Pelbin comin' around the mountain when she comes.
January 20, 2009 2:36 PM   Subscribe

What is pelbin?

My father received one of those Would You Rather...? books for Christmas and it contained a puzzling word. Under the question "Would you rather be able to fast-forward life or rewind it?," there is the note "Things to consider: pelbin". Here is a photo of the question.

What in the world is pelbin? I've googled the eff out of this and it only comes up as an Irish last name. Is there a famous Irish time traveller?

Maybe in an alternate universe this note made sense.
posted by nomad to Writing & Language (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Google also shows "pelbin" as being a style of trousers.
Maybe a particularly ugly old fashion trend?
posted by jozxyqk at 2:46 PM on January 20, 2009


FWIW, there is no entry for 'pelbin' in either the OED or in Mirriam-Webster's Third New International. I checked!
posted by trip and a half at 3:35 PM on January 20, 2009


Don't know, never pelbbed.

Seriously, perhaps it is one of those purposeful errors introduced to a text to catch plagiarists?
posted by Rock Steady at 3:36 PM on January 20, 2009


It's niblep backwards.

And probably an editing mistake that slipped though. Either shorthand that got overlooked or a selection that was accidently typed through. As evidence I point to the "Things to consider" in the entry above is a full sentence with punctuation and everything.

In which case I'm sure the editor would like to rewind life and fix that error before it went to print.

posted by Ookseer at 4:53 PM on January 20, 2009


As evidence I point to the "Things to consider" in the entry above is a full sentence with punctuation and everything.

I have one of those books, as well, and sometimes the "Things to consider" are sentences and sometimes just words or fragments. An example might be:

Would you rather...
Be able to make change for a dollar by putting it in your mouth or be able to change the length of your hair by thinking about it?
Things to consider: high salon prices, laundry

posted by Rock Steady at 5:00 PM on January 20, 2009


I'm guessing it's a joke. It doesn't seem to be a typo; what would the intended word be?
posted by languagehat at 6:06 PM on January 20, 2009


I bet it was a placeholder. If it were me and I was being driven crazy by this, I would send the publisher a quick email and ask. Can't hurt and they might reply!
posted by pinky at 7:29 PM on January 20, 2009


Ooh, I've just had an idea. Could it be a "callback" to an earlier question in the book? I could envision an earlier Thing to Consider being something like "That time you made out with Jennifer Pelbin in 8th Grade". Of course, the lower case makes it unlikely to be a proper name like that...

Would you rather:
overthink a plate of beans or make wild-ass-guesses at inscrutable AskMe questions?
Things to consider: pelbin.

posted by Rock Steady at 8:43 PM on January 20, 2009


I did a bit of googling too and came up with this Udmurt? word in this German grammar which translates it as sleep. It pops up in this Ode to the Motherland [page 6] referring to a mine in Chile. It also appears in the German biographies of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchis and may have something to do with heroism. My not having any German makes this all a bit iffy though. Good luck with your search.
posted by tellurian at 9:32 PM on January 20, 2009


It's from the book "Would You Rather...? 2: Electric Boogaloo: Over 300 More Absolutely Absurd Dilemmas to Ponder" which I found at Amazon, where I found the "pelbin" page using the "look inside" feature. (I searched "rewind")

From what I can determine, it's most likely a typo (or as pinky mentioned, possibly a placehoder) of some sort. I think we can safely assume that it's not a clever riddle or anything arcane or obscure, judging by other content of the book.

Plus, that page seems to have escaped the attention of a proofreader, or maybe the copy editor had a hangover. I say that because the question above it is:
Would you rather...

have an ass-fax OR a Phillips head screwdriver outie belly button?
Elastic lips OR reflective calves?
Inflatable breasts OR adjustable palm lines?
and the things to consider?
Things to consider: messing with psychics
I'm pretty sure they really meant "physics" there.


At any rate, there is a contact url for the publisher:

info@wouldyourather.com

I found that on the copyright page - though at this time, I'm not having any success getting http://wouldyourather.com to load

________________________________________

Now, for my totally off-the-wall guess about what it was supposed to say... I have a hunch it might have been meant to be "pinball" - though I have zero idea how it could get bunged up enough to come out "pelbin." It just seems like an answer that might be in keeping with some of the other content I saw in the preview, and they have a few letters in common.
posted by taz at 3:20 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


On second thought, maybe they did mean psychics...

At any rate, the answer is definitely "rewind." Definitely. Only an assfaxer would choose "fast forward".

posted by taz at 3:24 AM on January 21, 2009


I'm guessing it's a placeholder. I was thinking about it last night and wondered if it stood for something like "Placeholder Edit Later, Blank If Necessary" or something similar.

It's a much better conversation starter than "would you rather rewind or fast-forward," that's for sure.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:38 AM on January 21, 2009


Thanks so much for your help guys, I just emailed info@wouldyourather.com about it and will post if I get an answer.
posted by nomad at 7:58 AM on January 21, 2009


Maybe it's one of those feel-good acronyms, like "egbok".
posted by rlk at 8:04 AM on January 21, 2009


Just got a response back from the publisher:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding "Pelbin." Pelbin was a response to the fact that we thought that question was frustratingly ordinary. Our desire for weirdness obligated us to put something weirder in the Things to Consider and "Pelbin" is just what came out. It is good to know there are no meanings associated with it.

Pelbin,

[name redacted]

posted by nomad at 9:12 AM on January 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


Yay, I win! It was a joke (nonsense word), not a typo.
posted by languagehat at 11:12 AM on January 21, 2009


I love you, MetFilter, you pelbin my heart.
posted by emhutchinson at 12:01 PM on January 21, 2009


left out the a, I know, I know.

It's a crying thing, you wouldn't understand.
posted by emhutchinson at 12:02 PM on January 21, 2009


It is good to know there are no meanings associated with it.
Except sleep, a mine in Chile and heroism.
posted by tellurian at 1:55 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pelbin is now my favorite new response to anything I find frustratingly ordinary. Need to spice something up? Just add Pelbin!
posted by iamkimiam at 3:34 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Glad I came back to check.

Todd Pelbin
posted by trip and a half at 8:00 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pelbin is too frustratingly ordinary for me. I shall use "Pelbini". It's like Pelbin, except designer.
posted by taz at 9:33 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pelbin is the plosive form of Tanith Belbin.
posted by lukemeister at 9:08 AM on January 22, 2009


MeFi in-joke status in 3... 2... 1... We have in-joke.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:25 AM on January 22, 2009


Pelbin is now my favorite new response to anything I find frustratingly ordinary
This is known as the Pelbin effect. (The Pelbin Effect, the spine-tingling new novel from bestselling author Robert Ludlum!)
posted by fidelity at 11:43 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suspect this has something to do with Regis Pelbin?
posted by Mael Oui at 12:48 AM on January 23, 2009


Google also shows "pelbin" as being a style of trousers.

I've got a pelbin ... in my pants!
posted by lukemeister at 5:15 AM on January 23, 2009


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