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Mar 12, 2023
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Unusual synonyms

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AWADmail Issue 1080

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

Sponsor’s Message: “100+ Wicked Smart Words.” The Old’s Cool Wiseacre’s Guide to Life is one of three absolutely FREE e-books that’ll show you how to shama lama ding dong the doo dang dee, live an il dolce far niente life, and the big difference between a javelin and a javelina, a hophornbeam and your Mother-in-Law’s tongue. Smarten up, for nothing!

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

You Are Not a Parrot
New York Magazine

How Dyslexia Changes in Other Languages

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

Church parking
Only violators will be Baptized.

This sign reminded me of this little anecdote: The deputy was reading the riot act to a bunch of bewildered boys whom he’d just ordered out of the pond. “Didn’t you see that sign!?” he bellowed at them.
“Sure we did, officer,” replied one lad. “That’s why we felt welcome. See, it says

Private Lake -- No
Swimming Allowed!

Richard S. Russell, Madison, Wisconsin

From: Stephen Page (swp544169 netspace.net.au)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cyesis

And in the veterinary and medical worlds, pseudocyesis is very well known and in common usage. For example, abdominal distension could be due to any of the multiple ‘f’s: fat, food, flatus, fluid, faeces, fetus. Always best to confirm, apparent cyesis may be false!

Stephen Page, Newtown, Australia

From: Robert Burns (robertburns oblaw.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cyesis

Cyesis? That might make sense in a scientific context but no other and so long as the Greek spelling is kept. Anything else is clearly illegal.

Robert Burns, Ocean Beach, California

From: Janet Levy (janetlevyross gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cyesis

“It’s... she’s... we’re...”
“You’d better hurry. His contractions are getting closer.”
Cartoon: Dan Piraro

How stupid - “his contractions.” A four-year-old child knows that only females have contractions and give birth!


Janet Levy, Los Angeles, California

Email of the Week brought to you by The Wiseacre’s Guide to Life -- A FREE Wicked/Smart e-book. Learn more.

From: George Houghton (geohough iglou.com)
Subject: Cyesis

Death tugs at my ear and says, “Live, I am coming.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., poet, novelist, essayist, and physician (8 Mar 1809-1894)

As a fan of your daily mailings, I always look forward to the A Thought for Today section. Today’s is one of my favorites. I used to think of it to remind me of the inevitability of death and that I should not procrastinate so much.

However, having too much time on my hands one day, I did some Internet digging. Much to my surprise I found that it is a modernization of a line from a poem attributed to the Roman poet Virgil. This poem is titled Copa (barmaid), and it is about a young woman who implores her customers to have fun and not worry so much about tomorrow.

Then set the wine and dice, and let him perish who
Doth care about tomorrow. Death your ear
Demands and says, “I come, so live to-day.”

One suspects Oliver Wendell Holmes was merely quoting Virgil, although he may not have been suggesting we all go out and party till dawn!

Finally, it seems that Virgil may not even have written Copa. Some academics argue that it (and some other poems attributed to him) did not match his style and appeared after his death!

George Houghton, Jeffersonville, Indiana

From: John D. Laskowski (john.laskowski mothman.org)
Subject: Exuviate

The most obvious exuviae in NE USA is that of the 17-year cicada, Magicicada septendecim. Millions of these molted skins of the nymphs are attached to trees and other substrate material when the adults complete their transformation from nymph to adult.

John D. Laskowski, Carsonville, Pennsylvania

Baby Bumped
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: cyesis and blatteroon

Unless a woman tells you she’s pregnant, to speculate so is wrong and can be very embarrassing, to say the least. Curiously, there have been odd cases of morbidly obese women not realizing that they were pregnant, many in the third trimester, until the onset of labor pains, contractions, or their water breaks.

Babble on M.. T. Greene
Put a microphone in front of QAnon sympathizer Marjorie Taylor Greene of “Jewish space laser” fame, and guar-an-teed, she’ll babble on about how the radical-left Dems are destroying the US, while she actually advocates for an official red/blue state splitting of America. She’s never met a conspiracy theory she didn’t want to latch onto and spread. Now that Speaker McCarthy has put her on two high-profile House committees, she’ll be babbling even more.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Unusual synonyms
1. Interpunction
2. Exuviate
3. Cyesis
4. Cogitate
5. Blatteroon
= 1. Exclamation point, we overuse!!
2. Use, reuse? toss it (bye)
3. Gestation
4. Think
5. Snitch, my uncle/aunty
= 1. Use punctuation
2. Exit skin
3. Gestation, enceinte
4. Yes muse on, mull over why
5. Boaster is chatty
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

This week’s theme: Unusual synonyms
1. Interpunction
2. Exuviate
3. Cyesis
4. Cogitate
5. Blatteroon
= 1. Cuter tiny punctuation
2. Molt
3. Gestation session
4. Ruminate in-house
5. Cheesy web talky vexes
= 1. Commas (use us)
2. Yeet, in a sense
3. Pregnancy; wives’ little ones
4. Think out; intuit
5. “You chatterbox!”
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail. com) -Josiah Winslow, Franklin, Wisconsin (winslowjosiah gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Interpunction: The Pedant’s Delight!
Persons ought to make sense when they write!
Rogue apostrophe’s gall,
But what irks most of all --
The misused semicolon? “That’s right!”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Omitting a much-needed comma
Could lead to a cannibal drama.
With no interpunction
Performing its function,
How dreadful the thought “Let’s eat Mama.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

At Oxford they have no compunction
About telling us, “Use interpunction!”
They make such a drama:
Your list needs a comma!
It’s pompous and needless. Such unction!
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


A politico’s skin can be shed
When the cause he espouses is dead.
He’ll exuviate hide
To ensure he’ll abide,
Since to naught but himself is he wed
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

I go to the beach every summer
For a suntan, and what could be dumber;
Since I have no concerns,
That my skin always burns
And exuviates. Man! What a bummer!
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

A snake can exuviate skin,
Squeezing out of the layer it’s in.
If ever you find
Some skin left behind,
You’ll know where that serpent has been.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

As the python would grow, he’d exuviate;
All who saw him would warnings communicate.
But they let down their guard,
And one day they were jarred
When a wedding he crashed, and the groom he ate.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“What’s cyesis?” “A state of pure bliss,
When your mum or an auntie or sis’ --
Bears a baby in here --
In her tummy, my dear”
“But how does it get into there, Miss?”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

When she notices both of her nieces
Are proudly displaying cyesis,
Says she, “I declare
That I wasn’t aware!
But the news thrills this auntie to pieces!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Throughout all Denise’s cyesis,
Her yearning for sweets never ceases.
She can’t get enough
Of that sugary stuff --
She constantly craves Reese’s Pieces!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“If one lacks a male heir, it’s my thesis
That it’s pointless to be rich as Croesus,”
Sighed Henry. “Wife One
Wouldn’t give me a son,
But I’ll try with five more for cyesis.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Yes, I cogitate -- this is a scam?
No? In that case, then, ergo, I am!
Now we’re naming the source?
Let me think ... yes, of course!
It was Popeye! “I yam what I yam!”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

“Why is it I’ve not cogitated
enough on the fellows I dated?”
says she. “One was drunk,
and the other a punk.
On the whole, men are much overrated!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

I cogitate best in the shower,
Where wonderful notions can flower.
And when I come out,
I haven’t a doubt
It’s been a great use of an hour.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

As some women prepare for a date
Agonizingly, they cogitate:
Does the mirror reflect
What he’s come to expect???
To make sure, he will just have to wait!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“We can’t profit from people who cogitate,”
Said Rupert. “The truth we must obfuscate!
Tucker, Laura, and Sean,
On TV you must fawn
Over liars! Be lickspittles! Concentrate!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


When I’m frightened, much like a baboon,
I’m a raucous, inane blatteroon.
Any sense I possess
Is abandoned, I guess,
And the babbling goes on till I swoon.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

There is many a quote that I’ve seen
From a Georgian in Congress named Greene.
That blatteroon’s full
Of what I’d call bull,
And quite often her comments are mean.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

If you go to the zoo about noon,
You will see its most famous baboon.
When his lunch he does seek
He will chatter and shriek,
So his keeper called him, Blatteroon.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Mr. Cleaver, I’ll climb up the ladder soon,”
Said the roofer, an infamous blatteroon.
He kept talking; it rained.
That night Ward, his face pained,
Said, “Wet furniture’s made me much sadder, June.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Part serious learning and part fun with homonyms, this section of each week’s AWADmail lies squarely at the interpunction of the two.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“You need vorry no more about her,” the German cannibal assured his new girlfriend. “It vas my exuviate for dinner zis evening.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“You haf two problems,” said the psychiatrist turned ophthalmologist. “Vun, you vant to sleep vith your mother, und two, zi-cyesis-tigmatic.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Y’all tuhned intuh an ol’ cogitate,” said the fan to Darrin’s boss at the 25th Anniversary Bewitched Convention in Dallas.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The agent pitched a new musical based on a mythical Scottish town where all the villagers talked endlessly. It’s called Blatterdoon.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“If ye ‘ave a full blatteroon to the loo as fast as ye can,” advised the Scottish urologist.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Post-2023 CPAC confab
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Post-2023 CPAC confab

Last week’s Conservative Action Conference (CPAC) was an underwhelming affair, with still-undeclared presidential hopefuls Ron DeSantis, and former Trump VP Mike Pence opting to skip the event and speak at a concurrent GOP rally, The Conservative Club For Growth. On Saturday, Trump was the keynote speaker, full of bombast, hyperbole, and lies, bloviating for close to two hours. He pledged to fight for those loyal MAGA folks who have felt betrayed, or abandoned by the Party, essentially relaunching his 2024 campaign, now more like his “Retribution Tour”.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

All of life is a foreign country. -Jack Kerouac, author (12 Mar 1922-1969)

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