Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Two, nocturnal and dactylic

March 31, 2015

This morning’s names, both dactylic, for nocturnal animals: the pangolin and the kinkajou.


Morning names: three ballplayers

March 29, 2015

On three different occasions dring the night, I woke with the name of a baseball player in my head: Al Kaline, Sal Maglie, Phil Rizzuto. (For the record, I was not a baseball card kid.)


Name those spiders

March 27, 2015

Making the rounds in science reporting recently: newly discovered peacock spiders. From National Geographic on the 24th. the story “Behold Sparklemuffin and Skeletorus, New Peacock Spiders: A few new species of these colorful, dancing spiders have been found in eastern Australia” by Carrie Arnold:

If you don’t think of spiders as cute and cuddly, then you’ve never met Sparklemuffin, Skeletorus, and the elephant spider. Scientists have identified these three new species of peacock spiders in various parts of eastern Australia.

Less than a quarter-inch long (five millimeters), male peacock spiders are known for their bright colors and a rolling-shaking mating dance that would make Miley Cyrus jealous.

Two of them:


A new species of peacock spider, nicknamed “Sparklemuffin” by the graduate student who discovered it, performs a leg-waving mating dance.


The peacock spider Maratus sceletus earned the nickname “Skeletorus” for its black-and-white markings.


Reuben and Rachel

March 27, 2015

On a report (from the 25th) on a recent Arby’s ad:

Arby’s Reuben Gets a New “Rachel” Variant: Arby’s latest sandwich is the new, limited-time Turkey Rachel, which is being offered as a variant on their Reuben that comes with roast turkey and housemade coleslaw rather than the corned beef and sauerkraut


To come: the sandwiches, their ingredients, their names.


Names for plumed creatures, mythical and real

March 26, 2015

Two names this morning: Quetzalcoatl (the mythical plumed serpent), Hoatzin (the extravagantly plumed bird).


Construction toys

March 25, 2015

Chatted yesterday with Ned Deily about Erector sets and Meccano, and he mentioned Girder and Panel construction toys, which I hadn’t heard of but which he had enjoyed as a kid; they came along a bit late for me, though I had played with earlier construction toys: Meccano, Tinkertoy, Erector, and Lego.

I’ll start with Girder and Panel and then go back to the beginning.



March 24, 2015

This morning’s name was, annoyingly, just a surname: Detweiler. I had the feeling that it was the name of a character in a film or tv show, possibly a detective (but that might just be from the shared det- in detective and Detweilerˆ).

Well, you wouldn’t believe how many Detweilers a Google search pulls up! But none of them in the first hundred pages seemed at all familiar to me. (Remember that the question is why the name popped up in my memory.)

Morning names: Confrey, comfrey

March 23, 2015

From my subconscious this morning: Zez Confrey (definitely a memorable name), and then comfrey.



March 22, 2015

This morning’s name was Gil Chaitin, and that led immediately to Gregory Chaitin. Both academics, but in very different fields.


Ethelbert Nevin

March 21, 2015

Today’s morning name, memorable because the Anglo-Saxon personal name Ethelbert is rare (and has been for centuries, though there apparently was a brief fashion for it in the 19th century) and now is seen as funny, even “dorky”.

Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin (November 25, 1862 – February 17, 1901) was an American pianist and composer. … His best-remembered compositions are the piano piece Narcissus from Water Scenes and the songs “The Rosary” and “Mighty Lak’ a Rose”  (Wikipedia).

The man at the piano:



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