Archive for the ‘Morning names’ Category

Cocktail music

September 15, 2020

Today’s morning name. Lounge music for the cocktail hour.


(#1) DJNTV’s (Disc Jockey News TV) Mobile Music with DJ Jason Jones features mobile DJs from around the country who are playing weddings, schools and bars to find out how and what they play and when they play it.

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diaphoretic

September 10, 2020

Today’s morning name, and for a change I was able to figure out why it was in my head.

From NOAD:

adj. diaphoreticMedicine [a] (chiefly of a drug) inducing perspiration. [b]  (of a person) sweating heavily. ORIGIN late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek diaphorētikos, from diaphorein ‘sweat out’.

It’s the b sense I had in my head, and I got it from watching reruns of the old Emergency! tv show.

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cherchez la femme

September 8, 2020

Today’s morning name, a French expression whose literal meaning is straightforward, but whose uses in context are anything but.

From Wikipedia:

Cherchez la femme is a French phrase which literally means ‘look for the woman’. It is a cliche in detective fiction, used to suggest that a mystery can be resolved by identifying a femme fatale or female love interest.

The expression comes from the novel The Mohicans of Paris (Les Mohicans de Paris) published 1854–1859 by Alexandre Dumas (père) [an adventure story, not a detective story]. The phrase is repeated several times in the novel

… The phrase embodies a cliché of detective pulp fiction: no matter what the problem, a woman is often the root cause.

The phrase has thus come to refer to explanations that automatically find the same root cause, no matter the specifics of the problem.

Two plays on the phrase (from among many), below the fold:

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tantrum

August 30, 2020

Today’s morning name. So obviously Latin, a 2nd-declension neuter noun. But apparently not; instead it’s a mystery.

OED2 on tantrum:

Etymology: Origin unascertained.
colloquial.
An outburst or display of petulance or ill-temper; a fit of passion. Frequently in plural. Now often spec. a fit of bad temper in a young child.
[1st cite: 1714 E. Verney Let. 30 Oct. in M. M. Verney Verney Lett. (1930) II. xxi. 18 Our lady has had some of her tanterums as Vapors comeing out etc. Then: 1754 S. Foote Knights  ii. 41 None of your Fleers!..Your Tantrums! You are grown too head-strong and robust for me.]

fleers? From NOAD:

verb fleer: [no object] literary laugh impudently or jeeringly: he fleered at us. noun archaic an impudent or jeering look or speech. ORIGIN late Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Norwegian and Swedish dialect flira ‘to grin’

Etymology occasionally throws up mysteries like this one. If someone now wants to search collections of texts from the period, they might find some clues as to its source. It’s even possible that the noun doesn’t have an ordinary etymology, but was a mock-Latin invention. Whatever; ya gotta know the territory.

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gentoo

July 28, 2020

My morning name for 7/26: the name of a species of penguin:


(#1) From NOAD: noun gentoo (also gentoo penguin): a tall penguin with a white triangular patch above the eye, breeding on subantarctic islands. Pygoscelis papua, family Spheniscidae.

But the name, the name: where does it come from? It sounds a bit like gentile, but then seat-of-the-pants etymologizing is almost always way off the mark, however entertaining the stories might be. But this one might possiby be so, although that’s far from a sure thing; NOAD‘s note:

ORIGIN mid 19th century: perhaps from Anglo-Indian Gentoo ‘a Hindu’, from Portuguese gentio ‘gentile’.

The connection between Portuguese gentio ‘gentile’ (< Latin gentilis ‘of a family or nation, of the same clan’) and Anglo-Indian Gentoo ‘a Hindu’ is firm, however remarkable it might seem to you. What is still unclear is how to get from Hindus to penguins, so other sources for gentoo have been proposed, but, apparently, none with solid evidence.

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Spilled his seed on the ground

June 29, 2020

(You start with Onan, you’re going to get genitals and sexual acts. Not for kids or the sexally modest.)

The morning name for 6/22, a whole VP — which led immedately to the biblical character Onan and thus to levirate marriage and to onanism, in two different senses (masturbation and coitus interruptus, not to mention figurative uses as, roughly, ‘self-gratfication’, as in intellectual onanism). And from that to remarkably hostile attitudes towards masturbation in Christian churches, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. And, ultimately, through the work of scholars of masturbation, to Hollywood goddess Hedy Lamarr, doing an orgasm in a 1932 Czech film.

And then there’s the source of that VP in my subconscious mind, almost surely a result of my having just spilled — spread, broadcast — birdseed on the ground of my patio, in an attempt to lure birds to my new bird feeder (details in my 6/27 posting “Meet the Jays”).

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Muss es sein?

June 14, 2020

In a musical interlude, the first half of yesterday’s morning name; the second half is, of course: Es muss sein! The motifs:

(#1)

From the 4th (and last) movement of the String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135, by Ludwig van Beethoven; written in October 1826, it was the last major work he completed.

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South Cackalacky

June 10, 2020

Today’s morning name: South Cackalacky, mildly derogatory slang for South Carolina (suggesting crudeness, rusticity, and remoteness: the boondocks). And Cackalacky, for the Carolinas taken together, with the same associations. (Sorry,  Charleston, Charlotte, and Research Triangle.)

Then, of course, such associations can be inverted, to connote local pride, down-hominess, and the like. As has happened in this case.

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To Serve Man

June 8, 2020

Today’s morning name, the crucial expression from a famous Twilight Zone episode, crucially ambiguous.

“To Serve Man” is episode 89 (#24 Season 3) of the anthology series The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series). It originally aired on March 2, 1962 on CBS. Based on Damon Knight’s short story of the same title, the episode was written by Rod Serling and directed by Richard L. Bare. It remains one of the best known episodes from the series, particularly for its final twist. (Wikipedia link)

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Morning name: Bene Gesserit

May 3, 2020

Today’s name. From Wikipedia:


(Wikipedia caption) Reverend Mother Mohiam (Siân Phillips) and other Bene Gesserit, from David Lynch’s Dune (1984)

The Bene Gesserit are a key social, religious, and political force in Frank Herbert’s fictional Dune universe. The group is described as an exclusive sisterhood whose members train their bodies and minds through years of physical and mental conditioning to obtain superhuman powers and abilities that can seem magical to outsiders. Acolytes who have acquired the breadth of Bene Gesserit abilities are called Reverend Mothers within the organization’s ranks.

… Etymology: In Dreamer of Dune, Brian Herbert’s 2003 biography of his father, the younger Herbert speculates that the name “Gesserit” is supposed to suggest to the reader the word “Jesuit” and thus evoke undertones of a religious order. Like the Jesuits, the Bene Gesserit have been accused of using casuistry to obtain justifications for the unjustifiable.

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