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Re: Nonperson

Posted by Anders on November 02, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Nonperson posted by R. Berg 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.

Ms Berg:
This non-presence, "presence of absence," or: usurpation of somebody else's presence, it gives me the chills. Tell me, does nebbish or nebech originate from the occult? (Jewish mysticism?)
Thanks
Anders