Add words like 'voip' and 'fidgeltick' to your culinary vocabulary
Foods that give no gastronomic delight, such as porridge or cream of celery soup, are voip. The word was invented in 1914 by Gelett Burgess, a humorist devoted to creating names for previously unnamed things. Burgess coined other food-related words as well. Fidgeltick is food that requires tremendous effort to prepare but gives little satisfaction—artichokes are a kind of fidgeltick, as are most fondues. Wog is food that becomes stuck to a dinner guest's face, visible to everyone but the guest himself. Rowtch refers to a person who demonstrates extreme fastidiousness when eating—someone who eats pizza with a knife and fork is a rowtch, as is someone who insists on crossing his knife and fork after finishing his meal. Burgess may have developed these words from real sources: Voip suggests void, as in “void of pleasure”; fidgeltick suggests fidgeting, a repetitive action accomplishing nothing. As dandy as Burgess' words are, however, none of them has achieved currency with the exception of blurb, a quoted passage of fulsome praise found on book jackets. —Mark Morton
Adapted from Geist (#30). Subscriptions: $21/yr. (4 issues) from 1014 Homer St., Suite 103, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2W9 Canada. A longer version of this essay originally appeared in Cupboard Love: A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities (Bain & Cox, 1998).