Word of the Week (245): HAMATSA (*new CSW15*) (probability 28874), by David Sutton

HAMATSA comes to us from the American list, and is defined by OSPD in its usual terse way as 'a dance inspired by the spirit of a man-eating monster'. This piques the curiosity - what sort of people do this dance, what kind of man-eating monster, and is it likely to appear any time soon on 'Strictly Come Dancing'?

The answer to the first question is members of the Kwakwaka'wakw tribe of British Columbia. The answer to the second is a cannibalistic giant named Baxbaxwalanuksiwe, who has four terrible man-eating birds for his companions. The answer to the third is probably not, as the dance allegedly involves the consumption of human flesh, but if the ratings start to drop who knows?

CSW15 brings us a number of other new dance words. The only other completely new dance is the BUTOH from Japan, actually a form of dance theatre, but we have the new variants BIGUINE (for BEGUINE) and HOPAK (for GOPAK). SICILIANA gets a new plural SICILIANAS (in addition to the existing SICILIANE), and KAZACHOK a new plural KAZACHOKS (in addition to the existing KAZACHKI). LIMBO, MINUET and LINDY now become verbs, so LIMBOES/LIMBOED/LIMBOING, MINUETED/MINUETING and LINDIED/LINDYING.

TANGO now takes a verbal third person TANGOES, and about time too; I've been caught by that one before, but now no longer have to beat my head saying 'Not TANGOES, idiot, ONSTAGE'.

Finally I suppose I must mention the wretched TWERK, though the less said about that the better.


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