[ Issue 3 ]

Fizzgig fascinates Emily Bronto

It's no wonder that Bikwil makes a song and dance about Fizzgig

Fizzgig — Meaning and Spelling

Should Fizzgig be spelt with one "z"or two?  Our columnist sifts the evidence.  

To top it all, we're treated to the various meanings the wretched word can have — in the U.K., the U.S. and Australia.

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From the Back Verandah — Fizzgig


A handful of readers received the first issue of Bikwil with From the Back Verandah erroneously signed “TR” instead of “Fizzgig”. My apologies. Our editor’s only excuse: “our style sheet versions temporarily got into a real mess”. A likely story indeed.

And now for something completely similar. One of our eagle-eyed pedants claims that it should be spelt Fizgig. Is he right? In the interests of enthusiastic scholarship I set our friend Harlish Goop to track down the facts. Here they are, in H.G.’s own shorthand.

OED: fizgig the preferred spelling, although seven alternative forms given, including fizzgig.

Earliest citation: 1529. Derivation: unclear.

Main meanings: (a) frivolous woman, (b) hissing firework, (c) whirling toy that makes whizzing noise, (d) harpoon. Meanings (b) and (c) “suggested by the grotesque sound of the word, or by association with fizz”. Meaning (d) a “perversion” when spelled fishgig.

Macquarie and Webster: each allow one “z'” with no alternatives for meanings (a), (b) and (c), although latter allows fishgig for meaning (d).

But where does all that erudition leave this Bikwilian frivolous, hissing, whirling, whizzing harpoon?

Oh, gosh. No more space, so I’ve no choice but to echo Magnus Magnussen’s declaration:

“I've started, so I'll go on."

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