Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Jun 14, 2020
This week’s theme
Words having origins in rivers

This week’s words
Yarra-banker
Klondike
Rubicon
meander
Niagara

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

AWADmail archives
Index

Next week’s theme
Words made with combining forms

Send a gift that
keeps on giving,
all year long:
A gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day or the gift of books
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share

AWADmail Issue 937

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

Sponsor’s Message: Coronavirus got you down? Feeling cooped up? Going stir crazy? WISE UP! -- is the perfect cure for cabin fever -- it’s a Wicked/Smart Party Card Game that asks tons of devilishly difficult questions that’ll give you know-it-alls plenty of life lessons in humility, history, sports, science, literature, and geography. And wit. For example: Everyone knows the First and Second Amendments -- what’s the Third? Sleeping Beauty’s real name? How long is a furlong? But beware, there’s also a slew of “challenge” cards that chuck Darwinian physical and mental wrenches into the works, e.g., “Throw this card on the floor and pick it up without using your hands.” Just what the doctor ordered, especially for this week’s Email of the Week Winner, Jay Florey (see below), and hunkered-down brainiacs everywhere. WISE UP! NOW.



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

Language Is a Telling Clue to Unacknowledged Racial Attitudes
The Economist
Permalink

Language Is Part of the Machinery of Oppression -- Just Look at How Black Deaths Are Described
The Guardian
Permalink

A Missouri Woman Got Merriam-Webster to Agree to Update Its Definition of Racism
The Root
Permalink

Does Speaking English Spread Coronavirus Quicker?
Popular Mechanics
Permalink

How Language Is Bringing Down Donald Trump
The Hill
Permalink

In a Fascinating Twist, Animals That Do Math Also Understand More Language Than We Think
ScienceAlert
Permalink



From: Kiko Denzer (potlatch cmug.com)
Subject: rivers

Worth noting, I think, especially now, in a world rife with conflict, that “rival” also originates on the banks of the river, and referred to the relationship between people or peoples who shared the same gift of flowing water... Water shapes both human and animal behavior, but humans of the capitalist persuasion have made water into property and commodity. In the western US in particular, “water rights” were defined so as to allow a few “owners” to exclude all rivals, destroying rivers and rivals equally -- a story I first encountered in Wallace Stegner’s Beyond The Hundreth Meridian.

Kiko Denzer, Blodgett, Oregon



From: John Burnet (johnburnet6 bigpond.com)
Subject: Yarra-banker

Wonga Park, Australia
Having lived in Melbourne and close to the Yarra River for more than 70 years I was delighted to see it referenced in today’s word.

As late as the mid-1950s men would stand on small mounds beside the Yarra, about a mile upstream from the image shown in your article, to debate the issues of the day. My brother and I, aged about 10 and 12, would catch a train from Heidelberg and spend most of a Sunday morning enthralled with listening to the various points of view, the politics and religious ideologies espoused and with the heated arguments amongst the crowd. “I went to Melbourne University!” was a common claim by one Yarra-banker, which was inevitably responded with “Yeah, you pedalled through on a bike.” The area was cleaned up for the construction of Melbourne’s sporting precinct and Olympics in 1956 and the orators disappeared.

I now live 30 kms upstream from the city, 200 m from the Yarra, and today was delighted to show our visitors a wombat contentedly eating grass by the river bank, together with the many kangaroos in our area. Here’s a photo taken from our back veranda.

John Burnet, Wonga Park, Australia
(Wonga Park - named after Billy Wonga, born nearby in 1824 and who, at 10 years of age, attended the ‘purchase of land’ between Melbourne founder John Batman and local aborigines and who became a prominent aboriginal elder statesman.)




From: Allen Edwards (allenval bigpond.com)
Subject: Yarra-banker

Thanks for memories enlivened! I’ve lived 56 of my 78 years in Melbourne, Australia. I remember, from my youth, seeing and hearing(!) some of those Yarra-bankers. They were mostly so-called “gospel” preachers or political activists. Some of them could be quite entertaining, and often helped young uni students looking for some entertainment on an otherwise empty sunny Sunday afternoon!

I can’t say I’ve seen any Yarra-bankers in recent years, but I still enjoy living in this very easy-to-like city. There are some “other” Australian denizens who might denigrate our Yarra by referring to it as Melbourne’s “upside-down river”, because of its brown colour!

Allen Edwards, Melbourne, Australia



From: Brian Barratt (umbidas tpg.com.au)
Subject: Yarra-banker

In Melbourne, we call the Yarra the river that flows upside down. It is brown. The mud is on the top.

Brian Barratt, Melbourne, Australia



From: Brian J Balk (brian.balk state.mn.us)
Subject: O’Dowd still relevant today

USAGE:
“There were many jokes about the draftsman [and poet Bernard O’Dowd] who was so pedantic about the right place for a comma and yet could write exuberantly about the Yarra-banker in the May Day procession keeping step with Christ.”
Victor Kennedy and Nettie Palmer; Bernard O’Dowd; Melbourne University Press; 1954.

I had never heard of Bernard O’Dowd, and I found a few of his poems online.

These two stanzas of his seem particularly relevant today:

That culture, joy and goodliness
Be th’ equal right of all:
That Greed no more shall those oppress
Who by the wayside fall:

That each shall share what all men sow:
That colour, caste’s a lie:
That man is God, however low --
Is man, however high.

Brian Balk, St Paul, Minnesota



From: Bob Cairns (robert.cairns401 btinternet.com)
Subject: Klondike

Two examples from Scotland of how the fame of the Klondyke spread far and wide. A new coal mine opened in Midlothian in the late 1890s and was named the Klondyke, as it was a very large and profitable seam of coal. And factory ships, often from Eastern Europe, which bought large quantities of fish from Scottish fishermen were known as Klondykers.

Bob Cairns, Perth, UK



From: Michael Paré (michael.pare sympatico.ca)
Subject: Klondike River

The Klondike River, from which today’s word is taken, has an interesting etymology. According to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, it is derived from the Gwich’in word “thronduik”, hammer water, with reference to the salmon-trapping practice of driving stakes into the river bottom. The Gwich’in are a Dene (Athabaskan)-speaking people whose traditional territory includes most of northern Yukon and parts of Alaska and the Northwest Territories.

Michael Paré, Ottawa, Canada



Gold rush poster.jpg
From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: Klondike

And who can forget Charlie Chaplin’s memorable take on the Yukon Gold Rush of 1896-1899 in the film The Gold Rush (95 min.)?

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada



From: Helen Bailey (bluedacnis14 gmail.com)
Subject: Klondike

Klondike is also a favorite solitaire game. It is suggested in Wikipedia that prospectors invented it during the gold rush. My solitaire preference is Yukon, perhaps derived from and named similarly to Klondike.

Helen Bailey, Littleton, Massachusetts



From: Mary Postellon (mpostellon hotmail.com)
Subject: Klondike

A favorite treat of my late husband’s was the Klondike bar, like him a native of Pittsburgh. “A rich source of something valuable” indeed -- delicious ice cream covered in exactly the right proportion of chocolate. One bite would take him straight back to his childhood.

Mary Postellon, Grand Rapids, Michigan



From: Curtis Reeves (creeves alumni.usc.edu)
Subject: Klondike

Frederick Trump, paternal grandfather of Trump, spent a short time in the Klondike region during its gold rush. He operated a restaurant and brothel near Bennett, British Columbia, and another restaurant and brothel in White Horse, Yukon Territory.

Ironically, he died at age 49 in New York of the Spanish flu.

Curtis D. Reeves, Fresno, California



From: Laura Berton (l.n.berton gmail.com)
Subject: Klondike

My grandfather, Pierre Berton, was a writer and historian originally from Dawson City, Yukon, and wrote about the Klondike gold rush. Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush, 1896-1899 is one of his most famous book titles.

He is no longer alive, but I know that he’d be completely tickled that the word Klondike has been featured here.

Laura Berton, Toronto, Canada



From: Lauri Holmes (lauriholmes gmail.com)
Subject: Klondike

My husband and I were in the Czech Republic in 1990 to study how mental health services were changing after the fall of the Soviet Union, when the formerly all-government programs had collapsed and private services were being created. Our hosts, psychologists and psychiatrists and social workers, referred to the era as the Klondike, because these agencies were all rushing to become recipients of the “gold” that would be available to them.

Lauri Holmes, Kalamazoo, Michigan



From: Sally Stretch (sestretch mweb.co.za)
Subject: Crossing the Rubicon

To any South African, the Rubicon is forever associated with former president PW Botha. On August 15, 1985, the then-president addressed the National Party in Natal. He was expected to give a speech which would turn around the South African crisis that had worsened after the outbreak of uprisings in the townships in September 1984, and that, to this end, he would announce the introduction of major reforms, including the abolition of the notorious apartheid system and the release of Nelson Mandela. Due to these expectations, the speech was broadcast to a huge international audience. But it did none of these. Instead, Botha projected himself as the uncompromising leader of a white minority determined to fight to the end for its survival.

A line in Botha’s speech, “Today we have crossed the Rubicon”, promptly became the object of scorn and ridicule. Today it is still a major question why Botha refused to give a speech that the world would have considered as a true crossing of the Rubicon.

Sally Stretch, Durban, South Africa



From: Jan Breemer (jan breem.nl)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Rubicon

The word Rubicon also relates to the situation where German and US intelligence organisations were secretly owner of a Swiss company Crypto AG, which sold equipment to many governments all over the world, used primarily for encryption of the inter-embassy communication. For many years (say 1970 to 2018), the US and German intelligence agencies were able to eavesdrop on these messages.

A recent (2020-02-21) lecture (video, 97 min.) about the subject by people from the Dutch Crypto Museum, held at the premises of the Dutch Hackerspace Hack42.nl.

Jan Breemer, Kesteren, Netherlands



From: Bruce Floyd (brucefloyd bellsouth.net)
Subject: Rubicon

On December, 13, 1883, according to Polly Longsworth in her book Austin and Mabel, Austin Dickinson, Emily’s older brother, consummated his affair with Mabel Loomis Todd, the wife of an astronomy professor at Amherst College . This consummation took place in the dining room at the Homestead, the residence occupied by Emily Dickinson and her sister, Lavinia. Both sisters, says Longsworth, knew, and approved, of Austin’s affair with Mrs. Todd (it seems, strangely enough, that even Mrs. Todd’s husband had given his blessing to the adultery, he and his wife apparently having an open marriage), even facilitating the delivery of letters between the two lovers (so much for the theory that Emily was a naïve and innocent maid, a child, really, with a great talent). Mrs. Todd was 24 when the intimacy began; Austin was in his early 50s. Longsworth had a plethora of material to aid her in gathering information for her book. Both Austin and Mrs. Todd wrote letters of copious content to each other.

Both kept explicit and fully-detailed journals (for example, Ms. Longsworth was able to decipher the number of times the two lovers had sex in a month; it was a lot). Having read the book, I can tell you that one tires (I suppose I’m old and cranky) of hearing Mrs. Todd declare her love for Austin. In one relatively short missive, five brief paragraphs, she mentions the word “love” sixteen times. In truth, Mrs. Todd was a talented person; Austin simply awed her. In fact, everybody connected with this affair, even those on the periphery, were highly intelligent people. Austin’s wife, Susan, could hold her own with the genius of her sister-in-law, the poet Emily Dickinson. It’s obvious that Austin and Mabel loved each other profoundly. Austin, too, wrote long letters to his paramour, and he, too, kept intimate details of the affair in his journals. But when the affair was consummated that December in 1883, with Emily and her sister upstairs, Austin was unwontedly brief, laconic as one can be and yet be precise and pellucid in recording what had happened. Afterwards he simply wrote “Rubicon.” When we read this word, we know exactly what Austin means. It says it all.

Bruce Floyd, Florence, South Carolina



From: Walter Wade (wwadeiii gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--meander

A meander is also a running Greek Key frieze, very popular in the decorative arts of China, as well as ancient Greece and the modern Western world.

Walter Wade, New York, New York



Email of the Week -- Brought to you by Wise Up! -- the family that plays together stays together.

From: Jay Florey (jfflorey integra.net)
Subject: Meander

It is because of a meander that got cut off that the most direct route from the Omaha NE airport to downtown Omaha is through Iowa. Most of the hotels surrounding the Omaha Nebraska airport (map) are also in Iowa. The border between the two states is the Missouri River. Sometime after the border was established, the river cut off a meander leaving behind an oxbow lake called Carter Lake, and a small piece of Iowa that has no overland connection to the rest of the state.

Jay Florey, Olympia, Washington



From: Jack Vetter (jvetter vetterlawoffice.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--meander

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Not until black demonstrators resorted to violence did the national government work seriously for civil rights legislation ... In 1850 white abolitionists, having given up on peaceful means, began to encourage and engage in actions that disrupted plantation operations and liberated slaves. Was that all wrong? -Ingrid Newkirk, animal rights activist (b. 11 Jun 1949)

Witness Vietnam protests! The national conscience did not move until it got pretty ugly. Why? Attention to the cause? Stop the destruction!? More respected people joining in? Who can explain it?

It finally works. It finally is the only way it finally works....

Jack Vetter, Sacramento, California



From: Bob Gordon (bob34g gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--meander

In Alberta as a tourist a few moons ago my son and I went out of our way to find a rural bar/restaurant. Our reasons were twofold:

1. It was Alberta style, the centre of the room was a massive wood/charcoal grill. We ordered a steak and it came raw, you paid for the meat and sides but cooked your own entree.
2. It was approx 10 klicks off the main road and for no apparent reason the road ran straight across a small creek’s every meander (17 times if memory serves). I’m an historian in Canada and the only explanation I can think of is some sort of property issue. Often in Canada in the 19th c., property was often defined in terms of rivers and watersheds, i.e., the Louisiana Territory, the HBC grant in northern Canada, the original Six Nations land grant. In Canada they were usually defined as the ‘tow path’ six feet on either side of the river bank. If that were the terms of a meandering creek land grant you could only construct a road if you went straight down the middle. Merely supposition, but why build 17 bridges when none would have done.

Bob Gordon, Brantford, Canada



From: Robin Sutherland (sfsland gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Niagara

Some curmudgeons might say that Niagara Falls are the bride’s second disappointment...

Robin Sutherland, San Francisco, California



From: Yigal Levin (yigal.levin biu.ac.il)
Subject: Niagara

In colloquial modern Hebrew, a niagara (pronounced nia-GA-ra) is the water tank of a toilet. This was apparently the brand name of a company that made such tanks in the 1950s, and as often happens, the name remained long after the brand itself disappeared.

Yigal Levin, Tzur-Yigal, Israel



From: Michael Poxon (mike starman.co.uk)
Subject: niagara

In Cockney rhyming slang niagara is used (in the plural) to refer to that part of a man’s anatomy that comes in pairs ;-) since Niagara Falls rhymes with that part. You can occasionally hear a football commentator say something like “Ouch! It hit him right in the niagaras!”

Michael Poxon, Norwich, UK



From: Jonathan Rickert (therickerts hotmail.com)
Subject: Niagara

The word Niagara reminds me of another watery metaphor that was used In Communist Romania by his sycophantic followers to describe their leader, Nicolae Ceausescu -- a Danube of thought. Often paired with a mountainous one -- genius of the Carpathians.

Jonathan Rickert, Washington, DC



From: Glenn Glazer (gglazer ucla.edu)
Subject: Niagara

I believe I heard that it was this usage of Niagara that created the mental image the Pfizer wanted when they gave sildenafil the market name of Viagra.

Glenn Glazer, Felton, California



From: Martha Johnson (marthajo204 gmail.com)
Subject: Thank You

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank, Holocaust diarist (12 Jun 1929-1945)

I so much enjoy your emails and learn new words too, but the quotation today from Anne Frank is so beautiful. I’m an old lady and physically deteriorating but I can at least smile and be cheerful. Thank you.

Martha Johnson, San Jose, California



From: Eric F Plumlee (ericfplumlee hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--Yarra-banker

When I saw the theme of this week’s words, I immediately thought of Meander. Then I saw your clue Turkey and was sure it must be a word for this week. I discovered Meander while waiting for a flight in Istanbul. While perusing the aisles in a bookstore, I found this book, Meander, East to West Along a Turkish River, by Jeremy Seal, and was immediately drawn to it. After reading the first 20 pages or so, I bought the book.

Now I don’t know if it’s fair for me to recommend the book yet, because I haven’t finished reading it. But I get sucked in very quickly every time I open it and read a few pages.

Eric Plumlee, Niederlenz, Switzerland



From: Michael New (mike noozoo.com)
Subject: Origin of the Adobe

Adobe was named for the Adobe Creek behind company founder John Warnock’s home.

Michael New, Ottawa, Canada



From: Yitzhak Dar (yitzhakdar gmail.com)
Subject: The former name of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) is Tsaritsin

Tsaritsin is after the river Volga, which runs near the city, and is named after the Tatar language name of the river “yellow river” or “yellow water”.

Yitzhak Dar, Haifa, Israel



From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Yarra-banker and meander

Yarra-banker
Here, I’ve depicted a wayward young Aussie troubadour/vagrant, along with his pet wallaby... a Yarra-banker, if you will, seated on the upper bank of the mighty Yarra river, blowing on his didgeridoo. The Yarra is a roughly 150-mile watercourse, sourced in the heights of the interior Yarra Range, wending its way south through its eponymous-named valley, terminating at the ocean shores, where the city of Melbourne was founded back in 1835. On a personal note, my girlfriend Unna and I, during our whirlwind three-week, first-ever, trip to Australia in July of 1993, spent four wonder-filled days in Melbourne, a city, curiously, very reminiscent of some of the older downtown districts of my hometown, Toronto... dominated by many stately, sandstone edifices. The early British colonial impress on Melbourne’s cityscape could not be ignored. We spent considerable time beachcombing the city’s inviting, sandy beaches, mostly collecting shells. But we also took in the picturesque pedestrian walks along downtown stretches of the Yarra river. Clearly, we hardly qualified as bona-fide Yarra-bankers. Ha!

Meander
When I saw that “meander” was one of this week’s “river-related” words, I envisioned a meandering oxbow river, and its ofttimes resultant landform (waterform?), an oxbow lake. Hence, my rather fanciful cartoon scenario of a mama cow explaining to her inquisitive calf, that cows, unlike oxen, don’t “wear” yokes like paired-up oxen, from whence these meandering streams and rivers derive their unique name. My first-ever, in person, sighting of an oxbow river was on my 50th-birthday trip to my ancestral sod, Scotland, June of 1996. The serpentine river Add, located in Argyll/Bute, west Scotland, fits the definition of an oxbow river. I got a super aerial view of this meandering river, surrounded by a checkerboard of verdant farmers’ fields, whilst standing upon the sparse stone remains of the ancient Iron Age hill-fort, Dunadd, raised some 200-feet atop a solid granite crag. In the early centuries of the first millennium, AD, Dunadd was the capital of the Kingdom of Dàl Riata (straddling East Ulster/Northern Ireland and Argyll/Bute, Scotand), where generations of Scots/Irish monarchs were crowned. Historians and geographers have speculated that the elevated fortress was once on an island, surrounded by oxbow Lake Add, created by the confluence of two bends/loops of the river Add, snaking through what was likely very boggy, sodden terrain... known locally to this day as “The Great Moss”. Such fond memories.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



Anagrams of this week’s words
1. Yarra-banker
2. Klondike
3. Rubicon
4. meander
5. Niagara
= 1. a crude man
2. in AK
3. brink, end
4. like an arroyo
5. barrage
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)



Limericks

A boat one day came to set anchor
Alongside a bad Yarra-banker.
That boat, I suppose,
Had wrecked his repose --
With rancor the vagrant then sank her!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

He kept stirring up hatred and rancor.
On the commonwealth he was a canker.
Convincing and loud,
his words could sway a crowd;
a veritable yarra-banker.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

At the Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park,
There a protestor made his remark.
And, this Yarra-banker,
Proved an unfair wanker,
As he called out the much loved Monarch.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Our Prez is a prize Yarra-banker,
A boorish, despicable wanker.
My patience he tries
With his copious lies,
And his policies couldn’t be ranker.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

On his mushroom the small Yarra-banker
Smoked a hookah and made the air danker.
Though he seemed rather callous,
His info helped Alice
Take charge of what grew her and shrank her.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


In the locker room, dudes analyze
their dates. Queries one of the guys,
“Hey, what was your blonde like?”
“Oh, that girl’s a Klondike.
Not bright, but she’s quite worldly-wise!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

He found lots of old movies one day.
Like hitting a Klondike, fair to say.
As an avid film buff,
He never had enough.
Now he’d easily binge-watch away.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

A Klondike for comics is Trump!
He causes their ratings to jump.
But nevertheless,
I think we can guess
This leader they’d still like to dump.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

In pre-Google days when she’d a doubt,
Or Wherefores and Whys knocked her about,
She’d rush to Uncle Mike,
who a real Klondike
of smarts would in no time bail her out.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Forty-niners in their search for gold
braved starvation, privation, and cold.
A few made a strike,
achieved their Klondike,
but of most, sadder stories were told.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

So much of the news is to puke on,
I’ll escape to Klondike, in the Yukon.
A smile lights my face
Just to think of a place
No one’s going to be dropping a nuke on.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

“In Jamaica we know what a mon like,”
Said the pimp, “For your needs we’re a Klondike.”
But Trump to his veep
Said, “With black I don’t sleep;
This guy’s fired! Go find me a blonde, Mike.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


He suggests that they go to his place.
She agrees, but repels his embrace.
“I’ll be keeping my tunic on,
crossing no Rubicon.
Also,” she warns, “I have mace!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When Caesar was crossing the Delaware...
Am I right? No, I’m actually wrong there.
’Twas the Rubicon he crossed
And Washington got lost
On the Klondike, and said, “I am where?”
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

I’d hate to concede that our chance is gone --
that we’ve already crossed our Rubicon.
We were “too free” to mask.
It was too much to ask!
Might have helped if we’d seen even one on Don.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“Our Rubicon’s crossed, don’t you see?
It’s just plain as day here to me --
The die is cast,
A divorce! At last!
All we need is the final decree.”
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“The Rubicon’s now in the past,”
Said Caesar. “The die has been cast!
I’ve got to get home,
And take over Rome --
This treachery won’t be my last!”
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

“You’re too close and will soon cross the Rubicon,”
The electron admonished the positron.
“Through my door you can’t barge
With your opposite charge;
If we touch, we can each kiss our booty gone.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


While out on their morning meander,
sharp goose alerts sleepy old gander,
“Look there! An incredible,
possibly edible,
easy-to-seize salamander!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

His speeches all tend to meander;
They’re boastful and lacking in candor.
His pettiness, too,
Is hard to outdo --
Just listening raises my dander.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

His sentences tend to meander,
and he’s never been noted for candor.
Of restraint there’s a lack.
Always on the attack
he will vilify, lie, smear, and slander.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

There’s nothing that makes one feel grander
Than along a cool stream to meander.
But at times going back
May mean facing some flak,
For late dinners cause husbands to anger.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

When Trump speaks, his “mind” will meander,
Deciding to whom he’d best pander.
As he poses and mugs
With the world’s biggest thugs,
He raises true patriots’ dander.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

When the lines of a district meander,
There’s a word that we use: gerrymander.
Of this terrible wart
Our esteemed Supreme Court
Says, “We really don’t care, in all candor.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


A young temptress, who’s called sweet Allegra,
Had her tricks, which just gushed like Niagara.
Men were swept off their feet,
With each sensual treat,
So they no longer needed Viagra.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Erectile dysfunction’s no fun,
So off to the drugstore he’ll run.
“Thank God for Viagra!”
He cries like Niagara --
He’s thrilled with what Pharma has done.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

In Niagara we saw Joseph Cotten
Treat Marilyn some kind of rotten.
But the star of the show
Was the river, although,
Miss Monroe’s scenes won’t soon be forgotten.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)

The tourists come like a Niagara
To the Indian city of Agra.
You can’t breathe the air,
But the Taj Mahal’s there,
And there’s no one with hats that say MAGA.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Puns (You may stream when you read these)

In old films, the most desirable men to marry Yarra-banker, a lawyer, or a doctor.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)


A group of relatives all got together and built an artificial watercourse, which they dubbed a Klondike.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

In an attempt at fostering equality, the Imperial Wizard admitted a gay female to membership as their token Klondike.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


The famous inventor Goldberg was swindled out of his savings; it was quite the Rubicon.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

If a hick is caught robbing a bank in the city it will make that rubicon.
-Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma (pgraham1946 cox.net)


After talking it over with my wife, meander decided to go out for dinner.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

My girlfriend’s mom loves meander friends all say we should get married.
-Bob Webb, Central Lake, Michigan (rhw3fl aol.com)


When I glimpsed the marble dome of the Taj Mahal I knew I’d drawn Niagara.
-Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma (pgraham1946 cox.net)



From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Trump’s Foibles & Follies

Missing Links?
Missing Links

It’s no secret that Trump is an avid golfer, and owns and operates numerous posh golf resorts in the US and around the globe. In fact, most weekends he’s out on the links, either at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida or his Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. But alas, since the arrival of this virus, The Donald’s regular weekend golf forays have been majorly curtailed, as his time and focus has (supposedly) been concentrated on addressing the national health crisis/global pandemic at-hand. His meandering ramblings and occasional rants at the almost daily White House COVID-19 “Task-force” team’s press briefings... even on weekends, have cut majorly into Trump’s formerly robust golf regimen. Here, I’ve pictured Trump taking out his ire and pent-up frustration on the coronavirus/golf ball, vexed that for the foreseeable future he won’t be hitting the links with any frequency.

NOTE: Trump did tee it up on at least two occasions over this past Memorial Day weekend at his country club complex in Virginia, while the COVID-19 national fatality count was fast approaching the 100,000 mark, which has since been long eclipsed.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. -Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and novelist (1811-1896)

We need your help

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

Donate

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

© 1994-2020 Wordsmith