Language Lab: Fluschendo


n. The audible climax that occurs at the culmination of a toilet flush cycle.


In the northern hemisphere, it is usually defined as a ha-rap-pa-thum-shum-shum-de-shum sound, while in the southern hemisphere (where water swirls backwards) it is shum-de-shum-shum-thum-ha-rap-pa.


When the flush toilet was first invented by John Harrington in the late 16th Century, he made great effort to pay tribute to the original inventors of indoor plumbing, the people of Harappa, India, by carefully engineering the fluschendo to imitate the name of their village, which took a matter of years to perfect by manipulating the depth and shape of the receptacle and pipes (early models included a triangular bowl and a z-shaped trap, which resulted in a piercing sound which Harrington described only as “a blight to the mind.”) Future generations who improved upon Harrington’s toilet design attempted to alter his original design to include their own audible mark on the fluschendo, but none succeeded except Jean-Pierre DeShumme. As most people know, Thomas Crapper famously attempted to replace the fluschendo by using his high-speed flush, but the climactic point of his flush resembled the same unsavory bodily sounds that precede the necessity for a flush, and proved unsatisfactory to the user and consequently hugely unpopular. Although many patents were filed on toilet designs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, no patent office outside of France has ever granted ownership of the fluschendo itself, as it has generally been considered an “Act of God,” rather than an invention of man.

Musical Influence:

The impact of the fluschendo on music cannot be understated. It was declared by George Frederic Handel that without the invention of the toilet, all music would simply end in a “fade-out,” as many poorly-written pop songs of the modern era do (“Boogie Oogie Oogie” and “Hey Jude” are well-known examples), without any kind of emotional resolution. Those who followed his lead were inspired to do likewise, as evidenced in the climactic point of nearly every classical music piece written after Handel’s famous cantata “Look Down, Harmonious Saint” in 1736, which was the first of many compositions that he wrote entirely while “dropping the kids off at the pool.” Beethoven‘s 5th Symphony was a failed attempt at creating an entire piece of music composed of variations on the fluschendo in repetition, as is practically every song by Michael Bolton. To this day, Handel’s name is often attached to the apparatus by which one initiates a flush cycle, and therefore the fluschendo, as a reflection of his legacy in connection with it.

Posted on November 23, 2010

Category : Language Lab

All languages (except French)

This is a proposed new addition to the language, and, as such, its use has been neither tested nor approved. Any usage of this word in conversation or written form resulting in derision or injury is in no way the responsibility of ThunkTV or its affiliates.

Tags: Beethoven, crapper, flush, Handel, Hey Jude, Michael Bolton, music, toilet

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