Archive for the ‘Zwickys’ Category

O Canada! The Zwicky news!

July 1, 2022

ūüźá¬†ūüźá¬†ūüźá¬†It’s Canada Day, 7/1, and this year’s appointments to the Order of Canada, announced yesterday, include philosopher, poet, musician, and political essayist Jan Zwicky.

The densest truths are home.
Liszt, Paganini, all the brilliant unreal
postures of intensity‚ÄĒnothing like
the dishes in the rack, heads raised
for the clear hot rinse, children
having their hair washed in the bath.
— from ‚ÄúPractising Bach‚ÄĚ in Zwicky’s Forge, 2011



June 28, 2022

On 6/26, this query¬†from genealogist Randi Zwickel-Patrick (hereafter, RZ), offered as a comment on one of my very many postings on people named Zwicky (there’s a Page on this blog chronicling these postings):

Was the Zwicky family’s name originally Zwickel or another variation?

The query has no particular relevance to my posting “A Swiss thread in Paris”, from¬†6/24/18; that posting just happens to be about some Zwickys (and their thread company). So I’ve detached the query from that posting, to give something of an answer here.

But the briefest response is to say that a family name often has a number of histories (names are changed, inadvertently or intentionally, in ways small and large; names get mixed up with one another), but in any case almost never has something identifiable as the original name, and even for one version or variant of the name, we almost never have access to the first use of a name, to the circumstances surrounding that version’s choosing, an event or events that happened very long ago, far away, involving people who not only didn’t keep records of these things but were, most of them, illiterate.

So I can’t answer RZ’s query as it stands, and I don’t think anyone could. Even a much less ambitious query — what’s the history of the Zwicky name in the male line going back just from me? (forget about all those other people with the surname Zwicky) — runs aground 5 to 7 centuries ago, still in the same part of what is now Switzerland (a village in the canton of Glarus) that serves as Zwicky Central. (Brazil, where the nuts come from; Mollis, where the Zwickys come from.)

I have, however, looked at Zwicknames — not just Zwicky, but also Zwickey, Zwicki, Zwicke, Zwickie, Zwick, Zwicker, Zwickel, Zwickl — and also at Zwicky-adjacent names, like Zawicky, Swicky, Sowicky, and, oh my, Tsviki. This is all about names, not actual (genetic) ancestry, and given the naming conventions in Anglophone countries, it’s also all about descent in the male line, disregarding entirely all the female ancestors.

And going back 500-700 years ago is going back about 20-28 generations ago (with each generation about 25 years), so there are 20-28 ancestors in the male line, but (in principle) 2^20 to 2^28 ancestors total (1,048,576, or about a million, to 268,435,456, or about 300 million).

In either case, I can’t imagine much in this that could be actually relevant to Arnold Arnoldson. Swiss people can generally peg me as of Swiss ancestry from my facial features, but they also peg me (like my father but unlike my grandfather) as American, from my gestures, facial expressions, postures and gaits, speech, grooming, ornament, and dress. As for character traits, I (b. 1940) do have Swiss stubbornness, but I got that from the models of Arnold Melchiorson (b. 1914) and Melchior Johannson (b. 1879).

So this genealogical stuff, though entertaining, offers nothing revelatory. On to some of my postings on the subject.


Zwicky P

June 15, 2022

(Please, no watersports jokes. Even though the posting is about beer.)

Come across by fortunate accident, this product of the 4 Noses Brewing Company, a family-run independent brewery in Broomfield CO (owned and operated by the Bibliowicz family):

(#1) [AMZ:] Like that logo!

Zwicky P is an ultra fluffy, thirst-quenching 5% ABV Pilsner-style lager with flavor characteristics reminiscent of honey and white grape. ‚ÄúZwickel‚ÄĚ, the term for a port to sample beer, stylistically refers to the German process of serving bier young, unfiltered, unpasteurized and with a pronounced yeast profile often lost during the multiple-month cold maturation process characteristic for modern lagers. Like brewers sampling directly from the fermenter, Zwicky P is meant to be consumed by the litre! (company link)

Here are the four noses (Tommy and David refer jokingly to their noses on occasion):

(#2) The¬†4 Noses Brewing Co. family, headed by Tommy Bibliowicz, third from left. here; he’s at the brewery with his father, Natan; mother, Jessica; and brother David (2015 photo by 4 Noses Brewing)

The usual genealogical sources seem to have nothing to say about the Bibliowicz family name, but the noses and the spelling of the name say to me: Jews from Poland. So where does the (deeply Germanophone Swiss) name Zwicky come from? Just a play on Zwickel?


Three occasions

May 10, 2022

Three occasions, the first deprecable in intent, though with some charms in the local execution of it; the second earnest in aim, but distressing in its commercialization and its substitution of a day’s dose of sentimentality for any lasting celebration of mothers (plus, it interferes with Ann Daingerfield’s birthday):

May 7-9: Palo Alto’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo on 5/7 ¬†(it has to be on a Saturday)

Mother’s Day on 5/8 (the punctuation of the name is merely the one I fancy; don’t get all riled up about it)

Ann Daingerfield Zwicky’s 85th birthday — she died in 1985 — on 5/9 (this is Arnold Zwicky’s Blog, so you get my occasions)

And then three sub-occasions:

family breakfast (a weekly event, this week a three-generation affair for me, Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, and Opal Armstrong Zwicky) on 5/7

Masturbation Day on 5/7 (a major celebration in my one-person household) (I put the responsibility for the choice of date on Good Vibrations in San Francisco, and specifically on Susie Bright, though she will probably demur)

AMZ’s¬†return to Sacred Harp singing on 5/8 (only via Zoom, but still)


The Z of death

March 12, 2022

From Andras Kornai on Facebook today:

AK: As they say on Sesame Street: brought to you by the letter Z!

(#1) A tank (Andras says it’s a Pantsir missile system) with the glyph Z on it — not a letter in the¬†Cyrillic alphabet (in which both Ukrainian and Russian are written) and now symbolizing the Russian iron fist of death

Livia Polanyi [pursuing the Sesame Street theme]: Zombie zombie zombie starts with Z

AZ > LP: The letter Z long ago became part of my identity, a symbol of who I was. Now it’s become the equivalent of a swastika, and I feel that I have personally been assaulted, dirtied, and shamed. (I manage to surmount Z is for Zombie as just a piece of cultural silliness. But the Z on the tanks is, literally, dead serious.)


The artist known as Zack Zwicky, and three Zachs

November 6, 2021

From Google Alerts this morning, a link to the site ( of artist Zack Zwicky in Houston TX. A (small) photo of him from LiveJournal, and his earnest and good-hearted, but not very informative,”About” statement on his site:

(#1) Zachary “Zack” Zwicky: ZZwicky!

[About:] Aspiring to educate and influence students has been my focus for nearly two decades. Listening, understanding, and crafting a plan for their success is the best way to guide them. This is my personal endeavor: to inspire the diverse student body and community in my care with a passion for art ‚Äď helping them to make sense of the world around them and exceed their wildest dreams.

He’s now an art teacher in the Alief Independent School District ¬†in southwest Houston, teaching primary / secondary students who are predominantly “economically disadvantaged”. (The moral taint of poor has become so grievous that many people are reluctant to use it at all, opting to use the ponderous economically disadvantaged instead.)

Before Alief, Zack Z was an¬†Associate Professor at the Art Institute of Houston for nearly 10 years. And he’s done a lot of commercial work of one kind or another, so that we find on LiveJournal:

[About:] Results-oriented Marketing Communications professional with a passion for crafting compelling messages. Extensive project management skills, expert knowledge of print and digital marketing, and a history of teaching others to become creative problem solvers.


Jordan Zwicky of Glow City Candles

November 4, 2021

Thanks to Google Alerts at the Halloween season, the¬†Insider posting “Carving wax reveals monster candles” (in its entirety) by Kiki Sideris on 11/3, with this seasonal news (plus a YouTube video of the making of a Halloween candle):

Wax artist Jordan Zwicky of Glow City Candles and her apprentice, Clerisca Ribourg, create handmade Halloween candles. They dip each candle to create 30 to 50 layers of wax and carve them by hand. The candles take the form of eyeballs, zombies, skeletons, jack-o’-lanterns, and more. They are made to last forever and glow from the inside out when the wick is lit.


True or false in Mushroomland

January 29, 2021

Yesterday on Gina Zwicky’s Twitter account (@GinaGoesOutside):

(#1) Gina Z: I thought this was a death cap and excitedly sent pictures to my friends. it is a false death cap. I have been juked by a mushroom and now I must go

Three things: Gina Z; true and false death caps; the informal, slangy verb juke‘deceive, outmaneuver’.


Warren Zwicky, pianist

September 30, 2020

Thanks again to Google Alerts, I learned of the pianist Warren Zwicky,  half of the team of Harlie Sponaugle (soprano) and Warren Z (piano), on their album Longing: American Art Songs (released 1/1/08):

(#1) From the Musicstax site

The program of art songs looks intriguing, but I haven’t been able to sample it (without buying the album, and I don’t have a budget that allows me just to buy things to check them out).

Vexingly, I’ve been unable to find out anything about Warren Zwicky. He’s clearly American, but I can’t find out what age he is (except that he was alive in 2008) or anything at all about his life history. So he’s a Mystery Zwicky.


The Kentucky lawyer

September 21, 2020

Adding to the roster of accomplished Zwickys (thanks to Google Alerts): Louisville lawyer Anna C. Zwicky.

From the website of the firm she works for:

Anna C. Zwicky is an associate attorney at Blackburn Domene & Burchett [in Louisville KY].  Her main practice focus has been the defense of long-term care providers in medical malpractice matters. She also has experience with bankruptcy, financial regulations, copyright and general insurance defense. Anna has advocated for clients in courts throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Her education: Georgia College & State University (in Millidgeville GA), B.A. in Political Science (minor in Economics), 2013;  University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law; J.D., 2016

(I note that she’s two generations (about 50 years) younger than me.)