Archive for the ‘Portmanteaus’ Category

Two occasions, four cartoons

August 6, 2018

(There will be talk of men’s bodies, among a number of other things, so you might want to exercise some caution.)

Yesterday was National Underwear Day (utilitarian garments elevated to objects of play, desire, and fashion display), today is Hiroshima Day (remembering the horror of an event of mass destruction, death, and suffering). An uncomfortable, even absurd, juxtaposition, but there is a link in the symbolism of the two occasions. In my comics feed for these occasions: four language-related cartoons on familiar language-related themes, none of them having anything to do with either underwear or nuclear holocaust, probably for good reason.

Cartoons first, then the underwear and atomic bombs.
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Ruthie and the language of doughnuts

August 3, 2018

The One Big Happy from July 5th, in which Ruthie and Joe get some dubious advice from their father:

(#1)

Their dad’s advice will no doubt warm the hearts of language teachers and multiculturalists, but it’s dubious as practical advice for everyday life.

Meanwhile, Ruthie wrestles with the question of how to get a language name from the noun doughnut / donut. Donuttish (with an all-purpose adjective-forming suffix, –ish) would certainly be possible, but, probably on the model of Dutch, Ruthie goes for Donutch, that is, Donut-ch (this is spoken, rather than written, by Ruthie, so it could have been spelled Donutsh, like Welsh).

(It tickles me to think of the language name as Dutchnut, a portmanteau of Dutch and doughnut. Or maybe that should be the name of the food.)

In any event, Ruthie has stumbled slant-wise onto the idea that doughnuts are of Dutch origin — an idea that confuses words and things, labels and the categories they label, but nevertheless incorporates a genuine bit of history.

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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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Hybrid referent, portmanteau name

July 24, 2018

On the NPR word game quiz show Says You! broadcast by KQED-FM on Sunday afternoon (the 22nd): a “bluff round” over the word flumpet. One team of panelists is offered three definitions for the word from the other team, in this case (paraphrasing, since I can’t find the podcast of the original):

1: a lard-based dumpling (no doubt suggested by the /ʌmp/ and the /l/ in flumpet and dumpling)

2: a frowsy (or frowzy), loose woman, and by extension flowers that are wilted, no longer fresh (no doubt suggested by a rhyming association of flumpet with strumpet)

3: a musical instrument combining a flugelhorn and a trumpet (a portmanteau of the words flugelhorn and trumpet, which share the letter U in their spelling: FL – U – MPET)

The three panelists on the other team were each given a card; one card had a definition for flumpet from some reputable source, and the other two said BLUFF. These panelists were given some time, during a musical interlude, to make up plausible definitions. Then the first panel had to decide which definition was the right one.

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Get your cruise face on

July 19, 2018

(About the social-sexual world of gay men — men negotiating for sex — so much of this is not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Two recent Daily Jocks postings featuring men displaying their bodies in what is clearly a sexual offer, with accompanying facial expressions: from July 9th, a DJ ad for CellBlock13 underwear, with a model performing two different cruises; and from July 11th, a selfie that won a DJ gift box for its subject:

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Paul Octavious

June 29, 2018

A gift today from Maggie Ainsworth-Darnell: a great big poster version of this steamy photo, folded up in a recent release of the game Cards Against Humanity:


(#1) Kiss 2017 – Paul Octavious x Cards Against Humanity

Maggie decided immediately that this had to go to me; she knows my tastes — it’s not just a kiss, but a same-sex kiss, in fact between men, and, for lagniappe, interracial, and also a male recasting of a lesbian kiss in a famous 2002 poster by UK photographer Tanya Chalkin (1971-2018):

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Drunk Cartoon POP

June 27, 2018

This week’s Drunk Cartoon from Bob Eckstein:

driverless car + car chase. At a drawbridge over troubled waters.

Midsummer cartoons

June 25, 2018

Saturday night was Midsummer’s Eve (St. John’s Eve), yesterday Midsummer Day (St. John’s Day) — so that last night was Midsummer Night, when the fairies frolic. (As they did indeed, at SF Pride events.) Meanwhile there are cartoons: a Bill Whitehead Free Range cartoon from 9/6/17, in the July 2018 issue of Funny Times; a John Atkinson Wrong Hands cartoon that came to me from Eleanor Houck; and a Scott and Borgman Zits cartoon in today’s King Features feed.

First come the cartoons, then come the holidays. (Apologies to Brecht and his Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral — pleasure first, then the serious stuff.)

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Why? Why?

June 17, 2018

Because we can. And we think it’s clever. And cute.

But why try to read the minds of people who do these things? Just sit back and admire their artisanal pigs in blankets. On a Pinterest board:

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Bromuniqués

June 4, 2018

About the N bro, used first as an address term and then as a referential N with several senses, and available as an element in N + N compounds: as the first element in Bro Code and bro subculture, as the second element in code bro (roughly) ‘guy into coding’ and (hat tip to Tyler Schnoebelen) the academic-cool character named Philosophy Bro. Then, thanks to Ben Barrett on ADS-L (on May 23rd), on to crypto bro / cryptobro, which looks like it might be a portmanteau of cryptocurrency (or cryptocoin(age)) and bro, but is probably better analyzed as a straightforward compound of the clipping crypto and the N bro.

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