The Prolix Pirates

Shiver me timbers!

Shiver = quake with cold or fear.

Me = the being that is my self.

Timbers = planks of wood cut to shape from trees.

Thus the prolix pirate would shout “Quake with cold and fear the being that is myself planks of wood cut to shape from trees!”

But the prolix pirate was what is known, in the technical jargon, as an unlettered matelot, and so his prolixity was improvised, off the top of his head. His shipmate, the even more prolix pirate, was armed with a battered old copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. He would shout “Tremble, shake, quiver; esp. to tremble with cold or fear the objective case of the first person pronoun I reproducing the Old English accusative and dative wood used for the building of houses, ships, etc., or for the use of the carpenter, joiner, or other artisan; wood in general as a material; esp. after it has been suitably trimmed and squared into logs, or further adapted to constructive uses!”

You can follow the adventures of the prolix pirates every week in the children’s comic The Ipsy Dipsy Doo (Prolix Edition), available from all good dealers in newspapers and periodicals, esp. the owners of shops where these are sold; (now also) the shop itself, usually also selling tobacco, confectionery, etc.

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