What was that word?

Two cartoons for today, both involving relationships between phonologically similar words: a Dilbert and a One Big Happy:



Dilbert. In #1 Alice tells Dilbert that she’s been approached by an investor interested in her startup idea. Dilbert is suitably wary, but Alice’s account gets more and more suspicious: drinks at his house on Saturday night, and then his persistent texting to say that he can’t wait to fund her. Yeah, fund.

[Added on October 23rd, the follow-up to #1, in which Alice seizes control of the situation:


One Big Happy. In #2 Ruthie confronts a famous painting with a name that’s unfamiliar to her: Odalisque. The best she can make of this is odorless.

Now about the word odalisque, and the famous painting.

From Wikipedia on the word:

An odalisque (Turkish: Odalık) was a female slave or concubine in a Turkish harem, particularly the concubines in the household of the Ottoman sultan.

(I don’t suppose this was explained to Ruthie.)

There are many representations of odalisques in art. Four from the Wikipedia article, in chronological order:

François Boucher, L’Odalisque c. 1749, Louvre
Grande Odalisque painted by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1814)
Odalisque with a slave by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, painted in 1842
Odalisque painted by Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1874)

It’s the Ingres we see in #2. From Wikipedia:

Grande Odalisque, also known as Une Odalisque or La Grande Odalisque, is an oil painting of 1814 by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres depicting an odalisque, or concubine. Ingres’ contemporaries considered the work to signify Ingres’ break from Neoclassicism, indicating a shift toward exotic Romanticism.

Grande Odalisque attracted wide criticism when it was first shown. It has been especially noted for the elongated proportions and lack of anatomical realism. The work is displayed in the Louvre, Paris.



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