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Apr 23, 2023
This week’s theme
Reborrowed words

This week’s words
craic
anime
turquoise
quarry
cosplay

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Homophones

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AWADmail Issue 1086

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

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From: Lynne Glasscoe (lynne.glasscoe gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--craic

The craic is used in common parlance in Ireland, but it can be disquieting for visitors to overhear discussions about:

The craic was mighty.
Great craic! or
Where’s the craic?

Many a visitor I’ve encountered presumed they were discussing drugs.

LynneGlasscoe, Blackwater Valley, Ireland



From: Harry Grainger (the.harry gmail.com)
Subject: Craic

McAlpine’s Fusiliers:

Oh, Mother Dear, I’m over here. I’m never coming back.
What keeps me here is the rake o’ beer, the ladies and the craic.
(video, 4 min., lyrics)

Harry Grainger, Poole, UK



From: Georgia Baker (georgiab abbeys.com.au)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--turquoise

This is a great visual: Where do turkeys come from?

Georgia Baker, Sydney, Australia



From: Karl Jauch (karl.jauch gmail.com)
Subject: Turkey

Here in the French-speaking part of Switzerland a turkey is dinde. A few years ago my French-speaking Mother-in-law was at the supermarket where they were offering frozen turkeys from America. The packages were labelled “Turkey” (in English). My Mother-in-law asked the salesperson “These turkeys were supposed to be from America but here it says Turkey!” And the salesperson said “Well that’s strange, I thought they came from America but you must be right.”

Karl Jauch, Challex, France



From: Irit Shimrat (radicalirit gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--turquoise

For the record, in Hebrew, turkey (the bird) is called tarnegol hodu: chicken of India.

Irit Shimrat, Vancouver, Canada



From: Elizabeth Block (elizabethblock netzero.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--turquoise

In Yiddish, turkey is indik.

Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada



From: Claude Galinsky (cmgalinsky gmail.com)
Subject: Turquoise

Sadly, grue and bleen are not available to describe colors. Grues are monsters from the classic computer adventure game Zork. Bleen is the newfound integer between 4 and 5.

Claude Galinsky, Westford, Massachusetts



From: Pierre-Alexandre Sicart (PA_Sicart hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--turquoise

Is it bluish-green or greenish-blue?

The former if it is more green than blue; the latter if it is more blue that green. And yes, that’s subjective; we all perceive colors a little differently. Apparently, even your sεx can affect your color perception (see Psychology Today). I find uncertainty lines especially interesting, in matters of colors (the line where you can’t say, for instance, if something is more green or more blue) and others.

Pierre-Alexandre Sicart, Midi-Pyrenees, France



From: M A Buckner (campodifiamme yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--turquoise

I had not realized that it was named for Turkey, I grew up in AZ and we have a lot of turquoise jewelry here. So I searched for what the Native Americans had called it, and apparently it had many names for many tribes, but roughly it translated to sky stone from all or nearly all of them.

M A Buckner, Pyeongtaek, South Korea



From: Dennis Pasek (dpasek gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--turquoise

“Is it bluish-green or greenish-blue? Grue (green + blue) or bleen (blue + green)?”

There is already a single precise word that applies to this color: cyan, which is RGB code 00FFFF. Turquoise is a bit less precise and covers a range that closely surrounds this color value.

Dennis Pasek, Ogden, Utah



From: Stuart Klipper (sklipper bitstream.net)
Subject: Turquoise

It has long been my favorite color. And, I collect Navajo jewelry, which has long employed its use. The shade and hue of the stone can vary widely. This is dependent on where veins are mined. As a photographer, with a keen philosophical bent, I once undertook a self-imposed mission/inquiry to photograph anything I saw that could perhaps qualify as the color turquoise. As I best recollect, I was traveling to both Florida (now known as Floridistan) and New Mexico at the time. My options were ample. The catchall title: On Definition.

Stuart Klipper,



From: William Stanley (valcouns earthlink.net)
Subject: Turquoise

Years ago we bought a car, and the salesperson called it teal. Looked sort of blue-green to me, but what did I care, I liked the car. Now to register it in WA State, the clerk crammed it into a computer form, calling it green. Ah, well, no category for turquoise ... or teal, or anything else fancy. Basic colors only!

William Stanley, Issaquah, Washington



From: Mark Barville (ocean earthlink.net)
Subject: Range of turquoise hues

There is a comprehensive website on watercolor called Handprint. One section covers pigments. That area is organized by the major color groups. You can find turquoise pigments under both BLUE and GREEN. Go to the Blue page. Scroll down to PB16, PB17, etc., and continue looking for turquoise under different pigment descriptions. Then go to the top of the page and select Green and do the same.

You will be fascinated! “Turquoise” covers an extraordinary range of hues, it’s amazing. And I love them all!

Mark Barville, Kona, Hawaii



Email of the Week brought to you by the American Sarcasm Society -- Like we need your support! Join now.

From: Hindi Greenberg (hindi.artslover gmail.com)
Subject: Turkish words

I just learned from A.Word.A.Day that I am a turkey! I never knew that the Turkish word for turkey is hindi -- which is my name. I did know that Hindi is the national language of India, so that people often think that I must be Hindu or from India (neither which is the case). And I knew that in Tagalog, hindi means “no”. But never did I think I could be identified as one of those noisy, messy birds that rampage and dig throughout my yard, flash their tail feathers, and make gobbling sounds at each other. Oh, the mortification of the truth!

Hindi Greenberg, Nevada City, California



From: Ann Hiemstra (hiemstra.ann gmail.com)
Subject: The name of the poor suffering turkey bird

In Afrikaans, which is one of the 11 official languages spoken in South Africa, and which is also my mother tongue, a turkey is a kalkoen. The same word is used in Dutch, one of the many languages from which Afrikaans developed.

Say kalkoen out loud and it sounds as if you are simulating the rather unmusical call/song(?) of the poor bird. The word kalkoen could then be considered to be an onomatopoeia (sound imitation) of the call of the bird.

Ann Hiemstra, Stilbaai, South Africa



From: Bruce Adgate (rossgate gmail.com)
Subject: Turquoise

I had to smile when I read this on your Wednesday posting: “It was called turkey because Europeans believed it came from Turkey.”

The Italian word for corn is mais, but even today it is sometimes referred to by its original name, granoturco, which was what European botanists of the 1530s dubbed it, believing it came from Turkey.

Bruce Adgate, Spoleto, Italy



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

Was the first ever cosplayer a scarecrow in a field?

John D. Laskowski, Carsonville, Pennsylvania



Michelangelo's Quarry
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: quarry and cosplay

Michelangelo’s sculptures, from his Pieta sited at St. Peter’s, to his reclining nudεs, Night and Day, crowning the Medici tomb, to David, were all carved from the sparkling white marble at Pietrasanta quarry. Paraphrasing here, Michelangelo contended that every block of stone conceals a fully-formed sculpture, and it was his task as the sculptor to release it. He once stated that “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” I would posit that that was the idea he was trying to convey with his four late-career “prisoners” sculptures, where the figures appear to be struggling to escape the unhewn marble.

Cos Célèbre
In this scenario, a drag queen takes on the persona of Divine, the outrageous femme fatale from John Waters’ equally outrageous 1997 cult film, Pink Flamingos. Our diva-in-red shames Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, who last month signed the law banning drag shows. Lee claimed, “Adult-oriented performances are harmful to minors,” and further, “promote sεxualization and grooming of children.” Curiously, fellow Tennessean, Dolly Parton, declared, “If I hadn’t been a girl, I’d have been a drag queen.” There are no instances of drag queens harming children. Yet there are many instances of politicians doing so.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



From: Karen Folsom (kgfols yahoo.com)
Subject: Les Miserable Trumps

Les Miserable Trumps
Karen Folsom, Santa Barbara, California



Anagrams

This week’s theme: Reborrowed words
1. Craic
2. Anime
3. Turquoise
4. Quarry
5. Cosplay
= 1. Wow! Was a riot!
2. Quirky comic
3. Chose her blue stone
4. Prey stirred
5. Masquerader
= 1. sweet, easy
2. cartoon show
3. premium rock
4. acquire
5. stylish wardrobe required
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Josiah Winslow, Franklin, Wisconsin (winslowjosiah gmail.com)

This week’s theme: Reborrowed words
1. Craic
2. Anime
3. Turquoise
4. Quarry
5. Cosplay
= 1. Merry way
2. Comic work
3. Quarried stone
4. Acquire the ore below
5. Dress-up as Sith
= 1. Irish seem to require wry wicked hoot
2. Cartoon
3. Aqua
4. Marble
5. Scrεwy dress up
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Limericks

Craic

There was lots of good yakety-yak,
And pretzels and beer did not lack.
And those jokes in bad taste
Left the ladies red-faced.
Was it highbrow? Oh, no! It was craic.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

In Belfast Joe Biden had fun;
They welcomed him home like a son.
Some day he’ll go back,
For he just loved the craic --
But he does have a country to run.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

I love to just gather and yak
With friends, and engage in a craic.
Yes, to me that is bliss.
Can’t get better than this.
Just add some wine, and a cheese snack.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The keys to life? Wonderful craic;
A delicious, low-calorie snack.
Watching Aaron Judge bat
While you’re petting a cat;
Got all those? Then your life is on track!
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Anime

Of anime I’m a great fan,
And I’ll soon take a trip to Japan.
Sayonara, my friend.
I do hope you intend
To address me as Landesman-san.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Explained the American teen,
“All day I am glued to a screen.
I watch anime
And hope in this way
That Japanese culture I’ll glean.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

My kids are transfixed by TV:
That Japanese anime, see?
I’m not sure of the charm
But it don’t do no harm
(And it even charms grumpy old me!)
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

With all manner of things anime,
The elves loaded up Santa’s sleigh.
On top of the pile,
“This crαp’s what’s in style?”
Barked St. Nick, and they all ran away.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Turqoise

Chinese emperors, Aztecs -- all knew.
Tutankhamun made use of it, too.
Finest turquoise is rare --
Ask its price, if you dare.
Mayhap diamonds are cheaper for you.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Frowning and shaking her head,
she confronted the painters, and said,
“Enough with the turquoise!
It just doesn’t work, boys!
What say we try yellow instead?”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

They boarded the yacht back in June,
And sailed on a turquoise lagoon.
As Harlan Crow’s guest,
The Justice felt blessed --
It’s nice when your friend’s a tycoon.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

She brags that he gave her a ring
We’re to think that the very next thing
Is a wedding, but gee
It’s turquoise, so he
May only have given her bling!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

At a conference he held at the beach,
Rupert gave all his anchors a speech.
“Though these waters are turquoise,
Get down in the murk, boys;
By lying, you’ll make millions each.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Quarry

AWAD is a quarry. A kind
Of great bottomless pit of the mind,
From which gems fine and rare
Are brought out for some air,
So limericists’ thoughts can be mined.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

In Africa on a safari,
Photographers searched for their quarry.
Turnabout is fair play;
They became lions’ prey --
For tourists like them I feel sorry.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“If you’d like to enjoy a safari,
Come and see the pristine Kalahari!”
Said the pamphlet. “Botswana
Is great if you wanna
Take pictures. We don’t shoot our quarry!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Cosplay

Comic Con is a primo event.
For the Cosplay inclined, heaven sent.
Whether Gandalf or troll,
Or full Star Wars patrol,
They’ll indulge you, whatever your bent.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot
Did cosplay a woman and got
An award for his work,
But some said with a smirk:
“Golden Globes do not mean a whole lot.”
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

While the kid was engaged in cosplay,
both parents had plenty to say.
Conflicting advice
was a toss of the dice:
either Ma’s way, or maybe Pa’s way.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

At the Star Trek convention one day,
In cosplay he swept her away.
Although she’d been charmed,
Right now she’s alarmed --
He’s still in his Klingon array!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Eef zey ‘eld Comic Con een Marseille,
All ze tourists would come for cosplay,”
Said the mayor. “Oh, Pop,
Zey like girls weeth no top,”
Sighed his son. “Your old brain ees cassé.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Puns

“I haven’t even begun to craic this murder case,” lamented Poirot.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

“Corresponding with other AWAD subscribers finally caused a craic in my taciturnity,” said the old curmudgeon.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Don’t tell me another corpse re-anime-ted,” groaned the zombie apocalypse survivor.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Anime Wong was a famous Asian-American actress in the 1920s and 30s.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Guvnuh,” said the London cab driver, “when I was ‘avin’ that problem, I turqoise-ters before climbin’ into bed wit’ me wife.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Why anybody watches our stupid talk show I don’t know, but I guess we have a certain je ne sais quarry-gis,” said Kathie Lee Gifford.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The Pope made an in-quarry as to where Michelangelo got the carrara marble for his David statue.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Limit their screen time, cosplay-ing outside is healthier,” advised the parenting book.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Harlan Crow: Clarence Thomas's Lifestyle Underwriter
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Harlan Crow: Clarence Thomas’s Lifestyle Underwriter

Justice Clarence Thomas claims that “I prefer the Walmart parking lots to the beaches and things like that.” Well apparently, he and wife Ginni aren’t averse to accepting the largess of Texas billionaire and real-estate tycoon, Harlan Crow, who has provided lavish trips around the globe. Thomas sold his ancestral Georgia home to Crow, with the caveat that his mom would still live there. Crow poured thousands of dollars into repairs and renovations, plus he’s been paying the property taxes. Thomas never disclosed the 2014 sale to the IRS.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Action is eloquence. -William Shakespeare, playwright and poet (23 Apr 1564-1616)

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