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Feb 19, 2023
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Words for colors

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AWADmail Issue 1077

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

Sponsor’s Message: “Show us a good loser and we’ll show you a real loser.” Oneupmanship is an all-new rough-and-tumble money game that makes Monopoly seem tame and lame. Calling all capitalists! Free shipping--use coupon “AWAD”.

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

Why We Can Dream in More Than One Language

Why Does Turkey Want Other Countries to Start Spelling Its Name Türkiye?
The Conversation

From: Kathie Epler (3pl3r.kathi3 gmail.com)
Subject: Nail polish color names

Pre-Covid I had a standing bi-weekly nail appointment. Half the fun was looking at all the OPI colors, reading the cute names and selecting the color. My favorite was “I’m not really a waitress”, which is a beautiful red. Now my nails are bare and will stay that way AND the $80/month I save I can spend elsewhere.

Kathie Epler, Pennsylvania

From: Shannon Montanez (sgmontanez gmail.com)
Subject: Nail polish

As a teen, I used to love spending time with my mother, painting our nails together on a weekend evening. We often quipped about our favorite colors, but even now 20 years later, both mom and I agree. “I’m not really a waitress” is the best red and appropriate for nearly every occasion. Let your imagination wander with that name.

Today I am wearing “Suzi has a sweet tooth”, a fun pop of pink for Valentine’s Day.

Shannon Montanez, Boston, Massachusetts

“I’m not really a waitress” seems to be the winner. Many readers mentioned it. There’s “I’m Really an Actress” too. Also, check out the book I’m Not Really a Waitress: How One Woman Took Over the Beauty Industry One Color at a Time.
-Anu Garg

From: Janice Ife (ife magma.ca)
Subject: Nail polish

Thanks Anu! Just what I needed -- yet another distraction. Dozens of nail polish colours to play with when I should be doing something else. And nail polish for Pete’s sake! Since I spent my life grubbing in the soil for a living nail polish was never on my list of things to use, not even now that I’ve retired (I prefer to think of it as time off for good behaviour, although my husband says I wouldn’t qualify -- he’s actually a dear man) as I still love gardening.

Janice Ife, Merrickville, Canada

From: Mindi White (ammaze aol.com)
Subject: nail polish names

The nail polish I always wear now is called “You’re such a Buda-pest”. It’s sort of a periwinkle that looks great and is named greater.

Mindi White, Los Angeles, California

From: Glenda Winterbotham (g.winterbotham yahoo.com)
Subject: Nail polish colors

My go-to nail polish colors are “Melon of Troy” and “That’ll Peach You”.

Glenda Winterbotham, Irvine, California

From: Marcia Bowman (bsandbirds gmail.com)
Subject: Nail Polish

In my younger days as a secretary, I always had my nails painted and always a deep, dark, almost brown red.

Then I became a physical therapist and needed short nails. Once a year, I would fly off to a conference and would always get my nails done for that week, again dark red. On a major trip with friends, I had my nails done in China, dark red, and in Moscow. However, the Russian nail person would not put dark red on my nails. She assured me (in her limited English and my very limited Russian) that I would look better with something else. Instead she painted my nails a bright red, and I loved it!

Now I am retired and living in Panama, and never, ever paint my nails.

Marcia Bowman, Boquete, Panama

Email of the Week brought to you buy Oneupmanship --Are you a greedy, self-serving punk?

From: Alan Willison (olcaralan gmail.com)
Subject: Nail Paint

I’m a senior male who loves a well-done pedicure. It’s right up there for me with sliced bread and sεx.

After my first pedi, when I was told “Done”, I looked down and asked “Where’s the colour?” And since it was no extra charge, I’ve had orange, black, purple, bright blue, red, green, and a few other in-your-face standout colours. The reactions I get have become predictable -- men don’t acknowledge it at all and women either love it or hate it -- there’s no in between. I’m tempted to do a thesis on the human behaviour reaction one day. So interesting!

Alan Willison, Oshawa, Canada

From: Denise Kuehner (dmk16 columbia.edu)
Subject: nail polish puzzles

For some amazing puzzles created in nail polish, check out charmandacure on Instagram or @charmandacure on Twitter.

Denise Kuehner, Old Tappan, New Jersey

From: Terry Moritz (terry herbstlawllc.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--aeneous

In the same vein as Unicorn Puke, there is a whole line of sparkly paint for crafts called Unicorn Spit.

Terry Moritz, Maryland

From: Amy Tipton Cortner (acortner gmail.com)
Subject: Nail polish and color

I was painting my nails Bogota Blackberry (from OPI)--which is a deep crimson, not the deep sloe color of the actual blackberries in my yard--as I was reading your post. I have always loved color, and I keep my many bottles of polish in a wire basket on the counter, where they are always in view. I always look forward to word of the day, but this week’s posts are going to be especially fun!

Black Cherry Chutney and Let’s Take an Elfie are two more of my favorite colors.

Amy Cortner, Hudson, North Carolina

From: Laura Peebles (lhpeebles aol.com)
Subject: Nail colors

Every year I paint my nails in holiday colors (copper, green, brown, bronze for Thanksgiving; red, green, gold, silver for Christmas; and black and silver for New Year’s). Then it’s OPI’s “Black to Reality”--a red so dark that it’s almost black--for the beginning of the year. Seems to go with January.

I know it’s not a holiday (but it should be)--I paint them “Nationals Red” for baseball Opening Day here in DC.

Laura Peebles, Arlington, Virginia

From: DeeDee Varner (deedeevarner gmail.com)
Subject: Nail Polish predilections

Manicures and polish colors are among my favorite frivolities. I’ve got some favorite shades, all of which are OPI products: I Think in Pink, Pinking of You, Princesses Rule, Pink-ini , Not So BoraBoring Pink, Strawberried in the Sand, Hawaiian Orchid, Pervette (sadly, this one is no longer available).

My fingernails always sport a professional manicure; I have a standing appointment every three weeks. I’m one of the few who continue to have acrylic nails applied and painted nicely, having been a client of my manicurist for nearly as long as I’ve been married (today is my 38th wedding anniversary). I’m getting worried, though, because it’s getting more and more difficult to find a good manicurist who does acrylic application, and my long-time “nail-man” is planning to retire within the year. WAAAA!

My friends consider me to be a “colorful” personality, but strangely enough, I don’t choose ostentatious colors for my nails, nor do I wear “glamore length” tips. However, I do LOVE seeing other folks with unusual colors and manicure techniques (such as special artistic tips).

I appreciate all individuals, regardless of gender identification, who enjoy applying color to their nails. I love that fingernails are “tiny canvases and they deserve to be painted like works of art.” Thanks for giving a shout out to those of us who don this art.

DeeDee Varner, San Diego, California

From: Kiko Denzer (kiko handprintpress.com)
Subject: argent

For 25 years I have been using clay and mud of all kinds and colors to make ovens, houses, floors, wall paints and plasters, murals, and sculpture. When I discovered that “argue” comes from a root meaning “white” and “to shine,” and was related to deliciously clayey words like “argillaceous”, it made SO much sense. Clay, which is nearly ubiquitous around the globe, is used for building wherever it’s found, and white clay would have been the obvious first source of a pigment that could brighten dark interior spaces.

I was SO delighted to learn that a word commonly used as a pejorative (“Don’t be so argumentative”) is actually rooted in what can be a noble motive: to bring light to the dark and tangled confusions that so often cause conflict between humans. To me, a good argument is not the one that “wins”, but the one that clarifies (tho it does take full participation and commitment from both sides).

When I delightedly shared the story with my then-wife, she said, “Yeah, clay...it’s sticky.”

Kiko Denzer, Blodgett, Oregon

From: P Larry Nelson (lnelson illinois.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--argent

Those of us who are aficionados of 60s and 70s rock music no doubt immediately thought of the English rock band Argent -- eponymously named after keyboardist Rod Argent, formerly of the Zombies.

Arguably their biggest hit Hold Your Head Up (6 min.) is a mesmerizing piece of drum rhythms, fuzz guitar, and Rod’s keyboard artistry. Minimalist lyrics but great vocals.

Larry Nelson, Champaign, Illinois

From: Allen Roberts (aroberts arts.ucla.edu)
Subject: stramineous

Through the 1990s and until 2017, followers of a Senegalese Sufi holy man named Serigne Omar Sy (1913-2018) realized a most remarkable stramineous dwelling in the town of Djourbel. Constructed entirely of straw, larger reeds, and slender sticks, Serigne Sy was responding to a vision he had in which qalam, as the reed stylus with which one writes the Word of God, asked to be recognized as a sentient element of faith.

The elaborate layout as my late wife and I first encountered it in 1994 was that of a xatem -- a numerical, hence numerological, grid through which Muslim mystics have long assisted healing and problem-solving. The registers and “exaltations” (like larks arising after all!) of isosceles triangles were legible to those of sufficient enlightenment, Serigne Sy explained. Indeed, he and his devotees lived in a sacred, efficacious text.

Furthermore, the aesthetics was deliberately ephemeral to reflect human frailty. On three harrowing occasions, the compound was burned to the ground by arsonists angry at the elderly gentleman’s acerbic condemnation of those forsaking the straight and narrow. Baraka blessing energies protected residents. After the first two blazes, rebuilding brought forth new beauties in praise of God, until a last conflagration in 2017 when Serigne Sy, then 104 years old (according to his French colonial birth certificate), could no longer muster requisite energies. His son is slowly replacing the glorious compound with a multi-family home of cement blocks and metal roofing.

Here are a few pictures to give a sense of Serigne Sy’s extraordinary feat of vernacular architecture.

Dwelling in Djourbel, Senegal. Constructed entirely of straw, larger reeds, and slender sticks. Dwelling in Djourbel, Senegal. Constructed entirely of straw, larger reeds, and slender sticks. Dwelling in Djourbel, Senegal. Constructed entirely of straw, larger reeds, and slender sticks. Dwelling in Djourbel, Senegal.
Allen Roberts, Los Angeles, California

From: Jonathan Sims (profitpie aol.com)
Subject: Rubicund

I don’t want to fall out with my redheaded neighbour.
That would be crossing the rubicund.

Jonathan Sims, St. Teath, UK

Emeticus Duncis Trumpus
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: rubicund and Greoge Santos in drag

For me, the word rubicund conjures up the familiar phrase crossing the Rubicon, which has come down from ancient Roman history to mean “passing a point of no return”. In January of 49 BCE, then-general Julius Caesar opted to hastily return to Rome, by crossing the Rubicon, leaving his post in the province of Cisalpine Gaul, ultimately provoking a three-year civil war. After the dust settled, Caesar was declared emperor. The river Rubicon got its name from its rusty-red coloration, caused by its iron-rich riverbed. Here, Emeticus Duncis Trumpus, in the guise of Julius Caesar, has set his own course, attempting to seize the Oval Office for a second term. No turning back now!

Dragster George Santos
Being George Santos can be a real drag... quite literally. Over a decade ago, the GOP House member partied in full-drag, adopting the moniker, Kitara. In reading this week’s intro regarding the multiplicity of possibilities in being creative with painting fingernails, I’ve pictured chameleon Santos wearing nail polish reflective of this week’s five color-related words. Clearly, “Gorgeous George” has proven to be a colorful, but rarely truthful character.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Words for colors
1. Aeneous
2. Argent
3. Stramineous
4. Rubicund
5. Virescent
= 1. Brass
2. Silver, osmium, sou in France
3. Straw tone, tow
4. Reddish hue
5. Green (cuke, tree, Nostoc...)
= 1. Such as brown
2. i.e. snow color
3. Rues team’s meet isn’t of use
4. Kid’s red hair
5. Covet, turn green
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

This week’s theme: Words for colors
1. Aeneous
2. Argent
3. Stramineous
4. Rubicund
5. Virescent
= 1. Hue of brass
2. Silver, white
3. Straw; connotes “mediocre”
4. Red; akin to rust
5. Nose-mucus green
= 1. Brownish hue
2. Ice, silver
3. Straw, mustard
4. Red tone (of nose)
5. Turns green (seasick outcome)
-Josiah Winslow, Franklin, Wisconsin (winslowjosiah gmail.com) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Muscle Beach is the home of the buff.
Watch the beauteous strutting their stuff,
Or come worship the sun,
When your gym work is done,
Till your hide is aeneous enough.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

You look pale and you dress like a nun.
I don’t think that you’re having much fun.
Take advice from this genius --
Get a look more aeneous.
Buy some shorts and go sit in the sun.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

A sun-kissed, aeneous hue
The spray tan had promised, it’s true.
He thought it was neato
But looked like a Cheetoh
When all of his spritzing was through.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“With weapons and armor aeneous,
I will slay the strange creature,” said Theseus.
“Then I’ll exit the maze,
But I wish I had Waze,
For to set up a string will be tedious.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


The Lone Ranger and Silver, his horse,
Who was argent in color, of course,
Were a hit on TV,
Which I never did see.
I can’t say that I suffer remorse.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

This morning, I walked down the lane
to meet an old friend once again.
Alas, the poor sergeant
now sports hair that’s argent.
He’s limping, and walks with a cane.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

There once was a very brave knight,
Whose armor was argent and bright.
He discarded it all,
Though, to heed nature’s call -
A too-active bladder his plight.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The canister’s red, the foam argent;
And together, they’re fire retardant.
“But they don’t yet exist,”
Scarlett fumed, as flames hissed
Through Atlanta. “Rhett, save me, you varmint!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Ancient Romans had rules re disportin’,
And those girls who would live by escortin’
Must be licensed; pay tax;
Wear stramineous flax
As a wig, or to dyes be resortin’.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Rapunzel, a maiden quite fair,
Had lovely, stramineous hair.
She gained her renown
By letting it down,
So love with a prince she could share.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

For uptown gals, seasons bring change;
One’s closets one must rearrange.
Each spring you disperse
Every black leather purse
With stramineous ones in exchange!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“Which way?” the girl wondered, oblivious,
Until helped by a fellow stramineous.
Said he, “It’s a pain
Living life with no brain,
So let’s go, though your stalker is hideous.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“Watch these kids mess around in the snow,
Little rubicund cheeks all aglow.
Must be freezing out there --”
“’S’gotta hurt.” “They don’t care.”
“Aren’t you glad it’s a phase we outgrow?”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

I dream of her rubicund lips
And the sway of her undulant hips.
With love I am stricken,
But I’m really chicken.
To approach her would give me the pips
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

I went to the beach in the heat,
And now I am red as a beet.
My rubicund glow
Is painful, you know--
Next time from the sun I’ll retreat.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

A strιppεr named Ruby LaRue,
Had starred in a burlesque review.
She was known everywhere,
For her rubicund hair.
Can someone so red be so blue?
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Election Day facts Rudy shunned,
And did not even turn rubicund.
Oh Donald, what fun
If in court he had won,
For the IRS now you’d defund!
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Keeping my garden virescent
is a job that I’ve always found pleasant.
But during this drought,
I haven’t a doubt
that my work will be fairly incessant.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The aliens shot down at noon
Had traveled here via balloon.
They’re small and virescent,
With skin iridescent --
We plan to dissect them real soon.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Well, envy’s the obvious cause--
Look! virescent from forehead to jaws!
What’s the reason, Eileen,
That you’re turning so green?
“She got more than me from Santa Claus!”
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Said Hillary, turning virescent,
“I lost? But the guy’s prepubescent!”
Offered comfort by Bill,
She sighed, “Hand me a pill;
You’re not much of an antidepressant.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Julius Caesar decided which country to invade next with his usual method: “Aeneous, B. Meeni-us, C. Miny-us, D. Mo-us.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Men who are taught how to be polite in all situations argent-s.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

The drill s-argent was tough on the new recruits.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“I had to drop Eagleton; would you join the ticket?” George McGovern asked S-argent Shriver.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Hearing you stramineous such a pleasure,” said Mickey as she practiced her tiny guitar.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“I vould haf Rubicund his whole team imprisoned for distracting our vorkers vith his damned cube if I could,” said the flustered German chancellor.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Ne-virescent in my vocabulary!” said the motivational speaker.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

His idea for a Covid inspired perfume was a flop. Who’d wear a virescent?
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Ballooned out of proportion
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Ballooned out of proportion

America can rest easy following Biden’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s recent assurance that none of the four UFOs (aka airborne balloons) recently shot down by missiles were alien spaceships. Whew! Glad we cleared that one up. Intelligence officials are still holding firm to their initial assessment that the humongous Chinese balloon was, indeed, a wayward spy balloon.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

There’s nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book. -Carson McCullers, writer (19 Feb 1917-1967)

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