feet.

So there you have a new word that you can use describe a hideous and aggressive person who likes to attack others from hiding and then retreat hastily into its camouflaged surroundings making detection hard to pinpoint!

ps - We have a few politicians in our parliament that easily fit the description of an argropelter! LOL! I also have uncovered two new words that I simply must look up- "punky" and "Shnickum"

1 comment:

John Gray said...

I have heard of Shnickum
tell me more my friend