The other day, I was listening to the radio and I thought I heard the person speaking say “luxurinate” rather than “luxuriate.” And if that’s what they said, they said it straight-facedly, not as a joke. 

Now, I’m sure it was a slip of the tongue (or a mishearing on my part), but I think this is a word at least some of us could use.

It’s a pretty self-evident construction – in fact, it shines out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark: a blend of luxuriate (or just luxury) and urinate. So what could that mean?

Well, it could mean go wee-wee on a golden toilet, sure, but how often do you get to do that?

It could mean get to use a really nice washroom facility rather than having to use a port-a-potty or shrubbery – something anyone who’s returning from a camping trip will appreciate. I recently watched a movie, Man in the Field, about Jim Denevan, a chef and artist who runs a program called Outstanding in the Field of fine dining in farmers’ fields, and for the 20th year of the program, he announced with considerable excitement that they would have proper (frankly luxurious, to look at them) toilet facilities in a trailer. I think that could qualify.

It could mean, as Riffat Yusuf (@ryusufedit) suggested, “not having toddlers banging on the bathroom door.” (We really are getting a sense of how luxury is relative, aren’t we!)

Or, I suppose, rather than following urinate disposition, it could have a less literal use – not taking a piss at leisure but taking the piss at leisure. Taking the piss is a mainly (but not exclusively) British term that has a rough equivalent in some parts of America of taking the mickey or pulling [someone’s] leg. It means ‘making a mockery’ or similar things – it can be flagrantly roasting someone, or wink-nudge playing along with something, or deliberately overdoing something, or trying to get away with the bare minimum, or slipping in a naughty word-play… And if you’re taking the piss and having a right old time doing it, well, then, why not luxurinating?

I remember, as a kid, looking at a book listing great historical scientific discoveries, and seeing a picture of some guy gazing with ecstasy on a test tube of yellow liquid, which the caption informed me was the discovery of urea. You can bet that I thought at first that they were, um, pulling my leg, and doing so at some expense. And since an emblematic feature of luxury is its wanton expense, I think that if they had in fact been taking the piss rather than just talking about piss, it would be the marquee instance of luxurinating. (It turns out, however, that Friedrich Wöhler’s synthesis of urea in 1828 was the first production of organic compounds from inorganic materials without the intervention of a living organism, which put paid to the theory of vitalism, and so it really was important – and my classic example goes down the drain.)

Alas, the way popular usage goes, if this word catches on, it probably won’t be in the ‘taking the piss’ sense; that’s just a bit too clever. Perhaps it will be for those sweet restroom trailers Jim Denevan got. Or maybe it will be for some extremely fancy high-tech high-quality urinal, featured in the home of the latest tech whiz kid. But if the responses I’ve gotten on Twitter are any indication, it may be best used for just closing the bathroom door for a bit and getting a little, uh, piss and quiet.

2 responses to “luxurinate

  1. Give that man a bigjam doughnut with cream on the top! (I greatly appreciated the nod to Monty Python.)

  2. Pingback: egress | Sesquiotica

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