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Jul 14, 2019
This week’s theme
Words that aren’t what they appear to be

This week’s words

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Words originating in the moon

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AWADmail Issue 889

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

Sponsor’s Message: Are you looking for the perfect present for know-it-all dads and grads? The Official Old’s Cool Education is “The Holy Trinity of wit, knowledge, and fun and games”, and is chock-a-block full of gee-whiz, Shakespeare, history, soap-making, sports, anecdotes and quotes, Price’s Law, and diamonds and pearls of wisdom. We’re offering this week’s Email of the Week winner, Claude Galinsky (see below), as well as all the what-do-I-get-the-man-who-has-everything AWADers a “Buy Two, Get Three” special through midnight Monday. Gift problems solved >

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

Call Me “They”
The New York Times

English Is the Cricket World Cup’s Universal Language of Last Resort
The Guardian

Want a Truly Mind-Expanding Experience? Learn Another Language
The Guardian

From: Lawrence Crumb (lcrumb uoregon.edu)
Subject: Iceland/Greenland

There is a once-popular missionary hymn that begins “From Greenland’s icy mountains,” which Dr. Spooner https://wordsmith.org/words/spoonerism.html is supposed to have called “From Iceland’s greasy mountains.” I am told by a Danish historian that Iceland is in Europe but Greenland is in North America. The first diocese in North America was thus Greenland, in the 12th century (no longer in existence).

Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, Oregon

From: Eric Mack (ewm44118 yahoo.com)
Subject: Leif Erikson

When Leif Erikson returned from one of his voyages, it was just before Election Day. He appeared at the polls on the appropriate day, only to learn he was not eligible to vote. He asked the elections supervisor to check the register again. The registrar did so and apologized, “I must have taken Leif off my census.”

Eric Mack, Jerusalem, Israel

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

Thomas A. Bass’ fascinating book The Eudaemonic Pie tells the story of the Eudaemons (a group of physics grad students) in the late 1970s. They beat the odds at roulette using tiny computers hidden in their platform shoes. The casinos did not share the pie (i.e., the happiness of winning).

Claude Galinsky, Boxborough, Massachusetts

From: Stephen Horvat (shorvat aklawfirm.com)
Subject: roadstead/roads

So, that explains Hampton Roads?


Stephen Horvat, Salt Lake City, Utah

From: Nancy James (james.nancye7 gmail.com)
Subject: Royal Roads

Yes, Royal Roads, the water off Victoria, BC, Canada. The name was confusing, until now.

Nancy James, Peterborough, Canada

From: Paul G Ross (paul.g.ross.gszh statefarm.com)
Subject: roadstead

Being a former Navy-man, “roads” was very familiar as it is found on charts all over the world for the same meaning. Usually a suitable area for anchoring less sheltered than an actual harbor.

Also the International Regulations for the Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) are called the “Rules of the Road”.

It does appear that roads predates roadstead, landlubbers never get things right.

Paul Ross, Pembroke Pines, Florida

From: Glenn Biddlecombe (glenn.biddlecombe gmail.com)

Subject: sudarium

You wrote: “You might think a sudarium is a collection of something or a place to hold a collection and you’d be wrong ... a sudarium is simply a piece of cloth.”

Sounds to me like a place to hold a collection of boogers.

Glenn Biddlecombe, Canberra, Australia

From: Leo Walker (lwalker48 sc.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--sudarium

I would have thought it a proper modern word for a sauna bath!

Leo Walker, Columbia, South Carolina

From: Bob Richmond (rsrichmond gmail.com)
Subject: sudarium

Sudarium is a word used four times in the New Testament, basically a handkerchief, but also a cloth placed over the face of the dead, as in John 20:7, where after Jesus’ resurrection the sudarium is found apart from the shroud.

I learned sudarium from the Easter hymn “Victimae Paschali laudes”:

angelicos testes
sudarium et vestes

(No, angels don’t have balls, not even St. Michael, the word means witnesses.)

Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee

From: Barrie Avis (barrie.d.a gmail.com)
Subject: Sudarium

For years I have salvaged, foraged and inherited vintage handkerchiefs. I carry one in my left pocket, or tucked into my left boot if I am not wearing pockets, (rare, because I shy away from clothing that doesn’t have pockets) and I have lost a few over the years when I gave one to someone in need or the fabric just plain wore out. It is a most treasured accessory, useful for comforting children, stanching a wound, drying one’s hands, soaking and applying to one’s hot forehead, dabbing one’s nose ... even tying around a rock and a note and slinging over tall walls. Now I will refer to it as my sudarium, which sounds so much more appropriate than hankie, in view of my regard for this essential article!

Barrie Avis, Westminster, California

From: Kate Cook (via website comments)
Subject: Bring back the sudarium!

Well please, folks, let’s bring the sudarium back into popular usage. Not enough people carry them and instead we’re wasting resources on those disposable tissues. Kleenex made us believe we were somehow better off with a disposable product. Maybe the hankie needs rebranding. Use the word! Use the product! Save the trees! Now, what’s the plural? Go get yourself a week’s worth of sudaria today! Tell your friends.

Kate Cook

From: Michael Poxon (mike starman.co.uk)
Subject: sudariums (sudarii?)

I am an astronomer and when young was given an antique book A Cycle of Celestial Objects written in 1844. Not only did this contain lots of “sky-objects” but a host of associated antiquarian and cultural topics also. One of the objects was said to have been near the place where an old observer fancied he had seen the Napkin of Saint Veronica and there was also an illustration of the napkin (suitably dotted with stars) of the sudarium.

Michael Poxon, Norwich, UK

From: Peter Gross (plgrossmd gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--sudarium

Pseudarium: The official compendium of lies of the Trump administration. (Please allow two weeks for delivery; shipped by freight)

Peter Gross, MD, Falls Church, Virginia

From: Marielle Gomez-Kaifer, PhD (mariellegk gmail.com)
Subject: barrendipity

Thought you might be interested in the word barrendipity, which means not finding something where you expect it (ice in Iceland, green in Greenland, hamburgers in in Hamburg, etc.)

Marielle Gomez-Kaifer, PhD, Coral Gables, Florida

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Eudemonic and tradecraft

Intrigued by our word “eudemonic”, I intuitively homed in on the “demonic” aspect of this unfamiliar word, conjuring an admittedly devilishly absurd campfire scenario. Here, down-in-the-dumps Satan’s winged she-devil companion, with her entreaty “Don’t worry, be eudemonic!”, echoes the title of the 1988 Reggae-infused a capella song by Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. Perhaps the small cohort, out there, of aficionados of the brilliant engraved illustrations of the French artist Gustave DorĂ©, particularly his masterful 1861 folio of etchings for Dante’s “Inferno”, might well be puzzled by my depiction of a satanic marshmallow roast in Hades. Nonetheless, one would think that munching on these ultimately charred-to-a-crisp confections might cheer up sad sack Satan. But clearly, he’s fallen into a hellish funk that not even comforting words from his companion she-demon nor scorched marshmallow treats can assuage.

Who’d ‘ave thunk it? That a hugely popular, late-’60s campy espionage-based TV sitcom, “Get Smart”, with its wacko repertoire of seemingly outlandish tradecraft, would be the unwitting precursor of today’s “SMART” techno revolution? Granted, the show’s hilarious concept of agent Maxwell Smart’s shoe-phone never really took off. But it might be argued that the dedicated, yet bumbling CONTROL agent Smart’s phone-watch could be viewed as the prototype for the multipurpose SMART or Google Watch of the new millennium. Here, agent Smart answers a call on his trusty shoe-phone, while his loyal partner in crime-sleuthing, Agent 99, played by former high-fashion-model-turned actress, Barbara Feldon, activates her faux cosmetic compact... a clandestine mini-phone. Gives a whole new meaning to the expression “Take a powder!” Ha!

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words
Words that aren’t what they appear to be:
1. eudemonic
2. tradecraft
3. roadstead
4. sudarium
5. otherguess
1. attract happiness
2. document, army data
3. trusted refuge
4. sweat headwear
5. a brotherhood outsider
     Words that aren’t what they appear to be
1. eudemonic
2. tradecraft
3. roadstead
4. sudarium
5. otherguess
1. about cheer
2. added spy modus
3. situate watercraft where the armada tied up
4. snot-rag
5. another sort
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

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

Booms sonic and illnesses chronic,
colonics and lectures laconic,
I try to avoid.
But my spirits are buoyed
when I think about things eudemonic.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

My best friend is for me eudemonic,
My relief for all woes, brief or chronic.
When my world’s heading south,
And I’m down at the mouth,
I just call her and say, “You da tonic!”
-Vara Devaney, Damascus, Maryland (varadevaney att.net)

A dog’s eudemonic to me;
I just love every one that I see.
It’s the ultimate pet:
What you see’s what you get!
Unlike people, there’s no mystery.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

He feels that his phone’s eudemonic
And loves this device electronic.
He fondles that phone,
Won’t leave it alone,
Yet swears this affair’s just platonic.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Eudemonic was often the mood
Of a lass who was happiest nude.
So she spent all the fall
Wearing nothing at all;
When it rained, she was fully bedewed.
-Gordon Tully, Charlottesville, Virginia (gordon.tully gmail.com

To be Veep is Mike Pence’s big chance
To enjoy eudemonic bromance.
His glance is adoring,
Eyes sweetly imploring,
Half-shut in a hypnotic trance.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

When you’re stressed, and depressed, not okay,
And you find that things don’t go your way,
To become eudemonic,
Like an old fashioned tonic,
Try to help someone else every day.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

The song of a bird’s eudemonic;
To me it sounds sweetly symphonic.
So I bought parakeets
To be cheered by their tweets,
But my kitty is looking sardonic.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpmarlin456 gmail.com)

“This right we today hold canonic:
To be free for pursuits eudemonic,”
Thomas Jefferson wrote,
But it caught in his throat,
And he settled on words more iconic.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Again with their tradecraft they’re at it,
For espionage is their habit.
Despots want a big piece
of the pie more than peace,
And a war they are risking, dagnabbit!!
-Mariana G. Warner, Asheville, North Carolina (marianaw6002 gmail.com)

About Snowden, not all would agree;
Or Manning, who bargained a plea.
For engaging in tradecraft,
They’ve both hit a downdraft:
One’s Russian, the other a she.
-Bill Pfeil, Bang Saphan Noi, Thailand (billpfeil yahoo.com)

“Ven you asked us to cover zat overdraft,”
Scolded Vlad, “Eet vas not such good tradecraft.
Now you say zey hunt weetch?
Donald, head for ze beach
And ve’ll exfiltrate you vith a life raft.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

They were sailing, when down from the skies
came a menacing swarm of mean flies.
“We’ll head for that roadstead,
and pick up some toads,” said
the captain, “to flies gormandize!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

There was anger in Greece when that boy
Called Paris stole Helen t’enjoy;
So each Greek took his ship
On a northerly trip,
Found a roadstead and sacked poor old Troy.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

That roadstead’s a popular spot
For many a millionaire’s yacht.
“Please do come ashore,”
The locals implore,
“And spend every cent that you’ve got!”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Come down to my yacht in the roadstead,”
Said Jeff Epstein to Trump, “You’ll be well fed.
On the menu for lunch
I’ve imported a bunch
Of cute 14-year-olds on a water bed.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

In olden days, girls dropped a hanky,
inviting, perhaps, hanky-panky.
‘Twas called a sudarium.
Now, they don’t carry ‘em.
Tissues are neater, less skanky.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The movie was not eudemonic,
Its score a sad minor harmonic.
A real three sudarium,
My tears an aquarium,
With praise from the critics laconic.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

That linen sudarium’s nice,
But not when it’s used more than twice.
You want me to kiss you?
Well, switch to a tissue!
For my sake, please take this advice.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Each day at New York’s planetarium,
A young lady would drop her sudarium.
She was hoping to snare
An astronomer there;
“If he’s gallant,” she thought, “I will marry him.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Trump told Pence, “I am under duress,
For no matter how hard that I press,
The Dems think I’m unfit
They all wish I would quit,
It’s my affect that’s just otherguess.”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

When voters he sought to impress,
He boasted of business success.
They thought him quite able --
A genius who’s stable!
Instead he’s an otherguess mess.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“You haven’t the patience for chess,”
He declared, “Girls can’t handle the stress.”
But in moves only eight
Little me called, “Checkmate!”
Now he’s into board games otherguess.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“Och aye, I’ll not marry in Inverness,”
Said a lassie well known to be otherguess.
“As ye ken, I’m a Buddhist
And also a nudist;
Tibet’s me idea, wi’ no weddin’ dress.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: What else are puns but

words that aren’t what they appear to be?

If you rob a Jamaican eudemonic comes running after.

In olden days, pirates used tradecraft loaded with treasure.

That squirrel in the roadstead. Very.

Susan is our milkmaid. When we buy cows we let sudarium.

In my nightmare, Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer were invited to be on Jeopardy! and I was the otherguess.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

We can still holler and shout but we have to light the lamps that shed the light on corruption, injustice, ineptitude and abuse of power. When we do, you will see the villains scurry into the woodwork the way roaches do when you turn on the light. -Frank Serpico, police officer and whistleblower (b. 14 Apr 1936)

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