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Boopery

Page history last edited by Swinefat Pink 13 years, 4 months ago

 

A BOOPERY is "a structure composed partly or entirely of glass, either free-standing or attached to a house, within which Magic Tea Parties may be conducted despite inclement weather" (OED).

 

 

 

 

The etymology of the term is of some interest.  It originally derives from the Greek ''ho boupais'' (literally, "big (i.e. ox-like) child" – ''AR.V.1206''; Liddel & Scott), the nickname given to Plato, founder of a philosophical school (known after him thereafter as ''To Boupaireion''), which was dedicated to putting words into the mouth of Socrates which were consistent with Plato’s own brand of reactionary totalitarianism.

 

The original Platonic Boupaireion was the model for a number of later successful institutions, for example the council of ''calificaboopores'' of the Spanish Inquisitorial ''Alguacil''. More recently, ''La Booperoire de Sorbonne'' has been instrumental in developing contemporary Post-Modernism.

 

In Northern Europe, the convivial and less-formal aspects of the ancient ''boupaireion'' have been more pronounced.  Notoriously, it was at ''Die Alamoslich-Mädchen'' – an insalubrious Munich Boëpkeller – that the German National Socialists wrote most of their early propaganda out of dubious sources such as the ''Protoboops of the Elders of Zion''.

 

Private domestic booperies appear to be a British innovation, probably introduced by English aristocrats in the 18th century exposed to the continental boopistic institutions on their Grand Tours.  They were much in vogue during the Regency and Victorian eras.  Charles Dodgson (1832-98) was inspired by an afternoon’s Mad Magic Tea Party in the Liddell family boopery to pen ''Alice in Wonderland'' with its archetypical boopationist, Humpty Dumpty:

 

 

 

"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,"it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.''

 

''The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things.''

 

''The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."

 

 

No stately English home is complete without a spacious boopery overlooking well-kempt gardens as a cosy refuge from reality where topical boopations may be exchanged over cups of imaginary Darjeeling and invisible cucumber sandwiches. 

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