The Quick 10: 10 Words from the Lexicon of Comicana

Image credit: 

I stumbled on the Lexicon of Comicana recently when I was researching something else for the _floss and immediately thought what a good quick 10 it would be. Mort Walker, the creator of Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois, wrote the book in 1980 and invented all of these words to more accurately describe the symbols that cartoonists use on their characters. They are really fun words. Say a few of them out loud; you're guaranteed to smile at least once.

And, if you love the illustrations that help show exactly what these words mean, check out Paul Morris' cartoon,
The Wavy Rule,
at emdashes.com.

plewds
1. Plewds "“ Sweat drops. If you watched SNL this weekend and saw Andy Samberg's Cathy impersonation, you experienced the verbal form of plewds. I suppose if he had said, "Plewds, plewds, plewds," instead of "Sweat drops, sweat drops, sweat drops," most people wouldn't have known what he was talking about.
2. Briffits "“ When a character zooms away, a cloud of dust is sometimes left where they were standing. That's a briffit.
3. Squeans "“ Squiggles, circles and starbursts that show a person is sick, drunk, or dizzy.

emanata4. Emanata "“ Those straight lines coming out of a character's head to show shock.
5. Grawlixes - #@$#!. That is a grawlix. These are my favorite, I think. I unknowingly used a grawlix in the punctuation quiz we ran a while back - if you like this little list, by the way, you should give the punctuation quiz a shot. It references more obscure names for things.
6. Agitrons "“ Another type of squiggle, but these are meant to show that a person or item is shaking.
7. Solrads "“ More straight lines, but these show something that's bright "“ lightbulbs or the sun.
briffits8. Hites "“ You know those briffits we talked about a minute ago? Hites might preceed the briffits. Hites are the horizontal lines behind a person or thing when it's moving very quickly.
9. Lucaflect "“ Shiny spots on objects.
10. Blurgits and Swalloops "“ Curvy lines that indicate a character is moving or waving his or her limbs.

So there you have it! A whole new vocabulary to amuse yourself with while you're reading Blondie and Garfield in the morning. Enjoy.

September 15, 2008 - 9:44am
submit to reddit