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AWADmail Issue 1033

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

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From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

How Swearing Became a Weapon of Resistance for Ukrainians
The Guardian

AI Is Mastering Language. Should We Trust What It Says?
The New York Times

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Eponyms

Here’s a selection of personal eponyms shared by readers this week:

We’ve recently coined the term “a Will Smith”, meaning “a smack in the mouth”.
-Denise Tilbury, Roodepoort, South Africa (dtilbury mweb.co.za)

My uncle John Quigley was always chatting up strangers so my family named this practice quigging.
-Clark Brinkerhoff, Park Ridge, New Jersey (clarkbrink39 gmail.com)

In Kenya back in ‘92 during electioneering period, there was a personality called Cyrus Jirongo, who used to give out 500 shilling notes during campaigns. He gave out so many of the notes till people coined the name “Jirongo” instead of 500 shillings.
-Aduma Patrick, Nairobi, Kenya (ndioaduma gmail.com)

For many years, a small group of five (four men and a woman named Wendy) trained diligently and intensively on bike rides preparing for triathlon competitions. One of the guys, a former wrestler, football Hall of Famer and professor of exercise physiology at UCF, was a beloved if intense macho man who only grudgingly came to accept the female in our midst. He did so because Wendy was fast, young, personable, and attractive. As the years went by, the five friends either moved away or broke down, myself included, and finally only he and Wendy remained. Wendy often confided that she derived less value from the rides, but valued them, and would never pass macho man or drop him and ride off. She knew that would be the end of the relationship, and she needed and desired his companionship on rides. My wife and I agreed that, when we train with each other, we must never “do a Wendy”, that is, hang back so as not to offend.
-Don Ardell, Madison, Wisconsin (awr.realwellness gmail.com)

The house I grew up in had a large mirror over the living room couch. My father was famous for posing family and friends on said couch and capturing their images, and his own as well, in photos. We began to call this a Norman within the family. Now, when one of us accidentally includes themselves in a picture via a window reflection, sunglasses lens, etc., we carry on that name and fondly remember my dad and his Kodak Brownie. Bonus points if you also get a flash in the image!
-Debra Godfrey, Seattle, Washington (godfreydebra hotmail.com)

About once a year, I purge my closet of things I no longer wear and send them to a friend to share with her daughters and coworkers. Her thank-you notes always cite their delight in receiving the lovely Suzanne-me-downs. Likewise, when the box includes things from my husband, they’re Wayne-me-downs.
-Suzanne Mitchell, Brunswick, Georgia (mitchellsongs gmail.com)

During my grad school days, several of us would gather once a month for dinner at one of our homes. Amongst us was a phenomenally talented Italian cook. Diane was known for her culinary skills and also for her stealthy manner of filling your wine glass or serving you more food when you weren’t looking. Such actions became endearingly referred to as “pulling a Grimaldi”.
-Anne L. May, Santa Fe, New Mexico (annelmay gmail.com)

My grandmother Esther has been immortalized in our family with the word Estherize. Esther packed a lot of life and a pioneering spirit into her 4’10” frame.
She was really good at fitting the greatest amount of stuff into the smallest space. In her pantry, she tore the tops and sides of cereal boxes so they protected only the remaining cereal. She always put leftovers in the perfectly size containers, swapping containers as the leftovers got eaten. Her closets were a beautiful jigsaw puzzle of space efficiency. So we coined the term Estherize to describe the action of re-packing items to fit more efficiently. Only one carryon permitted? Use zip-top bags or packing cubes to Estherize your clothes. Big shop at the big box store? Break down packaging and collapse bulky bags with rubber bands to Estherize the food to fit.
Thanks for bringing a smile to my face as I remember my grandmother.
-Jessi Shapiro, Philadelphia, Pennsyivania (griffon48 yahoo.com)

At the end of a meal, if there were any small spots on the (almost always linen) tablecloth, e.g., from a soup splash, Aunt Bertha would fold a corner of her table napkin over her forefinger, dip it in the water in the cut-glass finger bowl and dab at the spots to remove them. This became known in the family (and behind her back!) as “doing a bertha”. Yes, she really did live that life-style and very elegant it was too -- except for her on-site laundry activities!
-Rosemary Abrami, Sun City West, Arizona (abrami cox.net)

In a very large high school, a student named Walt gained a reputation for being quite socially inept. If a social event was coming up and you were going stag because you couldn’t get a date, you were “walt’in” it.
-Calvin Hennig, Portland, Oregon (calhennig yahoo.com)

Long ago a woman named Pat came to our house once a month to do major housecleaning. The day before her arrival we tidied things up... put things in their proper places... a process that came to be called patrification... time to patrify. Pat is long gone, bless her soul, but her name lives on.
-Ross Jackson, San Jose, California (rmtnjack gmail.com)

An older couple we know always greets each other as if they had been separated by weeks instead of moments, with a quick hug and kiss. We call this a Kirby moment, and indulge in such as often as we can, in emulation of the Kirbys.
-Nunn Winship, Warden, Washington (nunn.winship gmail.com)

From: Richard S. Russell (RichardSRussell tds.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Rothschild

I was waiting for you to unload on the idiοts supporting the conspiracy theory that the Rothschilds (and the rest of the international Jewish Communist baby-eating gun-grabbing bankers) are behind the way Joe Biden stole the election from Jesus’s own hand-picked designee, but I have to admire your self-restraint.

Richard S. Russell, Madison, Wisconsin

From: Lawrence Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Rothschild

In Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, the Lord Chancellor’s Nightmare Song includes the line, “The shares are a penny, and ever so many/ Are taken by Rothschild and Baring.”

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon

Email of the Week -- Brought to you buy The Official Old’s Cool Education -- How do you get down from an elephant?”

From: Bill Topazio (btzena hotmail.com)
Subject: Rothschild

Are the five sons referred to as Rothschildren?

Bill Topazio, Zena, New York

From: Paul Tarry (p.tarry zen.co.uk)
Subject: Rothschild

It’s interesting what can happen to foreign words when they become Anglicised. The famous German banking family’s name derived from the red (rot, roth) shield (schild) on the house in the ghetto in which the family lived -- nothing to do with anybody’s child, really.

Paul Tarry, Hawkshaw, UK

From: Glenn Weberg (glennweberg4255 gmail.com)
Subject: Tevye Clip

You made my day brighter and happier after watching Tevye’s bravura romp in the stable.

I am a skinny, 96-year-old conservative (!!!), Swedish-American, Christian man, who has always delighted in Yiddish humor and Fiddler on the Roof in particular.

Thank you muchly...

Glenn Weberg, Mountain View, California

From: Robert Daniel Braun (braun.ro gmail.com)
Subject: roorback

Donald Trump: the world’s champ at spreading roorback.

Robert Braun, Warrensburg, Missouri

From: Rich Schram (rjschram icloud.com)
Subject: Roorback

Interestingly, there are many places in Germany, named Rohrbach. A rohr is a pipe. A bach is a stream.

Rich Schram, Brevard, North Carolina

From: Dorrin Rosenfeld (drdim comcast.net)
Subject: quotation

A book, once it is printed and published, becomes individual. It is by its publication as decisively severed from its author as in parturition a child is cut off from its parent. The book “means” thereafter, perforce, -- both grammatically and actually, -- whatever meaning this or that reader gets out of it. -James Branch Cabell, novelist, essayist, critic (14 Apr 1879-1958)

What a wonderful quotation. Very few authors consider what happens to a book once it leaves their hands. It then belongs to the reader and becomes soil for the fertilization of a whole new world. In this sense, every author creates thousands of new worlds!

Dorrin B. Rosenfeld, Vallejo, California

Herr Freud: Dream Believer
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Morphetic and Hercules

One could argue that Freud, when formulating his seminal 1899 work, The Interpretation of Dreams, was under the spell of the Greek god of sleep, Morpheus; and further, over a decade of his early psychiatric practice he was under the spell of cοcaine. He was a bona-fide addict. Freud also liked a good cigar. Hmm... possible oral fixation? Here I’ve depicted an aged Freud, off in dreamland, having long weaned off his cοcaine habit, but with hard evidence that he’s still getting a little buzz from Coca-Cola. In the early years, cοcaine was an ingredient in Coke’s recipe.

Herculean Effort
Aficionados of Greek mythology are well aware of the 12 labors of Hercules, which included the slaying of the Lernaean hydra, the Erymanthian boar, the Stymphalian birds, the capture of the Cretan bull, and the apples of the Hesperides. Here, Hercules grapples with, and ultimately slays, the Nemean lion, the first of his twelve tasks.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Eponyms
1. Pyrrhonism
2. Morphetic
3. Rothschild
4. Roorback
5. Hercules
= 1. Skepticism
2. Hypnotic rhymes rock her to sleep
3. How rich!
4. Slander, rumors
5. Behemoth
     Ha! I gauged this week’s theme: eponyms
1. Pyrrhonism
2. Morphetic
3. Rothschild
4. Roorback
5. Hercules
= 1. He has many doubts
2. I.e. sleepy
3. Rich crook- he got crowned
4. Slur
5. Re hick e-shipper’s mammoth girth
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)
This week’s theme: Eponyms
1. Pyrrhonism
2. Morphetic
3. Rothschild
4. Roorback
5. Hercules
= 1. Skepticism
2. Rhythmic sleep
3. Rich dork
4. Calumny, rort
5. Behemoth, hero’s powers shone
     This week’s theme: Eponyms
1. Pyrrhonism
2. Morphetic
3. Rothschild
4. Roorback 5. Hercules
= 1. Skepticism
2. Re sleep, rhythm, or dreams
3. Rich person; tycoon
4. Slur (how hick!)
5. Behemoth
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



The philosophy called pyrrhonism
Is known for extreme skepticism;
In less than a week
That canny old Greek
Came to doubt all the lore that was his’n.
-Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon (lcrumb darkwing.uoregon.edu)

I’m aware of what Nietzsche once said.
He clearly declared: “God is dead.”
His pyrrhonism’s wrong.
My belief is quite strong
That God is just napping instead.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

There once was a fellow named Pyrrho,
And skeptics all call him their hero.
Since I’ve seen his bust,
I must say he just
Reminds me of Robert De Niro.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Sacré bleu, zere is such pyrrhonism,”
Said Victor, “zat France nears a schism.
Ze people’s awareness
Of social unfairness
I’ll raise weeth a book. I’ll Les Miz ‘em.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Morphetic The terms of the curse were prophetic:
Sleeping Beauty would live life morphetic,
Until Prince Charming’s kiss
Would awake her to bliss --
But in time, the prince grew apathetic.
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

My morphetic nights have disappeared.
Now a nightmare is no longer feared.
When bedtime comes around,
I will sleep long and sound.
No more strange dreams involving the weird.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

I heard the insomniac cry,
“I cannot nod off, though I try!”
His habits morphetic
Are truly pathetic --
I pity this sleep-deprived guy.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Stormy, “I rate you pathetic;
Your efforts just make me morphetic.
And Donald, I’ve noted
Your body’s quite bloated;
I look when I need an emetic.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“If you were a Rothschild,” she said,
“I think I’d agree we should wed.
But you are a bum,
And that is how come
I’ll marry your cousin instead.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Now Syd looked at Ruth oh, so riled.
Saw her bags of new clothes. Made him wild.
He said to his honey,
“I’m not made of money!
You think that you married a Rothschild?”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Be you poor, middle class, or Rothschild,
I’d advise against getting Hoss riled,”
Said Ben. Little Joe
Added, “Hey, have a go!
Next to him, though, an Ostrogoth’s mild.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


In Eden, the silver-tongued snake
Said: “This fruit is delicious; partake.”
Eve at once saw the drawback:
“That sounds like a roorback,
Apple News and thus bound to be fake.”
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

The slander the public believes;
This Roorback persuades and deceives.
Since some people choose
To follow Fox News,
High office the liar achieves.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

What decides what the Donald will read?
No idea; any god-awful screed
Would work, and the poor hack
Who writes Trump’s own roorback
Has assured his own place, yes, indeed!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“O husband! ‘Tis merely a roorback;
No love for thee do I, dear Moor, lack.
My knees are like Jello,”
Said Des. “Please, Othello!
Your jealous streak’s clear in your Rorschach.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Carefree as a bird, Hercules
In his front yard swung on a trapeze.
“I’ve completed my labours,”
He told bemused neighbours,
“So now I can do as I please.”
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

A Hercules man? Not her style.
More important were his eyes and his smile.
Next, she did hope to find
An intelligent mind.
To discover all this took awhile!
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

We’re glad that the lifeguard is there,
A Hercules up in his chair.
The teenagers come,
And some are struck dυmb,
As at his great muscles they stare.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Where’s a Hercules when we could use him?
Or a Superman? (One might confuse ‘em)
We need all that power
In this critical hour
If Trump re-arises -- defuse him!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Said the Klingon, “You’re no Hercules;
“You’re exhausted and old, Kirk; you wheeze.
You’ve stayed far too long
In this role -- it was wrong.
Now we’ll wipe off that dυmb smirk, you sleaze.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Fans of Judge Jeanine are said to suffer from acute Pyrrhonism.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“What’s the harm, officers? Pyrrhonism-y thing,” said the peeping tom.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I’m sorry, but we’re out of Greek salad until morphetic-omes from the cheese supplier,” the waiter apologized.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Don’t feel bad,” said the psychiatrist. “As Philip Rothschild, you have every reason to be neurotic.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When someone insults her, she will roorback with a perfect retort.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

“Thanks for pulling out the thorn, Androcles! You helped me get my roorback,” said the lion.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The Agatha Christie fan club had a subgroup for Detective Poirot called the Hercules.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Deja Vu All Over Again
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Deja Vu All Over Again

With the recent passing of longtime Alaska GOP Rep. Don Young, former VP candidate Sarah Palin is among the 14 hopefuls who are running in the Aug 16 “special primary” to fill the vacated seat. It didn’t take long for Trump to heartily endorse the former Alaska governor. He announced that he was “proud to give her my complete and total endorsement.” With friends like Trump, who needs enemies? Palin tersely responded to Trump’s backing with “I’m honored to have your support.”

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me leave to do my utmost. -Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen), author (17 Apr 1885-1962)

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