21 April 2011

M is for Mehari

Strangely enough, my blogging editor stuck a little red little squiggly under that word.  So what, I hear you say, exactly, is a mehari?

That was question 11 in the Hillcrest Pub Quiz two nights ago.  Question 11 is always a strange word that no-one has ever heard of before, so to help the teams out, the quiz-mistress supplies 4 multiple choice options:

(a) a thin bladed sword
(b) a fast camel
(c) a light snack
(d) a stuffed green olive

So which one would you have picked?

We um’ed and ah’ed and tested out the word in various contexts…

  • sword - “One step closer, boy, and I’m gonna stick you with my mehari!”
  • camel - “Ag, Bill man! Your bloody mehari spat on me as it charged passed.”
  • snack - “I’m stuffed!  I couldn’t even squeeze down a mehari.”
  • olive - “Oh, Giles, be a dear and pass me that last mehari.”

…and in the end we concluded that it just had to be option (d) the stuffed green olive.

But we were wrong.  It is in fact a fast camel, bred for racing and fighting.  I’ve attached a picture to the end of this posting so as not to give away the answer too easily for anyone who wants to guess :)

When I got home, I did some googling on the word mehari and found some interesting alternatives.

#1 on the search results was a Citroen Mehari.  Obviously named after the fast camel although I personally wouldn’t associate my car brand with a flea-ridden, spitting, smelly, slow and sluggish desert ship that, it is boasted, “can travel 120 to 190 kilometres a day at a steady trot of 14 to 16 kilometres an hour”.  But maybe that’s just me.  The French marketing manager is obviously way ahead of me there.  In the desert.  Lost.

#2 was MEHARI - Méthode Harmonisée d'Analyse de Risques, interestingly also French-related, meaning Harmonised Risk Analysis Method.  Wikipedia informs me that this is a method for risk analysis and risk management created by CLUSIF (the French association of information security professionals).  So now you know!

I still hadn’t hit an actual camel yet – not that I often actually hit many camels, of course.  So I cruised over to the authoritative Internet reference on all things word related – urbandictionary.com – and pumped mehari into their search engine.  This is what I got back:

  • Normally a cool character loved by everyone for his humour and friendliness.
  • A name for an Asian guy with a penis ranging from 3-4 inches.
  • Loveable and funny.

Example Usage: “Thomas is really nice but I bet he’s a mehari!”

Umm, yes, moving on.  Here’s your camel:

A Wodaabe man holds his Mehari camels reins

Postscript: At one quiz evening last year, the word was another M, M is for Merkin.  You can go look up the definition yourself because I’m not explaining it here!  The embarrassing thing is that one of our team members already knew the answer.  We didn’t ask how.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, come on - everyone knows what a merkin is! :)
    (And I must say, if I was there, I would have chosen the camel...) ;) x