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Jul 23, 2023
This week’s theme
Words derived from body parts

This week’s words
chopped liver

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Next week’s theme
Words from religion

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AWADmail Issue 1099

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

Sponsor’s Message: “Real-world Wordle.” One Up! is the most devilish, Darwinian cure for the summertime blues: No board. No complicated rules. No mercy. Just wicked smart fun that’s guaranteed to ruin any family game night or vacation. A devilish gift. Free shipping. Shop now.

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

The Secret British Language That Was Used to Outwit the Nazis

ChatGPT, Bing, Bard, and DeepL: Which One Offers the Best Japanese-to-English Translation
The Japan Times

From: John Chapple (j.chapple lycabettus.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--visceral

See Through the Alimentary Canal with Gun and Camera, published in 1930.

John Chapple, Athens, Greece

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

The word visceral reminds me of a grisly scene in the TV series Criminal Minds, in which the coordinator of a Fight Night meet where two guys launch themselves at each other with no holds barred, says with glee, “It’s visceral, man!”

Bill Stanley, Issaquah, Washington

From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: Hannah Senesh thought for the day

There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind. -Hannah Senesh, poet, playwright, and paratrooper (17 Jul 1921-1944)

Here’s part of a poem by Hannah Senesh set to music and performed by my daughter Julie: video (1 min.)

Steve Benko, New York, New York

Email of the Week -- Brought to you buy One Up! -- “The best game in the game.”

From: Kenneth Kirste (kkkirste sbcglobal.net)
Subject: Blood-and-Guts

I learned the term “blood-and-guts” when I was only six years old.

I went with my family to a World War II military parade near our house in Los Angeles in June 1945, shortly after the surrender of Germany and just a couple of months before the defeat of Japan. The parade honored one of the war’s greatest and most famous generals, George S. Patton.

At the time, I learned that Patton’s nickname was “Old Blood-and-Guts”, but I was in college before I found out it came from his visceral use of language when inspiring groups of his men. We don’t know exactly what he said as he varied the content slightly each time, and Patton didn’t use notes. There are no official transcripts as his talks were considered too vulgar to be written down.

The oratory delivered by Oscar-winner George C. Scott at the opening of the film Patton only approximates these “blood-and-guts” speeches, because the scriptwriters had to skillfully water it down to avoid his crassness while retaining his spirit.

At the parade I attended, Patton was standing triumphantly in the back of a jeep. I was seated on the curb, with a clear view of his trademark ivory-handled pistols, holstered at his waist. According to Scott, during the movie’s opening scene, he got to wear Patton’s actual pistols, which the studio had borrowed from the West Point Museum.

I got extra mileage out of my experience in 1970, when the movie was released. While having lunch with coworkers, one asked “Has anyone seen Patton?” and I confounded everyone at the table by answering, “Yes, when I was six.”

Ken Kirste, Sunnyvale, California

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

As a soccer aficionado (watching, not playing) from childhood to old age, I am all too familiar with the problem of hamstring injuries. I would even check the sports section of the newspaper first to see how my heroes were getting along, from hospital bed to crutches to the training ground.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Ben Truwe (truwe mind.net)
Subject: Chopped liver

Chopped liver was sometimes formed into a centerpiece sculpture, surrounded by crackers. One appears in the film Goodbye Columbus.

Ben Truwe, Medford, Oregon

From: Ava Torre-Bueno (avatb3 gmail.com)
Subject: chopped liver cartoon

This is the favorite cartoon of every psychotherapist I know. It was in The New Yorker years ago.

Ava Torre-Bueno, San Diego, California

Patton Meets Prigozhin
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: blood-and-guts chopped liver

Warhorse US General George Patton was quoted as saying to his WWII officers-in-training, “You’re going to be up to your necks in blood and guts.” From that point on, the Patton moniker, “Old Blood-and-Guts” stuck. A common GI saying regarding Patton was, “Our blood, his guts.” More recently, the leader of the Wagner Group of mercenaries, an irate Yevgeny Prigozhin, demanded on camera that Putin send him more artillery and munitions as he literally stood amidst the bloodied and disemboweled corpses of his own troops. Wagner Group troops have been accused of the most heinous crimes against humanity.

Deli Talk
So many common food-words and phrases have entered our lexicon. Cases in point: red herring, cake walk, knuckle sandwich, Hot dog! (as an exclamation)... the phrases “That takes the cake”, “Easy as pie”, “Good egg”. Our use of “chopped liver” could also be included in that list. But more germane to this week’s theme, it’s a fine example of a play on words based on a body part. My deli scenario featuring the two reminiscing old buddies seemed like a fitting setting for this cartoon offering. Pass the dill pickles!

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


Derived from body parts
1. Visceral
2. Blood-and-guts
3. Hamstring
4. Chopped liver
5. Heart-whole
= 1. Pavlovian
2. Horrid, gory, Dahmer stabbed
3. Crippled thigh muscles
4. Frown at loser
5. Devoted
     This week’s theme: Body parts
1. Visceral
2. Blood-and-guts
3. Hamstring
4. Chopped liver
5. Heart-whole
= 1. Earthy, mindless
2. Acts with great vigor, papped
3. MO: shackle, hobble, hinder
4. Worthless
5. Devout
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)
This week’s theme: Words derived from body parts
1. Visceral
2. Blood-and-guts
3. Hamstring
4. Chopped liver
5. Heart-whole
= 1. Earthy
2. Havoc, horrors
3. Disable; thigh muscle
4. Was forgettable
5. Prim, modest; no wedded vows (did help prevent risk)
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



‘Twas a vicious and visceral deed,
Brought on by insatiable greed.
He stole, it is known,
A young kid’s ice cream cone
And ate the whole thing with all speed.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

There’s a candidate so unappealing,
He provokes a strong visceral feeling.
So please trust your gut
And don’t vote for that nut,
Or with issues galore we’ll be dealing.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

With a problem that just drives you nuts,
It is clear with no ifs, ands, or buts
That a visceral fix
If it’s thrown in the mix,
Will be best, for you go with your guts.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

One day as I strolled on the littoral,
What was that in my vision peripheral?
A bottle! With note?
Someone stranded, no boat?
It’s Tom Hanks! (My reaction was visceral.)
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


When somebody got in his way,
His muscle he pulled and -- oy vey!
He’d injured his hamstring
And said, “What a damn thing!
That athlete could no longer play.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

It will hamstring you, holding you back
If you lack enough time in the sack --
But not with -- ahem --
A guy or a femme;
Get eight hours of SLEEP! Stay on track!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“Our romance they’re going to hamstring;
It’s a Montague/Capulet fam thing,”
Said Romeo. “Wait!
In this play death’s our fate,
But avoid it we may. Let’s go camping!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


All these blood-and-guts games youngsters play,
Ev’ry hour they can, night and day.
And we let them. Our bad!
It’s a state beyond sad,
And the world of the future will pay.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

Though at weddings I may try to dance,
To do so with grace there’s no chance.
One moment I’m blood-and-guts,
Then I’m a sudden klutz,
Hoping that none cast a glance.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Chopped liver

Her ex, she recalled with a shiver,
Had treated her just like chopped liver.
She’d say to him, “Dear,
Remember I’m here!” --
Attention he never would give her.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Sarah, “My mom makes me quiver.
Any day I don’t call, cries a river.
And if I ask why?
Upset, she will cry,
“So what am I then, just chopped liver?”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“I do honest work,” said the pipefitter,
“And it’s unionized, that’s no chopped liver.
I’ve got health care and pension,
Cuz Dems, I might mention,
Got fellas like me our pie sliver.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Undecided he was, all at sea
About what he was going to be.
But with heart-whole devotion,
As deep as the ocean,
Joined the Navy, that keen enlistee.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

She’s heart-whole and still unattached,
Despite all attempts to be matched.
With standards too high,
She can’t find a guy --
Each suitor she’s quickly dispatched.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Oog, “Me am being heart-whole
When me say, ‘In life no set bar low.’
To transcend daily cares
Me draw lions and bears,
For cave paintings fulfill big art goal.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


At the airport I marched up to the rental car counter and said, “You’d better give me a good deal here at A-visceral go next door to Hertz.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When the llamas got out of their pen on the ark, Noah had his son Hamstring it shut again.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“This is my gerbil Humphrey Bogart and my hamstring-rid Bergman,” said the Casablanca fan.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“With your warrior blood-and-guts-y determination, I’m proud to have you on board as the first Klingon in Starfleet,” said Captain Picard to Worf.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

This little league team’s got heart-whole-y moley!” cried the coach.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“We eat the heart-whole after a human sacrifice,” explained the Aztec priest.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Hollywood Shutdown
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Hollywood shutdown

Hollywood writers opted to strike over three months ago, and this past week members of SAG-AFTRA (The Screen Actors Guild--American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) voted to strike too. In this scenario, I’ve grouped three of the most iconic trophies in show biz. The dual strikes could last indefinitely, as studio heads and producers appear to be entrenched and unwilling to budge. Stay tuned folks.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art, science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science, art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous. -Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (23 Jul 1888-1959)

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