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Re: Nonperson

Posted by R. Berg on November 01, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Non person posted by ESC on November 01, 2003

: : Seeking Help

: : Many years ago I worked in Sotland. A Glaswegian friend used a word to describe a colleague. I asked what it meant and was told that it described a person who, on entering a room, gave the impression someone had just left. Sadly I forgot the word and have often felt the need of it.

: : Can anyone help, does it exist or was I having my leg pulled?

: Could it be "persona non grata." From Merriam-Webster online:
:
: Main Entry: per.so.na non gra.ta
: Pronunciation: p&r-'sO-n&-"nän-'gra-t&, -'grä-
: Function: adjective
: Etymology: New Latin, unacceptable person
: Date: 1904
: : personally unacceptable or unwelcome

: Or could it be:

: Mr. Cellophane
: (From "Chicago")

: If someone stood up in a crowd
: And raised his voice up way out loud
: And waved his arm and shook his leg
: You'd notice him
: If someone in the movie show
: Yelled "Fire in the second row
: This whole place is a powder keg!"
: You'd notice him

: And even without clucking like a hen
: Everyone gets noticed, now and then,
: Unless, of course, that personage should be
: Invisible, inconsequential me!

: Cellophane
: Mister Cellophane
: Shoulda been my name
: Mister Cellophane
: 'Cause you can look right through me
: Walk right by me
: And never know I'm there...

Or could it have been "nebbish"? From Yiddish "nebech." (Do they speak Americanized Yiddish in Scotland?) Feeling as if someone has just left is a classic way of describing a nebbish.