Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About | Media | Search | Contact  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



AWADmail Issue 779

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

Sponsor’s Message: Does the dad in your life dislike just about everything? Well, we’ve got new for you -- he’ll love our “I Hate Fake” Collection. He won’t admit it, of course. Nope -- so we’d like to invite this week’s Email of the Week winner, Ray Lebowski (see below), as well as all AWADers to Shop For Pop Now and save 10% with coupon ‘dadsrule’.

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

America’s Most Misspelled Words by State
NBC News

The Romance and Heartbreak of Writing in a Language Not Your Own
The New York Times

From: Lorraine Scholfield (lorraine.scholfield gmail.com)
Subject: glocalize

I think glocalize is an ugly word and will not be using it myself in the future. My favourite portmanteau word at the moment is an idea that was posted into my inbox this past weekend -- One day soon, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook will join together and be called YouTwitFace!

Lorraine Scholfield, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

From: Simon (simon newcastle.edu.au)
Subject: portmanteau

One of my favourite such words is pulloveria, a type of shop (or chain of shops?), found in many European countries, that sells pullovers, which some know as sweaters. I like it because it always make me think of what the policeman might say to the errant driver.

Simon, Ourimbah, Australia

From: Paul Tarry (p.tarry zen.co.uk)
Subject: Washateria

Washeterias (UK Eng spelling) have been around a long time. The first was opened on 18 April 1934 by John F. Cantrell in Fort Worth, Texas. The first one in the UK was opened on 9 May 1949 in London (source). I used them regularly in the early 1960s when I was a student living away from home and my wife and I used them regularly in the early days of our marriage. There aren’t so many these days because people have washers in their own homes. They go under different names, e.g. launderette, laundrette, and laundromat.

Paul Tarry, Bury, UK

From: Gene England (GREngland63 aol.com)
Subject: washateria

I have vivid memories from the first years after WWII when a washateria opened across the street from my home. It made life much easier for my mother who worked full time to have the efficient machines and washing options such a place offered. It was another five years or more before she actually had a washing machine in the house. Living in central Texas, all drying took place outside. I remember hearing the word washateria spoken with gratitude, a labor-saving marvel!

Gene England, Terre Haute, Indiana

From: Susie Doherty (macgoddess1989 gmail.com)
Subject: Washateria

Our local washateria is called Washabeeria. Enjoy a cold brew while you wash your clothes!

Susie Doherty, Baytown, Texas

From: Henry Willis (hmw ssdslaw.com)
Subject: Texarkana

When I practiced law in Arkansas, one of my cases took me to Texarkana, the city you mentioned in your post on Monday. The federal courthouse there is a huge hollow square, straddling the state line, with the Eastern District of Texas on the west and the Western District of Arkansas on the east. This sort of cohabitation of two wholly different district courts in different judicial circuits (an appeal from the Eastern District of Texas would go to New Orleans, while an appeal from the Western District of Arkansas would go to St. Louis) is unique and a little bit disorienting to those of us used to living with the jurisdictional boundaries that shape the law.

There are other metropolitan areas that are divided by a state line (Kansas City MO and Kansas City KS being the biggest), but none that have embraced duality as enthusiastically as Texarkana.

Henry M. Willis, Los Angeles, California

From: Richard Kahane (rakahane verizon.net)
Subject: solunar

Interestingly, the Hebrew calendar, which is based on both the cycles of the sun and the phases of the moon, is usually described as lunisolar.

Richard Kahane, McLean, Virginia

From: Christopher Murray (cmurray1217 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--solunar

I first became aware of Solunar Tables from a book called The Modern Angler by John Alden Knight (Charles Scribner & Sons, New York, 1936). It was given to me by my maternal grandmother, who was an accomplished and enthusiastic fly fisherman. She and my grandfather, a retired Army Col., fished from Alaska to Florida, from WWII until well into the 1960s. They were not only aware of John Alden Knight’s work, but attributed their success -- all over the country -- to using Knight’s timing. In later years, I have noted the same phenomenon in bird watching: birds and animals (as well as fish) are noticeably more active during the periods predicted by Knight’s Solunar Theory.

Christopher Murray, Charlottesville, Virginia

From: Jill Howell (jchowell87 bigpond.com)
Subject: judder

I understand that in New Zealand the speed bumps on roads are called judder bars. (images)

Jill Howell, Lilli Pilli, Australia

From: Mike Wagner (mike wildcardvideo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--judder

We videophiles have used the word judder to mean jerky motion created by 24 frames per second video (also called 24p), which makes camera movement look stuttered and is especially noticeable with panning shots.

Mike Wagner, PhD, Producer and Director, Wild Card Video Productions, Miami, Florida

From: Linda Owens (lindafowens netzero.net)
Subject: dripple

That’s exactly what I did this morning, while whisking the egg and milk for French toast a little too vigorously. It drippled down the counter to the floor. Then I drippled some yogurt down my front while eating. Is it National Slop Day?

Linda Owens, Exeter, Rhode Island

From: Katherine Chen (klwchen gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--masstige

A while ago, you did a series on ugly words. To my ears, most of the words on this list (with solunar as the sole exception) beat “myriad” at the very least, any day. Masstige has to be worst of all!

Katherine Chen, Kingston, Jamaica

From: Joel Mabus (joel.mabus pobox.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--masstige

I had never heard the word “masstige” before, but it immediately made me think of the ubiquitous beer, Miller High Life. In my youth it was advertised as “the Champagne of bottled beers”. They dropped the word “bottled” when they started selling it in cans. The mega-corporation that now owns the brand claims that the original Herr Miller brought his own special yeast from Germany to Milwaukee which is still the secret ingredient that makes this lager a cut above all others.

About 35 years ago I attended a wonderful concert, in an upscale college bar, of The Boys Of The Lough, the fabled pan-Celtic group, who were then touring the States with two elder guest musicians from the Shetland islands: Dr. Tom Anderson on fiddle and the fabled Peerie Willie Johnson on guitar. Willie had a unique way of playing rhythm guitar, blending folk tunes with jazz technique, so during the break I asked him if I could buy him a beer, so as to ask him some guitar questions. He eagerly agreed to a beer, but only if it was a Miller High Life. “It’s the Champagne of beers, ya know. Ya can’t get this back in the Shetlands!” It was the cheapest beer on the menu, but made for a priceless conversation.

High Life is not to be confused with “Champale” the portmanteau for another brand of old-time “fancy” beer, technically a malt liquor brewed with champagne-style yeast and sold only in the finest inner-city liquor stores.

Joel Mabus, Kalamazoo, Michigan

From: Linda Rollin (linda.Rollin colostate.edu)
Subject: portmanteau

In Denver, Colorado, the highlight of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Marade, enjoyed by parade fans and marchers alike.

Linda Rollin, Fort Collins, Colorado

From: Margaret Lewis (emell wavecable.com)
Subject: portmanteau

I am a resident of Northern California, in the heart of the “Emerald Triangle”. We have a seasonal influx of people from all over the world to work in the industry to trim the harvest for market. They have been dubbed trimmigrants.

Margaret Lewis, Garberville, California

From: Lenny Maughan (freethoughtguy gmail.com)
Subject: Portmanteau

I have a running buddy who is also skilled at juggling. Sometimes he juggles while jogging. He calls it “joggling”.

Lenny Maughan, San Francisco, California

From: Jim Saksa (james.f.saksa gmail.com)
Subject: blend words

As a Philadelphian, I love this week’s theme. Philly is portmanteau crazy -- we just love to create blends using “Phila-” “-adelphia” and “Philly”.
Here’s a short list of examples from this article I wrote for Philadelphia Magazine a few years back: PhilaDanco!, PhilaSoup, Philabundance, PhilaFound, PhilaKids Medical-Legal Partnership, Philadoptables, Philaposh, YOUTHadelphia, PhilaMOCA, Geekadelphia, Danceadelphia, Tankadelphia, Philaphilia, Philadelinquency, Philahoops, Paradelphia, Philebrity, Vapordelphia, Grilladelphia, Aphillyated, Aphillyation, Philadelphonic, and Philagrafika.

There are dozens more out there. The latest: Trumpadelphia, a newsletter from the local paper on the impact of the new President on the region.

Jim Saksa, Reporter, WHYY/PlanPhilly, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Email of the Week: Brought to you by Father Knows Best -- Shop for Pop Now >

From: Ray Lebowski (biglebowski1128 gmail.com)
Subject: portmanteau

Here in Ohio, it is common and very regrettable for primary and middle schools to use one room as the cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium. They’re technically described as “multi-purpose rooms”, which, like the 1960-70s multi-purpose stadiums (stadia?) built for baseball, football, soccer, concerts, etc., were used for many purposes but good at none of them. We usually call them “cafegymtoriums” or “auditernasiums”, and they are poor excuses for all three. At least half of the day, you have no gym and no auditorium; and when you need it as an auditorium, you have no gym and may have to change the lunch schedule.

Ray Lebowski, Cincinnati, Ohio

From: Karen Pierce (karenpierce514 gmail.com)
Subject: Portmanteau

With reference to this week’s theme, I’d like to add “cremains” to the list. I heard it first at the funeral home after my mother passed away. At the time, I was offended; she spent 82 years on this planet and we don’t even have the time to spend two words on her? Expediency can be cold.

Karen Pierce, Colorado Springs, Colorado

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: solunar and dripple

In mulling over the definition of the portmanteau “solunar”, the unique mating ritual of our local California grunion came to mind. Peak season for this frenzied spawning orgy runs from late March into June, with each mating “run” lasting from two to six consecutive nights, coming after a full or new moon, beginning soon after high tide. Each event can last for several hours.

The fertile female grunion wiggle their posteriors into the wet sand, burying themselves up to gill level, proceeding to deposit thousands of eggs, while a wriggling mass of males squirm-and-squirt around the egg-laying females, releasing their milt. Weeks later, a new generation of tiny grunion will emerge. Needless to say, a newborn grunion would have a heck of a time determining its paternity. Ha!

Sadly, this flagging desperado is a goner... down to his very last dripple. Alas, cartoon illustrations aren’t always a barrel of laughs... or a full canteen of agua, for that matter.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words

1. glocalize
2. solunar
3. judder
4. dripple
5. masstige
= 1. cue us all
2. star + moon
3. jiggle
4. drips
5. prized deal
= 1. zone
2. astral
3. jiggle
4. purl
5. I’d some replica duds
    -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)   -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Limericks

This once rare treat has glocalized.
“Oh, that is sweet!” fans vocalized.
They smear this rich spread
On their breakfast bread.
If only it were no-cal-ized.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Our Trumpster thinks not of glocalization.
Re: Euro affairs -- no agonization.
But if Europe be damned,
Why’d he visit that land?
To seek the Pope’s vow of canonization?
-Anna C Johnston, Coarsegold, California (ajohnston13 gmail.com)

“Overseas, Mr. Trump, when you socialize,”
Said Cheney, “Please urge them to mobilize.
They’ll purchase with thanks
Airplanes, missiles, and tanks,
For all manner of weapons we glocalize.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Who cares if it’s evening, or noon, or
mid-morning?” the young honeymooner
advises his bride.
“We needn’t abide
by conventional ruling solunar!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Said the smitten honeymooner,
To his lady love and spooner,
“The sun and moon in sky
Is as steadfast as I,
For our love will be solunar.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

We were nu de under glory solunar
On our boat and engaged in a nooner.
When out of the blue
We heard, “Beautiful view!”
From above where there flew a ballooner.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

There’s Ortega and Assad and Trump,
I judder with each such a schlump.
An unholy alliance,
Understanding no science,
While we watch global temperatures jump.
-Kathy Deutsch, Melbourne, Australia (kathy deutsch.net.au)

The movie made everyone judder.
They spilled all their popcorn and butter.
Some left in a fright
At Godzilla’s great height,
While the others were left with a stutter.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpower wowway.com)

While searching for words portmanteau,
my “little grey cells” how they glow;
my skull starts to judder,
soon my brain will be butter!
All because of those ten cups of joe.
-Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)

“When I grab them, they melt just like butter,”
Said Trump, “It’s with pleasure they judder.
I’ve never been wrong
For I think with my schlong.
My good brain with the facts I don’t clutter.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

When first he began to tipple,
He asked for a drop, a dripple.
Now he drinks a lot;
In fact, he’s a sot,
And he says, “Gimme a triple.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

If you want to cause a slight verbal ripple,
Not be a staid lexicon cripple,
Try an approach nouveau:
Make a portmanteau
By blending drip/dribble into a dripple.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

In my youth with one look at a nipple
That night I’d be good for a triple.
But now it’s the loo
‘Stead of pitching the woo
That I seek in the dark for a dripple.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Masstige pearls are magnificent,
Though so little money is spent.
People often pause
Sharing oohs and aahs,
Leaving the wearer quite content.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (loscamil aol.com)

Said the chamberlain unto his liege,
“The castle, my lord’s under siege!
Meet the rabbles’ demands
and it might stay their hands;
a few items of food and mastige.”
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Kathy Lee shouted out, “Please, Reege,”
On Philbin’s endorsements, masstige
Said, “You’re a shill, honey,
With products for money.”
Regis replied, “Noblesse oblige.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Are a seaman’s left-foot phalanges portmanteaux?

When Mr. Gloca perjured himself, the prosecutor said, “Glocalize!”

With hatchet in hand, Carrie Nation made every solunar target.

Marilyn Monroe liked to judder chest out.

The British Raj thought, “That Gandhi dripple never amount to much.”

I feel pun upon by Anu. Why masstige of these AWADs be so difficult?

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sand pile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned. These are the things you already know: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. -Robert Fulghum, author (b. 4 Jun 1937)

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

© 1994-2024 Wordsmith