Mountweazels and Liars

Monday January 25, 2021 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Silly

As I am wont to do, I went down another internet rabbit hole last night. I love learning new and interesting trivia.

If anything this post is more for my own repository. My girlfriend and I are taking turns reading chapters of a new book to each other. It is The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams. Interestingly, she references in the preface a jungftak. It is a ficticious bird used as what is now called a mountweazel. The use of mountweazel comes from a fictitious entry in the 1975 edition of the New  Columbia Encyclopedia. The link above will tell you all about it. The Webster’s Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language (1943) inserted jungftak into its lexicon as a mountweazel, before the word was ever created.

Paraphrased from the book jacket flap of The Liar’s Dictionary: Mountweazel (n.) – the phenomenon of false entries within reference works to safeguard against copyright infringement.

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