Spicey is out. Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street hedge fund guy, has been appointed Donald Trump’s director of communications for the White House. Setting aside the fact that his nickname is “Mooch”–not a great tag for a government employee–his last name has resulted in a huge spike in searches for the definition of “scaramouche,” as people try to make a connection between him and the middle section of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright’ning me
(Galileo) Galileo, (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo figaro magnifico
Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, took note of an 8,185% increase in people looking for what a “scaramouche” is. The answer, in case you’re wondering, is a stock character in the Italian commedia dell’arte that burlesques the Spanish don and is characterized by boastfulness and cowardliness.” The role of Scaramouche is to be beaten by another character known as the Harlequin.” The Harlequin is “a character in comedy and pantomime with a shaved head, masked face, variegated tights, and wooden sword.”
And to take this to its logical conclusion, there’s no evidence anywhere in music that the Scaramouche and The Harlequin ever danced the Fandango. (“A a lively Spanish or Spanish-American dance in triple time that is usually performed by a man and a woman to the accompaniment of guitar and castanets.”)
Merrian-Webster apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.
We wish to apologize for feeding the Bohemian Rhapsody earworm today. We offer this link as comfort and distraction. https://t.co/grlru9Ps5W
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) July 21, 2017
For more investigation into this, er, investigation, go here.