Peter Lebeck Chapter #1866

The Kern County Chapter of E Clampus Vitus ®
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What You Need to Know

The ECV Glossary according to Peter Lebeck

If you're a longtime Clamper, you already know this stuff. If you're new, here's your chance to brush-up. And if you are a curious potential candidate for receipt of the signs and symbols of our ancient and honorable order, you really want to study this stuff. The entries on "Poor Blind Candidate," "Hangman," "Vigilante," "History Lesson," Graybeards' Examination and Historical Presentation," "Hall of Comparative Ovations,"PXL," and "Bribe," are good places to start, especially if you are about to become a PBC.

Scroll, or click on any flashing lettered tabs above to go down.
Click on any Clamper term to come back up. Enjoy.

ECV Glossary

  • 1866 The number of our chapter and the year that Kern County was incorporated. It was not the date that Peter LeBeck met both the bear and his maker, which occurred on October 17, 1837.
  • And So Recorded!Reply of acknowledgment by the Grand Noble Recorder that the ECV Brethren deem something “Satisfactory.”
  • BlunderbusketLarge bore flintlock rifle held by one of the Damfool Doorkeepers.
  • Braying JackassThe symbol of E Clampus Vitus.
  • BribeA traditional offering made by a Poor Blind Candidate during his Greybeards' Examination. It is usually in the form of a liquid refreshment of sufficient size and proof to satisfy the examiners and those in attendance.
  • CARPSemiofficial organization of Clamper Hawkers.
  • ClampatriarchThe most senior XNGH in a Chapter or the immediate past XNGH, depending on customs of chapter; member of the ritual team.
  • ClamperA member, standing or not, of the Ancient and Honorable order of E Clampus Vitus; a Red Shirt; an ECV Officer of Equal Indignity.
  • ClamplaqueroSenior X-Proctor or XSNGH appointed by the SNGH annd the Proctors to record historical plaques erected by ECV Chapters. In charge of periodically publishing Clamper Plaque Book.
  • ClampoutAn overnight trek into the wilderness by Clampers to contemplate nature and escape their widows.
  • Clamps MatrixMember of the Ritual Team.
  • Clamps PetrixMember of the Ritual Team.
  • Clamps VitrixMember of the Ritual Team.
  • Credo Quia AbsurdumThe Order’s creed — “I believe because it is absurd.”
  • Cyber-Whang!The phrase denotes one who is a Clamper AND on the net. It is not an organized or recognized entity or chapter, nor is it sanctioned, copywrited, or in any way officially anything. The name was coined by Dave Holmes, current SNGH of Chapter 1.5, in 6001,when he set up a bulletin board on AOL and since has been used only to describe a Clamper on the net.
  • Damnfool DoorkeepersFunction as the two Sergeants-at-Arms, and bear the Blunderbusket and the Sword of Mercy during the initiation. They ritually yell "This is Serious Shit!" in vain attempts to quiet unruly Clampers at meetings for important announcements.
  • Doin’sA Clamper function.
  • E Clampus VitusAccording to John Severino, President and General Manager, KABC-TV, it is, “Either a historical drinking society or a drinking historical society. Take your pick.” We're still waiting for John to make it to his initiation.
  • ECV GazetteWebsite with all things Clamper.
  • ErectionVerb or noun- refers to "erecting" a concrete or stone monument with an historical plaque. "If you ain't plaquing, you ain't Clamping."
  • Some days you eat the bear...what happens on other days?
  • G.D.R.Gold Dust Receiver.
  • G.N.R.Grand Noble Recorder; member of the ritual team.
  • Gold Dust ReceiverAn ECV officer who functions as the Chapter treasurer.
  • Grand CouncilComposed of all current and former Noble Grand Humbugs of all chapters in ECV. Meets the weekend before Memorial Day in Sonora, California. The Grand Council ratifies the decisions of the Proctors.
  • Grand MusicianPlayer of the Horrendous Hewgag; member of the ritual team.
  • Grand Noble RecorderECV officer who functions as the chapter secretary; member of the ritual team.
  • GreybeardA former Chapter Humbug; in some chapters this includes other current chapter officers.
  • Graybeards' Examination and Historical PresentationA formal inquiry as to the suitability of a PBC. It occurs during the ordeal and long before the Hall of Comparative Ovations. At his examination, a PBC is subjected to historical and hysterical enquiry by a board of brothers led by the Humbug and his designated officers and Graybeards. A suitable "bribe" is expected of each candidate to help lubricate the examination and to impress the attendant brothers, who all being of equal indignity, are shamelessly invited to cheer on or razz the examines. Each PBC is called forth and expected to present a brief "historical presentation" about California or the local area. The best examinations are memorable for their display of wit, creativity, historical enlightenment and, sometimes, outright shameless disingenuousness. It is also the first chance for the brothers as a group to get a good look at those who aspire to become one of them. (cf. "History Lesson.")
  • Hall of Comparative OvationsWhere the Brethren gather to take in PBCs, and where the initiation ritual is performed. Also "HoCo," for short. The details of the ritual are top secret. We'd tell you but then we'd have to commit suicide and there'd be no one to update the web page. So we won't.
  • HangmanECV officer given charge of all Poor Blind Candidates throughout the ordeal and through the Hall of Comparative Ovations: A member of the ritual team. The Hangman and his posse spend the day testing the humor and mettle of all PBC prior to their admission to the Hall of Comparative Ovations. He is responsible for ensuring that all PBCs perform assigned tasks correctly. The Hangman is also responsible for protecting PBCs from the elements (mostly heat), flora (mostly poison ivy), fauna (hopefully not Mojave Greens), and over exuberant brothers (mostly, well..., you know). All PXL initiations are conducted "clean," so as to avoid the need to burn perfectly blameless recyclable clothing; and according to Grand Council Rules, which forbid hazing and physcial abuse. (See "Vigliante" and "Poor Blind Candidate").
  • HawkerClamper who runs the Chapter store, selling patches, pins, shirts, beer mugs, etc.
  • History LessonAs part of thier intiation into PXL, all PBCs are given an introduction into the history of our order and chapter, along with a general overview of present day Clamperdom. Since admission into one chapter makes a former PBC a Clamper for all purposes, an overview of ECV is important because membership in PXL entitles the new brother to attend Clamper functions anywhere in the United States.
  • Horrendous HewgagA horn which is sounded by the Grand Musician to summon Clampers to the Hall of Comparative Ovations for the initiation of PBC’s.
  • Leather MedalWorn by the Noble Grand Humbug during the initiation.
  • MottoPER CARITATE VIDUARIBUS, ORPHANIBUSQUE, SED PRIME VIDUARIBUS - For the benefit of widows and orphans, but more especially of widows.
  • Some days you eat the bear...what happens on other days?
  • N.G.H.Noble Grand Humbug; member of the ritual team.
  • Noble Grand Humbug ErectusAlternate title for ECV officer who functions as the Chapter Vice President. Inquires after Humbug’s health.
  • Noble Grand HumbugECV officer who functions as the Chapter President; member of the ritual team.
  • Old Timer’s MuseumLocated in Murphy’s, California, in the Thompson building on Main Street, it holds an impressive collection of Clamper memorabilia along with many items of local interest.
  • OrphanSmall children and girls under the age of consent.
  • P.B.C.See "Poor Blind Candidate."
  • Peter LebeckOur chapter’s namesake.
  • Peter’s Procs Organ of the Peter LeBeck Chapter. Official chapter newsletter.
  • Poor Blind Candidate aka P.B.C.The lowest form of male life, which, if it is lucky and truly inspired, may one day be a member of E Clampus Vitus.
    A non-Clamper, (known to Clampers as a "white shirt" or "civilian"), can aspire to be a Clamper by becoming a Poor Blind Candiate and surving the ordeal set for him by the Hangman prior to a Hall of Camparative Ovations. If he survives the day and does well, the PBC is invited into the Hall for the initiation ritual.
    Becoming a PBC is by invitation only, and ECV membership is open only to men. The sponsoring brother is responsible for making sure that his PBC is fully aware of what his candidate is in for, for the Hangman and his Vigilantes have instructions from the Greybeards that upon finding a group of suitable PBCs they are to, "Let the b_____ds have it!"
    Above all a PBC should be someone with a good sense of humor, slow to anger, with a generous spirit, and a penchant for comaradery of the male sort. He must be prepared to present a short historical presentation with a true (or hilariously suspect) factual basis, along with a suitable "bribe;" and he must be accepting of some mostly gentle fun at his own damn expense.
    Health is generally not an issue. So long as a PBC discloses whatever might keep him from normal physical activity, the Hangman can adjust his requirements so as to make sure the PBC has a fair chance at becoming a real live redshirt. (See "Graybeards Examination and Historical Presentation," "red shirt.")
  • ProctorsThese fifteen XNGH’s act as the executive board of the Grand Council, and are the Board of Directors of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, Inc.
  • PXLShorthand for Peter Lebeck, ECV Chapter 1866. The motto comes from the top of the grave marker of our name sake, Peter Lebeck. Lebeck is buried under a tree on the grounds of present day Fort Tejon State Historical Park. The site was once a working 19th Century army base and several of the old buildings have been restored by the state and are open to the general public. The fort also has volunteer historical reenactors and a very active historical association. Lebeck's original wooden grave marker is on display at the park's museum.
  • Red ShirtA member of E Clampus Vitus. A red shirt must be earned by surviving the ordeal and completing the ritual Hall of Comparative Ovations. No PBC is permitted to wear red or black during his initiation, and any sponsoring brother who submits a candidate without proper inspection will be delt with accordingly.
  • Roisterous IscutisThe Order's designated unruly farmer; the member of the ritual team who's primary function is to test all PBC’s with his reaping hook.
  • Royal PlatrixRoyal Surgeon of the Order; member of the ritual team whos primary function is to tend to PBCs after testing by the Roisteous Iscutis.
  • Saint VitusThe Patron Saint of E Clampus Vitus, idiots, actors, epileptics, ....
  • Satisfactory!The shouted reply of approval by Clampers to the query “What say the brethren?”
  • Serious ShitAny item of particular or unparticular interest to a Clamper, whether it be written or verbally expressed: something a PBC had better know. Information, which officers vainly try to get noisy Clampers to listen to at meetings.
  • Slippery Gulch SaloonAlso known as a Little Slippery (suds) or a Big Slippery (suds and spirits). Names for the bars formerly hosted by the chapters at some of their doin's. Because of potential civil liability, and the high cost of the extra insurance needed to host a Slippery, our chapter and others no longer supply any kind of alcohol in order to keep the cost of attending a doin's to a minimum. If you want booze, you need to bring your own (plus enough to share if you want to pass it on to the next brother).
  • SNGHSublime Noble Grand Humbug.
  • Staff of ReliefThe noble symbol of the Order, which every Clamper must be able to use in the relief of widows and orphans.
  • Sublime Noble Grand HumbugThe head Clamper of All Clamperdom. Presiding officer of the Grand Council of E Clampus Vitus, and titular head of the fifteen Proctors; who together with the Sublime, function as ECV's board of directors.
  • Sword-of-MercyGiant sword held by one of the Damnfool Doorkeepers during the initiation ceremony.
  • Some days you eat the bear...what happens on other days?
  • The BearWinner of the most ignominious wrasslin' contest of 1837: "Bear 1 - Lebeck 0." It is said that Lebeck knew going in that on only some days you get to eat the bear. He was a bit unclear on what was suppose to happen on the other days.
  • The Flatlander NuggetNewsletter containing articles announcing events of ECV Chapters, and articles about Gold Rush history.
  • TRASHTransierra Roisterous Alliance of Senior Humbugs- Each year this group of XNGH's executes a Trek to or through some historically important area of the West. These treks involve a great deal of research and planning and take years to move from conception to fruition. A guidebook is researched and published for each of the treks, and no more than 300 copies are printed.
  • Vice Noble Grand HumbugAn ECV officer who functions as the Chapter Vice President. Inquires after Humbug’s health.
  • VigilantesTitle used by some chapters for the Hangman's assistants. Each chapter has its own traditions as to name and dress. Some chapter call them "501's." At a PXL initiation you can spot the Hangman and his "posse" of vigilantes by their distinctive black and white costumes as opposed to the common red shirts and blue denim of the day. PXL vigilantes often wear full-length white coats, as if ready to mount up and hunt down their prey. Vigilantes remain part of the ritual team through the Hall of Comparative Ovations (see Hangman).
  • Wall of Comparative OvationsLocated in Murphy’s, California, “unofficial capital of Clamperdom”, on the west exterior wall of the Thompson building, Main Street.
  • What say the Brethren?Query given the ECV Brethren for approval of a particular item.
  • Widders Ball and Demotion Dinner An annual banquet where Clampers and their "Widders" are encouraged to celebrate the end of the Clamp year by dressing up in period style. At PXL this is the last event put on by the outgoing officers, and the only "Clampers only" event that includes women. Clampouts and Doin's are male only, and erections are public events where everone is invited, but the Widders Ball is for the benefit of the Widders. Most chapters have a similar function every year.
  • Widow or sometimes "Widder"A Clamper’s wife, girlfriend or both; any member of the fair sex who is comforted by a Clamper.
  • XNGHex Noble Grand Humbug; a greybeard.
  • XSNGHex Sublime Noble Grand Humbug.
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Some days you eat the bear...what happens on other days?
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