Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Out of the Inkwell

January 18, 2018

Wednesday’s Zippy takes us back to a delightful animated meta-comic of almost a century ago:

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Check out the Koko Cartoon Factory animated short here. The character Koko comes out of an inkwell, drawn by a cartoonist, then himself creates other characters, erases some, confronts human antagonists, eventually returns to the inkwell. Dreamlike in the manner of Winsor McKay’s Little Nemo.

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Electric underwear

January 11, 2018

(Men’s bodies, underwear, and some mansex — offstage but undeniably hard-core. So not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Well, homowear — harnesses, jockstraps, armbands, suspenders, pouches, even socks. Queer fetishwear that glows in the dark, in four neon colors (blue, green, yellow, red) and rainbow, either in solid or flashing mode, for “guys who are ready to light up the night!”.

(#1) We gonna rock down to Electric Underwear / And then we’ll take it harder

Posing steamily in shoulder harnesses, armbands, jock pouches and straps, all in LED glowwear from the raunchily named Breedwell company.

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This week’s terrible literary food pun

January 6, 2018

It starts with the piece by Calvin Baker on the life of poet Derek Walcott in the recent NYT Magazine “The Lives They Lived” issue (12/28 on-line, 12/31 in print), with this photo of the Nobel laureate:


(#1) Walcott in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, in 1993; photo credit: David Hurn/Magnum Photos

The village of Hay, on the river Wye, on the border between England and Wales, is famously picturesque, and I’ll get to that. But I was then struck by a recollection that there was in fact a village in England called Ham (also picturesque, and I’ll get to that too), which is not on the river Wye (though it’s close to the river Avon, as in Stratford-on-Avon, cue Shakespeare, so you could reasonably think of it as Ham-on-Avon) — but if it were, it would be (insert massive groan here) Ham-on-Wye. Well, it gets worse.

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News for penises: artwatch

December 29, 2017

Penises are a not uncommon feature of artworks — especially folk art and (of course) male art, but also “fine” art; especially as a natural concomitant of nudity, but sometimes as the focus of the artwork; and especially in works meant for private viewing, but also in public art. Occasionally, it all comes together, in pieces of public art that are about penises: giant phallic sculptures, wall paintings and the like. Phallic sculptures appear occasionally in this blog (or AZBlogX, if I’m not sure that the Fine Art Exemption applies to the case in hand), and there’s been at least one wall painting: an enormous depiction of a pendulous penis, in Brussels, in my 9/23/16 posting “News for penises and their simulacra”. And now this erect phallus, on Broome Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan:

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Morning tetrameter naming

December 27, 2017

The morning began with:

Xenophon Bellerophon

Two Ancient Greek names — the philosopher, historian, and soldier Xenophon and the mythical hero Bellerophon — together making a line of trochaic tetrameter (when the secondary accents on phon are treated as accented in the poetic line).

As a linguist, I had hoped that the phon in these names would be the Greek ‘sound’ stem, so that Xenophon would be equivalent to an English noun xenophone, referring either to someone who speaks a foreign language (parallel to Anglophone and  Francophone) or to a non-native sound, from a foreign language (like the voiceless velar fricative [x] in relatively German-faithful pronunciations of the noun Bach in English).

But apparently not (though the etymologies of the names seem to be uncertain). My hopes are dashed.

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Salisbury NC 60, 70 years ago

December 24, 2017

Today’s Zippy takes us to the middle South (the middle of North Carolina, in fact) and to the 1940s and 1950s:

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Griffy and Zippy are focused on the building and on the Cheerwine advertised on one side of it (the other side advertises the ubiquitous Coca Cola). Shmoo toys and Rinso detergent come into it, evoking the late 1940s and the early 1950s. Along the way, notes on names: Cheerwine, Rinso, Solium. And then a final note on the location of Salisbury NC.

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The news for mammoths: toy stories

December 18, 2017

Previously on this blog — in #9 in a 12/16 posting “A tale of a bed: from removal to revival” — we met the stuffed woolly mammoths I called Mammuthus Major and Mammuthus Minor on the headboard of my new bed. Elsewhere in my bedroom there are two more toy mammoths, much bigger than these: a once-“animaltronic” hulk with a dark brown rubber-like plastic skin; and a somewhat smaller and more fanciful stuffed toy with a purple, blue, and yellow cloth skin — creatures I call Fey and Butch, shown here (in their native teak and blue habitat) in a somewhat impressionistic photo:


(#1) Fey and Butch, bathed in yellow light

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Revisiting 15: Salome, Conrad, and more Zs

December 9, 2017

(For the purposes of this posting, the letter Z standing on its own is an abbreviation for the surname Zwicky.)

More family bulletins from Switzerland, starting with the musicians Salome Z, Conrad Z, Peter Z, Stefan Z, and Benjamin Z, from my 11/27 posting “The two Salome Zwickys of Zürich”. These will take us to Spain and, incidentally, to linguistics. With, of course, the obligatory trip to Mollis, in canton Glarus.

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Another Arnold Zwicky, and several Arnold near-Zwickys

December 9, 2017

Yesterday, a posting “The other Elizabeth Zwicky”, about a Facebook counterpart (in Chicago) to my daughter, Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky. Well, it turns out that I have a Facebook counterpart too (now in Romanshorn CH).

Also yesterday, a posting

From the continuing annals of near-Zwickys, a contrasting pair of Zwickes, one of them named Arnold.

And a posting “Zwick, maybe from Zwickau”, on still more near-Zwickys, traced to the Saxony region of German, close to the Slavic lands of what are now Czechia and Poland, supplying a probable Slavic source for the surname Zwick.

Now: two Arnold Zwicks, and several Arnold Zwickers, in Germany and in Nova Scotia.

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Zwick, maybe from Zwickau

December 8, 2017

Still more on near-Zwickys.

My previous posting looked at two Zwickes, one of them named Arnold Zwicke (a close call, but I still think it’s the case that there have only ever been two Arnold Zwickys in the US, and the other one is my father). The short surname Zwick (which in college I sometimes got called as a nickname) seems pretty clearly to be of Slavic, rather than Swiss, origin; is probably related to the German placename Zwickau; and is shared by two (unrelated) Americans in the film industry.

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