Archive for August, 2022

It’s a nose! It’s a thumb! It’s a dick!

August 21, 2022

It’s a nose! 👃 It’s a thumb! 👍 It’s a dick! (well, it’s an eggplant 🍆 but we all know what that means)

Solanum melongena  that’s all of these, and more. Because that aubergine is a symbol.

The brinjal in question, posted by Bob Eckstein on Facebook yesterday:


(#1) Bob Eckstein: You have to be looking for it to find it.

And then we were off:

— Kimberly Krautter: It’s like a Rorschach test or one of those “what do you see first” optical illusions. I first saw a thumb and a mitten. Then I saw a face with a big nose.

— AZ: Is it a nose? Is it a thumb? Is it a penis? Is it a handle? It’s all of these, and more [and more will come, below], ’cause it’s a symbol, and symbols can stand for many things.

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Zhug it up!

August 21, 2022

As a Z-person, I notice occurrences of the letter Z, especially word-initial ones. As an English linguist, I notice occurrences of word-initial ZH, because they’re so rare. Outside of proper names in Chinese, Russian, and Ukrainian, it’s pretty much all about the verb and noun zhuzh (which comes with an entertaining gay-inflected history); zhuzh has recently made it into the Oxford dictionaries, but it’s still waiting for entry to the Merriam-Webster dictionaries and the American Heritage.

So my lingy sense tingled when this morning’s e-mailing from bon appétit magazine was headed:

Store-Bought Zhug + Greek Yogurt = the Ultimate Chicken Marinade

Yes! Zhug that chicken! In fact, ba promises (though not in these words) that zhuging it up will zhuzh it up. The magical substance:


(#1) A bowl of zhugurt (photo by Isa Zapata)

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Three peanuts meet in a bar

August 18, 2022

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro, requiring a boatload of popcultural knowledge to understand:


(#1) The easy part: these are three anthropomorphic peanuts, M, M, F from left to right, and they are sitting at a bar, with drinks in front of them (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Somehow the meeting of these three exemplifies the N1 + N2 compound N wingnut / wing-nut / wing nut (which has 4 senses in NOAD, plus a bunch more you can imagine). But how?

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Knuckle macaroni

August 17, 2022

Yesterday’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro, at the grocery store:


(#1) Wayno’s title: Joint Replacement (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

So: let’s start with elbow macaroni and go on from there.

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The Joy of the Penis

August 16, 2022

(Well, yes, about — among other things — men’s genitals and the beauty of Black bodies, some of it in plain language, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Joy of the Penis: A Study in Chocolate. A stunningly designed Daily Jock ad that came in my e-mail today: a Self-Regard composition, showing a man contemplating his penis with a gaze downward. Not gravely (as with the examples collected in my 11/18/21 posting “Helgi Narcissus (again)”), but with joy, pleasure, delight (his smile made me smile reflexively in response). Also, unlike my earlier examples, he’s a handsome Black man with luminously brown skin. The whole thing is a loving study in brown tones — charcoal, chocolate, leather, golden brown — and amiable masculinity (with his penis and testicles neatly, but not obtrusively, outlined in his charcoal longline trunks):

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Fame-naming and family history

August 15, 2022

My intention was to get on with Cats 4, about naming cats for / after famous cats — in particular, famous fictional cats; in further particular, cats in cartoons and comics. If I name my cat Stallone (after the actor) or Rocky (after the fictional pugilist), I’m fame-naming a cat; if I name my cat Cheshire (from Alice in Wonderland) or Pyewacket (from the Salem witch trials and then various films, for example the wonderful Bell, Book and Candle (1958)), I’m cat-fame-naming my cat; if I name my cat Garfield or Sylvester, I’m cartoon-cat-fame-naming my cat. This is intricate, but pretty straightforward. And the topic of Cats 4 will in fact be the cartoon-cat-fame-naming of cats.

Fame-naming is a special case of after-naming. I am named after my father (Arnold Melchior Zwicky), and he was named (in a complex way) after his father (Melchior Arnold Zwicky), but no famous persons or characters were involved in these namings. On the other hand, my grandfather was named after one of the Three Wise Men, or Magi (Melchior; and his brothers Balthasar and Kaspar were named after the other two); this is fame-naming.

Meanwhile, my daughter, Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, is named after two forebears: her mother’s mother, Elizabeth Walcutt Daingerfield; and her father’s great-aunt, Elizabeth Pickney Daingerfield. That’s just after-naming. On the other hand, according to her mother, my mother Marcella Zwicky was fame-named (not merely after-named) for the fictional character Marcella in the Raggedy Ann books for children.

I was about to go on to compare schemes for the naming of pets (in modern American culture) to those for the naming of children — given our attitudes towards pets, the two are unsurprisingly similar — when I went to get illustrative material about Marcella and Raggedy Ann and discovered that, sadly, my grandmother’s story about my mother’s name could not possibly be true.

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Agador, and his flagrant Guatemalan-ness

August 14, 2022

Agador, today’s morning name, which I quickly expanded to Agador Spartacus. Calling up wonderful images of Hank Azaria’s character in the comedy film The Birdcage:


In the movie, Agador is male couple Armand and Albert’s flamboyantly gay Guatemalan housekeeper / maid, who poses as a Greek butler named Spartacus for the purposes of a family charade on behalf of Armand’s son Val; you can watch a short clip of  a bewigged Agador dancing while feather-dusting here

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Captionless Psychiatrist II: 3 captions

August 13, 2022

In the August 15th issue of The New Yorker, on the cartoon caption contest page, stage 2 of the contest — three finalist captions, to be voted on by readers — for Carolita Johnson’s drawing of a cat psychiatrist with a dog patient on the couch:


(#1) Winning caption to be announced in the August 29th issue of the magazine

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Mi okapi es su okapi

August 12, 2022

From Bert Vaux on Facebook on 8/10, one in a series of digitally altered artworks:


(#1) [BV caption:] “renaissance portrait of herd of okapis with king’s college cambridge in background, digital art”

My FB response: I’m just fond of okapis. We need more okapi art.

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cogedores

August 10, 2022

(Warning: the posting quickly descends into various kinds of vulgar, unsavory slang.)

From Kyle Wohlmut (from Twitter) on Facebook this morning, with the comment “good morning fuckers’:


(#1) A set of three plastic kitchen scoops, in a package designed to hang on a supermarket display hook; note the notch at the top of the package, for slipping over the hook; the back of the package has the name of the item in four languages, from four countries, the countries identified by flags (in tiny, muddy, b&w images), and as you go down the list, the referents of the names — names evidently supplied by some translation software — drift rapidly away from a kitchen scoop and get raunchier and raunchier: ‘scraping, scratching’, figurative ‘son of a bitch’ (literally ‘son of a whore’), figurative ‘fucker’ (referring to a contemptible or stupid person; to any man, to a guy; or to some unspecified object)

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