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Today's Word

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Jul 31, 2022
This week’s theme
Words derived after names

This week’s words
John Henry

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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AWADmail Issue 1048

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

Sponsor’s Message: “College is a joke.” The perfect antidote to today’s laughably useless and expensive liberal arts degree, as well as an exclusive membership in a community of recalcitrants and kings -- the Old’s Cool Academy is a rigorous Great Books and traditional skills-based education for anyone ready to bite the ass off a bear. Get schooled.

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

How a Visual Language Evolves as Our World Does
The New York Times

”Parentese” Is Truly a Lingua Franca, Global Study Finds
The New York Times

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

Do you have a story about an unusual name, yours or someone you know, I asked our readers this week and responses poured in from all over the world. Here’s a selection. This reminded me of a man named Sweet Pea I met while doing a book-signing in a bookstore in Tacoma, Washington. Yes, it was on his driver’s license.

With the last name of Hancock it was amusing when my first son was born in 1976 and the nurse in the newborn nursery seriously told me I should name him John in honor of the bicentennial. I saw that as perfect grounds for eventual matricide.
-Marni Hancock, Springfield, Oregon (mrh330 gmail.com)

My former husband’s name was John Hancock. When asked by a uniformed officer to sign in to a building by putting his “John Hancock” right here, he had no choice. It was only his driver’s license that got him out of that one.
-Gael Hees, Las Vegas, Nevada (gael.hees icloud.com)

My name (Brian) came from our local butcher.
No, it’s not like that. 😊
My mum, heavily pregnant with me, was walking to the shops one day and the butcher stopped to give her a ride. I guess she told him she would name me after him, and dutifully did.
-Brian Turner, Perth, Australia (brian.turner health.wa.gov.au)

Here Lies Lester Moore, Four Slugs from a 44, No Les, No More - tombstone at Boot Hill (tombstone46xy)
Photo: mlhradio
And then there’s the famous headstone:
Here lies
Lester Moore
Four slugs
From a .44
No Les, no more.
-William Kenah, Long Beach, California (kenahwm yahoo.com)

As PG Wodehouse wrote in a foreword. He was protesting vehemently when he was being christened, but his parents simply ignored him. 😉
-Jagdeesh Sardesai, Mumbai, India (jagdeesh.sardesai gmail.com)

In my early teens I met an American girl of about 7 or 8 years old, with beautiful long blonde hair, and she’d been given the name Remington, after the typewriter! Perhaps her parents had something to do with the company, but all I thought was what a horrible name for a beautiful little girl.
-Caroline Bodoczky, Budapest, Hungary (cbodoczky gmail.com)

I once met a bartender in Frederick, MD, whose name was Sterling Silver. I didn’t believe him but he showed me his driver’s license. I’d have liked to meet his parents. 😊
-Rose Aurigemma, PhD, Rockville, Maryland (aurigemr mail.nih.gov)

I was an administrative-law judge in California. When we worked in satellite offices we had no staff and had to go to the waiting room to call out the names of the parties. I had a hearing for someone named Your Majesty. I felt really foolish calling out that name.
-Carol Agate, Cambridge, Massachusetts (carolagate34 gmail.com)

Where I worked as a lab technician I had a patient named Axel Grease and he was not too surprisingly an auto mechanic!
-Debbie Pavich, Fountain Valley, California (stevepavich gmail.com)

The two most unusual names I have stumbled across: Charlemagne Palestine -- an artist living in Brooklyn, NY. Return John, the son of a man who left to serve in the Civil War and was killed in battle. These were the last words his wife had uttered upon his departure.
-Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)

My own name is unremarkable, but my favorite name on my family tree is that of my ninth great-grandmother, Thankful Woodland (1646-1749). I may just borrow it from her someday!
-Laurie Fahrner, Port Ludlow, Washington (vegan_lady mac.com)

In Oct 2021, I legally changed my name to Apollo Moonfire. My birth name was Gregory Scott Souchock. My name-change announcement is here.
-Apollo Moonfire, Seattle, Washington (cocohusk fastmail.com)

My name is Mody. In fact, it is Marilyn but I am the youngest of five kids born in five years! No one could pronounce that name so my oldest brother dubbed me Mody and it has stuck! Paired with my last name I have had many people call me Moody and laugh and laugh like I couldn’t possibly have ever heard that before.
-Mody Bossy, Victoria, Canada (mbossy gmail.com)

I lived for decades with the last name Casebeer. Imagine the fun. It means beer cheese, which is also fun. I drive for FedEx, and so see many many names. The recent standouts are Pinkepank, which is German for sword maker, and my all time favorite, Beaglehole. Seriously. English.
-Kristin Strachan, Highlands Ranch, Colorado (ourhouse37 hotmail.com)

I knew my husband was the one for me just going on his name. It was Appel (which people usually mispronounce as Apple) and mine was Pye. Together we are happy as Appel-Pye.
-Magenta Appel-Pye, Mullumbimby, Australia (magentaappelpye gmail.com)

In the 1980s I had the pleasure of introducing my Oregon friend Slim Chance to my California customer Slim Chance. Driver licenses were immediately pulled out and compared. Another of my customers (I was a letter carrier) was Jesus Christ. Still have his business card.
-Cass Martinez, Portland, Oregon (cass zzz.com)

I met a US airman who was named Flash Gordon.He had his ID card to prove it.
-Richard Matthew, Surrey, Canada (rdmatthew shaw.ca)

It wasn’t too long after getting to know my husband that I learned he is not normal and fittingly the letters in his surname Molnar prove it.
-SandRa Molnar, Victoria, Canada (trusting365 hotmail.com)

When my first child was born we named him after me, John Patrick Jr., with the intention of calling him Jack. My (then) in-laws scoffed. “You can’t call a baby Jack. That’s an adult name. Call him John now, and he can be Jack later.” Like so much of what they said, this struck me as nonsense. The typical diminutive, Johnny, is dreadful. I hate Johnny and don’t ever let anyone ever call me that, so I was damned if I was going to inflict that on my son.
I checked in with my parents who not only agreed with me, they surprised me. “That’s what happened to you,” they said. “We planned to call you Jack, but everyone said ‘You can’t call a baby Jack,’ so we called you John. By the time you got older you just were John. That’s who you were, the name stuck.” I didn’t know that, had never heard that before. It kind of leaves you wondering how your life might have been better for good or for ill if you’d had a different name. I knew that my dad, Edwin Charles Jr., had HATED being called Eddie as a kid, so that settled it. My son was and is Jack. Never been anything else. He’s in his early 40s now, a librarian, and the name suits him.
Even my former in-laws didn’t have much trouble getting used to the name,
-John Baur, Albany, Oregon (chumbucket talklikeapirate.com)

I’m Banna. My parents wanted to name me in memory of my Russian grandmother, Fania. But we were living in a small town in Ohio and they were afraid that the name was just too unusual. They didn’t want me to be teased or called Fanny, as my grandmother had been. So they kept the first initial and named me Frances. Frances Joan. My sister, then age 2, couldn’t get her baby lips around it; what came out was “Banna Doan.” My parents thought this was adorable, and proceeded to call me Banna Doan. I learned that my name was baby talk when I entered kindergarten, and I asked to be called Frances. My mother did, once. I hated it. I decided to drop the Doan and just go with Banna. At age 17, I had my name legally changed. I knew I’d never use Frances, and it was a pain in the neck to have a legal name that had nothing to do with what I considered my real name.
In my twenties, I got tired of the baby-talk story and decided I needed a quick and easy lie. I started telling anyone who asked that the name was Hungarian, the other half of my ancestry. Of course you know what happened: a woman who said, “Really? I live thirty years in Hungary, I never hear this name.” Busted. Back to the baby-talk story, which some years later cracked up an entire courtroom when the prosecutor asked my name’s origin during the voir dire. Even the defendant was laughing. Really? His name was George Washington, and he was laughing at my name?
In a graduate school course called “Language and Culture” our professor asked us to find out and share what our name meant in its original language. I told the baby-talk story, concluding with, “So my name doesn’t mean anything.” He contradicted me. “You’re wrong! This is terrific! Every few years when I teach this class I get a story like yours. What you don’t realize is this: YOU are the definition of Banna!”
-Banna Rubinow, Poughkeepsie, New York (bannarubinow gmail.com)

There are two stories to explain why my parents spelled my name with a K rather than the more common C. For polite company, it was to piss off my grandmother. But the truth is that they had a friend named Carol whose last name started with a S. She was frequently teased for having the initials C.S. You see, back in the day, people said “C.S.” rather than a particular naughty phrase (second word “sucker”). Little did my parents know - by the time I was in middle school, people had dispensed with the initials and just said the whole thing. I’m glad, though, because I love my K! Another funny story related to today’s word is that the first time I was asked to sign a check (I was seven or eight), I was so delighted to be asked for my John Henry, I wrote, “Karol the Great”.
-Karol Ruth Silverstein, West Hollywood, California (karolinas aol.com)

I’m not quite sure how “unusual” her name was, or even the spelling (it’s been close to 40 years, back some time in the mid 80s) but our local state fair would allow students free-entry and this particular year, the school bussed us over. I ended up hanging with a fellow student and we were passing through the vendors’ section when we saw a booth with wooden keyrings carved into names. My companion went up to the vendor and said, “I bet you don’t have my name.” Without missing a beat, the vendor pulled a keychain out of his pocket that read “my name” (IIRC, it didn’t have anything to represent the space between the y and n; I used a space to defeat the spell checker). She was far from the only or first person to pull that line on him. I don’t remember the spelling of her name; it was, or sounded like, Désirée.
-Jon Killian, Kent, Washington (jonkillian hotmail.com)

While I did not personally know Modern Man, he was a friend of friends. Leland Bruns (his first name) grew up in Fargo, ND. He was an interesting artist who changed his name to Lelando Bruvinski, then Lalo. I’m not sure how many iterations his name went through to finally become Modern Man. His art was controversial, funky, and just plain weird.
-Carlee O’Dell, Fargo, North Dakota (carleeo13 gmail.com)

I knew a guy who changed his name to 1069. Similar challenges.
-Verna Clark, Crosslake, Minnesota (skiqueen crosslake.net)

Back in Kakamega, Western Province in Kenya, there was a girl called Madeinusa. When grown she was curious and asked her mum what her name means and she told her that she didn’t have a name ready and during birth the midwife had a tee on with words Made In USA and she loved it, and therefore named her Madeinusa.
-Aduma Patrick, Nairobi, Kenya (ndioaduma gmail.com)

I was 17 years old when I decided to change my name. First, middle, and last. My parents were upset, I think they saw it as a rejection of them. In my mind I saw it as a first step in taking responsibility for myself. At that time (mid 1970s) it was easy to do. Sign an affidavit and it was done. Only a few official things to change. Over the years I’ve had a lot of explaining to do but I like to think I’ve grown into the name. I have three younger sisters, two also changed their names and one didn’t. Naming is powerful.
-Morning Azule Waters, Fair Oaks, California (midwive yahoo.com)

My name is Liby Thomas Johnson. I am Liby, Thomas John’s son. Till several years ago, when I was a less-known entity in my sector of work, people took me for a woman, given my first name. On two occasions, at conferences, I was assigned to share rooms with other women and there was a last minute scramble when I reached the venue and the organisers realised that I was in fact not a female Liby.
I am part of the 1970-80s generation from Kerala in the south of India whose parents had taken to fancy-sounding two-syllable names. I got away with much less in terms of the first name. There are Jucy, Lusy, Lousy, and more. I have rationalised that Liby is short for liberation.
-Liby T Johnson, Bhubaneswar, India (libytj gmail.com)

My name is Sutter. I was named after Sutter Street in San Francisco. Apparently my parents liked the name, and even if I was a boy, they were going to give me this name. But there’s more. A few years ago (after more than a few decades of finally getting used to my unusual first name), someone pointed out that Sutter means shoemaker in Austria, Southern Germany, Switzerland. My maiden name is Schumacher, German for ... you guessed it. So my parents unknowingly named me Shoemaker Shoemaker.
-Sutter Schumacher, Christchurch, New Zealand (sutteranne gmail.com)

My first name is Hindi. It is an unusual name for an American woman. However, I like it as I never have to sign my last name to a greeting card -- there aren’t many of us Hindis around. But the uniqueness of the name also gets me called Heidi, Hilda, Mindy, Cindy, and others. My formal name is Hinda -- again, not common, but less uncommon since it’s Yiddish (and, I’ve been told, also a common Muslim name).
-Hindi Greenberg, Nevada City, California (hindi.artslover gmail.com)

My stepfather’s name is Chips. The reason? His mother had the nickname “Fish”, being a former Victorian (Australia) backstroke swimming champion. So it was entirely logical, when she was pregnant, the embryo was named Chips, long before birth. And his sister, born a couple of years later? Ann.
Thus Fish Ann Chips!
-Chiara Maqueda, Mparntwe, Australia (chiara.maqueda gmail.com)

There are a number of customs for how people are given their names. These customs follow the particular culture of the persons involved. In a number of Asian cultures, first comes the clan’s name. then the individual’s given name. In the case of the Chinese, this may include a generational name, given to (usually) male descendants of the same generation. Last is the individual’s given name and this in a way reflects the parents’ hopes for their offspring.
Our first Prime minister was Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Lee is here the clan’s name, Kuan is the generational name given to all male descendants of that generation, and Yew is his personal name.
We should respect individual customs and not blindly follow one particular method.
-Kwa Tjong-Liem, Singapore (kwatjliem gmail.com)

I love my names Mazeaud and Dominique as they both have a root or association with house/home (maison and domus), but it’s my middle names that are a bit unusual -- Gazelle Whale, names which I gave myself when I became an American citizen. They replaced my mother’s and godmother’s names Ghislaine and Anni. Since I had discovered my true mother, the Earth, it felt right to change my middle names to two of her animal emissaries which have a special meaning to me.
-Dominique Mazeaud, Santa Fe, New Mexico (heartistdm gmail.com)

Just saw 60 Minutes last night about a woman named Reality Winner A real name. A story.
-Eda Malenky, Brooklyn, New York (emalenky yahoo.com)

Email of the Week -- Brought to you by Old’s Cool Academy -- Learn more.

From: Eric Miller (ericmiller1957 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--John Henry

John Henry, of course, is also the hero of the famous folk song “John Henry”, a manual laborer building the railroad in the decades after the Civil War. He defeats the new high-tech steam drill, but dies from the effort. Mostly we prefer to interpret the song as a tragic story of man-vs-machine, but John Henry is almost certainly also a Black convict laborer, trapped in the coercive “penal” system that replaced plantation slavery, into which he most likely (and his parents most certainly) had been born.

So, there is rich historical irony when people confuse his name with that of the largest signature on a famous (the most famous?) document of “universal” freedom, ... from which he was excluded.

Eric Miller, Norwich, Vermont

From: Christine Romeiser (christine.romeiser web.de)
Subject: John Henry

We in Germany don’t use the names Hans Heinrich (John Henry) but the names Friedrich Wilhelm, mostly only Wilhelm. These names were certainly as common here as the names John and Henry in the USA.

The phrase can be traced back to the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm in the 19th century, who of course made his signature countless times; and so the royal process was and is repeated to this day, regardless of status, with the words: “Setz deinen Wilhelm noch darunter!” (“Still add your William!”).

Christine Romeiser, Kleve, Germany

From: Stefan Pallazza (stefan.pallazza bsci.com)
Subject: John Henry or Hancock?

While I enjoy your deep knowledge of language which you share with us daily and have great respect for your flexibility and joy in seeing languages evolve, I take issue with your promotion of John Henry as a legitimate noun describing a person’s signature. It is simply incorrect and your readership, nay, the whole world, should be educated and enlightened as to the “proper” origin and use of the noun John Hancock.

Stefan Pallazza, Maple Grove, Minnesota

Thanks for your kind words. A few other readers conveyed their displeasure at the term. A couple of them even cancelled their subscriptions. One wrote: “No! Lord no! I’m disappointed in you. This severely damages your credibility. Jeez, this used to be an indication of either ignorance or slipshod use of English. Good-bye.
You are almost there when you celebrate “flexibility and joy in seeing languages evolve”, but then you turn around and call this term as “illegitimate” and “incorrect”. The story of language is nothing but “illegitimacy” and “error”, in spelling, pronunciation, and meaning. To take just one example, if we were to stick with “proper” and “correct” usage, the word “computer” should only refer to a human, because that’s what the word meant originally. See here here. Over the years I have touched upon language change many times. See here, here, and here.
-Anu Garg

From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: John Henry

My first experience of this word came from an insurance agent. He represented a competitor of John Hancock Insurance, so when it came time for me to sign papers, he said, “Put your John Henry here.”

Ever since, I have assumed that the corruption of “your John Hancock” to “your John Henry” started with insurance salesmen.

Steve Benko, New York, New York

From: Joe Silber (bishopjoey gmail.com)
Subject: Betsy Ross

In the 80s when I worked the video-rental counter at the local record shop (at several different record shops, to be honest), I would ask customers to “put your Betsy Ross right here.” Most customers understood my efforts to be more inclusive, but a few did a double take.

Joe Silber, Leiden, The Netherlands

From: Steve Charters (srchartersnz gmail.com)
Subject: Jones

“Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level.” -Quentin Crisp

Steve Charters, Auckland, New Zealand

From: J. David Jackson (jdmaestrojackson aol.com)
Subject: Jones

I have also often heard the word Jones used to refer to the male private parts, mostly from friends from the MidWest.

J. David Jackson, Mamaroneck, New York

From: Mitch Silverman (mgsotr gmail.com)
Subject: patsy

On occasion, an embellishing picture accompanies the word. That photo of Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas police custody, looking defiant, with the word he reportedly uttered to authorities, Patsy, plastered across it. That’s what begs to be displayed with this word (in my mind.)

Mitch Silverman, Boston, Massachusetts

From: Nan Cross (sunthismorning gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--patsy

In addition to being a nickname for Patricia or Patrick, in colonial America Patsy or Patty were very common nicknames for Martha. For example, Thomas Jefferson’s wife Martha was known as Patty and his daughter Martha was known as Patsy.

Nancy Cross, Hamtramc, Michigan

From: Gary Mulldoon (gmuldoon kamanesq.com)
Subject: Jasper

As in, “And list’nin to some big out-a-town jasper” in Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. lyrics, video, (5 min.)

Gary Muldoon, Rochester, New York

From: Robert Carleton (Enchanted128 outlook.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--jasper

Gayle, my bride of nearly 56 years, is from Jasper, Minnesota. The town is named for the super hard quartzite mined there. It’s about 11 miles from Pipestone, where the softest rock is mined. Pipestone is quite scarce, is used for the eponymous smoking devices, and is extracted only by Native miners in accordance with state law. The area is mostly gently rolling farmland.

Bob Carleton, Albuquerque, New Mexico

From: Sam Long (gunputty comcast.net)
Subject: Jasper

The names of gemstones are sometimes used as personal names, chiefly for women: Amber, Beryl, Crystal, Diamond, Emerald (Esmerelda), Opal, Pearl (Margaret), Ruby, Sapphire. But a few are used for men: Flint, Jasper.

Sam Long, Springfield, Illinois

Pablo's John Henry
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: John Henry and Keeping up with the Joneses

Tales of Picasso inscribing his john henrys on restaurant napkins that later sold for outrageous sums have been rife. To fathom that Picasso, having reached such heights of fame and fortune, could merely dash off his autograph and the recipient could ultimately sell them for huge sums is remarkable. Hmm... would his signature translate as Pablo’s Jean Henri?

Jonesing for Chevys
Inspired by the Chevy ad claiming that more people named Jones buy Chevrolets, literally “keeping up with the Joneses”, I conjured up this meeting of contrasting Chevy owners. The preppy dude is proud of what most high-end car aficionados deem the deluxe Chevy line, the Corvettes, whilst our Chicano lowrider is equally proud of his tricked-out vintage Chevy Impala. From disparate cultures, yet both jonesing for classic Chevys.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Words derived after names
1. John Henry
2. Mollycoddle
3. Jones
4. Patsy
5. Jasper
= 1. Ah, Mr JH was folk hero
2. Cosset, dandle, Jessie, hmm... yet not stern
3. Yen, drive, doped
4. Sap
5. Jewelry
     This week’s theme re: words derived after names
1. John Henry
2. Mollycoddle
3. Jones
4. Patsy
5. Jasper
= 1. Scrawled-name?
2. They overparent Johnny
3. Dom’s deep desire
4. Jesty DJ is her mark
5. Those fellows
     This week’s theme: Words derived after names
1. John Henry
2. Mollycoddle
3. Jones
4. Patsy
5. Jasper
= 1. Send my name
2. He spoiled her
3. Tend to crave joy when stressed
4. Doormat, jellyfish, jerk
5. Wasp
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.


John Henry

My John Henry has purchased -- so far --
Fourteen watches, nine suits, and one car.
Shoes and shirts, ties and socks;
Lingerie and twelve frocks -
And the forger is living five star.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

I affixed my John Henry today
To my check in a worrying way.
I’m sad to announce
That my check may soon bounce.
My balance is in disarray.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Says she, “I will sign this, and sever
all ties with my husband forever.”
She applies her John Henry
resignedly. Then she
goes on to another endeavor.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Please put your John Henry right here;
Don’t read all the details, my dear.
Though lawyers adore them
It’s safe to ignore them --
There’s nothing that you need to fear.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

At the birth of our new and great nation,
They signed a brand new Declaration.
The Fathers did envy
John Hancock’s John Henry,
For his signature caused a sensation.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

As a history buff, ‘twould offend me
To suggest that I sign my John Henry.
He beat the steam drill,
Never wielded a quill --
Wasn’t there at the Philly assembly.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


When I think “Haute Couture Super Model”
On the inst’ I must add “Mollycoddle!”
If not cosseted, they
Will start wilting away,
And instead of that strut, they will waddle.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Though they call me an old mollycoddle,
I step right along, never waddle.
So, as you can see,
I am not elderly.
Assertions like that are just twaddle!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

She would pamper her youngest dear child,
And this drove her poor daughter so wild.
“Mother don’t mollycoddle!
Then I won’t, golly, throttle
My brother,” she’d say, as she smiled.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The spa mollycoddles each guest,
Relieving all those who are stressed.
If you need a vacay,
It's a great place to stay --
Their Swedish massage is the best!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“As my campaign for Prez goes full throttle,
No more will we gays mollycoddle,”
Says DeSantis. “Our teachers
And Disney World creatures
Must end LGBTQ twaddle.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


To keep up with the Joneses is tough.
When it gets out of hand, cry “Enough!”
Don’t keep up, drag them down
To the cheap end of town,
And let’s see how they cope living rough.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

When I was a boy wearing knickers,
My favorite candy was Snickers.
I still get those jones
Right down to my bones.
I indulge them by drinking sweet liquors.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

I’m craving a sugary treat;
I’m jonesing for something that’s sweet.
My stomach may bulge,
But I’ll still indulge --
That Black Forest cake I will eat.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

My to-do list has more than just “diet”;
It’s got “zipline” -- at least I would try it!
But I’m no acrobat,
(And I’m prob’ly too fat),
So I’ll jones for such fun on the quiet!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

You know I adore ice-cream cones.
It’s my craving, I cry, and no bones!
So being afflicted,
And fully addicted,
It’s really just one of Joan’s jones.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

I’m wearing out all of my phones;
Deep inside me calls out Mr. Jones.
Says he, “Ma’am I need
You to find me some weed!
Now it’s legal, and beats ice-cream cones!”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

“As much fun as the making of clones is,
I’m in debt -- can’t keep up with the Joneses,”
Sighed the egghead. “I know!
Some new bankers I’ll grow,
Who don’t know what foreclosing on loans is!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


If the ruthless assume you’re a sap --
Which they will, if you’re trusting, old chap --
When they’re planning a crime,
They don’t want to do time,
So, a patsy -- that’s you -- takes the rap.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

I’m an expert at shopping by mail,
Finding bargains each day without fail.
I’m no patsy, you see,
And today just for me
In Brooklyn the bridge is for sale.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

A patsy the President chose,
Then blamed him for all of his woes.
When Donald said, “Dang him,”
The mob sought to hang him!
Shrugged Donald, “Well, that’s how it goes.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Though deposed, I’ll be nobody’s patsy,”
Said the Emperor Haile Selassie.
Then he jumped up and down,
Shouting, “I’m not that noun!
For I land on my feet like a cat, see?”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


In his liv’ry of yellow and black,
A young jasper buzzed in to attack.
But how could he have known
That this female, full-grown,
Had a sting all her own? She stung back.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

She swam out too far in the bay,
and the tide nearly swept her away.
Had not a young jasper
been able to grasp ‘er,
she wouldn’t be with us today.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

She’s choosy and never will marry
Just any old Tom, Dick, or Harry.
No Jasper or Joe
I happen to know
Will satisfy my sister Carrie.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

I hadn’t seen Alma for weeks,
Went to give her a kiss on both cheeks!
But on starting to clasp her
Got stung by a jasper;
Instead of a “Hi!”, she heard shrieks!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Poor Mary could not find a mate.
She tried so hard date after date.
But, when she met Casper,
Sighed, “I like this Jasper.
I know I believe now in fate.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Though I once was a really cool jasper,
Now I’m only a ghost,” sighed poor Casper.
“While we’re friendly enough,
Being us can get tough,
Demonized by some idiot pastor.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


One day while sitting on the John Henry thought, “I bet it would relieve my constipation to start a new church, divorce Catherine, and marry Anne.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I watched Mollycoddle the egg to make sure she did it right,” said Ms. Ringwald’s cooking instructor.
Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com

Said Mrs. Brown’s friend after their rescue from the Titanic lifeboat, “Mollycoddle probably not appeal to you for dinner tonight.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Asked how he knew Ms. Perrin, Anu replied, “Jones limericks and puns are an AWADmail staple.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Hearing heavenly voices and dressing in armor were two of Jones idiosyncrasies.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Patsy how I screwed up?” said soon-to-be-ex-President Nixon to his wife as they boarded the helicopter.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“At this wedding, we’ll play only jasper your instructions,” the bandleader assured the Marsalis family.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Too Little, Too Late
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Too Little, Too Late

This past week, Pope Francis conducted his apology tour in Canada. He’s facing up to over a century of brutality, deprivation, and sexual abuse of countless Native-Canadian children who were snatched from their families and forced to attend Catholic residential schools. This systemic abuse-by-clergy would have likely remained the Church’s dirty little secret if it weren’t for recent discoveries of unmarked graves of students on the grounds of a number of these schools in both Canada and the US. IMHO, no “I’m sorry” or any amount of financial reparations can compensate for the horrors that these innocents were forced to endure.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

Trust is the first step to love. -Premchand, novelist and poet (31 Jul 1880-1936)

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