Archive for the ‘Nicknames’ Category

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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The leek and the daffodil

March 1, 2019

(Warning: scattered amidst the daffodils, substantial allusions to some technical linguistics)

From John Wells, a greeting for the day, March 1st:

(#1) Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus! ‘Happy St David’s Day!’ (word by word: ‘Day Festival Davy happy’)

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She called herself Lil’

October 20, 2018

In today’s comics feed, the 9/22 One Big Happy, in which Joe wrestles with people named /lɪl/:

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(And then there’s Li’l Abner.)

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Nacho flies are back

July 26, 2018

That’s what I heard in a Taco Bell television commercial on Tuesday the 24th. I visualized insects with tortilla chip wings. Decidedly odd: was Taco Bell being besiged by these nacho flies, and, if so, why were they telling us about it?

Then I realized it must be nacho fries; my confusion stemmed in part from the fact that I’d never heard of nacho fries — I don’t keep up with the fast-food business — and though I know what nachos are, I had no clear idea of what something called nacho fries would be would be like.

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Fenwich, come here, I need you

May 28, 2018

There’s Fenwick, and then there’s Fenwich, a Zippy name to conjure with: used as a narrative semi-generic address term, and in explicit discussions of names and their uses.

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Call me by my full name

May 13, 2018

The 4/16 One Big Happy takes on the world of nicknames:

Cylene says: when you refer to my father, don’t say Billy (the nickname), say William (the full name).

Ruthie hears: don’t say /bɪli/, say /wɪljǝm/.

So Ruthie overgeneralizes.

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Food news in the neighborhood

April 30, 2018

Two recent developments: the closing in December of the neighborhood homey Mexican restaurant La Morenita (at 800 Emerson St., across Homer Ave. from Whole Foods and around the corner from my house, to the southwest) and its replacement a week ago by Taverna, a stylish Greek restaurant; and the recent opening of the Georgian restaurant Bevri (at 530 Bryant St., a couple of blocks from my place, to the northeast).

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When is Doris Day?

February 6, 2018

It starts with a recent (January 4th) One Big Happy and will end with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in 1967. In the cartoon, Ruthie and Joe are unfamiliar with Doris Day the person and take Doris Day to refer to a holiday (like Flag Day):

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Hot Lips

September 17, 2017

Noted in front of 325 Forest Ave. in Palo Alto, a small hedge of Salvia microphylla (small-leaved sage) ‘Hot Lips’ in bloom — covered in small labiate flowers, some bicolor, some all red, some all white, as in this photo from the net:

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Small-leaved (hence the species name microphylla), intensely scented, fashioned into a hedge. A pleasant plant, which it turns out was created by hybridization fairly recently.

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Terms of endearment

August 27, 2017

Recently in my comics feed, a Calvin and Hobbes re-run with endearments:

pooty pie, bitsy pookums, snoogy woogy — from Wiktionary:

term of endearment: a word, phrase, or nickname used as a term of address expressing affection (synonym: endearment)

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