Archive for the ‘Placenames’ Category

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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