Encepharer

In July of 1835 the French peasant Pierre Rivière who was arrested for triple murder wrote his memoirs. Among the grotesque neologisms he created the word ćwiecenie (fr. encèpharer) appears. Rivière uses it to describe one of his favorite pastimes – the crossing of frogs and birds. Polish translator of the Memoir – Tadeusz Komendant noticed certain formants in this language creation which are the key to understanding Rivière’s intention: ćwieki – studsand ćwiczenie – excercise (meaning torture) as well as świecenie – illumination, pochówek- burial and lęk- fear. As Komendant concludes, the word would therefore mean: “to learn, under constraint, how to bury fear in illumination”.