’22 A To Z Challenge – D

 

A number of word-nerds often wish that some older, arcane and archaic words were still in common use, if only to provide insults for the office prankster, the Karen supervisor, and the sneak-thief who steals lunches from the break-room refrigerator.

Then there are terms that even word historians wonder how and why they came into existence, and no-one misses when they’re gone.  Such a one is

DELIVERLY

When I first ran into it, I thought it was just a misspelling.  Even when I checked it on a dictionary site, there was the red underlining, but it admitted that it was real, and meant
adverb Archaic. quickly, deftly.
A Middle English word dating back to 1300–50

If we had quickly and deftly, why did we need deliverly??  It is related to the old command to, “Stand and deliver!”  This was not about a parcel, or a speech.  It referred to a quick, deft, armed response to the challenge.

Everything old is being used for something new.  People are not shopping at bricks and mortar stores anymore.  Instead, they buy online, and have things delivered to them.  I occasionally see FedEx, or Purolator, or DHL, or even Canpar (Canadian Parcel Service) trucks in the neighborhood, but there’s not a day when I don’t see a local, Intense Delivery Service, Mercedes Sprinter van, delivering up and down the street.

Sad to admit, it has stopped at our place more than a few times.  The wife will say, “I wonder if that knitting pattern book that I ordered, will be delivered today.” – and her tablet will chime, with a photo of the package on the porch.  So, if you want your delivery deliverly delivered, use an Intense courier company.  😉

How was my delivery of this post?  Please be quick and deft with your responses.  😀

It’s Not Funny – Until It Is

Twice Upon A Time, I had 51 completed, composed blog-posts in a word file.  Then I accepted a challenge to Blog Every Day in April.  Even before the first of the month, my stash had dwindled to about 40.  I threatened to include a humor/joke post or two, to pad out the month, perhaps even a whole week of comedy, but I did not do that.

Instead, I plucked d one from here, and one from there on the list.  At the end of April I still had 26 posts in my list.  Still lots, right??!  Then I realized what they were.  There was a Fibbing Friday post for each month, until December.  That’s 9!  Likewise, I had an Atheism vs. Religion post for every month till December.  That’s another 9 – total 18!

I had 2 Book Review posts.  I could compose another one, but I’m sure my followers don’t want to always read about what I’m reading about.  I have a couple of Word Origin/Usage posts, but all word and no play, makes Jack (and Jacquie) unhappy readers.

Until the next load of bullshit is delivered, and splashed onto some pages, I need to keep my fans in good humor.  Here’s an extra dollop of funny for this week, and probably another next month.  Read ‘em and leap…. to the conclusion that Hump Day is as amusing as Mondays.

Late, Great, One-Liners

Procrastination is the art of….
….keeping up with yesterday.

Don’t be so open-minded….
….that your brains fall out.

He who farts in church….
….sits in his own pew.

God didn’t create anything without a purpose….
….but mosquitoes come close.

Dogs prepare you for babies….
….Cats prepare you for teenagers

I don’t want to brag, but….
….I finished my 14-day diet in three hours.

I have a pen that writes underwater….
….It can write other words, too.

Any salad is a Caesar salad….
….if you stab it enough.

There’s no snooze button on….
….a cat that wants breakfast.

Anyone who doesn’t know what shampoo tastes like….
….has never washed a dog.

If one door closes, and another opens….
….you house may be haunted.

Mix a four-leaf clover with poison ivy….
….and you’ll have a rash of good luck.

The five-second rule does not apply….
….when you have a two-second dog.

There’s a time and place for decaf coffee….
….Never, and in the trash.

Adulting is soup….
….and I am a fork.

Waffles are just pancakes….
….with abs.

Espresso may not be the answer….
….but it’s worth a shot.

What do you call dental x-rays?….
….Tooth pics.

I was trying to make a pun about quicksand….
….but I’m stuck.

Cats have 32 muscles in each ear….
….all to help them to ignore you.

Autocorrect can go straight to he’ll.

Autocorrect has become its own worst enema.

Rhinos are just….
….fat unicorns.

Pigs are magical animals….
….They turn vegetables into bacon.

A lion wouldn’t drive drunk….
….but a Tiger Wood.

WOW #74

Yeehaw, buckaroos, this here’s a rootin’, tootin’ yarn about three funny, over-the-hill characters.

Not that three!!  That there is a picture of me and my brother and sister!  😯  How did that get in here?

No, I’m talking about the even older and less significant, Middle English comedy trio of

ROOTLE

TOOTLE

AND

FOOTLE

Do not confuse Rootle with The Rutles, a fake British band that became a real one, much like the fake American band, The Monkees, did.

Rootle is the sometimes-used British alternative verb form of root – to root about like a hog.
to turn up the soil with the snout, as swine.
to poke, pry, or search, as if to find something

Melodious little Tootle means to toot gently or repeatedly on a flute or the like.
to move or proceed in a leisurely way.

Hong Kong English driving instructions include, If pedestrian do not move advantageous, tootle him gently.

You can get footloose with Footle, if you act or talk in a foolish or silly way, loiter aimlessly; potter, or talk nonsense.

Trust the English language to confuse those who are trying to learn it – three words – one basic spelling – two different pronunciations.  😳

Showing the difference between Canadian English and British English, I was taught to putter, rather than potter.  To ‘potter’ would require a throwing wheel, and a kiln.  For me to ‘putter’ only takes a long, strangely-shaped stick to get the ball rolling.  Golf is a lovely walk in the sun and fresh air – spoiled by having to chase a little white ball.  It’ll be par for me to be rootin’ and tootin’ again in a couple of days.

I Cant Rely On Kindle

I continue to hold my love of dead-tree versions of books, if only because I can get many of them for free, from the Library – and often in LARGE PRINTTo you, with failing eyes, we throw – something you may more easily read.  I am becoming more habituated and inured to the Kindle book variants, especially since a couple of authors, whose series I follow, publish only electronically.

One of the benefits to Kindle is that, when the writer uses an esoteric or unfamiliar word, I need only poke the screen to get a dictionary meaning.  I had hoped that the meaning of every word used in each book would be available, but the dictionary file is on-board, not accessed on the internet.  That hope was dashed, repeatedly, by a recent book.

I read, I knew by the cant of his head, so I poked CANT in the eye – actually, in the A.  I got back, an expression of enthusiasm for high ideals – a sermon or extended oration.  Neither of those seemed to fill the bill, so I took a taxi over to Dictionary.com, which told me that my ‘cant’ meant, a salient angle – a slanted or tilting position.

On the next page, They had not hung the celebratory bunting.  Kindle only offered me two small, seed-eating birds, one European, one American.  My online dictionary was far more generous.  First it told me that bunting was a baseball play, where a pitched ball is gently returned by a stationary bat, or, it could be a hooded sleeping garment for infants (also, bunting bag).  Finally, it admitted that bunting was patriotic and festive decorations made from coarse cloth, or from paper, usually in the form of draperies, wide streamers, etc., in the colors of the national flag.  That’s the one I needed.  Busy word!

The story said, “Fashion was becoming important.  Lacing emphasized waists, and skirts flared out with gores.”  I poked the word ‘gores,’ and got, Gore, Al, Vice-President of the United States.  It’s a good thing they weren’t playing cards, or I’d have been told that trump was the President.  Their boat-launching site was a couple of klicks past the fort.  I should have known better.  Kindle claimed that klicks meant the same as clicks.  Now see here, Kindle, see also: slang, (mainly) military, diminutive of kilometers.

At last, the literary bad guy, returned to his hant.  When I prodded Kindle, it told me that Han was a Chinese river, or a dynasty from 206 B C to 220 A D.  Interesting, but that’s not even the same word.  Dictionary.com only told me that hant was the Scottish form of the verb – to haunt.  I had to go further afield for this one.

I eventually found that, from that Scottish verb form, came the noun which means, an often light-duty structure, temporarily or intermittently occupied, such as a party tent, duck blind or fishing hut.  This all qualifies as an episode of Things I Learned While Researching Other Things.

I am surprised that I was never asked, Did you mean can’t?  I can’t wait to see what I publish in a couple of days.  Are you as excited as I am?  😉

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

If you have never remarked, at least to yourself, about the number of English words that are almost the same size and shape, have almost the same letters and meaning, and yet are different…. You’ve never done a crossword puzzle.  😳

Where to find Guinness – Any decent bar – but in the crossword, you have to work sideways.  What is the second latter?  Is it Eire or Erin?

Claim – is it aver, or avow?

Price rise – bump or jump?

Cell inhabitants – nuns or cons?

Prohibit – bar or ban?

Talk a lot – yak or gab?

Geological period – era or eon?

Sleep – nod or nap?

The top – acme or apex?

Peak – top or tip?

Not real – fake or faux?

Hand warmers – mitts or muffs?

Gourmet delicacy – snail or quail?

Hurled – flung or slung?

Comics dog – Otto or Odie?

Over – atop or upon?

The 411 – info or data?

Stop up – plug or clog?

Exploited – milked or bilked?

Wicked – evil or vile?

Senate yes – aye or yea?

Kick out – eject or evict?

Made mad – angered or enraged?

Outdo – beat or best?

Pants part – seat or seam?

Agree with – sync or side?

Father-involved – parental or paternal?….or, if mother’s involved – prenatal

Old-time actress, in five letters – starts with GA.  Ooh!  Ooh!  I got this!  Green Acres TV show – Eva Gabor.  Oops. Sorry!  Even old-timier than that – Greta Garbo!  Same five letters – different order.  Rats!

Dog food brand (in four) – Iams or Alpo

Because of the product that they provide, crossword composers are usually exacting and precise in the usage of words in both their clues, and solutions.  Sadly, illiteracy and incorrect usage creep in, even among the best.

The solution to doesn’t want to, is the six-letter word averse, not the seven-letter adverse, which means, unfavorable, contrary, opposing.

The correct response, (in four letters, second letter I), to lay low is kill.  To hide, is to lie low.

The pedant in me says that core group is not a cadre!  A cadre is a frame or border, which contains other things placed inside.  If you’re pretentious enough to use the word cadre, then your core group are the newbies.

Muss one’s hair.  Tussle means wrestle, scuffle or struggle  It’s not accurate, unless we’re talking about Amos, from the 9 Chickweed Lane comic strip – tousle comes from the Scottish touse – to handle roughly – to dishevel.

Finally, we get to related things which occur serially and sequentially, but are not identical.

Festive nights are not eves!  Eve is the short form for evening, the time when light and dark are about the same – dusk, twilight, nightfall, even gloaming – depending on the date, perhaps from Six P.M. till Nine.   ‘Nights’ continue through till sunup the next morning, but very few festive parties do.

To fill a pipe does not mean tamp.  They are two separate actions.  A pipe must first be filled, before the tobacco can be tamped down for a slow, even smoulder.  It’s why Scotty stopped smoking a pipe.  When he was smoking someone else’s tobacco, he crammed so much into the bowl that he could hardly draw.  When he was smoking his own, there was so little that it wasn’t worth it.

Ties vs. laces.  I see teenagers all the time, whose shoes have been laced, the ends of which are dragging on the ground, untied.  I often wonder why they, or someone else, don’t step on a trailing end, and produce an epic face-plant.

Unlatch a gate – open.  I can unlatch a gate, and leave it for the dog, or the cows, or even my buddy the burglar, to open when it is necessary, or convenient.

Assuming that the therapy session goes well, and the meds kick in, I’ll be back, as usual, in a couple of days.  You’ve been warned.  😉

Dim And Dimmer

Two uncommon words walk into a bar, arguing about whether they are homonyms, or homophones.  No-one greets them by name, like Norm, on “Cheers,” because no-one recognises them.

In most cases of homonyms, people know one or both of the odd couple.  Everyone knows both wait, and weight.  Most are familiar with meet and meat, but mete might be a stranger.  I recently ran into a pair of homophones that only word-nerds like me don’t need to be introduced to.  Ladies and gentlemen – let’s have a big hand for the comedy duo of

FAIN AND FEIGN

FAIN: adverb – gladly, willingly – adjective – willing, glad, pleased, eager
FEIGN: imitate deceptively, make believe, pretend, put on an appearance of

Rather than argue about whether to call themselves homonyms, or homophones, they might better try to find another term to describe themselves.  Far too many ‘Good Christians’ in the Bible Belt of the southern United States, particularly in Arkansas and Texas, get far too upset, ‘and don’t cotton to none of that there HOMO-anything!’

A not-out gay comedian was doing a tour of small cities in West Texas.  Perhaps looking for a bit of one-night companionship, he engaged the waitress in a greasy-spoon diner, about the presence of local gay culture – clubs, favored restaurants, etc.  She quickly and firmly informed him, “They ain’t no homosexuals in Texas.  Not live ones, anyways.”

I would fain believe her, and I do not have to feign my distress.

The largest group of homonyms heteronyms includes AIR, ERR, E’ER, ERE, HEIR, AYR, AYRE, AYER and perhaps a Canadian EHer.  I’ll be back in a couple of days.  Be sure to join me, eh.  😉   😆

To Sleep – Perchance To Dream

I can almost understand why Good Christians think that God, or Jesus, speaks to them, or why schizophrenics listen to the voices in their head – not that there’s much observable difference.

I know that the voices aren’t real, but they come up with some great ideas.

Actually, the voices are quite real.  They’re just completely internal, not external in any way.  They’re me!  It’s a good thing  that I’m eccentric enough to accept the weird thoughts that pop into my head, or I could be startled, or even frightened, by things my mind comes up with on its own, when I’m not holding the reins tightly.  I can see why those who wish to organize and control their thoughts, would want to blame someone/thing else for ideas and views that they might feel are somehow ‘deviant.’

I often awaken from naps with things bubbling around in my head, including solutions to stubborn Word Jumbles.  After being retired for 11 years, I still have dreams about work.  Since so much of my life revolves around writing and the English language, it is no great surprise that I often wake to words.

I recently became conscious, to the word/name ‘Kaiella’ in my head.   At first I thought that my subconscious had coined a new word, but research soon showed that, in Hawaiian, it means ‘happy girl,’ and in Arabic it means ‘sea goddess.’  I am amused that camel chasers, sitting on sand dunes, have a word for sea goddess.

My most complex day was when I woke up wondering why the name of Italian film director Sergio Leone, and that of African country Sierra Leone were so similar, and what they meant.  Leone was easy.  It’s an Italian word meaning lion, or lion-like.  It’s why the name Napoleon means Lion of Naples, even though he was born French, on the island of Corsica.  We’ll follow that lion to Africa later.

Sergio means guard/protector in Italian, as do Serge in French, Sergei in Russian, and the army title sergeant in English.

Sierra is a Spanish word from the Latin serra, meaning, a saw.  It describes a chain of mountains which is spiky and saw-toothed.  Sierra Leone has one, a segment of which resembles a crouching lion.  But if Sierra Leone looks like a lion, what is the Sierra Nevada, for which the American state is named??  😕

That’s easy!  The Spanish word nevada simply means snow, and Sierra Nevada refers to Rocky Mountains so tall that their peaks are perpetually snow-covered.

On the same day, I found that, besides being a gadget for manipulating objects by remote control, particularly in atomic reactors, Waldo is a diminutive of the name Oswald, from the German meaning God’s ruleBurkholder is a German name, but refers to citizens of the Low Countries – The Netherlands/Belgium.  I think I sprained a brain muscle.  Come back soon to watch me heal.  😀

Contrary To Popular Belief

Contrary to popular belief, the Internet doesn’t know everything.

My Mind recently went for a little walk, unaccompanied, but properly masked.  When it returned, it brought back a tiny piece of my childhood – a strange little piece called

UNEEDA LABORATORY

I know that it existed, because Mad Magazine did a send-up on it, and I once read an article saying that jokesters spoofed it with names like Igotta Laboratory, Wewanna Lab. and Theyhadda Lab.  Whether they ever heard of the Laboratory, smart marketers are still using the cutesy name to identify companies like, Uneeda Taxi, Uneeda Tire Center, and Uneeda Burger.

In my youth, I never investigated what Uneeda Laboratory researched, so I plugged it into both Bing and Google.  I got back a black hole.  😯  Nabisco made biscuits that they called Uneeda, back in the early 1900s.  There’s a coated abrasives firm which makes Uneeda wire wheels, sanding belts, and grinding wheels, but they market them as Tanis Brush.  They brag that they’ve been in business for 50 years, but my memories of Uneeda are 65 years or more old.

In the 1960s, there was a Brooklyn company that made a product called Uneeda Dolls.  The dolls are long gone, and the company was bought up by a Hong Kong firm called Tony Toys.  There’s a tiny village named Uneeda in West Virginia, about as big as a mole on a chipmunk’s nose.  It’s not large enough for another outhouse, much less a laboratory.  I’ve heard the joke that, “My home-town was so small; the McDonalds only had one arch.”  This village of 391 at a bend in a mountain road claims to have a McD’s, but there is no arch.

Dictionary sites don’t recognize the name.  It’s probably because I’m a grumpy old technological Luddite: I just don’t know what search terms to enter into search engines like Bing or Google.  When I enter meaning Uneeda, I am referred to the Nabisco biscuits, or the coated-abrasives, sites.  That’s what Uneeda is, not what the word means.

If I enter meaning name Uneeda, I am presented with 6 or 8 baby name sites which claim to know the meanings of every name, but don’t.

Meaning – baby boy name – Uneeda
Meaning – baby girl name – Uneeda

Each and every one of them is a Wiki-style site.  They all say, “We do not currently have a meaning for the name Uneeda.  If you have a meaning for the name Uneeda, please enter it.”

And so, the origin and history of the famous Uneeda Laboratory fades into the mists of time.  Have any of you ever heard of the Uneeda Laboratory?  If you know the meaning of Uneeda Laboratory, please enter it.

To Put It Another Way – II

Where, oh where did it all go wrong??  😕  I don’t know about all, but here are a few examples of Many a slip, twixt the ear and the lip.   😯

Pros
It seamingly permeates all of society – You seemingly don’t know one word from the other.

Leaving them so depended on others – That is dependent on knowing the correct word

The powerful engine enabled verticle takeoff – That’s just straight-up wrong.

They’d sell corpses to medical schools for extra mullah. – If they’d had a little extra moolah, they could have hired someone to teach them that a mullah is a Muslim teacher/priest.

A wisened runner – who should have wisened up to the fact the correct word, is wizened.

To shoe away pests at a campfire – now mosquitoes get free footwear as we shoo them away.

To unravel them aboard his dingy – He’s a bit dingy, if he doesn’t know it’s a dinghy

A car ran into a power pole guide-wire – Let me guide you to the phrase guy-wire.

Under the guides of friendship – Under the guise of correct usage, try again.

Computer litearate clerk needed – More than they realize.

He wrote the forward for the book – Looking back, he wrote the foreword.

The way ahead is wrought with danger – and it is fraught with pretentious misusage.

It would be wise to stick upon them – But I’d stock up on them

Black cats got a bad wrapwrap up that mistake and listen to some bad rap.

The idea sprung from the fact – I quickly sprang to correct that.

Technology could breach the gap – Shouldn’t it bridge the gap…. which is already a breach?

The plane was in the throws of destruction – I throws out the suggestion to use throes.

Amateurs

What word on this list reasonates with you? – The word resonates would, if it were there.

A copying mechanism to deal with problems – I’m not coping well with that spelling.

I conquer with Brian – You might conquer, if you were to concur.

It wreaks of scamming – Actually, it reeks of misusage.

I was working, went a high-pitched squeal…. – But when did it happen?

Should evoke a sign of relief from thinking people – I’m thinking that it should be a sigh of relief.

A starring wheel replacement – I’m steering you away from that.

A brain chokeful of grey cells – I choked, yelling that it was chock-full.

I hardly took a breath during my trade – which did not include the word tirade.

Hubby left a stinky thrown in the bathroom – I was thrown, until I realized she meant throne.

Therefor, he was wrong – but, Therefore is right

As I cantor up 9th Ave. – a Jewish singer tells me that it is canter.

It’s something we continue to carey with us – Drew says that it’s spelled carry.

The director when to the censor – I went to the Spellchecker.

Bible says not to ware mixed fabrics – so beware what you wear.

New Arkansas law to target instain mother who kill thier babbys.
Everything you’ve ever needed to know about rednecks.

A rouge motorhome ventured onto the track – That’s a huge mistake – both ways.

It chucks it up to illusion – I chalk it up to misusage.

She was ready to throw in the tile – Even before I wiped it with a towel.

He told a bold-faced lie – People with print programs haven’t heard of bald-faced lies

X Marks The Fibbing Friday

No need to blame Pensitivity101 for all the sins of the anonymous blogger.  This week, I’m going with collective nouns.  These came in via my pension newsletter this month.

Can you ‘invent’ what creature or something else would apply in the following…

  1. A walk of …………Ads about running shoes/trainers/court shoes/high-tops, on TV and YouTube videos. Avia, Converse, Nike, Adidas and Reebok, heel to toe, all stepping on each other’s feet, trying to get a bigger market share, and keeping third-world sweatshop children busy.

    2. A bed of …………. Organic, Hipster, vegan-restaurant, salads – made with healthy, wholesome things like chia sprouts, kale, radicchio, and other items which are impossible to identify, pronounce, spell or swallow, that fell off a pig-farm feed truck.

    3. A horde of …………. Inane, unusable attempts to conjure up an intelligent, interesting, and amusing – Lie Your Face Off Theme.  I had to settle, as I have done too often in the past, for a large, cold, disappointing serving of If You Can’t Fix It – Feature It!  😳

    4. A bike of …………..two-wheeled urban couriers, flitting and fluttering like butterflies, darting in and out of traffic like barn swallows.  Sadly, an incautiously-opened car door, or an arrogant, impatient cab-driver, too often can suddenly change all this exercise and speed, fresh air and exhilaration from two-wheeled freedom and fulfilment, into four-wheeled disability.


    5. A rhumba of ………..Dance steps.  Congratulations!  You’ve won five free lessons at Bo-Jangles Dance Studio (Even though you didn’t enter any contest, and the telemarketer only called because your number was the next in sequence.)  To claim your prize, bring along your credit card, and your reluctant husband, in case you wish to sign up for the advanced course.


    6. A shrewdness of …………. A failed group of “Make Trump President Again’ supporters.  They got as far as ordering the hats – although MTPA doesn’t have the same impact as MAGAbefore they were hit with a restraining order from a dictionary, barring them from using the term.  It was, be an “Ironic,” or nothing.

    7. A raft of ……………..Mark Twain stories about Huck Finn, and Jim the runaway slave.

    8. A mess of …………….complaints about army food – mostly from guys who had to peel a hundred pounds of potatoes on KP duty.  Drop your socks and grab a spud, bud.

    9. A huddle of ……………ESPN football announcers and game analysts.  They’re busy watching the backfield in motion of the visiting team’s cheerleaders, when they’re not on-camera.

    10. A family of……………….Plastic Surgeons R Us LLC, causing silicone supply chain problems while exclusively serving the Kardshians.  They took the ‘Kan’ out of Kanye West, and added it to Kim’s ample bosom. “Ye”-God!  😳

I’ll dress it up with tinsel, or glitter, or Easter eggs, but, the truth is, there’ll be more of the usual on Monday.  Stop by anyway.  Watching me circling the drain might be entertaining.  😯