Humiliation

Body collapsing in on itself
A bowed head
Shoulders curling over chest
Angling torso away from others
Uncontrollable shuddering or shivering
Hair hanging in face, hiding the eyes
A downward gaze
A flushed face
Hitching chest
Eyes dull, lifeless
Pulling down a shirt hem
Hands clutching at stomach
Covering face with hands
Bottom lip or chin trembling
Whimpering
Throat bobbing
Arms falling to sides, lifeless
Uncontrolled tears
Flinching from noise or from being touched
Huddling, crouching
Neck bending forward
Movement is slow, jerky
Knees locked tight together
Cold sweat
Stumbling, staggering
Backing up against a wall
Sliding into a corner
Hiding
Hands gripping elbows
Pigeon toes
Sobs trapped in throat
Drawing knees up to the body’s core
Wrapping arms around self
Runny nose

(From The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, page 90. Submitted by J.R. Solonche)

The Famous Squib Case of 1793

Scott v Shepherd

A lit squib
was thrown into a crowded market
by Shepherd

and landed
on the table of a gingerbread merchant.

A bystander, to protect himself
and the gingerbread,
threw the squib across the market

where it landed
in the goods of another merchant.
The merchant grabbed the squib

and tossed it away,
accidentally hitting Scott in the face,
putting out one of his eyes.

From Wikipedia’s article on squibs, retrieved 12 September 2014. Submitted by Susan Taylor.

On the division of animals

More often than not, the linguist or anthropologist just throws up his hands and resorts to giving a list — a list that one would not be surprised to find in the writings of Borges.
George Lakoff

Those that belong to the Emperor,
embalmed ones,
those that are trained,
suckling pigs,
mermaids,
fabulous ones,
stray dogs,
those that are included in this classification,
those that tremble as if they were mad,
innumerable ones,
those drawn with a very fine camel’s hair brush,
others,
those that have just broken a flower vase,
those that resemble flies from a distance.

From ‘Other Inquisitions’ in which Borges writes of a strange way of classifying animals in an ancient Chinese encyclopaedia. Via Futility Closet. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

Definitions

Extremely elderly Benedictine monk
Irrational predilection for performing surgery
Of, like or pertaining to lava
One who habitually enters many competitions

Local judge among miners
Provisional name for a plant whose flowers are unknown
Expression of joy among Arab women
Muscle by which the testicles are suspended

Government by superior firepower or by cannons
Part of a bullfighting arena where the bull makes his stand
Ancient syrupy medicine that is licked off a spoon
Doctrine that the wicked are utterly destroyed after death

Some definitions from The Phrontistery, a free online dictionary of obscure words. Submitted by Howie Good.

Soft-soaping

Blowfly-minded
Retardate worm
Clown of the House

Idle vapourings of a mind diseased
I would cut the honourable gentleman’s
throat if I had the chance

His brains could revolve inside a peanut shell
for a thousand years without touching the sides
Kind of animal that gnaws holes

Member not fit to lick
the shoes of the Prime Minister
Energy of a tired snail returning
home from a funeral

Shut up yourself, you great ape
Snotty-nosed little boy
You are a cheap little twerp
Ridiculous mouse

Could go down the Mount Eden sewer and come up
cleaner than he went in
Dreamed the bill up in the bath
Frustrated warlord

Phrases deemed ‘unparliamentary language’ and banned from New Zealand parliamentary debates, as listed on Futility Closet, 30th October 2013. Submitted by Marika.

Coffee

Coffee
A beverage consisting of
A decoction or infusion of
The roasted ground or crushed seeds of
The two-seeded fruit of
Certain coffee trees
The seeds
Or fruit
Themselves any tropical tree or shrub of
The genus Coffea of
The madder family
Especially
C. arabica
And
C.canephora
Cultivated commercially
Compare Arabian Coffee
Robusta Coffee
A cup of coffee
We ordered four coffees and
Three doughnuts
A social gathering
at which coffee and
Other refreshments
Are served

The definition of coffee at Dictionary.com. Submitted by Christian Smith.

Prosciutto

When I was young, there was one kind of prosciutto.
It was made in the winter, by hand, and aged for two years.
It was sweet when you smelled it.
A profound perfume.

If it’s too warm, the aging process never begins.
The meat spoils.
If it’s too dry, the meat is ruined.
It needs to be damp but cool.

The summer is too hot.
In the winter—that’s when you make salumi.
Your prosciutto.
Your soppressata.
Your sausages.

An old Italian butcher talking about making prosciutto, via Bill Buford, according to Wikipedia. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.