An Italian surname, and mystery word.

In January 2001, the word Semprini turned up 10780 hits on Altavista, mostly as a surname of people with Italian-sounding names, and a lot of motor racing pages. There are no entries in any English dictionaries for semprini, and babelfish can't translate it from Italian or Spanish to English., now refers to an Italian company that makes Audio, video and lights, which makes some kind of sense if it is an Italian surname: companies are often named after people.

Oh, and if you say this word in a Monty Python sketch, you will be dragged off. To them, it's a very naughty word.

Episode 17: The Buzz Aldrin Show

From The Chemist sketch:

Green letters on a black background: "THE CHEMIST SKETCH- AN APOLOGY!".

Voice-over: The BBC would like to apologise for the poor quality of the writing in that sketch. It is not BBC policy to get easy laughs with words like bum, knickers, botty or wee-wees. shh.

Michael Palin stands in front of a slide projector screen. He says "These are the words which are not to be used again on this program:"
The following flashes on the screen:

A blonde woman comes on looking puzzled. "Semprini?" she says.
"out! he snaps, pointing offstage.

A chemist's counter. The chemist (John Cleese) enters from the storeroom door. "Right, who's got a boil on his semprini then?"

A policeman immediately enters and drags him off.

Semprini, according to Graham Chapman was used as a bit of a non sequitur by the Python team and a bit of an in joke. Semprini was apparently an Italian opera singer of no particular significance.

It's also an aftershave used by Mr Gumby in the same episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Eric Idle of course, prefers the aftershave called rancid polecat.

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