Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Der Platzindemschreibtischwodeinebeinegehen


Let that sink in for a moment.

Whilst working on a piece of writing the other day, I found that I needed to know what you call the space in the desk where your legs go. After some Googling, I discovered it was called the ‘kneehole.’ There was some speculation that another word existed, but I never found it.

On the one hand, I’m delighted to discover ‘kneehole,’ as I can now use it in conversations where I want to either be a jerk or confuse people. ‘Did you check the kneehole?’ I might say. Or ‘You’re just a kneejerk kneeholer.’ I can also, if necessary, use it in a piece of writing to express the place in the desk where your legs go. “Harg curled up in the kneehole and while waiting for the promised cookie, began to pick his nose.”

Yes, this is an actual sentence I wrote for my second novel. It makes sense in context (I hope).

I must admit, though, that I’m a little disappointed. Initially, I hoped not to find a word that fit what I needed, then I could write a blog about how there was no word and then propose my own, such as ‘footbin’ or ‘toeatorium’ or ‘dustbunnyvalley.’ I would then exhort you, my six readers, to use it whenever possible.

Also, ‘kneehole’ is just a simple, effective word. When I read it, I was like ‘oh, duh. Of course that’s what you call the space in the desk where your legs go.’ It made perfect sense. However, deep down inside, I really wanted a weird, long vaguely-German term that sounded threatening, like ‘Todgruselraummitkase.’ This translates, according to Google, as ‘death horror space with cheese.’ Y’know, something you’d name your dog.

Yet now I have ‘kneehole’ and will add it to my vocabulary in case I need to concisely express something about that place in the desk where your legs go.

Or bet slightly drunk people that they don’t know what the word is for that place in the desk where the legs go.


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