Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

The white and the red

April 19, 2019

The (Christian) liturgical colors for the season: white for Easter Sunday, red for today, Good Friday, the day of crucifixion (and for some churches, red for all of Holy Week). White the color of purity and perfection, and so of Jesus as Christ. Red the color of blood and sacrifice, and so of the crucifixion.

As it happens, yesterday’s events included a visit to the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, where I encountered two especially notable flowers, one white, one deep red. First, the flowers, not (at first) identified:


(#1) Blanchier


(#2) Rougier

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Crunching the festive rabbits

April 10, 2019

Easter creeps towards us
on little bunny feet,
Feet of marshmallow,
pink and yellow feet.

(#1)

Godzilla stalks,
Pursues, savages them.
Crunches their
Fluffy sweet bones.

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Control your johnson

April 7, 2019

(Lexicographic news for penises, but nothing more alarming than that.)

From a friend in the lgbt precinct of Facebook on the 4th:

Passed a Johnson Controls van on the way home from work. I’ve always said if you have to hire a company to control your johnson you’re in real trouble.

Remarkably, the slang johnson ‘penis’ seems not to have appeared on this blog. But first, the Johnson Controls company (which does not concern itself with penises) and the movie Bad Johnson (which is all about them).

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Two moments of iridaceous naming

April 7, 2019

Moment one, the name game: this photograph of a plant in bloom, presented as an identification quiz by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky on Facebook yesterday:


(#1) EDZ’s hint: “neither roses nor daffodils”. Guesses from readers: jonquils, tulips, crocuses, and, finally bingo!

Moment two, today’s morning name: montbretia, which turns out to be a name for Crocosmia hybrids, like this one:


(#2) Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

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Moon shorts 1: the Moons

March 31, 2019

(Hunky male models in very little; lots of lexicography to come in later postings, but here lots of plain talk about men’s bodies and mansex, so not advised for kids or the sexually modest.)

The 3/37 Daily Jocks ad in e-mail — with the header Bottomless Shorts 😳 — now with a caption of mine:

(#1)

He navigated the
Corridors of the Blue
Boy Bar, savoring its
Pygian gloom, signaled
Red in the smoky
Dusk of desire, whispered
Shoot me, please,
Shoot the Moon

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Lilacs in California: Lavender Lady

March 29, 2019

Yesterday at the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, a small stand of rather sparse shrubs, blooming gorgeously and giving off the heady scent of lilacs. So they were, and that was notable: you don’t see a lot of lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) in California. What you see instead are what are called California lilacs — California lilac is a resembloid compound referring to plants in the genus Ceonothus, not even in the same plant family as Syringa; see my 6/20/13 posting “Poppies, lilacs, and lilies”, with a section on Ceonothus vs. Syringa. (Of course yesterday’s flowering shrub was in fact a California lilac: subsective California lilac ‘lilac from or in California’.)

But why are lilacs rare in California? Because they’re cold-winter plants. Then why are there any at all? Because there are now some hybrids that are relatively tolerant of warm winters.

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Revisiting 28: van Gogh and Redon

March 28, 2019

From Joelle Stepien Bailard this morning, as part of her campaign of flinging images of artworks against the dread weight of the news (I now have six or seven friends doing this systematically, on various themes, and I’m not counting the ones with dogs or cats; owls, yes, however), this 1887 painting by Vincent van Gogh:


(#1) Vase with Daisies and Anemones

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Reubens, kale, and Cales

March 22, 2019

It starts with a monstrously meatless “Reuben” sandwich and ends in the villages of England’s East Midlands in the 19th century. The links: Reuben the sandwich and Reuben the name, kale the leafy green and Cale the name.

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The moving sale

March 21, 2019

From Karen Chung on Facebook a while back, this complex pun in the 9/25/15 Bizarro, illustrating (among other things) a nice contrast in accentual patterns: front stress (or forestress), the default for N + N compounds, in MOVING saleback stress (or afterstress), the default in Adj + N nominals, in moving SALE:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

So the hinge of the pun is the ambiguity of moving: as N, (roughly) ‘the act or process of changing residence’; or as Adj, (roughly) ‘causing strong emotion, esp. of sadness’ (both senses are ultimately semantic developments from the simple motion verb move, intransitive or transitive; but they are now clearly distinct lexical items). Then from the difference in syntactic category follows the difference in accentual pattern.

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Low back issues

March 20, 2019

… in a One Big Happy cartoon (in auditorium) and in the title of a 1998 movie (the nickname Paulie): in American English, unrounded [ɑ] for rounded [ɔ], collapsing the distinction between the phonemes /a/ in cot and /ɔ/ in caught.


(#1) Discomfort in the low back region: Polly on the left, Paulie on the right

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