Saturday, September 17, 2011

And now the winner...

I did my best to get a-posting early, since I knew you all were logged in early from the excitement.  Please stop jumping up and down or we'll never get this done...  Thank you...

And now, drumroll please...

The winner of the Word of the Week Balderdash challenge is...

The Town Crier!!!!!!!!

Here is the winning submission...

beltroon (n): someone who is a brash, obnoxious, irritating, incessant blabbermouth.

The word "paltroon" (a favorite of C.S. Lewis) means someone who is a coward. Etymology: "to cower." Apparently, "troon" must be the part that refers to the fact that it is a person and "pal" or "paltro" meaning to cower. Origin places this word in use in the 16th century.

If this is the case, then the key to defining this word will be the meaning of "bel" or "bell." It seems obvious that a bell is (esp. in the time period) a large metallic object, usually in the tower of a cathedral which tolls loudly enough for everyone in the town to hear at important times. Thus, the word "bel" must mean something that is loud and "troon"
of course referring to a person.

Now, it is not necessarily implied that being loud is a bad thing. It could mean that someone is merely warning of danger. However, since "troon" is apparently (in other words) used in a derogatory sense, we must assume that "beltroon" is meant to be some sort of slam as well.

So when you put it all together, the word must refer to a person who constantly is speaking loudly enough for everyone to hear, with an obnoxious, irritating tone.

Example sentence: The old men in the barbershop rolled their eyes as they heard Bob, the town beltroon, coming down the sidewalk. They waited with bated breath, hoping the barbershop was not his destination. As Bob entered, each person suddently began finding excuses about some important task that needed immediate attention, leaving the poor barber, and the unfortunate patron whose hair was half-cut at the mercy of Bob's beltroonery.

Congratulations on winning this great honor!

Now a few comments...First of all, thank you for your participation.  It was great fun to see the variety of submissions, and it was really nice not to have to come up with a new identity and submit myself (no, I am not the Town Crier!).

I have to say, my heart was pulled to Tabitha's noun definition, as well:

beltroon-noun: The clear congealed fat that forms on a lamb roast.

Anything involving congealed fat gets your attention right away.  I really laughed on that one, but in the end I was won over by the etymology, and different form 'beltroonery'.  Besides, it's so useable.  I think I'll call someone a beltroon right away!

Thanks again and stay tuned for the next word of the week!


  1. Sorry, I didn't participate....but I had fun reading this!!

  2. Town Crier - so amazing that I wondered if it might, in infact, be true!!!!!