John Shaw of Lower Fish River, Ala., was stumped by a word he found in the comic strip "Monty" in the Baldwin Register.
In the strip, Monty's intellectual sidekick is translating a conversation he's having with a dolphin, and Monty asks, "What kind of conversation could you possibly have with a stupid fish?"
In response, said the intellectual, the dolphin reminded him that it was a mammal, not a fish, and "He said something unflattering and fescennine about primates."
"I don't know what it meant, and couldn't find that word in my dictionary," said John.
Fortunately, Bubba does the maintenance on Professor Claptrap's Fiat, and the professor once accused him of using fescennine language while using a regular wrench to loosen a rusty bolt that needed a metric wrench because Homer was using his metric tools on Sherman Grant's old Yugo.
The professor's ancestors on his mother's side were Etruscans — the people who brought civilization to Italy before Rome stole the show. In the Etruscan city of Fescennia, the people developed a talent for dirty lyrics, and were famed for scurrilous verse sung at hick weddings. Maybe they developed their vernacular from cussing at their Latin neighbors.
Anyway, "fescennine" now means "indecent, especially using coarse and vulgar language."
"There once was a girl from Virginia," said Floyd, "who talked like a rube from Fescennia."
"Hush," said Bubba. "Miss Lulabelle's in the ladies' room, and she might hear you."
... alas, the comic does not seem to be online any more ...