Fippy the Finhead

Among the words that Zippy the Pinhead likes to savor (my most recent postings on Zippy’s word attractions are here, here, and here) are those beginning with the letter F, words that he finds especially silly:

One of the pleasures of words in F is, of course, their resonances with tabooed F words, especially the Big F, fuck. The American tv comedy show Laugh-In flirted with the F Word on a regular basis, notably in Rowan and Martin’s granting of Flying Fickle Finger of Fate awards, “saluting actual dubious achievements by the government or famous people” (from the Wikipedia page), and in appearances by the Farkel Family, a large clan who were introduced, one by one, by name, on every appearance: Sparkle Farkel, Flicker Farkle, the twins Simon and Gar Farkel, Charcoal Farkel (a black child, identical twin to the white Sparkle Farkel), Mark Farkel, Fritz and Fred Farkel. The sketches presented occasions for cast-challenging tongue twisters like “That’s a fine-looking Farkel flinger you found there, Frank”.

[Digression: There’s a family of morphological snowclonelets following the formula V-in, furnishing a count N referring to an event. The original seems to have been sit-in, followed by the widely used (at one time) love-in, and then the proper name Laugh-In. There have been some other event coinages using the pattern, for example sleep-in and hate-in. (V-in nouns referring to people — stand-in and the remarkable alien-impostor walk-in — are something else again, as is lie-in in the British idiom have a lie-in.)]

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