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All party talk

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“My! My! Look at you! Where are you off to dressed like that?”

“Rajesh is getting married next week. He’s having a party at his place tonight.”

“That’s nice. Is Meera coming with you?”

“Unfortunately, I can’t ask her to come. It’s a stag party.”

“It’s a what party? What did you say?”

“S...t...a...g. Stag! It rhymes with ‘tag’, ‘bag’ and ‘lag’. When you say that it’s a ‘stag’ party, you mean there won’t be any women present at the event. It’ll only be men.”

“That makes sense. A ‘stag’ is actually a male deer, isn’t it?”

“Yes, that’s right! Since the people at the event will all be men…”

“Such events are called ‘stag’ parties. Tell me, since a female deer is called a ‘doe’, are parties that only ladies attend called ‘doe’ parties?”

“Very good! Some people do refer to them as ‘doe party’. But the common term to refer to such parties is ‘hen’ party.”

“Hen party? That doesn’t make any sense! Why would they call it that?”

“Because the word ‘hen’ in this context doesn’t refer to the adult female chicken. It refers to any female bird. Many female birds are called ‘hen’. The same is true of the word ‘stag’. In the past, male animals in their prime were called stags.”

For fun

“I see. If this hadn’t been a stag party, would you have asked Meera to come with you?”

“I don’t think so. Unlike many of my friends, Meera is not a party animal.”

“Party animal? Does it mean someone who loves attending parties?”

“Very good! That’s exactly what it means. A party animal is someone who loves going to parties and goes to as many as possible. Ganesh doesn’t like attending parties. His wife, on the other hand, is a real party animal.”

“How about this example? During our trip to Goa, my friend and I did a lot of trekking. The party animals in our group, however, enjoyed themselves on the beach.”

“That’s an excellent example. Now tell me, what have…”

“Is there a term for someone who comes to parties reluctantly? He doesn’t really enjoy himself, and in the process makes sure that the others don’t either.”

“Such a person is called a ‘party pooper’! He spoils your fun. He’s a real ‘killjoy’. Please don’t invite Ram to this evening’s function. He’s a real party pooper.”

“I’ve come to this restaurant to enjoy myself, Veda. So don’t be a party pooper by talking about work.”

“Good example. Rajesh didn’t invite his boss because he’s a real party pooper.”

“Good reason not to invite someone, I suppose.”

********

Hear no evil, speak no evil, and you won’t be invited to cocktail parties. Oscar Wilde

The writer teaches at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. upendrankye@gmail.com

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 1:20:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/all-party-talk/article30122703.ece

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