Sunday, 18 August 2013

Blivit - An Impossibly Useless Post

Utilities, Brain-teaser,
Town planning puzzles. Oh the fun!

BLIVIT

Noun. US slang. Also blivet.
[Origin unknown.]

Something pointless, useless, or impossible; a nuisance.

I was shown the above puzzle when I was a child and I've decided it's a blivit. The purpose is to connect each house to its own supply of electricity, gas and water by drawing a line from the relevant utility box to the target house; the lines (pipes) must not cross or go through the boxes or other houses, and each house must be supplied with all three. Go!

It's also been a bit of a blivit to find out exactly what a blivit is. It's not in my hard-copy Chambers or Collins dictionaries, and is conspicuously absent from the online versions of all of these, including Merriam-Webster and, bizarrely, the OED. It does, however, have its own (albeit virtually referenceless) Wikipedia entry under blivet, which claims its most common use is in describing such impossible objects as the Devil's Tuning Fork. It also says that it's US army slang for something completely unmanageable, a vital but broken or deficient piece of equipment, a self-important person and a fuel container. Other online references also give other definitions, including it being an embarrassing crash during a technical demonstration, something that is hard to name or find a word far, and the joke of leaving a burning, excrement-filled paper bag on someone's doorstep, ringing the bell and watching as they stamp out the flames in a panic.

All of this leads me to believe that finding the true meaning of blivit (or blivet) is, in itself, a bit of a blivit (in several senses of the word), especially as all of the major dictionaries seem to have given up on the task. I shall therefore leave you with some deeply probing questions, and my little blivitous brain-teaser.

Have you ever used the word blivit or blivet? Are you going to?

Do you have any other examples of what a blivit is, might be, could be or would be in a perfect world? 

Do please leave your most pointless, useless and impossible comments below.

7 comments:

  1. That's a really mean puzzle. Well, the puzzle isn't mean, since it lacks a personality, but the person who made you solve it is.

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    1. It is a mean little puzzle! I was about 7 when someone set me to task on that.

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  2. There are a number of blivits on the following site, including your puzzle Ed (#26)
    There are answers too! That particular puzzle is not quite straightforward!

    Some Blivits here

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    1. Cool puzzles Jingles! Thanks for the link - I can see myself using some of those as examples for future words (blivits or otherwise).

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  3. Perhaps my dry erase cleaning checklists I made today are rather "blivitous"...

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    1. I'll be honest, Kara: I don't know what 'dry erase cleaning' is. Would you care to enlighten me?

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    2. White board markers? Basically a special marker that erases off of certain surfaces.

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