Archive for the ‘Combining forms’ Category


October 14, 2021

(Warning: moderately technical linguistics ahead — tailored for the non-specialist, but unsparing with crucial concepts and their accompanying terminology.)

Watching aimless tv recently, I came across this example, from NCIS: New Orleans, Season 6 Episode 16:

Hardin doesn’t have a criminal record, but he has been scandal-adjacent more than once. (from the transcript)

It was the Adj scandal-adjacent (of the form N + Adj) that caught my eye: literally ‘adjacent to scandal’, but here in an extended sense, roughly ‘(closely) associated with scandal’, suggesting that the association is uncomfortably close.

I then discovered that scandal-adjacent (sometimes spelled scandal adjacent) was reasonably common, and fraud-adjacent was too.  And recalled a posting of mine on an extraordinarily euphemistic occurrence of adult adjacent with adult referring to sex.

It turns out that the compound Adj pattern X-adjacent ‘adjacent to X’ is an open one, with a variety of examples in OED3 (Dec. 2011). Except that OED3 incorrectly characterizes the pattern as involving postmodification rather than compounding.


Humongous tops Adonis

January 28, 2020

Riffs on gay porn in difficult times. The penis portion of this presentation — with five stone-XXX-rated images — is in my AZBlogX posting “Humongous fucks Adonis”. This posting, further expounding on that material, is literally free of penises, but it’s extravagantly about men’s bodies and mansex, mostly in street language, so it’s entirely unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest.

It all began with some moments of recreational gay porn use, focused on what I think of as “sweet sex”, which took me back to scene 2 of the 1984 Falcon flick The Bigger the Better:

(#1) Cover of the Bijou Classics re-release, featuring Rick “Humongous” Donovan from scene 1


Lemon is the vanilla of Italian ices

June 9, 2019

The 6/7 Zippy takes us to the Jersey Shore for some water ice in a squeeze cup:

(#1) At the Strollo’s Lighthouse Italian Ice shop in Long Branch NJ: Zippy (alarmed at climate change) speaking on the left, Claude Funston (who denies climate change) on the right

On the setting. On Strollo’s. On lemon as the vanilla of Italian ices. On the relevant C(ount) noun ice, the nominal Italian ice, and the compounds water ice and squeeze cup. On Italian ice and the family of similar confections.


The self-published book

April 25, 2019

In the recently published The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons —


edited by New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein (a regular visitor on this blog), this Ed Koren (who’s also on this blog):



A medical mouthful

May 22, 2017

That would be endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). It’s the cholangiopancreatography that especially interests me. I was hoping that there would be some way to break that monster into pieces, like this:

cholangio-pancreato-graphy ‘imaging of the bile duct and the pancreas’

but cholangio- and pancreato- are both combining forms, with a linking –o– that has to be written solid with what follows. So we’re stuck with the whole long business.

All this is on my mind because I’m undergoing this procedure on June 7th; I had the diagnostic MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) back on the 11th.


Coffeenyms and reservation names

October 7, 2014

From Andras Kornai, a link on my Facebook timeline, tagged as “for Mr. Alexander Adams”: a Schwa Fire piece, “The Name on the Cup: Brewing the Perfect Coffeenym” by Greg Uyeno. About choosing a name for ordering in a coffee shop with lots of background noise. A related task is choosing a name for making reservations over the phone (I have a small amount of local fame in some circles for using Alexander Adams as a reservation name.)

Then there’s Uyeno’s playful coinage coffeenym.



January 27, 2014

This lovely coinage appeared recently on the Magic Coffee Hair site, in this cartoon:

A play on homophobic, of course.

Meanwhile, homophones are everywhere.

(The artist identifies himself merely as Jim. Webcartoonists are sometimes reclusive.)

Brief morphological notes

December 14, 2013

Three recent items: robophobic, fungineering, fracktacular. Three sightinga, among many for each of these.


sheds and scapes

September 8, 2013

In the NYT on the 6th, “Fight Over a Communications Tower Unsettles the Hudson Valley” by Lisa W. Foderaro:

Hudson, N.Y. — When Frederic Church, the esteemed Hudson River School painter, built a Persian-style castle on a bluff overlooking the river here in the late 1800s, he framed the views from his windows with ribbons of colored glass, as if declaring the scenes to be works of art.

More than a century later, the vistas from Olana, Church’s 250-acre property and now a state historic site, still have the power to stop the 130,000 visitors a year in their tracks.

But a fight over a plan to erect a 190-foot communications tower on nearby Blue Hill in the town of Livingston, about two miles away, has roiled the usually serene landscape of Columbia County, where sharp elbows are reserved for vying over the ripest peaches at local farm stands.

Environmental activists and the Olana Partnership, the nonprofit group that supports the historic site, say the new tower, which was recently approved by Livingston’s planning board, would mar an otherwise sublime canvas — a pleasing patchwork of farms and woods, river valleys and highlands. They are suing the town, as well as the farm family who applied to build the lattice tower, to overturn the approval on the grounds that the environmental impact on the so-called viewshed were not adequately considered.

Viewshed is the word.



August 21, 2013

(Only a little bit about language.)

In assembling material about shirtlessness, I came across this arresting photo:


This from a site that has a lot on knitting and men’s bodies, among other things. The poster’s caption:

I have a thing for hairy forearms, calves, and thighs. And a beautiful face. Call me gay if you want.

He is definitely gay. And I share his tastes.