Wordsmith.Org: The Magic of Words: The Magic of Words


About | Media | Search | Contact  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



AWADmail Issue 47

Sep 16, 2001

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

From: Julia Lagoc, Philippines (lagocATiloilo.worldtelphil.com)
Subject: A dastardly, cowardly act

I am deeply saddened by the tragedy that befell your country. I grieve with the American people.

From: Eric Shackle (eshackleATozemail.com.au)
Subject: WTC

My wife and I watched with horror the CNN coverage of the New York and Washington tragedies, until 1.30 am, went to bed, and awoke five hours later to see the continuing drama unfolding. All Americans have our heartfelt sympathy.

I think TV makes everyone realise the dreadful human toll of such events. World Wars I and II would have ended a lot sooner had people at home been able to see the horrendous effects close up, as we do today. Now we realise what London and Hamburg (and later Hiroshima & Nagasaki) civilians had to endure.

From: Christian Ruettger (cruettgerAThotmail.com)
Subject: Dear friends

I don't know what to say... words don't come easy. Again and again I am watching the terrible pictures on TV. Let me tell you that people here in Germany are shocked. Be assured that our thoughts are with you! Our solidarity goes out to you!

From: Christa Steinmann (christa_steinmannATswissonline.ch)
Subject: From Switzerland

My thoughts and prayers are with the brave people of the United States of America. The word 'United' takes on new meaning.

From: Lisa Pacitto (lpacittoATjuno.com)
Subject: Tuesday's Tragedy

I am a freelance writer and love getting AWAD. As many activities have come to a halt due to the devastating attack on the US, I commend AWAD for carrying on, as we all must.

Given that AWAD does reach so many people around the world, and that these events are a crime not only against America, but against all of humanity and what we hold dear, I wonder if our collective interest in words can be used to foster a collective interest in peace. I'd suggest that we use AWAD as a forum for all AWAD subscribers around the world to talk about these events, how they have effected all of us, and more importantly, how each of us can grow and make a difference from this experience.

Change, and thus peace, does not come about by government policy, weapons, treaties, or even hatred of war--however noble. It comes from seeking peace, putting our attention on peace, cultivating and demonstrating peace. But what is peace?

An arrived at static state but will it magically cure all the world's ills?

Peace is a choice. A choice we make every day of how we will act and react to our circumstances and the world around us. It is the willingness to first and always seek understanding, to continually nurture and be secure in our own compassion, and to purposefully use our God-given intelligence and humanity to move toward that which we desire most - Love and Acceptance.

We have the power to change the world. Let's make that choice and direct the change for peace.

From: Lee Jones (jonesATawci.org)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--tommy atkins

Atkins is a Welsh surname. Both "kin" and "s" following what appears to be a given name are ways the Welsh indicate patronymics. Therefore Atkin(s) is Welsh for "Son of At." Similar forms include Hopkins (Welsh for Robertson), Thompkin(s), Jenkin(s), Watkin(s). Examples of using the "s" after a first name to form a patronymic include Williams (the most common surname in Wales), Roberts, Johns (or Jones - which is pronounced essentially the same as Johns in Welsh), Evans and Owens, to list a few.

From: Mary Mulhern (mulhermmATdrexel.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--tommy atkins

Mr. Atkins, although normally the forgotten man, is the wry hero of Rudyard Kipling's poem 'Tommy,' which begins:

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

From: Harald Kjaerheim (harald.kjaerheimATbokklubbene.no)
Subject: liverish

Goethe uses the word "liver" metaphorically for "anger", e.g. "die Leber befreien", i.e. "to vent one's anger". From this originates the expression "von der Leber weg reden", literally "to speak from the liver". The phrase is also used in Norwegian: "? snakke rett fra levra", which means to give your unfiltered opinion about something, often when angry or dissatisfied. The English idiom would be somewhere in the area of "straight from the horse's mouth".

From: Sam Saal (ssaalATsonic.net)
Subject: liverish

In Hebrew (Rabbinic, as opposed to modern, spoken) the heart is the seat of emotion and the kidneys the seat of intellect.

From: Josephine T. Yu (jtmyuATucdavis.edu)
Subject: Re: AWADmail Issue 46

Girish's comment on "liverish" interested me because in my native language, Burmese, too, emotions (especially love) are attributed to liver. It is very common to say "I love you from my liver" to call someone "my liver" in everyday language. The expression "broken liver" has the same meaning as "broken heart" in Western culture, and it is very commonly used. The "heart shape" is called the "liver shape" in Burmese.

From: Shelley Monson (smonsonAThome.net)
Subject: Re: AWADmail Issue 46 - liverish

In sixteenth-century England, the liver was regarded as the seat of love. There are many references in Shakespeare to this. For example, in As You Like It, Rosalind offers to cure Oliver of love, describing how she had cured another lover:

"And thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't."

From: Philippe J. Weil (pjwATnetvision.net.il)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Zelig - Yiddish for eternal

Zelig is a Yiddish word. It derives from Seele (german) = soul and is mainly used when mentioning the name of a deceased. example: Izhak Rabin zelig the longer version would be: zeligen angedenken = his soul will be remembered.

From: David G. Imber (imberATmaniform.com)
Subject: Zelig

When the Woody Allen movie came out there was much learned discussion about the origin of the name. Some traced it to the Old English gesaelig (blessed), from which we get the word "silly" - certainly appropriate for a comic writer and performer. But, in fact, the word zelik (or zelig, depending upon where your people came from) comes up in Yiddish quite commonly. It's used to mean blessed, which the protagonist of Allen's movie certainly was in abundance. (Bear in mind that in the world as Woody Allen portrays it, all blessings are mixed blessings).

From: Strnad Peter (peter.strnadATcc.siemens.de)
Subject: Knickerbocker

As a constantly appriciating user of AWAD I'd like to add something to today's word "knickerbocker".

Originally it was used for a kind of trousers apparently worn by the Dutch in New York. It was widespread in Dutch and German countries. It is still worn by some mountaineers and by many traditional costume groups in Austria, Switzerland and Germany (and the Netherlands): the trousers are cut below the knee and fastened (closed) by lace or strings or little belts. Every Telemark skier who is keen on tradition wears knickerbockers.

From: Don Cecchi (cecchicgATaol.com)
Subject: knickerbocker

Thank you for using the word "knickerbocker" today. It helps us Knickerbockers enormously to know that there are people all over the world who are sharing our grief. My family has been in Greenwich village for over 125 years, I have always taken great pride in being a New Yorker but nothing like what I have been feeling these past three days. I am so proud about the way we have handled this nightmare. We are, if nothing else, survivors. But I can't tell you how much we appreciate having people like you there with us.

From: Nancy Moore (aileetventATmsn.com)
Subject: Not getting AWAD

Yes, there must have been some brand of error. I tried to resubscribe because I hadn't received AWAD for three days and I was in a panic without it.

    Please check settings in your account to see that it is not blocking messages inadvertently. For example, Hotmail users have the following three features available under "Options" link, any of which could block a message.

    Block Sender
    Inbox Protector

    If nothing works, try contacting your Internet service provider. -Anu

The appropriately beautiful or ugly sound of any word is an illusion wrought on us by what the word connotes. -Max Beerbohm, writer, critic, and caricaturist (1872-1956)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere


Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2023 Wordsmith