Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

wazoo

September 29, 2020

Today’s morning name. Briefly, from NOAD:

noun wazooUS informal the anus. PHRASES up (or outthe wazoo US informal very much; in great quantity; to a great degree: he’s insured out the wazoo | Jack and I have got work up the wazoo already. ORIGIN 1960s: of unknown origin.

The phrases are straightforwardly idioms — the fact that they are degree adverbials is unpredictable from the meanings of the parts — though they can be varied a bit: by extension with the modifying adjective old (up/out the old/ol’ wazoo), or the with the noun ass ‘asshole’ instead of wazoo (to have problems up/out the ass); it’s likely that wazoo in these phrases is, historically, an ornamental replacement for ass in them (see below).

But wazoo, on its own, has no parts, so it can’t literally be an idiom. However, it’s restricted in its collocations — formally non-compositional, if not semantically non-compositional.

(more…)

Born on the same day

September 18, 2020

Today is the birthday of my second mother-in-law, Monique Serpette Transue (born 1912). And also of Samuel “Dictionary” Johnson (born 1709). A coincidence of dates that entertains me. When I noted this on Facebook yesterday, Ned Deily wrote:

The interwebz assert that no single word exists, in English at least, to describe people who share the same birthday anniversary. Time to invent one? A lexicographer’s work is never finished.

After a digression on what lexicographers do and another on Samuel Johnson and a note about Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, I’ll make a stab at coining.

(more…)

Two whimsical Bizarros

August 12, 2020

In a time of great distress (the sadness of so many deaths, punctuated by flashes of extraordinary hope), two delightful Wayno/Piraro Bizarro strips to divert my attention: from yesterday (8/11), a sweet strip in which the Pied Piper takes his son into the family business; and from today (8/12), an outrageous pun on the geographical name the Greater Antilles:

(more…)

Caterpillars spinning platters

August 5, 2020

Yesterday’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with songs you just can’t get out of your head:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

A wonderful collision of worlds, set off by the idiomatic (and colorfully metaphorical) N + N compound earworm: the world of DJs — the ear world (disc jockeys providing sonic pleasures for the ear) — and the world of caterpillars — the worm world (caterpillars being one type of worm in colloquial English).

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Call it by its name

July 27, 2020

In the 9/24/19 One Big Happy, both Ruthie and her mother name fingers, but in different ways:

(#1)

Ruthie gives them (descriptive) nicknames — the proper names Hitchy, Pointy, Big Girl, Wiggles, Wee One — while her mother Ellen provides the common nouns referring to the five fingers: the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, the ring finger, and the pinkie / pinky (aka the little finger).

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Pride faces

June 7, 2020

(This posting is light-hearted, to entertain in terrible times, but there’s no denying that it’s substantially about men’s bodies and mansex in very plain language, plus images that are right up against the line, so it’s not for kids or the sexually modest.)

We’re into Pride Month, so everybody who sells things for lgbtq people has stuff on sale. Especially the gay porn studios, flogging videos. That presents an occasion for reflecting on (among other things) how gay personas are projected in this material, how emotional and sexual relationships between men are presented, and how gay men communicate via facial expressions during mansex and in cruising for it.

Exhibit 1: this Pride Month ad for Next Door Studios, a nicely posed composition featuring Justin Matthews (proprietary top) and Nic Sahara (enthusiastically receptive bottom), flashing two different sorts of buddy smiles (using both their mouths and their eyes):

(more…)

Urs on drums

May 14, 2020

So I’ve got a rock musician, a drummer, and his name is Urs. What else can you say about him? Well, he’s almost surely Swiss German, or of Swiss German descent; almost every guy named Urs is. If I tell you that his full name is Urs Zwicky, well, it’s pretty much a sure thing. And here he is, drumstick in hand, in a photo of the Swiss band he’s been in for years, Daytona (now, that’s a surprise):


(#1) A Zwicky who can rock you

Now in the music news because of a new mix of their old standard “We Stand Together” (apparently from 1993), reviewed a few days ago in World Front News.

(more…)

Annals of advertising: the new normal for noses

May 9, 2020

A new tv commercial for Naväge (sometimes just Navage) touts it as just the thing for current times:

Now is the time to make good nasal hygiene the new normal.

The commercial doesn’t seem to be available on-line yet, but here’s an earlier print ad:


“uses powered suction to relieve nasal congestion” (with a saline solution)

(more…)