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Nick Cave’s handwritten dictionary
11:56 am


Nick Cave
Nick Cave’s handwritten dictionary

Few musicians are as word-drunk as Mr. Nick Cave from Warracknabeal, Australia, wouldn’t you agree? As a younger man Cave kept a journal in which he jotted down new words he wanted to remember and arranged them in alphabetical order. It’s definitely a good tip for writers starting out, you’re always learning, there’s always something to learn. Take notes endlessly and don’t waver!

A section from the A’s and a section from the M’s was made available a few years ago, words include AUTOCHTHON (“primitive or original inhabitant”) and MICTURITION (“morbid desire to pass water”). I’d dearly love to see the whole thing. I hope that will happen someday.


Just for kicks, even though it has nothing to do with Cave’s dictionary, here’s a scrap from Cave’s journal, which happen to have the first lyrics to “No Pussy Blues” on it, which song made it on Grinderman’s first album in 2007. I can’t get enough of the line “I picked a bunch of dandelions,” and it’s fun to see that line represented here.

Below, Nick Cave plays “We Call Upon The Author,” from the 2007 album Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds—it’s one of his more word-drunk songs, and he may even have consulted his dictionary to write it, what with lines like “our myxomatoid kids spraddle the streets ... everything is banal and jejune ... Prolix! Prolix! Nothing a pair of scissors can’t fix!”

Posted by Martin Schneider
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