When hard words make you miss simple things

By Pablo Kimuli

I recently met my high school friend who liked using complex English words that required you to refer to a dictionary every time you were having a conversation with him.

I thought it was adolescence disturbing him at the time but our conversation proved me wrong. We hugged each other and he said, “Etymologically speaking, I’m nonplussed to talk to you. I see you live a catchet and panache life. I like your intralexiconic skills my brother.” I immediately confessed that I didn’t understand what he was saying. He laughed and said, “Don’t be bumfuzzled. I’m still your boy Jerome Butambala aka Englishman.”

Pablo Kimuli is one of Uganda's best comedians

Pablo Kimuli is one of Uganda’s best comedians

I expressed my pleasure for having met him after ages and he replied: “It’s doozy meeting you too. I was only worried that you would absquatulate me. Most people are discombobulated when I meet them and often batrachomyomachy the situation.” I had no clue what he was talking about but just to keep the conversation going I responded: “Yeah, so true.”

I asked him what he was up to lately and he replied; “I was hired by a panjandrum slangwhanger who wanted me to do skulduggery work but the knight in me couldn’t allow.” I asked him what a panjandrum slangwhanger was and he said: “He is a bloviate nincompoop who wants his work done in a Lickety-split which I found rigmarole.” [adrotate banner=”3″] I still didn’t understand his vibe; so, to save myself from developing uncalled for headache, I thanked and begged to leave since I was running late for an appointment.

His tone changed drastically from excitement to urgency. “Please forgive my incongruous request not to bamboozle you but seek your indulgence as my high school goombah, my account is namby-pamby which has left me in a financial hoosegow.” I didn’t actually understand his request.

I was in the process of asking him to simplify his vocabulary when my other friend walked up to us and said: “It’s good I met you here. Please help me with 100,000 shillings. I’ll refund when I get it.” It was the last money I had on me but since he had always been a trusted friend, I had no problem lending it to him. He thanked me and cheekily said: “Now I can greet you – ‘how are you?’” and laughed heading in the opposite direction. I also laughed knowing my friend’s playful character.

My Englishman seemed excited too and said: “Actually I’m also glad I met you here. I wanted you to bail me out with a 100,000 shillings.” I told him that the money I had given my other friend was the last I had. My Englishman became bitter instantly and claimed he was the first to ask for it. “That’s what I meant when I said my account is namby-pamby. It’s weak with no backbone. I’m now in a financial prison. That’s what I meant by financial hoosegow.”

I told him to learn to use simple words in times of need because sometimes even the finest translators come up against words that defy translation.

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