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#1521 - 04/24/00 08:00 AM Etymologies
Wordsmith Offline


member

Registered: 03/12/00
Posts: 123
What would a crane's foot have to do with a genealogical chart (unless the
chart is about a crane's lineage, that is)? Many hundred years ago someone
figured that the lines of succession on an ancestral map bore a strong
resemblance with that bird's foot, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So even though you might think this week's words appear pedestrian, pay
special attention to the etymologies. You'll discover that these words have
pedigrees that are anything but ordinary.


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#1522 - 04/24/00 11:31 AM Re: Etymologies
patatty Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/20/00
Posts: 19
Loc: Orange County Calif.
The imagery of the crane's foot reminded me of another queer etymology, perhaps apocryphal, anchored on Napoleon's favorite horse, Nicole.
Legend has it that the conqueror was offered sustenance by a villager in the form of a coarse, dark bread which the horse seemed to relish. When Bonaparte uttered his approval that the bread was good for Nicole (bon pour Nicole), the neologism "pumpernickel" achieved its pedigree.
Truth or fiction?


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#1523 - 04/24/00 03:50 PM Re: Etymologies
Philip Davis Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 81
Medicine is full of words of this type. One of my favourite is fibrillation, an irregular irratic movement of the heart muscle. This comes from the observation that a heart in fibrillation looks like a bag of wriggling worms. I believe fibril is latin for worm (although late latin seems to use it for fibre)


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#1524 - 05/01/00 02:06 AM Re: Etymologies
Bear Offline
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Registered: 04/29/00
Posts: 5
Re origin of "pumpernickel" involving Napoleon's horse:

Random House and American Heritage give about the same etymology. This is RH:

[1750-60; < G Pumpernickel orig., an opprobrious name for anyone considered disagreeable = pumper (n) to break wind + Nickel hypocoristic form of Nikolaus Nicholas (cf. NICKEL); presumably applied to the bread from its effect on the digestive system]

To clear up the "nickel" component, AH gives "demon" and "rascal" as senses of the German "nickel".

Also note that RH dates "pumpernickel" a bit before Napoleon's birth.



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#1525 - 05/01/00 11:02 AM Re: Etymologies
patatty Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/20/00
Posts: 19
Loc: Orange County Calif.
Bear -
Thank you for the "break wind" etymology. While it may be valid, the association with the bread's effects is a bit of a stretch. If I ever market a product to compete with Heinz baked beans, I'll consider calling it Pumpernickel.
(Anyhow, Good for the Horse is more fun.)


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#1526 - 05/01/00 01:39 PM Re: Etymologies
JColter Offline
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Registered: 05/01/00
Posts: 2
Loc: Ontario Canada
Would perhaps the origin of pediatrics then be because the little ones are always under foot?


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#1527 - 05/01/00 07:43 PM Re: Etymologies
Philip Davis Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 81
This just doesn't work in UK english where paediatrics is clearly from a different root than that in pedestrian. One of those times when UK spelling has an advantage of the generally superior US spellings. (although I note pedagogue is not spelt paedagogue as it should be if things were consistent)


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#1528 - 05/02/00 12:35 AM Re: Etymologies
Bear Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/29/00
Posts: 5

Re (Anyhow, Good for the Horse is more fun.)

You asked "Truth or fiction?", regarding the horse origin.

I didn't know you meant, "Which is more fun?"



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#1529 - 05/02/00 07:32 AM Re: Etymologies
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
Fun or true, maybe both etymologies are off the beam, if the site
http://www.r-net.de/rheine/stadt/geschichte/brand/sage2.htm
is to be believed, Pumpernickel stems from the family name of the "serendipitous" inventor of this bread...
By the way, if the wind-breaking line had any merit, it would rather spell "Puppernickel".


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#1530 - 05/02/00 02:34 PM Re: Etymologies
Bear Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/29/00
Posts: 5

That's the first mention I've seen of it being a baker's name.

Ciardi, on the horse and fart etymologies, supports both American Heritage and Random House, already cited:

"[Ger. /pumpern/, to fart; /Nickel/, devil (Old Nick). Because this bread is coarse (sometimes wonderfully so) but was said to be so hard to digest that it would make the devil fart. (The story that Napoleon, retreating from Moscow on his horse Nichol, fed it this bread, calling it /pommes pour Nichol/, applies for Nicholas, but is not an etymology but a strained joke.)]"



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#1531 - 05/03/00 07:48 AM Re: Etymologies
paulb Offline
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Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
re pumpernickel:

Brewer has: the coarse rye-bread ("brown George") eaten in Germany, especially in Westphalia. Thackeray applied the term as a satirical nickname to petty German princelings (His Transparency, the Duke of Pumpernickel") …

Shorter Oxford refers to its earlier sense of 'lout' or 'stinker'.


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#1532 - 05/03/00 08:41 AM Re: Etymologies
jmh Offline
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Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
Once again I've got myself in a cross cultural stew.

My (other) daughter came home from school in Edinburgh with a message saying that she needed new gym-shoes (the little, cheap(ish) black or white rubber-bottomed affairs sometimes called plimsoles). In Lancashire, in the North of England, where I come from they are known as "pumps". She was mortified when I asked one of her friends where she got her "pumps" from - I think the local interpretation of the word has more to do with pumpernickle than I had realised!


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#1533 - 05/05/00 12:33 PM Re: Etymologies
patatty Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/20/00
Posts: 19
Loc: Orange County Calif.
Thanks to Bear, paulb, wsieber, jmh et al.

I now know much more about pumpernickel that I did (or wanted to?).

Just kidding. These posts are always stimulating, if only to make us marvel at the unexpected scenery awaiting us around the next bend.


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#1534 - 03/17/01 12:55 PM Re: Etymologies
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
The word "henchman" has an interesting etymology. When important knights had to ride into crowded places, to have both hands free to prevent an assassination attempt, they had a trusted bodyguard lead their horse. The horse was a "hengst" so the bodyguard who led it was a "hengstman" which was corrupted into "henchman".


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#1535 - 03/19/01 03:40 AM Re: Etymologies
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Was this before or after the days of Hengist and Horsa?

Bingley
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#1536 - 03/22/01 09:57 PM Re: Etymologies
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
A friend who knows me well gave me a set of "The Queen's
English" cards for my birthday. Here is a good one:

gubbins--

"An indefinite noun for all the nameless parts, contents, or mechanics of a thing (c. 1919). Originally, gubbins was standard English for fish parings, fish offal, or all the workings of a fish (seventeenth century). In its present sense, the word may be related also to the obsolete noun
'gobbon', for fragments, and to 'gobbet', referring to a mouthful or an amorphous lump of something (especially of flesh hacked or vomited).

U.S. translation: Let's have the whole kit and caboodle."

These cards are published by Pomegranate Communications, Inc.


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#1537 - 04/07/01 12:55 AM .
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

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#1538 - 09/24/01 06:27 PM Re: Etymologies
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Etymologies when learned, can be indeed interesting. But conversely, there are words for which the etymology may be very difficult to discover. In Chaucer's The Knight's tale, from the Canterbury Tales, the word "anlass" is translated as "dagger". Who can tell me the etymology of "anlass"?


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#1539 - 09/24/01 07:39 PM .
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

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#1540 - 09/25/01 05:08 PM Re: Etymologies
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
W3 has an illustration of a tapering dagger and insists there is some relationship to the word awl; actually, not very interesting.


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#1541 - 10/30/01 01:04 PM Re: Etymologies
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I was interested to find a meaning of "zeugma" that must have preceded the use of the word in rhetoric.

1. ZEUGMA and APAMIA (not to be confused with the Zeugma by Thapsacus where Alexander crossed
the river; cf. Strabo, XVI, 1, 23. Zeugma means simply ford, or crossing).

This is mentioned by Pliny, V, 21; "Zeugma, 72 miles from Samosata, a fine crossing of the Euphrates.
Seleucus Nicator joined it to Apamia on the opposite bank by a bridge."

How does its meaning of "crossing" come to be used as the rhetorical term?

zeug[ma 7zy1g4m!, z1g$38
n.
5L < Gr, lit., YOKE6
1 SYLLEPSIS
2 a figure of speech in which a single word, usually a verb or adjective, is syntactically related to two or more words, though having a different sense in relation to each (Ex.: The room was not light, but his fingers were)





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#1542 - 10/30/01 01:18 PM Re: Etymologies
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
How does its meaning of "crossing" come to be used as the rhetorical term?

The word in question, in your example quoted:

The room was not light, but his fingers were,

the word light crosses the syntactic divide from one meaning (not dark) to another (not heavy, in this case a slang term indicating an ability to steal).


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#1543 - 10/30/01 02:50 PM Re: Etymologies
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Faldage: Since it is the "but" that is the connector, I should think it would be the "zeugma" across which the "light" crosses.


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#1544 - 10/30/01 03:46 PM Re: Etymologies
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
it is the "but" that is the connector

Perhaps you're right, Dr. Bill, but see, "He put out the cat, his cigar and the light", from Have Some Madeira, M'dear.


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#1545 - 10/31/01 10:18 AM Re: Etymologies
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
So the cat could have a light ouside. Rouch on house wiring. And the cat smoked the rest of the cigar.


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#1546 - 10/31/01 10:43 AM Re: Etymologies
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Rouch? (ICLIU)

Suggested alternates:

1. ruche
2. rush
3. Rush
4. Rosh
5. roach
6. rough
7. rochet
8. rushy
9. Russia
10. routh
11. rushee
12. Rough
13. ruches




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#1547 - 10/31/01 12:25 PM Re: Etymologies
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Typo for #6 on your list.


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#1548 - 11/24/01 10:23 PM Re: Etymologies
Keiva Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
"He put out the cat, his cigar and the light"

'tis "lamps", dear F, to rhyme with "stamps". One of my favorite songs.

Edit: http://www.eadon-sheldon.fsnet.co.uk/flanders_and_swann.html is a substituted link, more attuned to Dub-Dubs interests in that it also includes the Hippopotamus Song and Ill Wind the music to which you will recognize, WW! .

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#1549 - 11/25/01 03:56 AM Re: Etymologies
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Keiva, the link wouldn't come up... Is this just one of those temporary situations? Has happened before...

WW


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#1550 - 11/25/01 10:35 AM Re: Etymologies
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear WW: the URL won't work if "http://" appears twice. Since AWAD software adds "http://" you have to erase it from URL you want to make clickable.

You can also use edit,copy,,edit paste to make it work.


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#1551 - 11/25/01 10:49 AM Re: Crane's foot = pedigree
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I just noticed that in the original post it is not clear that "pedigree" is derived from "crane's foot", "grue" being an archaic word for "crane".
In checking this I found a site about etymology with links to other sites"
http://www.fun-with-words.com/etymology.html



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#1552 - 11/25/01 11:00 AM Re: Crane's foot = pedigree
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
wwh: Due to what circumstance did the young crane's foot increase unusually in size? Due to its pedigrew.

Thanks for helping out with the link,
WW


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#1553 - 12/09/01 03:32 AM grue
emanuela Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 315
Loc: Italy - Perugia is a town with...
"grue" being an archaic word for "crane"
Is it in English?
Gru is the only word for that animal in Italian even now. And also for the big building tool similar in shape to a gru.
An American friend of mine was very interested in such tools in Italy, since - he said - we have even small ones - 6 meters high, for example. In America he has seen just huge cranes. I suppose that it depends on the fact that the ways of building are different, we use concrete and bricks even for small buildings, wood is tooooo expensive.


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#1554 - 01/08/02 10:04 AM Re: gasket
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I used this word just now, and it occurred to me to look at its etymology. Turned out it is interesting:
gas[ket 7gas4kit8
n.
5prob. altered < Fr garcette < OFr garcete, small cord, orig., little girl, dim. of garce, fem. of gars, boy < ML *warkjone < Frank *wrakjo, mercenary soldier; akin to OE wrecca, WRETCH6
1 a piece or ring of rubber, metal, paper, etc. placed at a joint to make it leakproof
2 Naut. a length of rope or canvas for securing a furled sail to a yard or boom
blow a gasket [Slang] to become enraged



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#1555 - 03/07/02 06:56 AM Re: gasket
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Hope this comes out OK; it is the 1st time I have tried using this or any other bulletin board!
Following your lead, I looked at "gasket" in my OED and thought the following was interesting. The first quoted nautical use was given as being in 1622 "R Hawkins: Voy.S.Sea - His sayles repayred and sufficiently prevented with martnets blayles and caskettes". By 1630 J Taylor in his Navy Landships (whatever they were - any ideas??) is using the modern form, "Her gaskets, martlines, cables", and all subsequent references given use this modern form "gasket".
The first "plumbing" use of the word is given as 1829 in a text book on steam engines.
An adjacent entry for the word "Gaskin" shows two meanings, one of which is an item of clothing - breech or hose - or the hinder thigh of a horse, while the second is given as an alteration of gasket and is shown as being applied in the 19th century in place of gasket in both the nautical and plumbing fields.
Incidentally, I am fascinated as to why the spell checker does not recognise "nautical", the nearest it can suggest is Navajo. I would not have thought nautical was an unusual word!


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#1556 - 03/07/02 07:47 AM Re: gasket
Keiva Offline
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Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
dear dxb:

Hello sir-or-madam, and Welcome! Admittedly, all are welcome, but a particular greeting goes to one who makes so erudite a maiden speech in our parliament of owls.


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#1557 - 03/07/02 01:51 PM .
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

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#1558 - 03/07/02 01:51 PM Re: gasket
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
dear dxb round here, the spell check (something i never use, inspite of having a great need of!) is lovingly referred to as Ænigma -- (Now you are asking yourself, how did she do that?)

Well come to the mad house. the keys to some of the madness can be found in the FAQ-- its only about 4 page if you print it out, and it's a great guide..

but it won't tell you how to do a Æ ! for that, you must find one of Max Q's post, and at the end of any one of them, there is a link to his web page, which has pages and pages.. of neat tricks, complete with illustrations! they have been compiled from various user questions,-- and it save time-- you can learn the tricks at your own speed!

getting back to gasket, very many plumbing term got their start at sea.. sailors had to learn how to deal with leaking water long before we brought pipes filled with water into the house. as for why is is related to the word for a hind leg of horse.. well we will have fun exploring!

being a city gal, i know almost nothing about horses.. but we have some equestrian on board.. maybe they will know.

Post edit-- I took to long forming an answer! there is one of Max's Post right above..!
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#1559 - 03/13/02 10:38 AM Re: gasket
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Thank you for the kind welcome. I shall certainly print out the FAQ info' and endeavour to ascertain how diphthongs are achieved! Having tried the spell checker again on this message I am still bemused. It is plainly intended to provoke. Jeff’s suggestion is practical (see Info’ and Announcements – Postings editor hint), and I have used it, but I think I shall still look to see what whimsical suggestions come from the AWAD spell checker. (A spell checker – particularly a whimsical one - really belongs in a Harry Potter book).

On a different subject, not truly etymology, but I don’t know how to, or if you can, link from theme to theme, I have just spent a long weekend in Saudi Arabia and an Indian colleague there had received from an American lady a number of facetious (maybe?) instructions for men on women’s “keywords”. I wont copy it here as it could cause umbrage to be taken – although it is expressed as a woman’s eye view – but it led me to ask him whether the thing translated well into his native language (he tells me there are 26 official languages in India – perhaps there’s hope for us Europeans after all!) in a way that made sense and was still humourous. Apparently it did for the most part – I guess people are much the same the world over. I wonder about examples of humour going wrong due to cultural differences and idiom – Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” springs to mind. I would be interested to hear if anyone has any other examples or stories?



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#1560 - 03/13/02 10:55 AM Re: gasket
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
glad you came back..about I wonder about examples of humour going wrong due to cultural differences and idiom – Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” springs to mind.

long, long ago, we covered something on this, but with so many new people, I am sure we will have many more..

the one i contributed early in my efforts, was about an italian cousins (by marriage) who never quite got english idioms, and was always, almost right...

like the time she announced " So & So,(fill in a name) is knocked up!" since the young lady in question was a happily married woman, it was a cause for amusement. she hadn't quite caught on, "being knocked up" was a bad thing..(at least to an unmarried girl in the 1950's) "expecting a first child" was a good thing to a young newly wed wife...

and please don't hold out...re:a number of facetious (maybe?) instructions for men on women’s “keywords”. we already have a thread going along that theme in Misc! (or is it word play?) add your collection!

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