For in the fatness of these pursy times Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg, Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.

My new favorite websites are Shakespeare’s Words and Etymology On-line. “Pursy” did not appear in Etymology On-line, though Google provided some etymology, just on its own.

I started with Shakespeare’s Words and it said pursy is fat, pulled up – and other things in this territory. This word only appears twice in all of the canon – here and in Timon of Athens. That made me suspicious. Is this a too self-referential definition of a word? I mean if it basically means “fat,” then Shakespeare is being redundant here. “-in the fatness of these fat times?” I don’t know.

I want pursy to relate to PURSES – to convey some sense of fat money purses hanging from everyone – everyone controlled by their purses. The fatness of those kinds of times would be interesting to me. There’s something about the meaning of the sentence, too, that conveys a sense of corruption that pursy, the way I want it to be, would fit right into, likewise, for Timon of Athens, actually.

It also has a modern feeling. In these pursy times – when high end purses are a major market element. Or maybe all times are pursy.

I mean this word is not often used. It has a level of obscurity that would allow it some re-interpretation. There are plenty of words for fat…I want a word like what I think pursy should mean.


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