Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Weird Word of the Week: Curtsey

Madame L found this word in an article about people disappointed that they'd driven 35 miles so their daughter could curtsey to Queen Elizabeth and hand her a small bouquet of flowers.

Apparently the queen is disappointing not just small children and their parents, but also dog owner and daughter-in-law Kate (though probably not the dog, named Lupo, itself,  who is probably quite happy at not being included in parties at the queen's abode [now there's another weird word, eh!---try saying that 20 times in a row, fast, without falling off your chair laughing]).

Wikipedia tells us that "curtsey" is "a traditional gesture of greeting, in which a girl or woman bends her knees while bowing her head. It is the female equivalent of male bowing in Western cultures."

Also, it can be spelled "curtsy" as well as "courtesy," and is "a phonological change from 'courtesy' known ... as syncope."

Also, it represents a lowering of an inferior to a superior human being, as in a subject showing obeisance to a king or queen, which is why when Americans are so often derided when they perform this act toward a member of the British royalty.

Likewise, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2011 left the queen appalled when she refused to curtsey to her. 

And remember hearing in 2012 that Kate, she with the uninvited dog Lupo, has to curtsey to "her husband's younger cousins" because they are "royals" and she is a "commoner"?

Aren't you glad you live in America, or Australia, or anywhere besides England!


LFP said...

I liked the bit in the article about the Australian PM regarding the man who allegedly touched the queen. Heaven forbid! Yes, I'm glad to not have to follow those social protocols. It seems awfully formal, considering the Queen doesn't even RUN the country!

AskTheGeologist said...

Pro'ley canna pick mah noze near ol' Queenie, neither.

Buff she nae canna smellem, she can't no aye did the dirty deed in her August Presents, neither! Pfft!