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English citations of runcible

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  1. (humorous) A nonce word used for humorous effect, and perhaps originally to maintain the number of syllables in lines of poems. [from 1871]
    • 1870 February, Edward Lear, “The Owl and the Pussy-cat”, in J[ohn] T[ownsend] Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom, editors, Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls, volume VI, number II, Boston, Mass.: Fields, Osgood, & Co., 124 Tremont Street, OCLC 29249045, page 112:
      They dined on mince and slices of quince, / Which they ate with a runcible spoon, / And hand in hand on the edge of the sand / They danced by the light of the moon,— / The moon, / They danced by the light of the moon.
    • 1872, Edward Lear, “Twenty-six Nonsense Rhymes and Pictures”, in More Nonsense, Pictures, Rhymes, Botany, etc., London: Robert John Bush, 32, Charing Cross, S.W., OCLC 1419124:
      The Dolomphious Duck, / who caught Spotted Frogs for her dinner / with a Runcible Spoon. [] The Rural Runcible Raven, / who wore a White Wig and flew away / with the Carpet Broom.
    • 1877, Edward Lear, “The Pobble Who Has no Toes” in Laughable Lyrics: A Fourth Book of Nonsense Poems, Songs, Botany, Music, etc., p 24:
      “He has gone to fish, for his Aunt Jobiska's
      Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!”
    • 1888, Edward Lear, Nonsense Songs & Stories, 6th ed, p 8:
      His body is perfectly spherical,
      He weareth a runcible hat.
    • 1895, Edward Lear, Nonsense Songs & Stories, new ed:
      76: What a runcible goose you are!
      77: We shall presently all be dead, On this ancient runcible wall.
    • 1909 February, J[ohn] C[ollis] Snaith, “Araminta”, in The Forum, volume XLI, New York, N.Y.: The Forum Publishing Company, OCLC 317236783, pages 157 and 169:
      chapter XI (Miss Perry is the Soul of Discretion), page 157 "I think the hat must flop a little too much," said Miss Perry, "in places. It makes people turn round to stare at it." / "Of course it does, you foolish person," said Jim, with little guffaws of rapture. "It is an absolute aboriginal runcible hat. How did you come by it? It seems to me there are deep minds in this." [] chapter XIII (High Revel is Held in Hill Street), page 169 "I never saw such a creature," said Jim. "Those Gainsborough frocks and those runcible hats are maddening." / "Well, laddie," said Jim's mother, "you must paint her and make her and yourself famous."
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow, New York, N.Y.: Viking Press, →ISBN; republished as Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Twentieth-century Classics), New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 1995, →ISBN, page 597:
      Presently, out of breath, they arrive at the pier where the Badass and its division, four haze-gray piglets, are tied up, to find the runcible spoon fight just under way at the center of a weaving, cheering crowd of civilian and military drunks.
    • 1985, Richard William Johnson, The Politics of Recession, Macmillan, p 184:
      [chapter title] Ireland and the Runcible Men
    • 1994, Marnie Parsons, in Touch Monkeys: Nonsense Strategies for Reading Twentieth-Century Poetry, University of Toronto Press:
      10: [chapter title] Runcible Relations: A Taxonomy of Nonsense Criticism and Theory
      16: Framing this discussion of runcible relations with madness and linguistic operations has a certain propriety, for much of the language theory employed in the later parts of this study uses madness as a means of explicating some of the ways language functions.