Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Words worth espousing - vomitory

According to no less an authority than the OED, a subsidiary meaning of vomitory is a large exit from a room or building which can cope with relatively large numbers leaving a venue. (The primary meaning is what you would expect - relating to or inducing vomiting.)

I am looking forward to using the secondary meaning with great frequency now that I have discovered it. When I conclude my lectures for example, I will invite my students to leave in a quiet and orderly manner via the vomitory at the back of the lecture hall.

If my students find my lectures to be unduly vomitory, they will be invited to leave at any time via the vomitory.

Incidentally, I once asked students in my drug and alcohol course to recall as many euphemisms and metaphors as they could for vomiting brought about by intoxication. Some of the best:
  • calling Herb on the porcelain telephone
  • liquid laugh
  • technicolour yawn
  • chunky yodel
  • a u-turn lunch

At the risk of lowering the tone of humblog, other euphemisms and metaphors invited in comments.