XXXV Fibbing Friday

Pensitivity101 is in a silly mood this week so she decided to invite us to mix and match.
Fictional characters or real people, who would you pair the following with? If you wish, you could give your reasons.

Interviewer;  If you could have dinner with anybody, alive or dead, who would you choose?
Beauty-Contest Blonde;  The live one.

  1. William Shakespeare

Daniel Webster.  As fast as Will With a Quill could make up new words, old Danny Boy could put them in the dictionary.
2. Donald Trump

I was going to pair The Donald, and BoJo, but that’s Dumb And Dumber double jeopardy.  If Dashing Don doesn’t get smart and learn to keep his mouth shut, I’ve located a wholesale importer of Personal Lube that he’s gonna need when he gets sent to Club Fed.
3. Margaret Thatcher

I asked both The Rock, and Jason Momoa, if they would be interested in being her escort, but they both said that she was a better man than either of them.  Instead, I found a SCA armourer who could keep her in steel underpants.
4. Peter Piper

Not that Charlie Brown!  This Charlie Brown!    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbBr2bgAbcM
Why’s Peter Piper always pickin’ on me??!
5. Gordon Ramsay

If Iron Lady Thatcher’s armourer wasn’t too busy, perhaps we could get him to fashion the equivalent of a chastity belt for Ramsay’s tongue, and be able to dine in peace and quiet
6. Jessica Rabbit

Jessica said that she wasn’t really bad, she was just drawn that way, so I would swipe her left with James Dean – the ultimate Bad Boy.
7. Boris Johnson

These guys won’t hang out with him anymore because they claim he stole their act.  He could use a good cartographer to chart his course into political obscurity.  Donald Trump’s hairdresser is free, as is the guy who never got a chance to build that Mexican wall.  BoJo could have him start one at Dover to keep the Eurotrash out of Avalon.
8. Einstein

If we introduced Steven Hawking to Einstein, perhaps he could teach the old dog some new quantum tricks.  If the battery in Hawking’s voice synthesizer didn’t run out of juice, they could discuss The Whichness of the Why until a philosophical black hole formed, and we all rotated into an alternate reality where Woke, and Cancel Culture didn’t exist.
9. Wolverine

He could form a Siskel and Ebert-type duo with Freddie Kruger, and create a podcast about the social significance of Charlie Chan movies.  There would be a lot of sharp dialog and pointed comments.
10. Worzel Gummidge.

I would introduce him to the Oz Scarecrow.  They could debate which one was outstanding in his field, which of them was just a stuffed shirt, who couldn’t keep it in his pants, and how to get a good roll in the hay.

Speaking English Like A Frenchman

In 1066, William of Normandy rowed across The Channel, became William the Conqueror, and took England.  In a spirit of fairness, his descendants gave scores of words to the ‘English’ language.

Here is a list of French words and phrases that are commonly used, but have not officially been adopted.

Je ne sais quoi – a special, indefinable quality
Her fancy clothing had a certain je ne sais quoi.

Habitué – a person frequently visiting a place
As an habitué of the bistro, he headed to his usual table.

Billet-doux – a love letter
Stewart’s first novel was a billet-doux to his home town.

Bric-a-brac – a collection of ornaments
Among my aunt’s bric-a-brac was a glass angel that she treasured.

Flāneur – one who idly strolls around and observes
Paul spent the day as a flāneur on the streets of Montreal.

De rigueur – required by fashion or convention
A jean jacket is simply de rigueur this season.

Esprit de l’escalier – a perfect retort, formulated too late
A comedian went home after being heckled, and finally delivered his esprit de l’escalier to the cat.

Sang-froid – self-possession under stress (literally – cold blood)
The butler retained his sang-froid during his employer’s crisis.

Ā la carte – ordered separately from a menu
Not hungry enough for a set meal, Terri ordered baked potato and creamed spinach ā la carte.

Renaissance – cultural revival or rebirth
Toronto’s restaurant scene was undergoing a renaissance.

Contre-jour – with a camera facing the light
Matt positioned his grand-nephew contre-jour to produce a halo effect.

Armour-propre – self-worth
Getting dissed by a nerd wounded Rory’s armour-propre.

Éminence grise – a person with no official title, but great influence
Years of insightful posts had made Archon an ėminence grise in the blogosphere.

Laissez faire – a non-interference approach
Small businesses benefit from laissez faire economics.

Roman ā clef – thinly-veiled novelistic accounts of real people or events
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a roman ā clef about the Russian Revolution.

I prefer to speak my French in plain English.  Aside from a couple of these which have finally been naturalized into the language, I don’t use any of them.

’22 A To Z Challenge – L

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was going to be sure that I had an L of a post for this letter, then I thought, “Why be satisfied with half-measures?  Let’s go for a Double L version.  Words with two Ls in them are fairly common, but I have several which begin with two Ls.

I recently read a user strongly questioning silent letters in English words – particularly the silent G in words like ‘sign.’  Often, silent letters perform the same functions as accents in French, or Spanish.  They tell you how to pronounce the word.  If there were no G in sign, it would be a sin.

The Welsh language is well-known for its rather cavalier, creative spelling.  It has used a couple of its superfluous Ls to build names with.  There is (Desmond) Llewellyn, who was James Bond’s Q foil in several 007 movies.  His name means that he is a leader.

There is also the Welsh name, Lloyd.  Lloyd is a Welsh surname originating with the Welsh adjective llwyd, most often understood as meaning “grey” but with other meanings as well. The name can be used both as a given name and as a surname.  There is Lloyd Bridges, who went on a Sea Hunt, and then for an Airplane ride, and Doc Brown – Christopher Lloyd.

Not to be out-done, South American Spanish has also given us a couple of double-L words.  The funny animal that lives in the Andes is a Llama.  The funny animal that lives in the Asian mountains is merely a lama.  When you descend from the Andes, you might come out onto the llano, which is a flat plane.  It started as a ‘plano,’ but spelling drift is inevitable.

I’d like to blame these double initial letters on something like pronunciation rules, but I find no such basis.  😀

Turdy Tree Fibbing Friday

Ailments is the theme for this week and pensitivity101 is sure her readers can come up with new definitions or explanations for the following.

  1. What is carpal tunnel?
    It’s the wormhole that runs under the English Channel, from Dover to Calais, even if the train doesn’t, and they have to send crews with golf-carts in to drag the shipwreck asylum-seekers’ victims out.
  2. What is tennis elbow?

It’s a type of arthritis, contracted by leaning too long on a damp bar in the clubhouse, while you’re trying to serve up a little love by bragging about how great your tennis stroke is.  That’s why it’s called a racket.
3. What is a pulled muscle?
It’s the reason that teenage boys have a lock on their bedroom door, so that Mom doesn’t just walk in.  When I hear that an athlete has a pulled groin muscle I think, ‘Shouldn’t he be practicing with the rest of the team, instead of playing with by himself?’

  1. What is tinnitus?

It is how most bachelors feed themselves – a tin of soup, a tin of stew, a tin of spaghetti, a tin of beans, a tin of raviolis, a tin of chili, a bunch of tins of beer.  Only mac and cheese, and pizza, come in cardboard boxes
5. What are crow’s feet?

An expensive delicacy it Iraqi restaurants, costing mucho dinars.  They are seasoned with cumin and coriander, and served with couscous, tzatziki sauce and taftoon bread.
6. What are hammer toes?
It’s an affliction suffered by really klutzy DIY handymen.  They don’t even have time to smack their thumb with the hammer, before they drop it on their foot.

  1. What is pink eye?

It’s a new, hybrid species of salmon, obtained by crossing the ‘silver,’ Pacific, Sockeye salmon, with the redder-fleshed Atlantic salmon.  They’re having trouble releasing it into the wild.  They keep trying to swim back to the laboratory.
8. What is vertigo?

It’s how my German cousin asked about our destination for an evening out, when he visited.  Vertigo for eine gut time?  Vill dere be dancing girls in dirndls? Vill dere be many steins of gut, Bock beer?  Vill dere be schnitzel und sauerkraut?  Vill I be asked for my papers??
9. What are cataracts?

These are the hackneyed stereotype vehicles that the FBI, the CIA, and every American security force who have been so testosterone poisoned that they can’t spell anything more complex than GMC, use for transportation.  Huge, gas-guzzling monsters, and always shiny black, so that they will stand out, especially in movies.  At least, that’s what my speech therapist told me.
10. What is swimmer’s ear?

It’s the one you have to use to listen to your mother when you’re at the beach or pool, and she says, ‘Now remember, you can’t go swimming for at least an hour after you’ve eaten, or you’ll get cramps and drown.’  It’s an old wives tale, but I don’t think she’d be too happy to be described as either old, or a wife.

Dirty Too Fibbing Friday

For a couple of weeks pensitivity101 gave us some unusual words to tantalise our fibbing expertise. This time she decided to turn it on its head and give us a list of familiar words to re-define.

  1. What is a broom?

It’s what my grandson said when I first taught him to ride a motorcycle.  Broom!  Broom!

  1. What is a doughnut?

It’s a method of attempted suicide, using the tight-assed car companies’ wheelbarrow-wheel excuse for a spare tire, because the bootstrap method doesn’t work.  Safety regulations say that you are supposed to travel only a maximum of 50 kilometers, at a maximum speed of 50 KmH, using one.
I’ve been on the Expressway, doing 115 Kmh in a 100KmH zone, and been passed like I was standing still by someone with one on a drive/steering wheel.  I don’t know how the drivers keep the car in a straight line, with it leaning toward me and the ditch.  I slow down, and give them lots of room.  When one of those things goes bad, it’ll take 3 or 4 other vehicles with it.  😳

  1. What is a penny farthing?

It’s the change you’ll get for a pint of Porter, at the pub out Pensitivity’s way.  The civilized portion of the country had already gone decimal with their coinage, and was leaning toward the Euro, before the rational Brexit decision was made.  They don’t cotton to that Daylight Saving Time stuff out there.  Their clocks are always set at 1890.

  1. What is a blanket?

Also known as a wet blanket, he is the death of the party, present only because he’s some sports stud’s wing-man.  He’s the one who, while everyone else is enjoying a little booze, a little grass, and some AC/DC, is prattling endlessly about the cultural significance of carved Popsicle sticks.

  1. What is a socket?

It’s a tag-line from the old Rowan and Martin Laugh-In TV program.  Would I lie to you (again)?  Don’t believe me??  Look here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6HIzYXZzI0

  1. What is tapestry?

It is/was Carole King’s 1971 album.  I was wrong. I thought it contained the song that she wrote while she was still volunteering at the blood donor clinic, You’re So Vein.

  1. What is e-mail?

He/she/it/they are a member of the newly formed LGBTQ2S+, (A random group of symbols, almost as strange and meaningless as the name of Elon Musk’s 7th son – X Ӕ A-12) unsure whether it is more blessed to give or to receive – perhaps a bit of both if the company is congenial.

  1. What is a shower?

He’s a guy with an unbuttoned Mac, and a compulsion to display his shortcomings.

  1. What is a sandbag?

A golfing groupie  😳  (See; Tiger Woods)

  1. What is chocolate?

It is the delightful concoction that causes my tummy to get round, and the world go ‘round, but sadly, not my blood circulation system.  The plaque I want is like the one that the wife’s godmother got from the Queen, for turning 100, not the stuff that clogs my arteries.

Twenty Ate Fibbing Friday

Pensitivity101 had a Balderdash clustered around her site.  That’s a collective noun for a group of free-range fellow bloggers, so she decided that the theme would be Collective nouns this week.  Give it a try.  See if you can do any better.

  1. A dynasty of ………………………..

The worst ducking TV series ever aired.
2. A bevy of ……………………………

Empty pub ale glasses
3. A mustering of ………………………

Armed Services vets, at the George Santayana commemorative services, being held in your local Royal Legion, or VFW.  My Father was an ex-WWII member, then there was Korea, then Viet Nam, then Iraq, then Afghanistan.  😯  When will they ever learn?  When will they ever learn?
4. A scold of …………………………….

My wife’s constant nagging list of helpful suggestions to improve myself.  😉
5. A cast of ……………………………….

Teenage boys, practicing for the Darwin Awards Olympics.  After their arms have healed, they can try the Dig A Huge Hole In The Beach’ challenge.  😯
6. A sedge of ……………………………

Water plants in the moat around my little country cottage
7. A comb of ……………………………

Thanksgiving turkeys.  I just go bananas for a big meal of tryptophan turkey and stuffing (myself).
8. A pod of ……………………………..

Tide detergent-eating challenges – for those who survived number 5.
9. A covey of ……………………………

C. W. McCall’s greatest hit – Convoy Whuzzat?? Covey, not convoy?  Oh Hell – just listen to it anyway.
10. A party of …………………………………

Actually, TWO parties – The one that threw Boris Johnson out on his arse – and the one the nation threw after it happened.

I will try to collect my wits – the noun for which is, black hole – before we meet again on Monday.

’22 A To Z Challenge – H

 

Benny Hill!  Benny Hill!  Benny Hill!

What can you say about Benny Hill?

He was a mediocre actor, a funny TV comic, and a brilliant writer and comedian.  To be the writer and comedian, he was also a brilliant linguist, sometimes making puns and jokes in two and three languages.

He got “Son of a bitch!” past the BBC censors by claiming that a French skit character spoke of, ‘Ze sun, over ze beach.’

He talked about having a bent wood chair in his dressing room.  Not a Bentwood Chair – but a bent wood chair, because his dressing room was in the damp, BBC basement.

With the moving of a couple of letters on a sign, he turned
Dr. Johnson
the
rapist

Into

Dr. Johnson
therapist

Not only was he familiar with French and German, but quite knowledgeable about regional British accents, where, if you travelled 50 miles, the common folk could not be understood, and bread rolls had changed names.  Sometimes he used words and phrases that those born on this side of the pond didn’t recognize.

Once, he wrote a bit, making fun of a commercial from Cheer detergent, which had just begun selling in the UK.  We’ll take two dress shirts, and pour blackberry juice on both of them.  Then we’ll wash one of them in Applaud detergent, (So no-one could accuse him of making fun of Cheer) and the other one in Ben’s Cleanso.  Flash out – flash in.  And there you see it friends (Both shirts still badly stained)  Not a haip o’ the difference.

HAIP

haip = “wattle, sheaf or heap of straw etc.”
(Therefore – something small, or inconsequential)
And you thought that the word for H was going to be Benny HILL.

I took its meaning from context, but I had to wait for Al Gore to invent the Internet, and then wait some more until stable genius (Like Mr. Ed), Donald Trump perfected it, to meet its parents online.  I still haven’t, really.  I finally found one word-site which gave the definition, but only said that it was British dialect, and very rare.  It did not say what area dialect, although I suspect Northumbria/Yorkshire – up north, away from London and the universities, where the poor folk live.  If this word were coined in the US, it would be from Appalachia.

Helpful fellow-blogger and word-nerd Daniel Digby, just introduced me to wordhistories.net, a Frenchman living in Lancashire, who blogs about etymology.  At first I shook my head about a Frenchie in England but it makes as much sense as a Quebecois in Ontario.  It’s 300 miles from London to Paris, and 300 miles from Toronto to Montreal.  Perhaps he’s more successful wrestling search engines than I am.  When I get back from Merriam-Webster on Wednesday, we can have a few laughs.   😆

’22 A To Z Challenge – G

 

 

 

 

 

 

I dropped a bag of Scrabble tiles, and picked up seven of them at random.  They spelled out

GLUDDER

Is that a real word??
Not only is it a real word, it is a Scottish word.  Like the multiple meanings of Flag in the last A to Z post, my thrifty Scots ancestors wanted to get as much out of a word as possible.

The way to tell an Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scotsman in a bar pub, is to serve them a drink with a fly in it.  The Englishman will push the drink away, and order another.  The Irishman will shrug, dip the fly out, and consume the drink.  The Scotsman will dip out the fly, give it a bit of a squeeze, and shout, “Come on, give it up, ya wee sot!”  Hell, he’d probably down the Englishman’s first, if he could get away with it.  Which drunkenly brings us to the many meanings of a word which sounds like it was coined after several drams of Glen Fiddich in the local.

If you are north of Hadrian’s Wall, the word Gludder can, and still does, mean
a glow of heat from the sun;
a bright and warm period of sunshine between rain showers;
the sound of a body falling into the mire;
to do dirty work or work in a dirty manner;
to swallow food in a slovenly or disgusting way.

Scotland has never been the entertainment and excitement capital of the world.  My Ancestors had to have something to do besides count all their sheep, because they kept dozing off.  They tried tossing large rocks across the frozen surface of ponds and rivers, and invented curling.  They practiced knocking smaller stones into gopher holes with their walking sticks, and invented golf, which is just flog, spelled backwards.  Some time before they were forced to go home to the Missus at closing time, they dreamed up words like gludder.  May the banks and braes forgive them.  😳

’22 A To Z Challenge – F

 

Poor overworked English-language words!

Like, I don’t mean words like, like.  I mean words like the poor word, run.  The dictionary definition for that one runs to a page and a half.  Its somewhat less stressed and overburdened country cousin is

FLAG

Seems simple enough – a colored, often patterned piece of cloth, representing countries, provinces, states, corporations, etc.  A visit to my American friend revealed that, of 14 houses on his cul-de-sac, 8 of them proudly, patriotically displayed the Stars and Stripes.  But….

To my gardener wife, a flag is an iris, or similar, broad-leafed plants

To a landscaper or paver, a flag is a thin flat stone, used to create walkways or driveways.

To a hawk or falcon, a flag is a tuft of feathers on the leg.

To a hunter, a flag is the tail of a deer, or of his hunting dog.

To a journalist, a flag is the nameplate of his newspaper or magazine.

As a verb, flag can mean to affix a flag(s), as on a ship or building.

Flag can mean to signal or warn – as to flag a taxi or a bus.
My Father used to describe scantily clad females as, “Not wearing enough clothes to flag a handcar.”
The meaning of the term handcar will be provided upon request, at no additional cost.  I have ridden on a handcar several times, sometimes assisting to propel them.  Their gasoline-powered replacements came to be known as jiggers.

Flag can mean to mark a file, or other, for attention.
I’m going to flag his tax return for an audit.

Lastly, flag can mean to diminish in strength, energy or interest.
My enthusiasm for this project is beginning to flag.
I am going to wave the white flag for now, but I’ll be back on Wednesday.

’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.  😀