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Apr 7, 2019
This week’s theme
Words that turn into other words when beheaded

This week’s words
erose
scow
vaward
thew
pelf

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Index

Next week’s theme
Words related to bones

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AWADmail Issue 875

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

Sponsor’s Message: Wise Up! is a brand-new smart-aleck party card game that’s guaranteed to provoke and delight both outlaws and in-laws alike, or your money back. Seriously, we double-dare Email of the Week winner, Janis Walworth (see below), as well as all AWADers -- to put on your party pants now and come play with us. Game on!



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

Ddu-Du You Know? English Is Losing Its Grip as the Language of Pop
The Guardian
Permalink

Technology Helps Us Learn New Languages While Forcing Us to Speak English
Quartz
Permalink

Do You Speak My Language? You Should.
The New York Times
Permalink

A Linguist’s Trick to Perfectly Understanding People with Different Accents
Quartz
Permalink



From: Rebecca Haaland (Rebecca emsp.no)
Subject: Words that turn into other words when beheaded

I have been receiving AWAD for almost 15 years and love it as much today as the first time I read it. Thank you for brightening my days. This week’s theme reminds me of a heart-shaped poster my older sister had hanging in her room as a teenager in the 70s:
Oh! Please do not kiss me
  Oh! Please do not kiss
    Oh! Please do not
      Oh! Please do
        Oh! Please
           Oh!
In light of today’s #MeToo action this may not be exactly politically correct but at the time it was only charming.

Rebecca Haaland, Sandnes, Norway



From: Alan Etherington (alan-e ntlworld.com)
Subject: Erose

Surely erose is a rose sent by computer.

Alan Etherington, Billingham, UK



From: Nancy Dunn (nancydunn aol.com)
Subject: scow

Wow! Scow! The Alma, pictured, is the very scow that came to mind when I read the Word.A.Day mail notification flit across my screen. Once upon a very windy 50th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge during a festive historic boat parade, my boat mates and I watched as the Alma broached. The scow’s mainsail dipped into the Bay, and we all held our breath till she righted. Scows were not designed for big winds, it would seem. BTW, I was told the Alma is a hay scow. Or was? Hay is rarely transported by boat now. Thanks for calling up the memory.

Nancy Dunn, Granby, Connecticut



From: Chris Candell (beardingline att.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--scow

For a number of years I was a volunteer crew member of Alma, the Hay Scow that your photo is a model of. Alma, built 1891, restored 1964ish, is the last surviving Hay Scow on San Francisco Bay and is still sailed on a regular basis. Once numbering in the hundreds they were the UPS delivery trucks in a time before bridges spanned the Bay and roads were poor. Being flat-bottomed and only drawing about 3-3.5 feet, scows could sit on the mud and load or unload and float off on the next tide.

She is berthed at San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park. The model is currently on board the ferryboat Eureka, built 1890, also part of SFMNHP. The model is located on the car deck which houses a collection of period cars, trucks, and other artifacts.

Chris Candell, Oakland, California



Email of the Week brought to you by Wise Up! -- The card game for not horrible people >

From: Janis Walworth (janis.walworth gmail.com)
Subject: A kiss can be a comma...

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A kiss can be a comma, a question mark, or an exclamation point. -Mistinguett, singer (3 Apr 1875-1956)

Or in these #MeToo days, it could be a whole sentence.

Janis Walworth, Bellingham, Washington



From: Stephanie Bissland (sbisslan alaska.net)
Subject: thew

I read Edgar Rice Burroughs books when I was young; Tarzan, John Carter, and the other heroes all had “mighty thews!”

Stephanie Bissland, Anchorage, Alaska



From: Joel Berg (jbergx gmail.com)
Subject: pelf

A well-known and apt use of “pelf” is found in Sir Walter Scott’s “Lay of the Last Minstrel”. It was quoted in “The Man without a Country”:

Despite his titles, power, and pelf
The wretch concentered all in self
Living shall forfeit fair renown
And doubly, dying shall go down
To the vile depths from which he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.

Joel Berg, Henderson, Nevada



From: David Calabrese (cuentodenada gmail.com)
Subject: Pelf

There is a fantastic, though lesser known, poem of Dorothy Parker’s that makes great use of today’s word. From the last stanza of “Song for the First of the Month”:

Hoard no pelf, lest moth and rust
Do their work and leave you flat.
Money? It is less than dust-
Laugh the landlord off with that!
(more)

David Calabrese, Madison, Wisconsin



From: Judith Judson (jjudson frontier.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--pelf

In 1930 the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was passed -- and amongst other stupidities it contained a ban on importing obscene material. Ogden Nash took the opportunity to write a hilarious “Invocation” which contains a delightful use of the word pelf.

Senator Smoot is an institute
Not to be bribed with pelf,
He saves our homes from erotic tomes,
By reading them all himself.

Smoot was “Republican, Ut” as Nash pointed out, and very sensitive about his polygamous Mormon ancestry, so promenaded his moral stance. The entire poem is very funny, but it contains mention of many prominent names which mean little or nothing today.

Judith Judson, Pittsford, New York



From: Steve Benko (stevebenko1 gmail.com)
Subject: Beheaded word sentence entry

Cold taunts bare tall fears.
old aunts are all ears.

Steve Benko, New York, New York



From: Cecile Bosman (cbosmannin gmail.com)
Subject: Sentence with trimmed hair

This prude slips open his rude lips’ pen: (image)

Cecile Bosman, Bredasdorp, South Africa



From: Clyde Platt (clyde_platt msn.com)
Subject: Trump praises flies

Trump praises flies.
Rump raises lies.

Clyde Platt, Fernie, Canada



From: Andrea Pelfrey (andrea_pelfrey bcbst.com)
Subject: Beheaded words

I don’t normally play the games, but these words have just been flitting into my head all week, so the only way to stop is to send it on and perhaps be done with it (so I can get back to work :)

The scow plowed along and dragged across the shallowed, aground.
The cow lowed long and ragged cross the hallowed ground.

Andrea W. Pelfrey, Chattanooga, Tennessee



From: Gabriel Horn (gabriel hornclan.com)
Subject: Sentences created by removing the first letter

Wire traps cleave women’s treading shoes around your farms.
Ire raps leave omens reading “hoes round our arms”.

Gabriel Horn, Charlotte, North Carolina



From: Scott James (thanadar aol.com)
Subject: Sentence that turns into another when each of its words are beheaded

The prigs fart prunes fearlessly.
He rigs art runes earlessly.

Scott James, Newfield, New York



From: Brigham Pettit (b.pettit336 edu.forneyisd.net)
Subject: beheaded words

“Amy, that’s simply terror!” Said I, preaching ‘bout.
My hats imply error; aid reaching out.

Brigham Pettit, Forney, Texas



From: Brett Houtz (via website comments)
Subject: beheaded words

The snow heats none.
He now eats one.

Brett Houtz



From: Robert Carleton (enchanted128 outlook.com)
Subject: Latin beheading

“Verus amicus amore more ore re cognoscitur.” Perhaps not the highest Latin, but I love the reduction of single letters from “amore” while continuing to define the subject: A true friend is known by affection, standards of behavior, words, and deeds. I’ve had it printed on a T-shirt that I often wear.

Robert Carleton, Albuquerque, New Mexico



From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: scow and pelf

In the spirit of this week’s word-theme featuring words that remain words after their heads, i.e., first letters, are lopped off, I offer up this admittedly slightly absurd scenario, highlighting both our word-of-the-day, “scow”, and its decapitated version “cow”. Couldn’t resist inserting popular TV cartoon character, Bart Simpson, tossing in one of his more familiar catch-phrases, “Don’t have a cow, man!” Curiously, if you decapitate “Bart” (not literally... Ha!), in removing the “B”, one arrives at the word “art”. Just sayin’.
scow pelf
Here, I’ve portrayed a pilfering elf, on the lam, having apparently stolen a sack of pelf from the royal coffers... the word “elf”, being the decapitated version of our word-of-the-day, “pelf”. Perchance, a budding mini-Robin Hood in the making, spreading the pelf?

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



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

Words that turn into other words when beheaded:
1. erose
2. scow
3. vaward
4. thew
5. pelf
= Then, the hard words w/o heads:
1. flower
2. bovine
3. statuette
4. chop
5. wanderer w/ sword
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)



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

Thanks to all limericists for sending their limericks. I don’t know how you do this, but I’m so glad you write those limericks on short notice and share them with readers. That said, there’s room for improvement. Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net), who shared his rules for limerick writing a few weeks ago, has kindly agreed to serve as the limerick editor. Below are his selections. Enjoy the limericks. If your limerick didn’t make the cut, don’t lose heart. Phil is going to share his feedback with you on how you can improve and we hope to see your limerick here soon.

For years I have cut my own hair,
I’ve sworn off the beautician’s chair.
The effect is erose
Because that’s how it grows,
Unruly, but hey, c’est la guerre.
-Willo Oswald, Portland, Oregon (willooswald gmail.com)

When he smiled other kids said, “Ooh, gross,”
‘cause his teeth were all brown and erose,
but a few years in braces
his sad mien replaces.
The lad is no longer morose.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Says she, “I am feeling morose,
‘cause your bites make my neck look so gross!”
Says Count D., “Just be glad
that they aren’t as bad
as they’d be were my teeth not erose!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The hobo when he’s viewed up close,
In dirty coat, tattered erose,
In town or in city,
Deserves our great pity.
Some kindness would lift his morose.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)


The old scow was made of cement,
Needing great thew wherever it went.
The rower one day
Was inspired to assay
“This barge isn’t worth a red cent.”
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

He may sail in a two-masted dhou,
in a clipper or even a scow,
but whatever the boat
any sailor afloat
will agree; sea’s the essence of Tao.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

A look of concern crossed his brow
When Bernadette boarded the scow.
“Though it’s quite rude to state,
Because of her weight
I fear that we’ll capsize about now.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)


How he loved sailing off in his scow,
Though it kept him afar from his frau.
With thrill of the sea
Less lonely he’d be
While she would stray far from her vow.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

“This meltdown is sinkin’ the Dow,”
Worried Dubya, “Like swampin’ a scow.
It’s one heckuva crisis,
And next’ll come ISIS,
But hey, won’t be me in the prow.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


There was once a young man, name of Howard,
Who was sometimes a bit of a coward.
Oh, the thought of great heights
Gave him scary frights,
He’d avoid every building’s front vaward.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Knights would clamor to fight in the vaward
of the battle. Not one was a coward.
We have heroes as brave
but not one has the flav-
or of those days when chivalry flowered.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

At the pageant, he sat in the vaward,
As the looks of the girls he devoured.
Then he said, “We’ll adjourn
To my room where you’ll earn
The grand prize if by Trump you’re deflowered.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Lost battle! A bit of a coward,
the chief sent a robot as vaward.
His plan went astray,
for ‘twas raining that day,
and the bot was (who knew?) solar-powered!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)


Said The Donald, “so what else is new?
I’m the pillar of strength with such thew.
Bills of goods I have sold,
But my name is still gold,
Those poor Dems, they just haven’t a clue.”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

He thinks he looks fresh as a daisy
As he says the young Beto is crazy.
What the pot calls the kettle
Shows a snivelling mettle,
His own thew’s erratic and hazy.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

On Vitruvian Man, every thew
Is just perfect, there’s nothing askew.
Said DaVinci, “My model
I chose not to swaddle;
His every appendage I drew.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

I can’t wait until Donald gets through.
He’s a yahoo without a worldview.
Orange hair is a mess
In need of headdress
And he also is lacking in thew.
-Joe Budd Stevens, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

Says wolf to the pigs, “Toodle-oo!
With excessive contesting I’m through.
All this huffing and puff
on my lungs has been rough --
and, like you, I have run out of thew!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)


A greedy old miser of wealth
Has his daily loot on a high shelf.
Every night he would count
His large worldly amount,
Which consisted of illegal pelf.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Integrity stays on the shelf.
He cares for no one but himself.
He can lie, steal, and cheat
without missing a beat
because his bottom line is his pelf.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Said Santa one day to an elf,
“Put that iPhone right back on the shelf.
For it’s meant as a gift,
People’s spirits to shift,
Not to sell dirty photos for pelf.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Our great nation’s cookie has crumbled.
To the wrong right the ball has been fumbled.
Hooked by a shark’s pelf,
We’ve hocked our best self;
Our home’s never been quite so humbled.
-Charles Harp, Victoria, Canada (texzenpro yahoo.com)



From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: These puns may beheaded for oblivion

You plant a seed, it sprouts and grows into a bush, then it gets pruned ...
“A rose is arose is erose.”

The jailboat with no signage made me ask, “Whose scow is this?”

Gladiators on de front lines were likely to be de vaward.

She wanted to go alone but her bodyguard insisted, “I’m going with thew.”

The sultan called his harem of androgynous slaves, “The Pats in my Pelf’ry.”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma



From: James Ertner (jde31459 gmail.com)
Subject: Words that be headed in the wrong direction

After the jogger tripped and fell on the ground, erose back up again.

As the Russian farmer said, while proudly pointing at two of his prized milk-producing animals, “This is my cow and the other one is Ma’s scow.”

Besides voodoo, can you think of any other vaward?

As one guy said to another, “So, what’s new with thew?”

The mischievous child (i.e., an imp) wanted to dress up like one of Santa’s helpers and sent an Instant Message request for ideas. Somehow he became known as an IM pelf.

Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You’ve got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body’s sermon on how to behave. -Billie Holiday, jazz singer and songwriter (7 Apr 1915-1959)

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