Archive for the ‘Metaphor’ Category

Why choose when you can have both?

August 12, 2018

In my e-mail, more Pinterest boards combining sexually hot Sterek (Stiles + Derek) slash art and remarkable hot dogs, most of them hybrids as well, as in this contribution from The BakerMama | Maegan Brown website on 9/29/16, “Grilled cheese hot dogs”:

(#1)

A brilliant combination of two classics: grilled cheese and hot dogs! A buttery crisp hot dog bun filled with lots of melted cheese [Monterey jack and cheddar] and a juicy grilled hot dog. Why choose when you can have both [understood: in the same (hybrid) dish]?

In this case, the hybrid food sounds tasty, but sometimes the hybrid is (like the spork) less satisfying than either component on its own, or even (like SNL‘s Shimmer, a floor wax and a dessert topping) an unpleasant union of incompatible elements..

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Mud, shit, and chocolate

July 30, 2018

Caught on re-run tv yesterday, in the Law & Order S19 E10 episode “Pledge” (from 1/21/09):

Your entire case rests on this girl’s testimony. If her only impetus to cooperate is greed, you’re in trouble. Who dangled money in front of her in the first place?

The cops. They knew she was in debt, so they pressed her pretty hard.

It’s going to look like we bought her testimony. What a mud sandwich this is turning into.

And only a few months before that, in an emotional  9/29/08 speech on the floor of the U.S. Congress by Rep. John Boehner in support of the TARP bill bailing out big banks:

None of us came here to have to vote for this mud sandwich!

(You can watch it here.)

Yes, mud sandwich. A euphemism for shit sandwich.

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That bastard mongrel half-breed, the tromboon

July 25, 2018

To yesterday’s posting “Hybrid referent, portmanteau name” (mostly about the flumpet, with a bit on the fluba), Robert Coren added a comment about Peter Schickele / P.D.Q. Bach and his invention, the tromboon:

(#1)

The tromboon is a musical instrument made up of the reed and bocal of a bassoon, attached to the body of a trombone in place of the trombone’s mouthpiece. It combines the sound of double reeds and the slide for a distinctive and unusual instrument. The name of the instrument is a portmanteau of “trombone” and “bassoon”. The sound quality of the instrument is best described as comical and loud.

The tromboon was developed by Peter Schickele, a skilled bassoonist himself, and featured in some of his live concert and recorded performances. Schickele called it “a hybrid – that’s the nicer word – constructed from the parts of a bassoon and a trombone; it has all the disadvantages of both”. This instrument is called for in the scores of P. D. Q. Bach’s oratorio The Seasonings, as well as the Serenude (for devious instruments) and Shepherd on the Rocks, With a Twist. (Wikipedia link)

Here I’m focusing on that’s the nicer word: just what did Schickele think (in 2008) was a less nice, more offensive, way to refer to a hybrid (more specifically, to someone of mixed race, which is probably where the insult vocabulary for hybrids is going to come from)? Specifically, what does an old white guy addressing a mostly white audience think might be a more offensive way to refer to hybrids? (A young black guy would probably insult a half-black half-white guy by calling him white.)

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Swiss cheese isn’t Swiss

July 10, 2018

(And Swiss steak isn’t either, but that’s a topic for another posting.)


(#1) A wedge of American Swiss

But then the expression Swiss cheese is ambiguous. NOAD recognizes this, but not in the way you were probably expecting:

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Swiss spin-off: herringbone tweed

June 29, 2018

The thing about spin-offs is that they can take you way far away from where you started. In this case, the start point is in my 6/19/18 posting “A Swiss thread”, about the Swiss silk thread company Zwicky and its ad posters over the years, including, in #5 there, Otto Bamberger’s famous herringbone tweed coat Plakat (‘poster’) for the Swiss men’s clothing company PKZ:


(#1) An artwork, not a photo

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The wands, magic wands, and fairy wands of Pride

June 19, 2018

In yesterday’s posting “Fried eggs and fairy wands”, there were plants called fairy wands and wandflowers. How to get from (fairy) wands to the plants?

It’s another metaphorical trip. Wands are just rods or sticks (so a great many plants with spire-like flowers would qualify), but magic/fairy wands in particular frequently have a showy element (very often a star, 5-pointed, or sometimes 6-pointed) at its tip — so plants with showy flowers at the end of thin stems (like Dierama pulcherrimum and Sparaxis tricolor) can be seen as similar to such tipped wands.

Having noted that, for Pride month I’ll go on to look at simple wands and showily tipped wands done in rainbow colors: truly fairy wands.

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Fried eggs and fairy wands

June 18, 2018

Also blazing stars, gayfeathers, and wandflowers. All plants, colorfully named. Providing a little exercise in taxonomic names vs. common names.

The fried eggs come from Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, who posted this on her Facebook page yesterday:


(#1) EDZ: “Portrait mode makes fried egg flowers even more absurd” (by erasing the flower stem, so that the flower appears to be floating in the air)

The fairy wands I came across at Palo Alto’s Gamble Gardens this morning:


(#2) Angel’s (fishing) rods, wand flowers, or fairy wands

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Syntactic phrase, compound word, portmanteau

May 24, 2018

(Gay sex talk in street language: use your judgment.)

Encountered today in reports of the slang of young gay men, three words for ‘male anus viewed as a sexual organ, male sexcavity, (figurative) vagina of a man’:

munt /mʌnt/; mussy /’mUsi/, bussy /’bUsi/ (bunt /bʌnt/ is not recorded, but has probably been coined on occasion)

These are portmanteaus derived from the compound nouns man / boy + cunt / pussy, as examined in my 7/26/13 posting on expressions for the male anus viewed as a sexual organ.

Three steps in the tightness of connection between the elements participating in an expression:

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Crude japery

May 24, 2018

(If the image and text in #1 make you uneasy, pass on to something else. Otherwise there’s only coarse humor here, of the sort that delights middle-schoolers.)

From Aric Olnes on Facebook yesterday, this bit of crude foolishness, to which Aric added the title “Get Lei’d!”:


(#1) Marilyn Monroe + oink (of a pig) = Marilyn Monroink (the hula-dancing pig)

Dancing on what appears to be a slab of Spam (the canned meat product made mostly from ham), from a roll of the stuff. Spam from pig meat, boned and processed.

Providing an opening for coarse sexual word play on bone and roll (in a context where sexual pig and pork lurk).

Of course, I wondered where the image and text came from, who composed them. Searching took me to a larger and much more complex page of crude japery (an ad for “Dickman’s Boned Rolled Pig: Institutional Meat Food”, from Dickman Rendering & Creaming Inc.), on Reddit, where it came from Imgur (without attribution, of course). I then found some of the components of the joke ad, and eventually the identity of its creator, the cheerfully crude graphic artist Cris Shapan.

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(I just) can’t stop (it)

May 22, 2018

From the May 21st New Yorker, this Harry Bliss cartoon:


(#1) “Get those things away from me–I can’t stop eating them.”

A translation of a scene (of snack-food addiction, in the universe of tv commercials) to a parallel metaphorical world (of rampaging Godzillas, in the universe of monster movies).

Some notes about such translations between worlds; about snack-food addiction in tv commercials; about people-eating in Japanese monster movies; and about some “can’t stop” music.

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