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Oct 20, 2019
This week’s theme
Words coined after days of the week

This week’s words
Friday face
Sunday punch
blue Monday
Sunday driver
girl Friday

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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There’s a word for it

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AWADmail Issue 903

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

Sponsor’s Message: We’ve finally become our own worst nightmare: a sell-out. Large anonymous corporation gets wind of One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game and wants to license it worldwide. We say sure, why not? Creativity, principles, artistic integrity, success on our own terms? Right out the window at the first sign of cash we’re happy to say. Seriously, we’re offering all AWADers, including Email of the Week winner, Rhonda Stroud (see below), 50% OFF our Special Dark Edition, while supplies last. Once this limited and lovely version of our best-selling cutthroat IQ contest is gone, it’s gone forever. So, smarten up (on the cheap) RIGHT AWAY >

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

An African-American Security Guard Asked a Student to Not Call Him the N-Word. That Request Got Him Fired
[What happened to the context? Or are we all just robots? -Ed.]

The Corporate Language Barrier
Non Sequitur

From: Peirce Hammond (peirceah.03.01 gmail.com)
Subject: Names for days of the week

Interesting how our (US) sense of the days has shifted. Quakers made a point of not celebrating particular days and calling them (as well as months) by numbers, which were thought not to be religious or named for pagan gods or goddesses.

We didn’t recognize that some months were already numbered, even though September, for example, was no longer the seventh month.

Peirce Hammond, Bethesda, Maryland

From: Charlie Cockey (czechpointcharlie gmail.com)
Subject: Days of the week

In some other European languages the days have completely different sources and meanings. Here they are in Czech, with approximate meanings attached:

Monday = pondělí = The Day After Sunday
Tuesday = úterý = The Second Day (after Sunday)
Wednesday = středa = The Middle Day
Thursday = čtvrtek = The Fourth Day (after Sunday)
Friday = pátek = The Fifth Day (after Sunday)
Saturday = sobota =The Sabbath Day
Sunday = neděle = The Do-No-Work Day

The following qualifies as “extra credit” information and can easily be skipped if not interested in the details.

Monday = pondělí, which is a compression of “po neděle”, which means “after Sunday”

Tuesday = úterý, from Old Czech “vteřy”, meaning “the second” (the word is still used occasionally, but not in conversation, having been supplanted by “druhý”)

Wednesday = středa , from “střed”, meaning “the middle, midpoint, or center”

Thursday = čtvrtek, from “čtyří”, meaning “four”

Friday = pátek, from “pět”, meaning “five”

Saturday = sobota, Sabbath

Sunday = nedělí, from combining the negative “ne” to “dělat”, meaning “to do” and “to work”, thus do no work.

(Coincidentally, Czech month names are also unlike most of the rest of European languages’ month names, being more tied in with annual cycles and events, such as January, “leden”, from “led” meaning ice, thus “the month/time of ice”.)

Your posts are my cuppa in the morning (particularly since I don’t drink coffee). Never stop.

Charlie Cockey, Bilovice nad Svitavou, Czech Republic

Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! -- Play mind games on the cheap NOW >

From: Rhonda Stroud (rstroud34 comcast.net)
Subject: Friday face

Not only were Fridays days of fasting, but in the “good old days” before those horrid unions existed and demanded two days off, Saturday was NOT a day of rest, it was another work day. The only day off was Sunday, so you could go to church. So Friday was really depressing.

Rhonda Stroud, Seattle, Washington

From: Patrick Melick (patrick.melick ametek.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Friday face

I understand the derivation but I think this should now be Monday Face.

Patrick Melick, Saugerties, New York

From: Linda Donahue (nonnalinda67 gmail.com)
Subject: Friday face

A similar expression in Italian is to have a face “as long as a day in Lent” (essere lungo come la quaresima), back when fasting was required.

Linda A. Donahue, Churchville, Pennsylvania

From: Steven Lipschultz (mrweevy yahoo.com)

Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace. -Dwight D. Eisenhower, US general and 34th president (14 Oct 1890-1969)

WRT ATFT, here’s my plan for us in the US: We take our entire national budget, education, interior, social security, everything, and give it all to the War, I mean, Defense Department. $4T. And then, finally, once and for all, we can eliminate evil and bring order to the galaxy.

Steve Lipschultz, Truckee, California

From: Alan Sanders (alan1400 verizon.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Sunday punch

A related usage is to knock one out from “here ‘till Sunday” so I think that the “’till the following week” explanation with Sunday punch comports with this.

Alan Sanders, West Orange, New Jersey

From: Gray Frierson Haertig (gfh haertig.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Sunday punch

There used to be and perhaps still is (alas) a phrase, “I’ll smack you so hard it will knock you into next Sunday.” Perhaps that sheds some additional light on Sunday punch.

When I was a kid in the ’50s, one of the mainstays of Friday night television programming was Gillette’s Cavalcade of Sports, which mostly featured boxing. Perhaps it was indicative of the decline in the manliness of the American male since 1915, that by the ‘50s, a Sunday punch was only good for 48 hours instead of a full week!

Gray Frierson Haertig, Portland, Oregon

From: Allan Prentice (allan.e.prentice gmail.com)
Subject: Sunday punch

For me, Sunday punch was always giving it your best shot. On Sunday, one dressed up in one’s Sunday best clothes to go to Church, and Sunday dinner after Church was the most elaborate meal of the week.

Allan Prentice, Eugene, Oregon

From: Don Fearn (pooder charter.net)
Subject: Wanting to be praised all the time

I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (15 Oct 1844-1900)

I cannot trust a President who wants to be praised all the time. -Me, citizen (b. 30 Sep 1953)

Don Fearn, Rochester, Minnesota

From: Eric Miller (ericmiller1957 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--blue Monday

In German, “ein blauer Montag” (a blue Monday) is one that you take off from work. Its origins lie in the medieval dyers, who would hang their blue-dyed cloth out to dry on a Saturday, then take Monday off from work to give it extra time to dry. (Apparently, blue dye took longer than the others.) The neighbors knew from the blue cloth that the dyers were not working that day. By extension, “blau machen” (to “do blue”) has come to mean any time taken off from work or school, although now generally without permission from the boss or teacher.

Eric Miller, Norwich, Vermont

From: Cindy Lamb (lambscribe aol.com)
Subject: blue Monday

Blue Monday is a creme candy tradition in Kentucky. It is one of the most delicious treats and I don’t have a big sweet tooth. Growing up in the rural part of the state, my grandmother would always refer to Mondays as blue Mondays or washing day. It involved a lot of work for soaking, scrubbing, stretching, and drying and the harsh soaps would often leave your hands and forearms with a blue tinge. Anyway, here is the link to our famous Ruth Hunt Candies in south central Kentucky.

Cindy Lamb, Louisville, Kentucky

From: Nadine Smith (ns08836 gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--blue Monday

In English we use a lot of blue: blue-chip stocks, blue-sky stocks (don’t buy them), blue-collar workers, blue-blooded ancestors (yours maybe; not mine), blue-nosed folks (prudes), folks who swear a blue streak, and blue stockings (folks with intellectual inclinations). Lovers should always be true blue. In our country it’s not good to feel blue,, but the bluebird of happiness)? Blue. In Brazil, if you’re blue, it means everything’s great (todo azul).

Nadine Smith, Phoenix, Arizona

From: Pontus Hedberg (pontus.hedberg gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--blue Monday

Even though we’ve now (also) adopted the English meaning of blue Monday in Swedish, the traditional blå måndag in Sweden is the Monday of the last week of Lent, i.e., the week following Palm Sunday and ending with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, etc. In some parts of Sweden Blue Monday is called Black Monday.

Blåa måndagen is followed by vita tisdagen (White Tuesday), dymmelonsdagen (Clapper Wednesday, from the tradition to replace the metal clapper with a wooden one in church bells to reduce the sound made when ringing during holy week), skärtorsdagen (Maundy Thursday, from skär which is an old word for pure/beautiful/clear, also used in skärseld, the Swedish word for purgatory) and långfredagen (Long Friday, i.e., Good Friday).

Pontus Hedberg, Uppsala, Sweden

From: Jan Breemer (jan breem.nl)
Subject: blue Monday

A few months ago you had the item blue moon. In Dutch, we know the “blauwe maandag” in the meaning of “having worked for a company for a very short time”. The saying has no positive or negative association for the reason it was such a short stay.

Jan Breemer, Kesteren, Netherlands

From: Dov Bensimon (dovbensimon gmail.com)
Subject: blue Monday

For many Montrealers and baseball fans elsewhere, this term brings back memories of Rick Monday’s infamous home run on 19 Oct 1981. That hit propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers to the World Series that year and quashed the Montreal Expos dreams of their first World Series. The Montreal franchise was never to play in a World Series during its existence. Interestingly, the franchise became the Washington Nationals as of the 2005 season and just this week qualified for the 2019 World Series.

Dov Bensimon, Montreal, Canada

From: Topi Linkala (nes iki.fi)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Sunday driver

In summertime in Finland, Sunday driving is not leisurely driving. It’s frantic driving amongst hundreds of others to get back from the summer cottage to the city apartment, so that come Monday you can get back to work.

I remember one summer Sunday in the late ‘70s when our family (sans my elder sister) were returning from our summer cottage in middle Finland back to Helsinki. My father was driving and I, with my gangly legs, was the navigator; mum and little sister, both with smaller statures, were in the back. We came down to the main highway between Jyväskylä and Lahti from a very scenic route over Päijänne lake and, when father saw the line going toward Lahti, he turned back to Jyväskylä and told me to get the maps out. So I navigated us using three- and four-numbered roads back to Helsinki, and it was a beautiful route. We noticed that some other drivers had made the same decision. And that was Sunday driving at its best. It took two or three hours more to get home but the driving was, as my father put it, pleasurable because you had to steer all the time. No straight roads on that route until we got to the outskirts of Helsinki.

Topi Linkala, Helsinki, Finland

From: Mike Deutsch (mike.deutsch its.ny.gov)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Sunday driver

Among us motorsports enthusiasts, the term Sunday driver holds a different connotation. Most racing events, at least for the more popular series, are held on Sunday. Out on the track, those “Sunday drivers” actually travel quite fast (over 200 mph at Talladega last week). Seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt owned a yacht called “Sunday Money”, so named because the funds he used to buy it were generally earned on that day of the week. A traditional Sunday driver he was not!

Mike Deutsch, Albany, New York

From: David McKenzie (david.mckenzie networkrail.co.uk)
Subject: Re: Sunday driver

Interesting that the term “Sunday Driver” has 1877 as its first documented use, eight years before the motor car was invented in 1885! Presumably it initially referred to a horse and cart driver (or train driver?)

David McKenzie, London, UK

The Oxford English Dictionary lists the following from Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty as the first documented use of the term: “if you Sunday drivers would all strike for a day of rest, the thing would be done.”
-Anu Garg

From: Bob Richmond (rsrichmond gmail.com)
Subject: Quakers and days of the week

Sunday is the first day of the week according to the biblical creation myth. Quakers in the later 1600s stopped using the traditional names of the weeks and months because they were pagan, and numbered the days of the week. (Several modern European languages do the same.) Thus Sunday is “First Day”. This Quaker “plain speech” is no longer much in use, but a Quaker meeting’s instruction for children is still called a “First Day School”.

Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee

From: James Ertner (jde31459 gmail.com)
Subject: girl Friday

Did you know that Robinson Crusoe was one of the most efficient people in history? He had all of his work done by Friday.

Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Friday face and blue Monday

Here, clueless, yet lovable, Homer Simpson has taken “casual Friday” to the extreme. Talk about dressing down for the occasion. His boss, Mr. Burns, is hardly amused. More like bemused. Homer interprets Burns’s frowning expression as a down-in-the-dumps visage, i.e., a Friday face, when in reality, his boss is trying his best to contain his mounting ire, totally at a loss for words. In Homer’s simple mind, his Fruit-of-the-Loom tidy-whities make for the perfect article of “casual Friday” office outerwear. If Madonna can get away with it (pointy, conical bra-top), why not Homer? Ha! Pass the donuts!

Friday Face Blue Monday
In this throwback to the 1960s Rock&Roll/Folk Rock era, I’ve taken the liberty of altering the intro lyric to that motley band of talented “California Dreamers”... the Mamas & Papas’ early mega-hit ballad, “Monday, Monday”, befitting one of our weekday-derived words (phrases) of the week. My Froggy character, in faux hippie guise, tosses out the authentic “Monday, Monday” followup lyric-line... “Can’t trust that day.” Now, “Manic Monday”* is a whole different story. Not to mention... “Ruby Tuesday”.**
*“Manic Monday”, released in 1986, was the first major hit single of the American pop rock group, The Bangles.
**“Ruby Tuesday”... a 1967 Rolling Stones Billboard No. 1 hit single. The B, or flip-side, was “Let’s Spend the Night Together”... for you non-Stones aficionados.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

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

1. Friday face
2. Sunday punch
3. blue Monday
4. Sunday driver
5. girl Friday
1. grim and busy
2. very painful
3. cry day
4. dad’s unhurried
5. an office lady
     Words coined after days of the week
1. Friday face
2. Sunday punch
3. blue Monday
4. Sunday driver
5. girl Friday
1. sorry, saddened you
2. dynamic bop
3. weekly downer
4. vehicular fury/rage inducer
5. handy staff distaff aid
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

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

Thank goodness it’s not commonplace
anymore to wear grim Friday face.
Now, with weekend in sight,
our outlook is bright,
and Friday’s a day we embrace!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When it comes to the matter of race,
Here’s a fact we just cannot erase:
Talk about immigration,
There is no limitation
To the President’s glum Friday face.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

A glum Friday face, weekend nigh,
Made her happier colleagues ask, “Why?”
“I have hit dire straits;
For the new hire’s mates,”
She replied, “hacked my password. They’re sly!”
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

The boss wears a grim Friday face
And constantly gets on my case.
Whenever I’m late,
That grump is irate --
I’ve got to get out of that place!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Giuliani’s his legal big cheese,
Always rambling and shooting the breeze.
There isn’t a trace
Of Trump’s Friday face
When Rudy puts problems at ease.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

The man whom I wanted to marry
Was a grump who with girls wouldn’t tarry.
But his glum Friday face
I found ways to erase;
Now his unborn bambino I carry.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpmarlin456 gmail.com)

Though I flee into dark cyberspace,
Still I see my wife’s grim Friday face.
Everywhere that I browse
Are those two raised eyebrows;
From that stare there is no hiding place.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Says the weatherman, “Now for a bunch
of temp’ratures. I’ve got a hunch
they’re sure gonna ruin
whatever you’re doin’
this week. It’s a real Sunday punch!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

She can take a Sunday punch better
Than many who are out to get her.
Not sitting on a shelf,
Believing in herself,
She is always a fierce go-getter.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

I spotted a roach on the floor,
A pest that I loathe and abhor.
A great Sunday punch
Made him go crunch --
He’ll now be a bother no more.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Cassius Clay had a great Sunday punch.
Took him far -- way ahead of the bunch.
Then Muhammad Ali
came and stung like a bee
and ate every opponent for lunch.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Though a Sunday punch frequently floors him,
A smile from the boss soon restores him.
Pence keeps nodding and grinning
At the wild tale-spinning
While he acts like he truly adores him.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

The boxer, he had a great hunch
When he landed a Sunday punch,
For he saw the flaw
Of his foe’s glass jaw.
His opponent is now “out to lunch”.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“We’ll give Biden our best Sunday punch,”
Toasted Rudy one day over lunch.
“To our friends in Kiev!”
Answered Igor and Lev,
But that night found themselves in a crunch.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“We cannot believe our own ears!”
cry the workers when boss declares, “Cheers!
In lieu of blue Monday,
it’s overdue fun day.
Sit down, and let’s have a few beers!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Another blue Monday has come;
It’s back to the workplace for some.
Retirees don’t share
This Monday despair --
They’re carefree and seldom feel glum.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Of the days of the week it’s the one day
not considered a jolly or fun day,
unless, by some quirk,
you’re in love with your work.
But for most of us it’s still blue Monday.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“Tomorrow’s another blue Monday,”
Sighed the priest, “but today was a fun day.
Though my ultimate joy
Is a nice choir boy,
Till next weekend, I’ll with a young nun play.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Says her fam’ly to Gran, “Don’t you know
that your driving’s too cautious, too slow?”
“This slow Sunday driver
is Monday’s survivor,”
says she, “as I learned long ago!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A poor Sunday driver I know
Prefers an excursion that’s slow.
Behind her horns beep,
And some people weep,
“For Pete’s sake, old lady, let’s go!”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Whenever in my car I go,
I’m always behind someone slow.
If I had a fiver,
For each Sunday driver,
I’d hire a limo, you know.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Donald, “I’m no Sunday driver;
I’m a genius and need no adviser.
Where angels won’t tread,
I rush full speed ahead
To the hymns of the Fox and Friends choir.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

He requested a beer. His girl Friday
refused to comply. In her sly way,
she said, “Sorry, boss,
no hitting the sauce!
Your Friday’s declared this a dry day!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

“I need a girl Friday!” he said,
“To do all the chores that I dread --
To type and to file,
Serve food with a smile,
And deal with the printer that’s dead.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Sinatra, “To be my girl Friday,
You must learn to do everything my way.”
“I’ve done many a job
For your friends in the mob,”
She replied, “but I won’t any guy lay.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Weak daze of puns

Falling face down in a hot skillet will Friday face.

If you leave it in the Sunday punch will spoil.

I was so hungover that I blue Monday off.

The first time I saw Minnie act I said, “Sunday Driver will be a star!”

If you wash your cat Thursday night it will make it girl Friday.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

A society which is mobile, which is full of channels for the distribution of a change occurring anywhere, must see to it that its members are educated to personal initiative and adaptability. Otherwise, they will be overwhelmed by the changes in which they are caught and whose significance or connections they do not perceive. -John Dewey, philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer (20 Oct 1859-1952)

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