Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One

Love English

Words! Words! Words!

Round and round and round they goes. Where they comes from, nobody knows.

Then they impinge on my consciousness, sometimes from what I read, sometimes just from the depths of my own mind.

Looking for a word or two to spice up a novel, an essay, a report, or just a blog-post?? Here are a few that have run across in front of my attention span, like startled squirrels.

Battledore – noun

Also called battledore and shuttlecock. a game from which badminton was developed, played since ancient times in India and other Asian countries.
a light racket for striking the shuttlecock in this game.
a 17th- and 18th-century hornbook of wood or cardboard, used as a child’s primer.
verb (used with or without object), bat·tle·dored, bat·tle·dor·ing.
to toss or fly back and forth:

Bivouac – a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire.
The place used for such an encampment.
To rest or assemble in such an area; encamp.

Broch (brock)- a circular stone tower built around the beginning of the Christian era, having an inner and an outer wall, found on the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, and the mainland of Scotland.
A variant spelling of burgh, or borough – German-influenced Scottish for “independent town”

Calumet – a long-stemmed, ornamented tobacco pipe used by North American Indians on ceremonial occasions, especially in token of peace. – A peace pipe

There used to be a Calumet baking powder, but another of my childhood memories has disappeared under an avalanche of corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Chary – cautious or careful; wary, shy, timid, fastidious, choosy, sparing (often followed by of):
cognate with Old Saxon karag, Old High German karag (German karg scanty, paltry)

Coxcomb – a conceited, foolish dandy; pretentious fop. – the cap, resembling a cockscomb, formerly worn by professional fools.

Dragoon – Noun – (especially formerly) a European cavalryman of a heavily armed troop.
Verb – to force by oppressive measures; coerce

Dumbledore – (for the Harry Potter fans) a bumblebee

Grok – to understand thoroughly and intuitively, to communicate sympathetically. Coined by Robert A. Heinlein in the science-fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

Plagal – (of a cadence) progressing from the subdominant to the tonic chord, as in the Amen of a hymn
(of a mode) commencing upon the dominant of an authentic mode, but sharing the same final as the authentic mode. Plagal modes are designated by the prefix Hypo- before the name of their authentic counterparts the Hypodorian mode

Pseud (sood) – A person of fatuously earnest intellectual, artistic, or social pretensions

Scalawag, (scallawag,scallywag )– a scamp, a rascal, a minor rogue

Stolid – not easily stirred or moved mentally; unemotional; impassive.

Thewless – weak, meek, timid (first recorded 1300-50)– from thews, muscle, sinew, physical strength
He was a quiet, thewless, conforming man, who caused no-one any trouble.

Tommyrot – nonsense, utter foolishness

Truculent – fierce; cruel; savagely brutal.
brutally harsh; vitriolic; scathing:
aggressively hostile; belligerent.

 

’19 A To Z Challenge – N

AtoZ2019letter-n

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning readers. I’d like to introduce you to Romulus and Remus’ twin sisters

NOCTEM and NOCTIS

Twin Sisters

Noctem is the prettier of the two, but she hasn’t applied for her language passport yet. She’s still Latin, and hasn’t been accepted into English. She’s a party-girl, who hangs out with the likes of Paris Hilton, and Paris Jackson. Her rallying cry and motto is “carpe noctem,” which means ‘seize the night.’ This is like YOLO. Live tonight as if there will be no tomorrow – you know…. a rave.

Noctis is the hard-working, studious one of the pair. Her name means ‘of the night,’ and, being fair-skinned, that’s when she does her best work. She can be found in libraries, university study halls, and 24-hour, McDonald’s drive-thru’s. She’d get more dates if we could convince her to change the spelling of her name to Noctic, to be more adjectival, like ‘frantic’, or ‘dyspeptic.’ I guess not, though. She has a select group of admirers who appreciate her exotic attraction.

I feel kinda sorry for Noctem. When you ‘carpe diem,’ you seize the entire, 24-hour day, but when you ‘carpe noctem,’ you only get the dark part of it. If you do it right though, that’s all you need. Once a king, always a king, but once a knight is enough. 😆

’19 A To Z Challenge – M

McMuffin

I want to talk about

McGuffins.

They’re not those breakfast sandwich things that you get at the Golden Arches.

McGuffin = MacGuffin = Maguffin

Noun; an object or event in a book or a film which serves as the impetus for the plot

Word Origin for McGuffin

C20: coined (c. 1935) by Sir Alfred Hatchplot Hitchcock

Most stories, whether books or movies, have a beginning, middle, and end. Some stories though, have lots of action, and a great climax, but need a boost to get underway.

Dashiell Hammet’s novel, The Maltese Falcon was a great novel of the 20th century. There was lots of action – treachery, deceit, lies, double crosses, assaults, murders, and back-stabbing – literal and figurative. When the exciting ride finally came to a stop, the little sculpture that everyone was fighting and scheming about, was just a small, ugly, statue of a bird, just an excuse for all that excitement.

At the last Star Trek movie that I went to – Star Trek Into Darkness – for the first half hour, I fidgeted and twitched in my seat. Is this thing never going to get underway? I even considered walking out – and I NEVER walk out of a movie, especially a Star Trek.

What should have been served, hot off the griddle, as the McGuffin, the impetus, to catch and hold the viewers’ attention, was dropped cold, an hour and a half later, as a by-then, un-suspenseful and un-dramatic ‘Great Reveal,’ a story of brotherly betrayal, abandonment and revenge.

So remember, those of you who want to write – even if it’s just blog-posts. If you think that your story needs a little something to draw readers’ attention, get that McGuffin out early. Craft a catchy title, and compose an interest-grabbing opening line. Once you’ve got ‘em hooked, you can reel ‘em in.

I’d be reel real happy if you stopped back in a couple of days, for another instalment of Do-It-Yourself Philosophy. Phil will be reel happy too. 😉

Reel

Flash Fiction #202

Erudite

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

RISE UP

Bobby’s mother said, ”You want to be what?”

“Sesquipedalian and erudite.”

Well, the long word meant, ‘using long words’, and the short one meant, ‘learned or scholarly.’ “Why?”

“I want to impress people.”

She replied, “Your grandmother used to say, ‘Don’t get above your raisin.’ ” She almost smiled at his puzzlement. She hadn’t understood it when she was 16, either. “The word is actually raising. It means, ‘Don’t put on phony airs’. People will like you if you are honest and real. You have to study to get big words. You can’t just find them with a magnifying glass.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

May I Have A Word?

I would prefer the correct one! 👿

PROS

A man bought a used lawn morrow – and the professional mechanic and columnist he wrote to, couldn’t fix his lawn mower – or the misspelling.

He could do the jump and live to tell the tail – I think that this tale was attached to a horse’s ass.

Headline – Weeping is not a panacea
Research shows that wapping damages lung cells – the article is about e-cigarette vaping

After the retail war you’ve raged – I raged, because war is waged

Her appearance was oft-putting – The fact that she was oft putting the wrong words into sentences was off-putting – like when she led her horse down a bridal path

The Vice-President was unceremoniously sworn in as President – It may not have been ostentatious, it may not have been the usual ceremony, or the one that you were expecting, but a swearing-in is a ceremony. Some authors speak English; others speak ‘cliché.’

He climbed the steep levy beside the river – That was very taxing, then he drove his Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry misspelled.

Mucha Do About Nothing – Apparently Mucha hasn’t read much’a Shakespeare

the movie Percy Jackson: Lightening Thief – This entertainment columnist didn’t catch lightning in a bottle.

She threw in an explicit, live, on-air. – Well (expletive), she’s not in the print business, you are.

In an online tutorial about English – Someone was incompitent….about every word in the centence

The 56-year-old hotel magnet – I’d stick to calling him a magnate

AMATEURS

Charlie was a privet detective – he investigated cases of missing hedges.

We’re else can I get 6 beers for $35.00? – Where were you when they taught about ‘there and here’? Oh yeah, out getting beer.

Don’t move here. It rain’s all the time – It rains greengrocers’ apostrophes.

Lore and behold he was lost – Lo and behold, he made it excessively complex.

I cease the chance to talk to her – Well, stop (cease) that, and seize a text book.

She opened her door, to fine him on the step. – I find that the fine was for stalking.

The cigarette burn scares that covered her body – It scares me that abusive parents leave scars.

For sale, adult bibs, tarrycloth – Don’t tarry. Look up terrycloth!

Chocolate-Flavored whipped cream in an arousal can – Don’t ask, don’t tell, what you do with your aerosol can.

The dumbest, most diluted thing I’ve heard – You’re deluded if you think you know what you are writing about

The clothes were thread barren – poor infertile, threadbare tee-shirts, unable to have children

a potion of eternal width – I can only hope that she meant a potion of eternal youth – although those Coors canned potions have produced external width.

She’s got died hair – and a dyed-in-the-wool quitter of a husband

sometimes I lie away at night – try to lie a bit closer to a dictionary, while you lie awake

Sucker Part Duex – Be pretentious enough to try to use the French word Deux, and not check its spelling

no fountain of full-proof plans – This fool is proof of his own ignorance.

Colds are caused by bacteria, not the tempter – I am tempted to believe that.

i fell like i should share – I felt that I should share this advice: CAPITALIZE your I’s

It is rare that my personal foam rings – What now?? Nerf is into telecom?

paid for one of the most expensive collages – Where they don’t teach English

when you hug a guy and smell his colon – was this in fetish rehab?

kids today learn to spell frenetically – and therein lies the problem – phonetically

the total gambit of weather-related shit – that runs the gamut of poor usage

que the confusion – cue the rush to the dictionary – again

filling out a borage of forms – and getting a barrage of ‘Huhs?’

My son is hanging out with some bad ombrés – He’s a French-Canadian, throwing shade because he can’t spell hombres.

Crosswords

Sound projectors = amps – Somebody who doesn’t know his ass from his elbow, doesn’t know the difference between amps and speakers.

***

 

’19 A To Z Challenge – G

AtoZ2019

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

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. 😀

WOW #45

Moping Emoji

I was gonna do the post for this word earlier. I really was. It’s not procrastination. I was in a blue funk.  Even though blue is my favorite color, I just couldn’t seem to find a reason to tell you about

MOPERY

All the interesting words that I could come up with, and I managed to find one that means

Noun

The actions or attitude of a person who is sunk in dejection or listless apathy, sulking, brooding, or dejected

I thought that ‘listless’ meant that I wasn’t keeping up with my 2019 A To Z Challenge words, but I found that it just means ‘not interested’ or ‘indifferent.’ I don’t give a damn.

Then I found out that someone had opened a Papa John’s Pizza outlet, right down the hill from me. We really needed one. Within a two-block stretch we only had a Gino’s, Topper’s, Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, and Double-Double. I need a little variety in my life. The Pizza Hut, just up the street, closed some years ago, so I guess it’s karma that the second pizza chain that John started is now here to tingle my taste-buds.

pizza

An all-meat pizza with hot sauce, and I’m out of my funk, and back to Funk and Wagnall’s dictionary for my next WOW. See you there.