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Mar 26, 2023
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AWADmail Issue 1082

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

Sponsor’s message: “Look, Tripp, a book for us.” The Old’s Cool Wiseacre’s Guide to Life is one of four absolutely FREE e-books that’ll show you how to be a top-drawer smart aleck, live an il dolce far niente life, and the difference between a pot and a pan, a hophornbeam and your Mother-in-Law’s tongue. Smarten up -- for nothing!

From: James Fanning (fanningj56 gmail.com)
Subject: toponyms

You write “Dictionaries, English or French, don’t yet list Paris as another word for love ...”, but in German Pariser (an adjective formed from Paris) is a slightly old-fashioned but still fairly well known euphemism for a cοndοm.

James Fanning, Greifswald, Germany

From: Robert Martin (robertmartinhk hotmail.com)
Subject: Paris!

When Europeans once called Shanghai the “Paris of the East”, they were not referring to Shanghai’s tree-lined streets, alluring riverscapes or culinary delights, although it has all of those. They were referring to its raucous nightlife and sensuous underbelly. Thus I do think that Paris has entered the lexicon, perhaps unfairly, as a symbol more of Pigalle than of the Académie Française.

Robert Martin, Shanghai, China

From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: Capuan

Capua was originally an Etruscan city, situated not far from Naples. Its actual name was Capeva, meaning a “city of marshes”, and was also famous for the Spartacus rebellion.

This is based on personal knowledge, since I spent some time in Naples and vicinity. Having investigated, I couldn’t find any marshy areas, only beautiful buildings and tastefully erected farm houses.

I understand all this is becoming threatened by the frequent flooding, owing to meteorological changes, such as global warming.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

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

Good for magazines next to your chair but I invented the decanterbury to hold my liquor bottles.

John D. Laskowski, Carsonville, Pennsylvania

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

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

Other pieces of furniture or similar items have got their names from their original places of manufacture or designers: ottoman, davenport, Windsor chair, chesterfield, Hoosier cabinet, etc. Many horse-drawn vehicles and their motorized successor have been similarly named: laundau, coach, sedan, hackney, brougham, limousine, stanhope, surrey (with or without fringe on top), conestoga. (Motor vehicles often have brand names of this sort, such as Chevrolet Monte Carlo.) There are others

Sam Long, Springfield, Illinois

From: Martina Tondar (barbel_posies03 icloud.com)
Subject: Elysian

We decided after long deliberation to name our daughter Elysia. It turns out, a name no one can spell or pronounce correctly. As a German I like to quote the famous Friedrich Schiller poem, known to all from Beethoven’s 9th symphony and refer to her as my Daughter from Elysium.

Martina Tondar, Hamburg, Germany

From: Nancy Meyer (antares11 juno.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Elysium

When I drove past Elysian Fields in Gurnee, Illinois (far north suburban Chicago), I gasped, unable to believe that someone would name a subdivision that -- or that anyone would purchase a family home in a namesake place of residence only for the dead! Surely neither the Elysian Field developer nor home-buyers are familiar with Greek mythology. Either that, or they tell themselves that “A place of perfect happiness” outweighs the fact that such perfection is not meant for the living. Shiver -- no thanks!

Nancy Meyer, Mundelein, Illinois

From: Daniel Miller (milldaniel gmail.com)
Subject: elysium

This painting couldn’t be Elysium because there is only one dog in it.

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
-James Thurber

Daniel Miller, Laredo, Texas

From: Fritz Keppler (via online comments)
Subject: Canaan

In West Virginia the area known as Canaan Valley is pronounced locally kuh-NAYN. One of the highest large valleys east of the Mississippi.

Fritz Keppler, Arlington, Virginia

From: Pierre-Alexandre Sicart (PA_Sicart hotmail.com)
Subject: Waterloo

No, no, no, you get it wrong. Waterloo was a victory. It’s Trafalgar that symbolizes a defeat, as explained in Le Grand Robert:

trafalgar [tYafalgaY] n. m.
ÉTYM. 1889; de coup de Trafalgar, par allus. à la défaite de la flotte française devant Nelson le 21 octobre 1805.

Pierre-Alexandre Sicart, Midi-Pyrenees, France

From: Eric F Plumlee (ericfplumlee hotmail.com)
Subject: Paris

Paris might mean love for some. But as we live about seven hours away from Paris and have a child, for us Paris means Disneyland!

Eric Plumlee, Niederlenz, Switzerland

Trouble in Paradise
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Elysium and helotage

The South Central L.A. community of Elysian Park grew up around the 600-acre eponymously named park, established in 1886. The park is prized for its scenic vistas and range of recreational possibilities... biking, hiking, birding, shutterbugging. From its heights you can see Dodger Stadium, and beyond, the L.A. downtown skyline. One might assume that Elysian Park is a happy place, a slice of paradise, as the name implies. Yet countless homeless Angelenos call the wilds of the park their home. One of the harsh realities at the interface of our urban and wilderness landscape.

Of Inhumane Bondage
Our word helotage conjured up this grim medieval prison scenario... two captive slaves enduring extreme torture. But even worse is yet to come. The agony of slowly-but-surely being stretched out on the dreaded rack.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Toponyms
1. Capuan
2. Canterbury
3. Helotage
4. Elysium
5. Canaan
= 1. Hm.. Such opulent (cine-beauty)
2. A rack
3. Menial’s state
4. Empyrean
5. (Way to) Goshen
= 1. Easy sustenance
2. Tray with page mounts
3. Human labor
4. Peace
5. Milk, honey, etc.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Josiah Winslow, Franklin, Wisconsin (winslowjosiah gmail.com)

This week’s theme: Toponyms
1. Capuan
2. Canterbury
3. Helotage
4. Elysium
5. Canaan
= 1. Swanky gem
2. Open music cabinet
3. Human chattel
4. Up on Easy Street
5. Holy area
= 1. Opulence, natty
2. Rack
3. Wants archenemy hostage
4. Sublime
5. Means utopia yeh?
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



He’s still living in Capuan splendor:
Donald Trump, the presumed sεx offender.
But in jail he will face
A much smaller place
With amenities somewhat more slender.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

At the men’s club, the strip dancer shared
her knowledge with us. She declared,
“Depending whose lap you’re on,
you’d have a Capuan
lifestyle, or not. Be prepared!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The fellow had purchased a yacht,
Delighting his Missus a lot.
The Capuan life
Was loved by his wife --
Her plans for divorce she forgot.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Some folks do adore going camping,
While others say they prefer glamping.
In my home I will stay
In a capuan way,
And not in the forest go tramping.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“My clown car’s not spacious or Capuan,
But let’s go to court, lawyers -- I’ll pack you in,”
Said Donald. “We’ll lose,
But I’ll get on Fox News;
With the funds of supporters, I’m Draculan.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


An archbish’ of the primary See,
Cried, “Eureka! I have it!” with glee.
“Make a rack for the floor
Where my music I’ll store --
Name it Canterbury, after me.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

“How thoughtful of you to provide
That Canterb’ry, which I just spied!
It’s nice, it is true
When one’s in the loo,
And something to read is supplied.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

There’s more than just music in there!
Inside that old canterb’ry’s where
My guy’s missives are hid,
And I’ll bawl like a kid
If you poke through my love letter lair!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Said John Edwards one day to John Kerry,
“There’s some pοrn in that old Canterbury.”
The reply: “What an id!
Just don’t sire a kid!
Thanks a lot, but I’ll stick with dry sherry.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Down south there were slaves picking cotton.
Their helotage really was rotten.
But lest this upset you,
DeSantis will get you
A textbook in which it’s forgotten.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Gandhi, “You Brits with your Raj
Are a giant bacteriophage.
Our soul you devour.
We’ll no longer cower!
Go home! End our cruel helotage!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Elysium will I perchance,
Finally find when I travel in France?
My search will go on,
And while I am gone,
Could someone please water my plants?
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Her day now begins on this note:
“My past struggles are distant, remote.”
With psyllium ground,
an Elysium she’s found,
that makes her feel zen-like, afloat.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

“As the natives are not part of Christendom,
Their numbers we’ll cull to a minimum,”
Said the settlers. “What fun!
At the point of a gun,
We shall make the New World an Elysium!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


By Moses the Hebrews were led;
To Canaan he said they would head.
But it took 40 years,
And so it appears
That no map had he actually read.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Though the Oval for me has been Canaan,
My affection is rapidly wanin’,”
Said Monica. “Bill,
You will never leave Hil,
And my dress you are guilty of stainin’.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“I’ll handi-capuan stroke and that’s all.”
-Fred Perri, Scituate, Rhode Island (f.b1 verizone.net)

“Hey capuan board? Then let’s cast off!” the first mate shouted.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“We’re famous around the world for the deerstalker capuan I wear,” gloated Sherlock into the mirror.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

“If youse don’t repay de loan by tomorra, I’ll knee-capuan dat’s just fuh stahtuhs,” said Paulie Walnuts.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The Eddie Canterbury-al was attended by many in Hollywood who knew the performer.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“The dispute is tearing this congregation apart,” said B’nai Israel’s board president. “Rabbi, it’s time you and the Canterbury the hatchet.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Helotage,” the impressed traveler greeted the great mausoleum in Agra.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Though they may be annoying to the point of making us feel elysium-other still shouldn’t be given 40 whacks,” advised young Miss Borden’s guidance counselor.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

A museum dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor will be built in L.A. and called the Elysium. -Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Grab your canaan hat, Fred!” said the choreographer.
-Fred Perri, Scituate, Rhode Island (f.b1 verizone.net)

“You raise a big hue and cry about us canaan Michael Fay when your policemen murder innocent civilians?” said the Singaporeans.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Blood on His Hands
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Blood on his hands

15th-century warrior/prince Vlad Dracul III had a penchant for impaling his battlefield enemies, whilst Vlad Putin has had his military do his dirty work... indiscriminate bombing of Ukraine, terrorizing, killing, wounding, and maiming innocent civilians, while his ground forces leave murdered, tortured and raped victims in their wake. The International Criminal Court in The Hague has justifiably declared Putin a war criminal.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong. -Richard Dawkins, biologist and author (b. 26 Mar 1941)

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