Friday, April 26, 2013

The Grand Panjandrum

"Official" is one thing. "officious" is something else. Some folks are officials, but not officious. Others are officious but not in an official capacity.

Some folks look forward to Friday because the next day they'll be away from the officious official who runs the office: for two days, anyway.

That brings the Lemming to the word panjandrum. That's:
  • A person who is important or influential
    • Often overbearing
    (Princeton's WordNet)
  • An important or self-important person
    (The Free Online Dictionary)
  • A powerful personage or pretentious official
    • Origin:
      Grand Panjandrum, burlesque title of an imaginary personage in some nonsense lines by Samuel Foote
      First Known Use: 1856
And now, for those whose life would not be complete without reading it:
Here's the 1820 version:
"So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage leaf, to make an apple pie ; and at the same time a great she-bear coming up the street, pops its head into the shop. 'What! no soap?' So he died, and she very imprudently married the barber; and there were present the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the Garyulies, and the grand Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at top; and they all fell to playing the game of catch as catch can, till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots."
(Samuel Foote, via Maria Edgeworth)
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