Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nothing But A Lyptechare

I had a strange dream last night. In the dream I was attending some kind of public occasion and I became aware that the chap sitting at the next table was about to make a short speech about me. I half recognised the chap concerned, I had known him slightly about twenty-five years ago when. for a while, we taught the same course. But I had not met him for over quarter of a century and I had no idea why he was about to deliver a speech about me. For some reason I had a copy of the speech and at that point the dream "slipped" (in the way dreams do) and I was going to have to deliver the speech, written by my old acquaintance about me, myself. In quickly reading through it I was initially more concerned with presentation rather than meaning - does this say something very deep about me - and I was anxious to check to make sure there were no words which I might find difficult to pronounce. Near the end I found reference to the word "lyptechare". Searching for context I re-read the short sentence which said "In short, he is nothing but a lyptechare". My focus of attention now shifted from how the word might be pronounced to what it might mean. What was I being accused of by this one-time friend of mine? I immediately sought out a dictionary and looked the word up. When I eventually found the page it was on, Amy jumped on the bed and woke me up.

It was such a powerful dream that I immediately found some paper and wrote the word down. The dream may have been gone for ever but at least I could still investigate the message. What was being said about my character and personality? What critique of my life was contained in that short sentence? I grabbed the dictionary and quickly thumbed through it looking for "lyptechare". Nothing. Perhaps I had wrongly transcribed it. I tried various different spellings .... liptechar, lyptochare, etc. Nothing. I Googled it to see if it might be a foreign word or phrase. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

I am therefore caught in this dreadful dilemma. I know what I am. I know how history will judge me. The one thing you can say about Alan Burnett is that he was nothing but a lyptechare. But what does it mean?


  1. I have been doing some very serious research on this....

    "Lypte" is apparently an Albanian word and turns up in two New Testament verses which Google tried to translate from Italian(!)... comparing to the English text, lypte might mean something like beggar....

    This would fit with a humming bird called Anna Lypte- sipping/begging?

    Alternatively, Lypt might have a root as in Eucalyptus....

    Chare is clearly "household work" or "household worker."

    So I guess "lyptechare" means either "wooden skivvy" (that smells nice and is good for coughs) or "begging skivvy". Clearly your dream was revealing your self image. Or not.

  2. Anonymous9:40 AM

    There again it could have been someone in your dream under the influence saying you were a LECTURER in another life.


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...