Bad to the Bone

September 22, 2014

Today’s Zits:

Ah the young, failing to appreciate musical history!

The video, with George Thorogood and the Destroyers:

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Hero sandwiches

September 21, 2014

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

Dragons eat heroes. In this case, in hero sandwiches.

hero sandwich is the New York term for a submarine sandwich, or sub, first attested in 1937; several unlikely etymologies have been suggested, but the likely source is as a relatively transparent compound — something like ‘sandwich for a hero’.

On synonyms for submarine sandwich, see 8/22/11’s “Zippy makes a sandwich”, with links to sources.

The cock cushion

September 21, 2014

(Annals of phallicity, gift division.)

Back on my birthday, earlier this month, Kathryn Burlingham sent me congratulations and added: “The package is in the mail”. At the time I thought this was a little joke, a kind of echo of “The check is in the mail”. But then the package arrived, with this amazing piece of stitchery (by Kathryn and her friend Nandi) in it:


(Photo by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky.)

A friend (male and straight) was greatly entertained by the cushion, noting to a woman friend on his cellphone (with photo) that the design could be used for a handbag. Or, I added, a briefcase. Use your imagination.


September 21, 2014

On the 12th, a Facebook posting announcing that the day was Maria Muldaur’s 71st birthday. How could that have happened? Well, we age; I’m now 74. Only slightly less startling is the report in the latest Out magazine that Stevie Nicks is 66.

Back on my birthday, two comments on age: one from my grand-daughter, distinguishing between really old and just old; and one from my first male lover, now 66 (like Stevie Nicks) to my 74, an age difference that no longer seems significant.

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Two from Out

September 20, 2014

Yesterday, it was The Advocate; today, it’s another LPI publication, Out (or OUT) magazine, again with two pieces of interest for this blog in the latest (October 2014) issue: one on straightsplaining, one on gay bookstores.

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Two from The Advocate

September 19, 2014

In the latest (Oct./Nov. 2014) issue of The Advocate (the glossy newsmagazine targeting an lgbt audience), two items with some linguistic interest: an ad campaign from Burger King choosing wording to frame its ads for this audience; and an instance of the first X to …, with a domain X that at first seems preposterously particular but turns out to be possibly useful after all.

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lady parts

September 18, 2014

Today’s Zits:


Jeremy and his buddy Pierce, and the slang euphemism lady parts.

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The uses of etymology

September 18, 2014

From The Economist, 9/13/14, a letter, p. 22, from Mark Watson of Galway, Ireland:

I have lived in France for the past three months and each day I heard François Hollande in the media talking about “croissance”. I assumed he was invoking citizens to support their local bakery, until I realized he was speaking about growth. My observation is that in France croissance can happen between 10am and 12 noon, and again after 2pm but no later than 7 pm…

That is, Watson understands the noun croissance to mean something like ‘supplying croissants‘, those yummy rolls. There’s a nice etymological story here.

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Today’s phallic ad

September 17, 2014

Passed on by Arne Adolfsen on Facebook, who found it on the Dangerous Minds Facebook page:

A masterpiece of phallic material, starting with the classic banana. But this is surely a paste-up job, with the frame taken from an actual Kellogg’s ad and the outrageous image pasted in. Kellogg’s ads have often been playful, but not this playful.

Smoke signals

September 17, 2014

Today’s Bizarro:

Piraro has contemplated smoke signals on other occasions, in particular in the cartoon in my 6/3/12 posting “Balloons”, with two sets of Indians at a distance from one another. A pair, with one saying “Smoke signals. Can’t quite read ‘em.” And another Indian, about the speech balloon for the first speaker: “Who are those guys with the balloon?”


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