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?  😉

’22 A To Z Challenge – B

 

Good afternoon class.  Today we’re going to discuss a phoney and valueless word, which came to epitomise a phoney and valueless city.  If it fell out of the mouths of anyone other than Englishmen, it would be Birmingham, but the rustic tongues of the northern shires turned it into

Brummagem

bruhmuh-juhm ]

showy but inferior and worthless

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF BRUMMAGEM?

Brummagem, an adjective and noun meaning “showy but inferior and worthless; something of that kind,” comes from the local Birmingham (England) pronunciation of Birmingham. The original (and standard) spelling and pronunciation of the city is bir-; the nonstandard or dialect spelling bru– is an example of metathesis, the transposition of sounds, a very common phenomenon.

Compare Modern English bird with Middle English brid (brid was the dominant spelling until about 1475; the spelling bird is first recorded about 1419).

The name Birmingham is first recorded as Bermingeham in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book (1086); spelling variants with Br- first appear in 1198 as Brumingeham. In the mid-17th century Birmingham was renowned for its metalworking and notorious for counterfeit coins.  At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, there was an abundance of both metal, and men who knew how to work it.  It was easy to substitute cheap steel for valuable silver.

Brummagem entered English in the second half of the 17th century.

My Scottish ancestors, up in Glasgow, might steal an Englishman’s silver coins, or serve him a bowl of dodgy oatmeal, but they’d never stoop to counterfeiting.  Some of them might have been crooks, but they were honorable, honest crooks.   😉  😳

Fibbing Friday XI

I went to Pensitivity101’s country club, and asked if I could join.  They said, Congratulations, you’re her new caddy.  Apparently she worked the last one to death.  I did come away with a lovely matched set of golf-based prompts to erect lies around.

  1. What is an Arnold Palmer?

It’s the new name for an old drink at country club bars.  It contains rye and rum and vodka.  It used to be called Panty Stripper.  You promise her that you’ll give her a long stroke with a big club, but it’s usually just a short putt out.  😯  She said, “I’m tight.”  He said, “I’m stiff.”  And they were both liars.

2.  What is a niblick?

That’s the name of the extra snack(s) I used to have at night, before my doctor said she might have to get out the defibrillator paddles if I didn’t cut back.

3.  What is a mashie?

It’s the white, fluffy carbohydrate stuff that Scotsmen eat with their mushy peas and haggis.

4.  What’s the difference between a hook and a slice?

A hook was also known as a boarding-house reach at mealtimes, back when families were large.  You needed it to get your fair share of sliced ham or roast beef.  While you were doing that, someone else was making off with the butter and rolls.

5.  What name is given to a single hole score of three under par?

If you golf with me and my friends, it would be called a damned lie.  Yell fore – take six – put down five.  The only time I even got a birdie was when a pigeon flew across the fairway as I teed off.

6.  What’s a bogey?

He was a 1930s and ‘40s film noir actor.  If he could put up with Katherine Hepburn’s shrewish tongue in The African Queen, he wasn’t afraid of gold-stealing bandits with guns, in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!

7.  What’s the difference between a regular golf course and an executive golf course?

The $100,000 per year membership fee, and not having to wait for and talk to the riff-raff.

8.  What unique award is given to the winner of the Masters Tournament?

He gets his own, personal slave, complete with controlling No-Bark collar and leash.  The year Tiger Woods won, he got a white, Joe Dirt redneck.  Rumor is that Elin got him in the divorce settlement, and she’s very satisfied.

9.  Why do golf balls have dimples?

So that you’ll pick them up and keep them with you when you find one.  Aren’t they cute little dickens??  Their mother told them to smile, and they’d go far.  250 yards, Mom.  Just not in a straight line.

10.  What is the 19th hole?

That’s the porcelain god that you’ll wind up, lurched over and praying to in the washroom, if you spend more time at the clubhouse bar than you do out on the lynx.  Oops, that’s a Canadian golf term.  That should read ‘links.’

’21 A To Z Challenge – S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week, on the Cooking With Archon Show, we will be featuring a comfort food recipe.  This is one that was taught to me by my Father, although, with typical 1940s/50s male entitlement, he made sure that it was my Mother who prepared it.  Ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about that comfort in a cup – or mug, or bowl, or even on a plate.

SLUMGULLION

Now the term slumgullion actually has a rash of related meanings.
a stew of meat, vegetables, potatoes, etc.
a beverage made weak or thin, as watery tea, coffee, or the like.
the refuse from processing whale carcasses.
a reddish, muddy deposit in mining sluices.

But it’s that delicious, nutritious dish….  Who are we kidding?  Often there was barely enough food value to keep body and soul together.

The word started as an 1840s-50s Americanism, coined by poor Scottish/Irish immigrants.  It took the Celtic term gullion – a quagmire, or cesspool, and added the term slum, which was where it was common.  The first definition says that it was a stew with meat, but there was often little or no meat.

It was one short step up from stone soup, a warm, filling, often vegetable, stew.  There is no “recipe.”  My Dad referred to it as an empty the fridge meal.  Boil a beef bone for stock if you have one, and chop up and add all the leftovers.  Serve with a piece of bread if you have some, to sop up the last drops.

I recently viewed a video where, for the first time ever, I heard someone actually use the word ‘kludge.’ This is a kludge dish!  It ain’t pretty.  It ain’t fancy.  It ain’t gourmet.  It’s just jammed together from whatever is on hand – but it works.  I’ll probably still be licking my spoon when you return in a few days for the next course.

’21 A To Z Challenge – R

I childproofed the house, but the kids still get in.

My GREAT-grandson is the world’s GREATest  great-grandson, in my own humble opinion.  The wife and daughter both assure me that he is well within the normal bell-curve of infant development.  It may be that, because of COVID visitation restrictions, I get to see him so seldom, and normal incremental changes seem to me to be great leaps of progress.

Intelligence, curiosity, and force of character just seem to exude from him.  We six living ancestors plan to stimulate his mind.  Intelligence is greatly affected by the number of mental occurrences.  His mother is already reading to him, and he responds to the attention.

We will have to soon childproof the house, both for his safety, and the wellbeing of our few more-expensive/delicate belongings – but I actually look forward to the rapidly-approaching time when he will be

RAMBUNCTIOUS

AND

ROWDY

Investigating, experimenting, learning about his world – growing smarter, stronger, and wiser.  For the third of his THREE R’s, his name is

ROWAN

One that he shares with the strong, tall, Rowan, or Mountain Ash tree, revered and respected by my Celtic Scottish forebears.  The name Rowan means “little red one.”  This is not evident yet.  Where the son was born with a reservation with a barber, this is one area where he does not excel.  He is just now growing some peach fuzz on his head.  In a family where about every third child is born a redhead, there seems no indication that he will be one.

It was all I could do to stay intellectually ahead of my son, and grandson.  I am hoping that this wee lad challenges me enough to keep a few mental cylinders firing.  Already there’s been a big increase in sentimental.

***

Some damned fool just informed me that I used the word rambunctious a year ago, in my post for R, and forgot to remove it from the ‘available’ file.  Pay no attention to that man behind the blog-screen.
Get down, you mangy mutt!  Quit pissin’ on my leg.   😯  😳

I Say Old Bean

Old Bean!  New Bean!  Young Bean!  Eventually String-bean.  We have welcomed our precious, hopefully precocious Wee Bean great-grand-son into our lives.  He popped into our reality at 6:48 PM, on April 27th, weighing 5 Lb. – 6 Oz, 19 inches long.  Grand-daughter-in-law says that popped was hardly the word for it.  She worked hard for almost 24 hours to deliver this perfect bundle of joy.

He may always be Wee Bean to Grandma Ladybug, but his Dad and Mom seem to be leaning towards naming him Garion Archon-Scottish IV (Although Rowan hasn’t been ruled out yet) – forever to be known as Gary – second name to follow.  They have 30 days to complete necessary paperwork.

With a new baby on the horizon, the wife, the daughter, her BFF, and his mother all went into nesting mode, and transitioned from merely dedicated knitters, to OCD knitters.  There are piles of knit booties and blankets and moccasins and sweaters and socks and hats and play sets.  The wife knit the hospital hat in the above photo.   He may not realize that clothing comes in fabric until he leaves home.

Even before COVID, it was decided that, like his Father, he would be born at home, in a sterilized bathtub, under the watchful eye and careful care of two registered Midwives and a birth Doula.

HOLD ON A SECOND!

STOP THE PRESSES!

The best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglee.

Being their first child, he was in a hurry to be cuter than any kitten video you’ve ever seen.  Instead of waiting till his scheduled due-date of May 18th to be born, he insisted on arriving almost three weeks ahead of schedule, necessitating a quick taxi trip to the hospital, with the midwives in hot pursuit.  Just in time too.  At that the wee bairn was almost a third the body weight of his tiny mother.  Soon enough, he’ll be tossing telephone poles…. uh, cabers, around.

I’m sure that you join us in happily embracing the arrival of the next link in the chain of my immortality.  You’d better, if you know what’s good for me.

I hope that he grows up to be tall and strong.  He may need to be…. to push me around in my wheelchair.  I’m sure that he’ll get the occasional mention in my posts.  He’s already capturing women’s hearts and wearing plaid diapers.  I’ll publish a notice and provide a link, when he starts a blog of his own.  😎

I Feel Great

I have been ‘Grand’ for decades, but I just found out that I’ll soon be getting a promotion to ‘Great.’

After getting everyone’s forehead blasted with a phaser infrared thermometer, we had the daughter, and her son and wife over for a long overdue, COVID-prevented family meal and visit.

The grandson and his wife provided the dessert – warm, soft, deep-dish brownies, with either French Vanilla ice cream, or coconut-flavored whipped cream.  Before they brought that out, they served up something much sweeter.  They had news that they’d held for almost four months, until they were sure, and had the chance to reveal it to the two older generations, all at the same time.  They are pregnant (Well, she is.) with their first.

The Grandson married a bonnie lass with a good Scottish heritage.  She doesn’t so much have a bun in the oven, as a solid serving of haggis.  Here is an image of their wee bairn, a Scotch egg, building up power to burst forth and amaze the world, as the first in the next generation of the NSFW Clan.

The kilt is still a bit long.  It will be a few more months before we know whether we will get a bagpiper or a Scottish dancer.  You just know that I will keep you informed.

The wife says that she is willing to start being called Gigi – GGGreat-Grandmother.  I think I’ll just stick with Archon, or G.O.D.   😀  😀

WOW #65

Alright all you COVID couch potatoes, what is the absolute minimum amount that you may move?
Honey??!  Make me a tuna sandwich wouldya, and change the channel to bowling when you bring it in.

According to a slimmed-down, rear-facing Scotsman, it’s a

THERBLIG

(in time and motion study) any of the basic elements involved in completing a given manual operation or task that can be subjected to analysis.
ORIGIN OF THERBLIG

1930–35, Americanism; anagram of F. B. Gilbreth (1868–1924), American engineer

Along with much of the English language, Mr. Gilbreth’s name has been on a diet, and getting leaner and cleaner over hundreds of years.  Other engineers could honor him by (almost) tuning his name around backwards, to get the term ”therblig,” but the more common spelling is Galbraith. https://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Galbraith   It’s a good thing that most Scots were illiterate when they dreamed this name up.  It would take most of an afternoon, writing it all out.

What is the minimum of motion that I’ve achieved this week??  Well, I failed to move enough brain cells to produce a 100-word Flash Fiction.  I only moved a few computer keys enough to create this little stub of a WOW.  I’ll get a move on and do better next week.   😉  😯

’20 A To Z Challenge – K

Peasant Woman

If only the English, would speak English!  😯

As the developed World continues to advance, we have more information which needs to be communicated in the same amount of time.  The English language continues to adapts to that, and contract.  Already, we have more time to discuss Kardashian perfume or underwear or MENSA-grade husbands, because English is reducing, with @hashtags, 140 character Tweets, and initialisms, like LOL, OMG, YOLO, BTW, IDK, and IMHO.  Soon, we’ll be back to caveman grunts and arm-waving – Ungh, meat good!  Beer cold!

Contrast this with busy, unchanging, polysyllabic languages like Italian or Spanish, which need to add suffixes for gender and number.  Italian ‘spago’ is a string – no matter what that NYC restaurateur says.  Many small strings (of pasta), is spaghetti.  And even finer strings, is spaghettini.

A Spanish girl is a chica.  A small girl, or a loving, linguistic diminutive for one, is a chiquita that you’d go bananas for.  Chiquitita does not usually refer to an even younger child, but is often an affectionate nickname for a full-sized female.  All those syllables!!  😯  To see (or hear) an old Nona at market with her string bag, sounds like a language machine-gun, firing at about 12 syllables a second, wearing out her tongue, and everyone else’s ears.  Of course, her tongue will regenerate overnight – just ask any Italian husband.

Back in a time when English had a lot less to say, and all day to say it, was born the compound-word term

KICKIE-WICKIE

A witty, jocular, or ludicrous term for a wife, especially a critical or disrespectful one
supposedly another Shakespeare nonce-word, invented and first used in ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’.

Apparently he didn’t have time to also invent
Dumpy-frumpy
Slappy-happy
Punchy-wunchy, or
Bitchy-witchy

I had heard that it was a term invented by Scotsmen, while shepherds watched their flocks by night…. or whatever they were doing with/to sheep in the dark.  They just took the term, and made it theirs.

Bagpipes

Blowing his brains out

Why do Scotsmen wear kilts?
So that sheep don’t hear the zippers.  😳

I’d like ewe to stop back again soon, for another group therapy session.  😉

’19 A To Z Challenge – Y

AtoZ2019Letter Y

Yahoo, cowboy! Saddle up that magnificent steed, and…. plod off into a cloud of dust and tumbleweeds. Today’s yewsless…. uh, useless word is

Yaud

noun Scot. and North England.
a mare, especially an old, worn-out one.

1350–1400; Middle English yald < Old Norse jalda mare

Don Quixote

It is matched with another, taken from Spanish, rocinante.
Rocinante is Don Quixote’s male horse in the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. In many ways, Rocinante is not only Don Quixote’s horse, but also his double: like Don Quixote, he is awkward, past his prime, and engaged in a task beyond his capacities.

Perhaps, between failing mental abilities and failing eyesight, Quixote winds up tilting at windmills, thinking that they are dragons, and that he is protecting the populace. Since he is a minor noble, like the problem of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes,’ no-one tells him, or tries to stop him.

Bay

The original Spanish term was rosinante, (rosy) a red-colored horse, what in English, would be called a bay.

Abaddon's Gate

It is because of the above description, that the authors of both the books, and the TV series, The Expanse had the captain rename the “inherited” space cruiser, Rocinante. While formidably armed, it was a bit past its prime, and the small crew desperately used it for tasks that should be beyond its capabilities, tilting at interplanetary, and eventually, interstellar windmills.

Distracted

If I have been successful, most of you will have been so distracted by horses, TV space series, and classic literature, that you will not have noticed that 95% of this post is not about its stated subject. Instead, I have veered off at a strange angle – just like my favorite Y-shaped bridge in Zanesville, Ohio.

Y-bridge