Archive for the ‘Word aversion and attraction’ Category

Eight Days in Spring

April 5, 2022

Tuesday to Tuesday, linguistics on the march to take over the comics: the Zippy strip of Tuesday 3/29 (on names and things) and the xkcd cartoon for today, Tuesday 4/5 (on esthetic responses to words: from word attraction to word aversion). (Warning: the word aversion discussion will take us to a sexual act, typically between men, that I will discurse on in intimate detail, in a way that’s utterly inappropriate for kids and the sexually modest.)

(more…)

pit beef snow ball girl

March 28, 2022

The Zippy strip from yesterday, 3/27:


(#1) Help wanted at the pit beef restaurant: a female server for their pit beef (the house entrée) and snow balls (the dessert), with the ensuing mantra that afflicts Zippy: PIT BEEF SNOW BALL GIRL (prosodically SW SW S; add a strong fourth beat — a shout YEAH!,  a drum beat, cymbals, whatever — and you can conga to it)

So, the obvious stuff: Zippy’s onomatomania, his attraction to certain words and phrases; pit beef (especially associated with Baltimore); snow balls / snowballs, shaved ice confections especially associated with the Italian communities of Philadelphia and New York. Plus the gender stuff, a girl needed to serve guy-food: grilled meat, especially beef, being at the peak of masculinity in the American food world (with the gender association reinforced by serving it in a bun); not to mention that beef with balls is covertly phallic.

(more…)

Between the glutes

July 18, 2021

(Some male body parts, depicted and discussed in plain, but not raunchy, terms. So not squarely in the Sex Zone, but not tasteful either. Caution advised for kids and the sexually modest.)

For me, it all started with a recent ad on Facebook for suit sets (sleeveless tank tops with bikini underpants) from the Fabmens company in a variety of intriguing patterns, including a (more or less) rainbow “color block” pattern seen here from the rear:


(#1) The design of the underpants strikingly accentuates the wearer’s ass / butt / bum  cleft / crack / cleavage, in a way that in my queer fashion I (at least) find decidedly hot

(more…)

Garment vocabulary

January 25, 2021

What do you call an outer garment covering the body from the waist to the ankles, with a separate part for each leg? The referentially and socioculturally least restricted lexical item for this purpose, in both AmE and BrE, is the plural noun trousers. (The gloss in my first sentence is in fact the definition of trousers given, without restriction, in NOAD.)

It’s then remarkable that the Quite Interesting Twitter account maintained on 8/14/18 that

The Victorians thought the word ‘trousers’ so vulgar and rude that they used euphemisms such as ‘sit-upons’, ‘inexpressibles’, ‘unutterables’ and ‘unwhisperables’ instead.

The result of such an attitude would have been that there was literally no everyday expression to refer to such a garment — even one originating as a euphemism but naturalized as ordinary vocabulary — as has been the case for white meat as a replacement for (chicken) breast, for some speakers, and in many other cases.

(more…)

I say it sounds yucky, and I say the hell with it

December 4, 2017

A Calvin and Hobbes re-run in today’s comics feed:

(#1)

Food aversions have many bases: appearance, taste, smell, texture, intensity of flavor, novelty, objections to ingredients (would you eat Bambi? Thumper? Fido? Fluffy? Porky? Sam the Clam?, Charlie the Tuna?), allergic reactions, unpleasant previous experiences — and aversion to the name, as with Calvin.

(more…)

Words. words, words

May 7, 2017

From a King Features Comics Kingdom posting on the 3rd, “Ask a Cartoonist: Words to Live By” (by tea), three cartoons on words in comics: a Dustin on adolescent sniggering over potential double entendres and two Zippys about repeating words for sheer pleasure.

(more…)

Body language and Lithuanians

April 12, 2013

Today’s Zippy returns to the topic of facial expression and gesture in Dingburg:

Five stances (or gestures), each with an absurdly specific meaning (some of which suggest, in snowclonish way, proverbs or quotations). Plus an appearance of Lithuanians.

(more…)