Archive for the ‘Clipping’ Category

Muhly grass

September 30, 2015

From a recent visit to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden, a glimpse of a very pretty ornamental grass. Photo from the web:


This is a white variant (White Cloud) of Muhlenbergia capillaris, Muhlenbergia being the genus of muhly grasses. (Note that the common name is derived by clipping from the botanical name.)

The botanical name will take us on an adventure in U.S. history, starting in the early 18th century.


The unflappable waitress

July 23, 2015

Today’s Bizarro:

Hun / hon.

The informal clipped form hon (for honey) as a term of address is stereotypically used, along with other pet names like the full honey, sweetie, dear(ie), and doll, by waitresses to their customers, in addition to the use of these as terms of endearment to genuine intimates. Many customers find the usage disrespectful and insulting, expressing intimacy in a situation where they see that deference to authority is called for.

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Don Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

Lab mix

March 22, 2015

Today’s One Big Happy:

If you don’t know the snowclonelet template X mix for dog hybrids (poodle mix, shepherd mix, etc.) and don’t know that Lab can be a clipping of Labrador Retriever, then you’re thrown back on things you do know  and have to treat lab mix as a compound meaning something like ‘something mixed up, created, in a lab’. Cue Frankenstein.

For short

December 12, 2014

In the NYT on the 10th, an op-ed piece by Jason Mark, “Climate Fiction Fantasy: What ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Snowpiercer’ Got Wrong”, with the observation that

end-of-the-world scenarios appear so regularly in books and films that they are now their own mini-genre — cli-fi.

Note the playful abbreviation cli-fi ‘climate fiction’ (parallel to the much older sci-fi ‘science fiction’), which was new to me but has apparently been around since 2008 or so.

(More recently, fiction has been abbreviated as fic rather than fi, in fan-fic and slash-fic: fic is the straightforward clipping, and there’s no rhyming motivation for fi, as there is in sci-fi and cli-fi.)



December 3, 2014

Today’s One Big Happy:

permanent record, with the most common, literal sense of permanent — well, most common for adult users, but things are likely to be different for kids like Ruthie.


Word errors

November 9, 2014

From Kristin Bergen on Facebook:

a wonderful eggcorn from a FB teaching discussion group: a colleague reports a senior seminar paper in which the student describes something happening “right from the gecko”

A delightful error (evoking an entertaining image), and surely a type of classical malapropism (CM) — a type I’ll label a Ruthie (after the character of that name in the comic strip One Big Happy) — but not an instance of the subtype of CM known in the error literature as an eggcorn, though to be fair to Kristin it’s significantly similar to eggcorns.



October 26, 2014

A slang term (also spelled doxing) from the Gamergate controversy (see below), for “researching and publishing personally identifiable information about an individual” (Wikipedia), in a form of cyber-bullying. The Wikipedia article derives the term from dox, which it treats as a clipped version of document, but it seems more likely that dox is just a re-spelling of docs, which is a clipped version of documents, used here with a specialized meaning.


Clipped musculature

October 12, 2014

My most recent posting had a cartoon pun on abdominal (muscles), muscles that have been featured prominently in huge numbers of my postings on shirtless men, under the name abs, for abdominals. The muscles come in sets, hence the plural; and then the base noun abdominal has been clipped to ab. There are plenty more of these clippings, most of them involving muscles that come in pairs.

So from a 8/19/14 posting “Abs of the week”:

It’s been a while since I posted images of shirtless men with astounding abs (and pecs, delts, traps, and biceps, but oh, those abs!) …

And there’s more on fitness sites, for example, from msn health and fitness, on Wall Ball exercises:

MUSCLES INVOLVED: Quads, Glutes, Abs, Traps, Pecs, Delts, Triceps, Total Body

EQUIPMENT: Medicine Ball


POP goes the taxi

July 31, 2014

Yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange:

A POP — phrasal overlap portmanteau — combining the clipped compound mani-pedi (a manicure plus a pedicure; see here) and the compound pedicab ‘pedal-operated taxi’.


March 2, 2014

From Benjamin Slade, pointers to Chris Hallbeck’s webcomic site Minimumble, with three recent language-related cartoons:

From 2/12/14, treating procrastinator as pro + castinator, with pro treated as a clipping of professional  and so contrasted with amateur (link):


From 2/14/14, language play extracting panda from pandemonium (link):


From 2/24/14, a POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) (link):


Bed Bath and Beyond (the retail chain) overlapped with Beyond Thunderdome (the movie).


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