’19 A To Z Challenge – G


Letter GWhere did it all start to go wrong??! I blame it on reading Mad Magazine as an impressionable youngster. Mad satirized society, politics, entertainment, and much more. While it was full of silliness, it was still thinking man’s humor. When it achieved commercial success, it was quickly imitated by the likes of Cracked, and Eh magazines. Full of Adam Sandler-like fart jokes, they didn’t last long, and folded. Mad is still publishing after almost 70 years.

One of the ongoing humor bits, was the “translation” of foreign words and phrases.

Gott mit uns – I found my winter gloves
Deutschland uber alles – Alice got run over by a Volkswagen
Mare nostrum – Mary can’t play the guitar
Ad hoc – I had to pawn some of my stuff
Honi soit qui mal y pense – Honey, why did you spank Malcolm?
Sic transit gloria mundi – Gloria threw up on the bus, early this week

This brings us to the translation of this week’s foreign word – actually, a German name, which many local people carry


Gottschalk – an elementary-school teacher 😉

I ran into this name in a book about people’s delusions. He was a medieval priest who helped raise an army of 100,000 men in Germany, to go on a crusade. Through poor preparation and planning, as well as internal strife, only a handful lived to even get as far as Constantinople, leaving a trail of death and destruction through several countries, including Hungary, with at least that many ‘civilians’ dead behind them.

Always interested in name values, I plugged it into Google Translate. I regret the fact that Dictionary.com can no longer afford to maintain their translation service. It was the best translator I’ve found. When I just enter ‘Google translate’ into the computer toolbar, I always get Bing Translate at the top of the page – terrible site – couldn’t translate a wish into an action.

For those of you who have never used Google Translate – I assume, most of you – when you begin typing text in, it immediately begins translation. I knew that ‘Gott’ equals ‘God,’ so I wasn’t surprised to see that quickly pop up. I thought that the compound word was possessive – Gotts chalk = God’s ?????, but the word ‘schalk’ has a meaning of its own.

As I continued to type in the S, C, H, A, L, suddenly the translation was God scarf, showing how the Anglo-Saxon word ‘schal’ became the English word ‘shawl.’ I typed in the final K, and got knave, rogue, instigator, troublemaker. For a busybody Christian, whose religious fervor was instrumental in causing the deaths of almost a quarter million people for no benefit, I find the name’s word value of ‘God’s little shit-disturber,’ painfully appropriate.

Don’t wait to stop back, Hoss, but if you do, I’ll have something for the letter H in two weeks. 😀


15 thoughts on “’19 A To Z Challenge – G

  1. David Davis says:

    Mad was great. Glad it’s sill around. I wonder if many kids read it still. Way back when we didn’t have much in the way of absurd. I remember those bubble gum cards that were a parody of commercial products, for example, there would be a picture of a box of Tide but it would be called “Died”.


  2. Rivergirl says:

    Mad magazine was my utter favorite when I was young!But God’s little shit disturber is a much better translation. Perhaps you should start your own site?


  3. Jim Wheeler says:

    I actually have used Google Translate a few times and found it very good. Used it for phrases at our Mexican restaurant and for bantering with our grandkids who are taking Spanish. It’s a marvelous piece of technology, bordering on AI.


    • Archon's Den says:

      The wife has the voice-activated Google on her phone, but she can’t remember that she’s only addressing a computer. Instead of barking out key search terms – Burger King restaurants, Kitchener – she treats it like a person – “Google, would you please locate all the Burger King restaurants for me in Kitchener, Ontario?? Thank you.”
      At least with the onboard GPS, I tend to get lost less. 😳


  4. 1jaded1 says:

    Gloria threw up on the bus, early this week. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Archon's Den says:

    We have a new definition of transit sickness here. Almost 2 years late, and $200 million over budget, the LRT street railway finally began running. In the week before the actual opening date, they began running units to train the operators, and to get local drivers used to them.
    With tracks down, but no trains, people were parking on the tracks and making illegal turns. They finally had all units operating on the normal schedule and track speed. In the week before kick-off, we had 4 collisions. The first caused $40,000 damage to the train, and wrote off a sport-ute. The news didn’t value the subsequent ones.
    The Grand Opening was Friday, June 21. On Saturday, there was another collision, and yet a sixth on Monday. What do you expect in a town where a Mennonite man was charged with causing an accident, and with drinking and driving…. a horse and buggy??! 🙄


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