The news for beavers

(Sex talk, but mostly academic, analytically inclined. But still, talk about bodyparts and sex acts, so use your judgment.)

First, cowboys and beavers, via the paratactic preconditional

(1) Save a tree, eat a beaver.


parallel to

(2) Save a horse, ride a cowboy.

Then some news about castorid, rather than genital, beavers.

Background on the paratactic preconditional in (2), a bit of racy double entendre directed to women: my posting of the 20th, taking it back only so far as a 2004 song; then my posting of yesterday, in which Peter Reitan took it back one year to a completely different song.

Then yesterday on ADS-L, Reitan took it back one more year, and out of the world of popular music:

November 19, 2002 – US Patent and Trademark Office – application for trademark status published.

SAVE A HORSE RIDE A COWBOY – for shirts, pants, hats, socks, underwear.

And Reitan added:

On the same day, they published this mark – for the same applicant:


While (2) is directed at women and alludes to intercourse in the Cowgirl position (metaphorically riding a penis), (1) is directed at men and alludes to cunnilingus, man on woman (metaphorically eating a vagina). (Yes, there are same-sex understandings for both.)

I don’t know what happened to the applications, but tons of merchandise have been marketed using both expressions, and both appear as humorous slogans (on e-cards and the like).

Beaver time. At the outrageous end of the scale, CafePress offers this women’s thong:


(Not a great image, but then CafePress images are often not very sharp.)


Save a Tree, Eat a Beaver Classic Thong: Do Mother Nature a favor and eat a Beaver. Ladies Thong Underwear …. 100% Ultra-fine combed ring spun 1×1 baby rib cotton. Size up for a looser fit. Super soft high end woven elastic trim


Sometimes the cowboys and beavers are combined:


And you can find a paratactic conditional version of (1) too:


The lexical territory of beaver. Genital beaver is in a large set of terms for the vagina or vulva, some of them technical (anatomical) terms, many of them slang, some inventive one-offs, some of them taboo, some euphemistic. Along with the nouns go verbs for cunnilingus (primarily eat (out) and go down on, but also more colorful items like muff-dive).

GDoS on the noun beaver in the relevant (metaphorical) sense:

5 (orig. US) the female pubic hair, the vagina, esp. in commercial pornography [first cite 1927-41 G. Legman, Limerick: There was a young lady named Eva / Who went to the ball as Godiva. / But a change in the lights / Showed a tear in her tights / And a low fellow present yelled, Beaver!]

(Apparently the limericist pronounced Godiva with an /i/ — rhyming with Eva and non-rhotic beaver — rather than the now-standard /aj/.)

The noun territory of beaver includes (in rough order of offense to American ears)

box …. snatch … pussy … cunt

(with various differences in collocations: eat pussy, with M(ass) noun pussy, is routine, much more common than eat in combination with any of the others as M).

Plus two other sets of nouns, one taking off from cunt, the other from vagina.

On the first, some examples from GDoS:

cooze (also coose, coosie, cooz, coosee, coozey, coozie, cuze) (var. on cuntmainly US) 1 the vagina [first cite c.1925; then by metonymy, a woman]

cooch (also cooch, cutchie) (abbr./euph. for cunt) 3 (US) the vagina; thus, by metonymy, a woman [first cite 1966]

On the second, from an 8/9/11 posting of mine:

The medical term vagina went into the general vocabulary some time ago, and then, predictably, many people started treating it as (to some degree) a taboo word, so that alongside older euphemisms (like lady parts, lady areas, and down below from BettyConfidential), vagina-based euphemisms developed: virginia and vajayjay …, vag

More sloganeering. Searching for (1) brought me a number of related slograns:

I Don’t Cook But I Do Eat Out (eat out ‘perform cunnilingus’); Nice Snatch (sexy woman catching a baseball); Real Men Eat Beaver; Real Women Suck Dick, Real Men Eat Pussy

Ah, we veer into the zone of the Real Men snowclone (one that apparently hasn’t been catalogued yet), with protypical examples of what real men don’t eat — Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche — or do eat or what they do or don’t do in general. The last of the examples above takes us to 69 territory, as in this Tumblr image (where I’ve fuzzed out the dick:


More snowclonery. So far we’ve got two instances of paratactic preconditionals — both of the form VP(BSE) + VP(BSE), with save as the verb in part 1: save horse, ride cowboy; save tree, eat beaver. Both are sexual. But it turns out that there are non-sexual instances of the form. Two examples:

save dog/shark, eat Chinese: From HuffPo, “Save A Dog, Eat A Chinese’ T-Shirt Is A Disgusting Display Of Racism” (Save a Shark is also attested)

save alligator, eat/shoot preppie: “Save the/an alligator, eat/shoot a preppie”, as on this button:


(with reference to the alligator logo on Lacoste polo shirts, shirts so much favored by preppies that is became the emblem of the social type).

save … eat looks like the historical seed for a snowclone, something like

Save X, VP(BSE) ‘to save X, VP(BSE)’ or ‘save X by VP(PRP)’

It might well have extended to verbs other than save in part 1. But in any case there surely are more examples than the ones I’ve found in the last couple of days.

And now for something completely different, but still involving beavers.

The news for castorid beavers. An item I’ve been saving for over a year. From the NYT Science Times on 3/1/16, by Erica Goode, (in print) “Invasive, but Not Always Unwanted”, (on-line) “Invasive Species Aren’t Always Unwanted”:

Invasive species are bad news, or so goes the conventional wisdom, encouraged by persistent warnings from biologists about the dangers of foreign animals and plants moving into new territories.

Conservation organizations bill alien species as the foremost threat to native wildlife. Cities rip out exotic trees and shrubs in favor of indigenous varieties. And governments spend millions on efforts to head off or eradicate biological invaders.

“I think the dominant paradigm in the field is still a ‘when in doubt, kill them’ sort of attitude,” said Dov Sax, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University.

But a growing number of scientists are challenging this view, arguing that not all invasive species are destructive; some, they contend, are even beneficial. The assumption that what hails from elsewhere is inherently bad, these researchers say, rests more on xenophobia than on science.

… The antipathy to foreign plants and wildlife is relatively recent. While the distinction between native and non-native species dates to the 18th century, the term “invasion” was first used in a 1958 book — “The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants,” by Charles Elton — that drew on the militaristic vocabulary of the post-World War II era.

… Beavers were common in Britain until they were hunted to extinction centuries ago. But when a group of the toothy dam builders took up residence along the River Tay in western Scotland several years ago, local farmers and fishermen greeted the animals with hostility, saying they posed a threat to farmland and salmon runs and were potential carriers of disease.

Scottish Land and Estates, an organization representing landowners, insisted that the beavers’ centuries of absence from Britain nullified their resident status, the Independent reported in 2010.

“It’s just silly,” [Ken Thompson, an ecologist and retired senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield in England, who wrote the 2014 book “Where Do Camels Belong: Why Invasive Species Aren’t All Bad.”] said, of the reaction to the Tay beavers. “I don’t think we would have ended up in this ridiculous situation if we hadn’t been so bombarded by propaganda about invasive species.”

Hats off for beavers!

In a photo from the story:


In Spain, nonnative crayfish serve as prey for migratory wetland birds

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