Its association with a whiter shade of pale nothwithstanding, this word has always seemed rather florid to me, with its wide-open a‘s like an arm flourish and its bouncy nasals with stops. Its object is a lively dance in 3/4 time, fitting for a word that springs in three steps from the front of the mouth to the back. How light can the light fandango be? And would vestal virgins leaving for the coast take time for it, really? Much more likely Scaramouche – but he’d do it to a Bohemian rhapsody, which might cause thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening. Well, and the word does have those fang and fungus resonances, which apparently didn’t help the computer game Grim Fandango to get enough dang fans. The dance (and music) is brought by the grace of Spain, whence medially also this word; the word’s ultimate source may be African, but the steps have not been traced back, etymologically. The word has a sense of dance about it, anyway, and enthusiasm too. The dance could be a fan dance, perhaps like a tango (with music by Django Reinhardt?), originally done by the Mandingo. But whatever it is, it’s what you get when fantastic meets hot dang.
Be a patron!Support Sesquiotica and get extra premium content and goodies. Starts as low as $1 a month! Find out more and subscribe on Patreon.com
Join 19,422 other followers
I am for hireI earn my living as an independent editor, writer, and educator. Find out more and contact me at jamesharbeck.com.
Buy the T-shirt (or coffee mug or hip flask)
Wear it proudly:
I operate on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis. I need to know EVERYTHING.
Buy it at cafepress.ca/sesquiphernalia
12 Gifts for Writers ebook – free download
Buy my books
Buy my books on Lulu.com:
- Confessions of a Word Lush (paperback)
- Confessions of a Word Lush (ebook)
- Songs of Love and Grammar (paperback)
- Songs of Love and Grammar (ebook)
- 12 Gifts for Writers (print edition)
You can also get them on Amazon.com. Please note that I make less than half as much per book if you buy them there, however.
Word Tasting Notes Google groupGet just the word tasting notes daily by email – join the Google Word Tasting Notes group.
- Coffice Space
- from the bookshelf
- language and linguistics
- new old words
- Poetry Minute and a Half
- pronunciation tips
- sentence tastings
- The Week
- Word Country
- word pictures
- word portraits
- word reviews
- word sommelier
- word tasting notes