Archive for the ‘Placenames’ Category

Z fudge

August 1, 2022

🐇 🐇 🐇 🇨🇭🇨🇭🇨🇭 Hail, Caesar Augustus! (rabbit rabbit rabbit for the 1st day of this month, August) Hail, Helvetia, unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno!

Swiss flags for Swiss National Day, August 1st; I am of course wearing my Swiss-flag gym shorts — plus a rainbow-heart tank top, since I cheer for Team Queer as well as Team Helvetica.

But wait! I also cheer for Team Z, of everything named with a Z, from zucchini and zithers, through Zerlina (là ci darem la mano) and Zippy & Zerbina, to Zoroaster / Zarathustra and Zuckerberg, with a special fondness for ZW names: zweiback, zwölf of anything, Die Zwitscher-Maschine, die sieben Zwerge (und Schneewittchen), Zwingli, Zworykin. And, in the food world, I cheer for Team Savory, embracing umami, meaty, fermented, fragrant, and flavor-intense (taking in dark and bitter chocolate). And, in the word world, I cheer for Team Fuck, embracing vocabulary from what I’ve called the profane domain (see my 5/7/18 posting with that title).

So what would catch the eye of someone who cheers for Team Z, Team Savory, and Team Fuck too?

A fudge company with a Z name.

And so, one appeared, in an ad in my Facebook feed, about a week ago. (To anticipate your unspoken query: no Swiss or queer connection I could find. Well, nobody’s perfect.) This ad, for Z. Cioccolato:


(#1) An attractive ad, for a genuinely local company, offering very traditional plain fudges (dark chocolate, milk chocolate) and fudges with nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, coconut), plus entertaining inventions, eventually working out to confections that would have to be called fudge-adjacent (bottom left above: “7 layer peanut butter pie” (which I would describe as containing some fudge, but not being itself fudge)

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Sisgender Night’s Dream

June 20, 2022

Start with the sexual-identity terms cis(gender) and trans(gender), which I looked at on this blog yesterday, and they’ll lead you to various forms of language play. If there’s a Transylvania — actually, there are several —  where is its counterpart Cisylvania? Is there a (punning) gender-identity term sisgender for sissies and fems?  And a Sis(s)ylvania for them to live in — perhaps the fairies’ wooded land (as in Midsummer Night’s Dream)?

It’s the curse of the associative mind. We all have them, but some of us have really big ones.

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The cadenza and the coda

April 29, 2022

Morning names for today (4/29), set off by a cadenza in a Mozart piano concerto that was playing when I got up just after midnight for a brief whizz break. The word cadenza led me immediately to coda, both musical bits coming at the end, also both sounding sort of Italian (which, in fact, they once were), indeed sounding very similar at their beginnings (/kǝd/ vs. /kod/) — but it turns out that though their etymologies both go back to Latin, a cadenza is a falling (or, metaphorically, a death) and a coda is a tail.

(#1) A tv ad: Help me! I’m in a cadenza and I can’t get up!

(#2) A linguistic Tom Swifty: “Coda, my ass! That’s a coati or a koala, I don’t know which”, quoted Cody in Kodiak.

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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:

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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.

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Manly in Australia

January 30, 2019

(This posting ends up knee-deep in gay porn, so there will be references to men’s bodies and to mansex, though the X-rated visuals are off in my AZBlogX posting today “Manly Beach”. This material might not suit all readers.)

A Facebook exchange this morning:

Michael Newman [posting a photo on an antipodal vacation]: Notorious [venomous] funnel web spiders? — in Manly, New South Wales, Australia.

Arnold Zwicky: I long ago got used to the place-name Manly, but every so often I see it afresh and giggle.

Michael Newman: I couldn’t help thinking about it the whole time.

The history of the placename Manly is both straightforward and surprising. Manly and nearby Manly Beach then led me to the 1991 Kristen Bjorn gay porn flick Manly Beach (manly mansex among the manly lifesavers of Manly Beach) and to brief notes on facial expressions in gay porn.

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News for bears: cities of bears

December 8, 2018

On the 5th here, postings on the patron saint of bears and on Swiss saintly dogs (with a bow to the city of Bern(e)). Now: more on Bern; on the movie BearCity; and on two California cities of bears, Big Bear City in San Bernardino County and Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County.

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At duty on the moors

October 26, 2018

(#1)

Ripped from our posts,
Dumped in this wasteland,
Together we rust

Crankily, nastily
“Old fool’s gone all mottled”
“Her door don’t work”

We hiss and huddle,
Waiting for a ring.

Why don’t you
Ever call? Why?

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Swiss America

July 21, 2018

Wanderings through some Switzerland-related places in the U.S. and through some places fancied to be “the Switzerland of America”:


(#1) City hall of Santa Clara UT, flying the US, Utah, and Swiss flags


(#2) Alpine Ouray CO, in the Rockies

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Swiss spin-off: Wallisellen

June 27, 2018

The town of Wallisellen in Canton Zürich, Switzerland, has just come up again on this blog (in the posting “Three Züricher Peter Zwickys”), as the site of the Zwicky silk-thread company and now the Zwicky construction and real estate company. Two notable things about the place (from its Wikipedia page): the etymology of its name, which looks like a compound (and is), but without easily identifiable parts; and a Swiss German nonsense rhyme that incorporates the town’s name.

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