Janglery & Gargoyles

Jonna Jerome

Why Janglery? 

It’s a word that basically has ceased to exist due to lack of use – which is too bad, because it’s a great word. A bit off the beaten path with a sense of reckless abandon, yet it still embodies the sense of bonding with others. 

In fact, it’s an English word first attested in Chaucer, for Pete’s Sake! This list consists of a set of about two thousand English words whose first use found in existing manuscripts is credited to Chaucer. This does not necessarily mean that he was the person to introduce these words into English, but that the earliest extant uses of these words are found in his manuscripts.

In case you missed it on my home page, get a kick out of the definition as well as the spelling from years long gone by:

Janglery: Noun ~ gossip; idle talk; chatter. 

“See there be no entrance into princes ‘courts, either of drunkennefs, ill-fpeaking, babling indifcreetly, flattery, janglery, buffoonery, and fuch other vices, which foil and fhame the reputation of men.”

Janglery…or speaking one’s mind, even if after having too many glasses of spirit, is described as a vice. I think it’s cathartic. Also, those old kings and princes didn’t want the populace to talk too much after their day’s work…in case they come up with some ideas about changing the status quo. Mostly, these people were just blowing off steam and having a good time. We can have some deep thoughts here, but let’s also try to have a good time. That, my friends, is something we can all use.

What’s up with the gargoyle? 

It’s possible he may actually be a griffin, due to the wings. But no matter. They often are melded together, and share quite a few definitions.

Gargoyles are like snowflakes. You’ll never find two exactly alike. I love the symbolism associated with this stone creature. Some legends say they actually come to life to ward off evil spirits, and that they can communicate with others when the wind or rain passes through their mouths. They have a purifying role, even “digesting” unclean water as they serve as downspouts. “EWE!” you might say. But how about this:

As gargoyle typically symbolizes guardianship or security on the property it is found on. When you invite gargoyles into your home you are incorporating a sense of mythical protection. How cool is that? 

I am mounting this little guy to my virtual wall to welcome his protection of speech and ideas – and of positivity. On a lighthearted side, I think it also fits into the “janglery” vernacular of camaraderie. I’m sure there were those engaging in janglery near the vicinity of gargoyles in 12th century France.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Tiffany

    Love this! Totally going to incorporate Janglery into my vocabulary and I love gargoyles.

  2. Annamarie

    I absolutely adore gargoyles. And “Janglery” is a great word that needs to be brought back into use.

  3. Kaci

    All I learned about gargoyles came from Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree. So fun! Excited to enjoy the janglery here!

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