Archive for the ‘Word play’ Category

Foodnited States

November 20, 2015

Through Facebook friends, this entertaining Mental Floss piece, “All 50 States Reimagined as Food Puns” by Rebecca OConnell:


If you had to assign one piece of food to represent each state, which item would you pick? For the good people at Foodiggity [which can be followed on Instagram], the answer is whatever is punniest.

Armed with a set of state-shaped cookie cutters and a love of wordplay, the team set out to make each state out of a food. The series, called The Foodnited States of America, features all 50 states.

The project came about when Foodiggity founder Chris Durso’s young son suggested they make states out of food. Durso almost dismissed the idea, until his son added, “But what if they like had funny names like New Pork or New Jerky?” Durso understood the value of a good pun and took on the task of shoving mashed potatoes into metal shapes.


Morning name: elephantoplasty

August 13, 2015

So that was this morning’s name, and I came to consciousness in a fit of giggles. It’s a piece of word play from Monty Python.


Doing the fandango, from Venango to Ilopango

January 30, 2015

In my posting on Padre Antonio Soler, I quoted a bit about

A fandango once attributed to Soler, and probably more often performed than any other work of his, is now thought by some to be of doubtful authorship.

and was reminded how much I enjoy the word fandango — a straightforward case of “word attraction” (the opposite of word rage). So I’ve gone on to play with the word.


Hanukkah play

December 7, 2014

Something about Hanukkah — this year, starting at sunset on December 16th — seems to invite word play, on the name of the holiday or on the name of its signature food, the latke, or potato pancake. This year we get a cross-language portmanteau (okonomi-latke), for a cross-cultural food (a Japanese-Jewish pancake). From Sam Sifton in the New York Times cooking archives:

This hybrid of the Japanese okonomiyaki pancake and the traditional Jewish latke is from Sawako Okochi and Aaron Israel, the chefs and owners of Shalom Japan in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It works beautifully in any setting where you might ordinarily serve latkes and is a fine base for caviars of any hue.

(Recipe on the site.)


Word play, some of it uncomfortable

December 4, 2014

The “Back Talk: A Conversation About Words” column (by Ralph Keyes) in the American Scholar for Autumn 2014 takes up two topics: “E pluribus unum”, on invented portmanteaus submitted by readers (one of which is a bit uncomfortable for me); and “The -ize have it”, on verbing via -ize, with an invitation to readers to submit their own inventions.