Archive for the ‘Taboo language and slurs’ 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)

(more…)

Many a pickle packs a pucker

July 29, 2022

O pickle, my love / What a beautiful pickle you are!

Blame it on Nancy Friedman (@Fritinancy on Twitter), who took us down to the pickle plant in Santa Barbara on 7/18, citing these 5 delights, with their label descriptions:

Unbeetables (pickled beets with unbeatable heat) – pun on unbeatable

Carriots of Fire (pickled carrots to light your torch) – punning allusion to the film Chariots of Fire

¡Ay Cukarambas! (dill-icious spicy dill pickle spears) – complex portmanteau of the American Spanish exclamation ¡ay caramba! and the noun cuke ‘cucumber’

Asparagusto (pickled asparagus with a kick) – portmanteau of asparagus and gusto

Bread & Buddhas (semi-sweet bread & butter pickles) – pun on bread and butter (pickles)

(#1)

Pickles are automatically phallicity territory, and the Pacific Pickle Works in Santa Barbara CA (website here) doesn’t shy away from their penis potential, augmenting it by references to phallic carrots, asparagus spears, and unpickled cucumbers. If you have the eye for it, we all live in Penis Town.

(more…)

Ravioli stuffed with Italian sausage

July 9, 2022

(Some indirect and asterisked reference to man-on-man sex, but, hey, it’s from the Associated Press.)

Or: Love among the mobsters.  In some hot news:

Chicago (AP wire story) — An odd chapter in American mobsterdom came to an end in a hail of bullets yesterday as thugs of the Buonanotte crime family gunned down Pasquale “Patsy” Baloney, the famously vicious soldato for — and long-time secret lover of — capo Carlo “Charlie” Ravioli of the Bastardo family, who died of a massive heart attack only two months ago.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Riffs on squat

April 3, 2022

(There will, as the title tells you, be riffs on squat, well, on squat. Since I’m given to finding my material in louche and faggy places, there will be brief encounters with squat — short and thick, fireplug-like — male organs and with a squatting position for receptive anal intercourse. But no visible body parts.)

I glanced at today’s incoming e-mail, which included a mailing from the New York Times with a link to a story of theirs offering life advice:

(#1)

I found it remarkable that the paper was giving pointers on how to embark on living in uninhabited buildings without the legal right to do so. But then we live in precarious times, and millions are having trouble coping.

Then I found the fine print of the mail header:

(more…)

Half-assing things

March 20, 2022

(It’s all about some English expressions using the bodypart-term ass, but without any reference to human buttocks. The verb fuck (up), figuratively ‘mishandle, damage, ruin’, puts in a cameo appearance at the beginning. But: no actual bodyparts, no sexual acts, presented either verbally or visually.)

Advertised in my Facebook feed yesterday, this t-shirt, available from many sources (this via Amazon, in five colors):


The verb half-ass, here ‘do (something) incompletely or incompetently’ — as opposed to totally messing it up

We start with the racy slang verb half-ass and work back from there.

(more…)

Dreams of a flitter mouse

December 30, 2021

(The posting veers almost immediately into the world of sex between men, sometimes in very plain terms, so it’s not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro finds Batman on his therapist’s couch, reporting bat dreams — but who knows what flying and insect-eating really stand for in the dreams of a flitter mouse?


(#1) Gm. Fledermaus (literally ‘flitter mouse’) and similarly in other Germanic languages, including, according to OED2, in English cites of flittermouse, flitter-mouse, flutter-mouse, and flitter mouse from 1547 through 1872 (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 7 in this strip — see this Page.)

Clearly, we have to understand both flying and eating insects as dream substitutes, screening Batman’s true anxieties: his shame about being gay (concealed by a veneer of macho posturing); his constant fear that his secret life as a famously effeminate enthusiast of fellating other men in the sexual underworld of Gotham City will be exposed; and his deep regret for years of being in sexual thrall to his younger, dominant, and more masculine lover, Robin the Boy Wonder (“I wish I knew how to quit you”, he sobs in dismay).

(more…)

Eating like a Pygmalion

December 28, 2021

… Wayno’s portmanteauing title for yesterday’s (12/27) Wayno/Piraro Bizarro:


(#1) A play on Shaw / slaw (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

Three things: one, plays on the Shaw of George Bernard Shaw (plenty of room for silliness here); two, on the wonders of (cole) slaw; and three, a note on the exclamation by George (which of course has nothing to do with GBS, but also nothing to with kings of Great Britain, since George I (from Hanover) didn’t ascent to the throne until 1714, while exclamations calling on a George go back at least to 1616).

(more…)

The bell of the ball

December 21, 2021

E-mail from a friend I’ll call J, reporting on exchanges on an (unidentified) web site about the photo below, of a carefully printed note on what was said to be a badly parked car (with a Jesus Disciple sticker on it), crucially in the UK (US participants would have been just baffled by the note, in which bellend is used as a crude stinging insult; the rough American affective equivalent would have been asshole — but that’s anus-based rather than penis-based):


(#1) The website exchanges were all about bellend — which first came into widespread use in BrE about 25 years ago in the sense ‘glans penis, dickhead’ and immediately extended to a generic male-insult use (as above) — but which is virtually unknown in AmE; the lexical item has now been scrupulously described in OED3, but the photo above (from a Mirror (UK) story on 11/5/21) is of extremely dubious provenance

(more…)

The photoon from Satilla Shores

December 9, 2021

On Facebook on 11/23, Charlie Fulton offered this photoon — a photograph intended as a cartoon — and provided it with a caption, in this case a brief text expressing a personal opinion of his about some event, not depicted in the photoon, without any explicit connection between the event and the photograph. So Charlie’s captioned photoon takes a ton of context and background knowledge to appreciate, but (in my opinion) it’s very cleverly bitter (measured bitterness being a CF specialty).

The photoon, with Charlie’s caption:


(#1) [CF:] Ah, the clever “toenail defense” tactic. I should have seen it coming.

The only really easy part of the comprehension exercise is recognizing the objects in #1 as the edible seeds — known in English as Brazil nuts — of the Bertholletia excelsa tree  (native to South America).

(more…)