’22 A To Z Challenge – K

 

I went looking for sauerkraut, –I don’t know why.  I should be able to smell it – and found a Cabbage-Head instead.

I am sometimes sooo… happy that I am saddled with the simple name of Smith, when I research the meanings of other people’s.

A reader made me aware of surname.com, but it only concentrates on English, Scottish and Irish names.  Bing has become more reliable, offering results from several sites.  One of them often does the job.  I also rely on Google Translate, though it does have its drawbacks.

I recently ran into a new, female blogger, who had married a man by the name of Kohlhepp.  This is a rare German name that I had never run into, here in ex-Berlin, Ontario.  I had to look it up.  The biggest problem with Google Translate, is that it does so literally, word by word, rather than idiomatically, with the meaning of the entire phrase or clause.

When I entered Kohlhepp, I got back cabbagejerk.  Now, does jerk mean a sharp tug, or is he the guy with the big desk in the corner office?  Another rare, local German name is Dreisinger.  I know that it means Three Singers – but which three?  The Magi??  Larry, Shemp and Moe??  A Christian-based name from a church choir??

I may snicker a bit to find that Kohlhepp is a cabbage harvester, but in Germany, that’s an important job.  Somebody gotta make all that sauerkraut.

Here in Canada, we have an up-and-coming Federal politician named Poilievre.  In French, pois are peas, and lievre is a form of ”lever,” which means to lift or raise.  If Tennessee Ernie Ford were still alive, he would Bless his little pea-pickin’ heart.

TILWROT III

In Search Of A Name

I was reading a Science Fiction book that began with a Space Navy shipwreck.  After her husband dies, the group of survivors is led by a broadly knowledgeable and adaptable woman with the Italian-ish name of Buccari.  I mentally pronounced it boo-kar-ee, until the author had one of her compatriots address her as, “Hey, Booch.”  I was reminded that in Italian words/names like bocce and Puccini with double C’s, they are pronounced as CH, so she was boo-char-ee.

Now I was curious.  Beginning with The DaVinci Code, I realized that authors often hide Easter Eggs in the background of their books.  What does the name mean??  Whatever it is, there’s a bunch of them, because the final I indicates a plural.  Translation programs just shrugged and walked away.  Google and Bing and friends, didn’t do any better, although one admitted that it was a surname, but the 286,532nd most/least common one.

Down at the bottom of the page, the note said, People who ask about Buccari also research Buccari fiasco navale Croazien.  Clicking on that delivered an article, all in Italian.  I fed the first section back into the translation program.

Apparently, just at the end of World War II, a division of the Italian navy decided to shell the Croatian city of Bakar, because it had been used by the Italians as a concentration camp.  Based on the plural of “people from the city of Bakar,” the Italian name for it, and anyone from it, is Buccari.

Bakar, in Croatian, means ‘copper,’ and our heroine’s head is adorned with luxurious, Italian, copper-red tresses.  The author brought the uncommon name completely around in a circle.

***

The great-grandson is approaching his first birthday.  While a little slow starting, he is developing a nice head of Italian-red hair.  He and his parents will be joining us for a belated Easter/birthday celebration this Sunday.  I’ll bet that a photo or two of him will sneak its way into a blog-post before the end of the month.  😀

The Three Italian Bears

Once upon a time, the following was read into the official minutes of an IBM stockholders meeting.  Read it aloud, in a thick, Italian accent

Die Tri Berrese

(di’sse libretto ise for dos iu laicho to follow di spicche – wait, ise spicche)

Uans appona taim uas tri berres; mamma berre, papa berre, a bebi berre.  Live inna contri nire foresta.  NAISE AUS, no mugheggia.  Uanno dei, papa,mamma enne beibe go toda biche, onie, forghetta locche di doors.  Bai enne bai commese Goldilocchese.  Sci garra nattinge tudo batte maiche troble.  Sci pushie olle fudde daon di maute; no live cromme.  Dan sci goe appesteresse enne slipse in olla di beddse.
LEISE SLOBBE!

Bai enne bai commese omme di tri berrese, olle sonne-bronde enne sand inna scius.  Dei garra no fudde, dei garra no beddse.  En wara dei goina due to Goldilocchse?  Tro erre inna strit?  Colle pulissemenne?
FETTE CIENZE!

Dei uas bietenicche Berrese, enne dei slippa on a floore.  Goldilocchese stai derre tree dase; itte aute ausenhomme, en geusta bicose dei asche erre to maiche di beddse, sci sei “GO TO ELLE,”enne runne criene to erre mamma, tellen erre uat sonnesabietches di tri berres uar.
UATSIUSE?  Uara iu goin due – Go compliene sittiole?

Respectfully dedicated to Edelwasia, who did not get a chance to publish it   😀

Thanx, H.E.

Book Review #26

I don’t read anything, just to tick off boxes on someone else’s Challenge list.  I have however, recently read two candidates for ‘A Book Published Before You Were Born.’  I reread the micro-short story, The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allen Poe.  When I downloaded it from the Internet, a note appeared below, saying, People who researched this, were also interested in…. and showing several other old titles, including Herman Melville’s, Bartleby the Scrivener.  I’ve never read it, and free is my favorite flavor.

Published 1853

Back in the ’60s, Ajax Cleanser had a series of TV ads where they claimed that their product was Stronger than dirt.  Since I am Older Than Dirt, it’s a struggle to find interesting books that old.

The book: Bartleby the Scrivener

The author: Herman Melville

The review:
The entire book is an un-named narrator, relating the tale of the strange actions and attitudes of a clerk that he employed.  The titled Bartleby was hired by a lawyer as a scrivener, a man who produced handwritten copies of deeds, and wills, and other legal documents, in the age before typewriters, Xerox machines, or computers.

Bartleby drove his employer to distraction.  He produced mountains of perfect copies, but quietly refused to perform any other menial task, such as proof-reading other clerks’ work, or going to the Post Office, with statements like, ”At present I might opt for not to be a bit reasonable.”

Despite it being locked up at close of work hours, the lawyer discovered that Bartleby somehow was living in the offices.  Eventually, he refused to do any work, yet continued to firmly but politely, decline to leave the premises.

While the book is 170 years old, I can’t believe that people of the time spoke, or wrote, like this.  It must have just been the author’s idiosyncratic technique.  The entire book reads like one of those machine-translated spam comments you receive.  Scores of words with two or more definitions were used with the wrong meaning in the context of the passage.

After a few phrases touching on his qualifications, I engaged him, satisfied to have among my corps of copyists a person of so singularly sedate an issue, which I notion might perform beneficially upon the flighty temper of Turkey, and the fiery certainly one of Nippers.

Turkey and Nippers were the nicknames of two of the narrator’s other law clerks.  A third was Ginger Nut, because his desk drawer was often full of shells of various nuts, which he irritated the office by cracking and eating while at work.

The fiery Nippers, among other strange actions, had been known to grasp up a ruler, point it at the cease of the room, (taken to mean ‘the far end’) and shout, “Fee the foe!”,  an expression that neither Bing, nor Google, nor Dictionary.com are aware of.  After some thought, I came to assume that the first word should be fie??  An expression of mild disgust or annoyance.

His fourth copyist, is rendered as ¼.  The third key to his private apartment, is described as .33.  It’s a one-trick-pony, or a one-joke-book.  It never sold widely.  It was mildly amusing for what it was, but not terribly deep, or socially significant, and always slightly confusing.  Ah well, it was an adventure.  Despite being as old as it is, it ticked off a box in another blogger’s Challenge.  When was the last time you tried something new?  😕

We Don’t Speak Much English

Oh, we all speak English.  Compulsive, competitive, conversationalists like me speak/write more than most – but, how many words are there in the English language?

Many people estimate that there are more than a million words in the English language. In fact, during a project looking at words in digitized books, researchers from Harvard University and Google in 2010 estimated a total of 1,022,000 words, and that the number would grow by several thousand each year. The Oxford English dictionary expands every year to keep up with new words that are invented to describe the world around us, or to include new meanings for words that already exist in English. A more useful number from the Oxford English Dictionary would be the 171,476 words that are in current use, and about 45,000 which are archaic, and are not used in modern English..

That’s still a lot of words, though, and doesn’t reflect the number of words that individual English speakers actually use. For that number, let’s look at a recent study by the people at testyourvocab.com who say that adult native-speakers of English have a vocabulary that ranges from the McJob-holder’s 5000-10,000, most people’s 20,000-35,000, and smarty-pants show-off word-jugglers like me, who keep 50,00 to 70,000 words in the air at all times.

Obviously, these are not the same words and everyone’s vocabulary will include different words, according to their career, education and interests.  Every line of work has its own specialized ‘Jargon.’  The language, especially the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group:  The word pneumothorax isn’t going to show up, except at a Reno convention of surgeons.

There are three key numbers to remember: more than a million total words, about 170,000 words in current use, and 20,000-30,000 words used by each individual person.  No matter how many each of us use – we don’t speak MUCH English.

Truth be told, there is no “English language.”  Other languages are cohesive and logical.  English is like the Lost and Found at an international airport.  It (kinda) started with Briton Celtic, then the Romans added Latin, and words they dragged in from Greek.  The Jutes, Angles, and Saxons moved in to rule the island, and brought lots of Germanic words, and more Latin from their Roman occupation.

The Vikings brought fire and sword, and Norse words with them.  Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh, had their way with the tongue, and then the French invaded, bringing lots more Latin-based terms.  The “English” language, and those who speak it, continue to drag back words everywhere, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – from Aleut to Zulu.

Many times the kidnapped words are not used as they were in the host language.  In English, we sing the little song, Frère Jacques as ‘Brother John,’ but ‘Jacques’ in French, does not mean Jack = John in English.  It means Jacob = James.  We should be singing about Brother Jim.

I started this post because I found the word, ”matutinal” – meaning: pertaining to or occurring in the morning; early in the day, From the French word, Matin = morning.  When the French have a matineé, it occurs in the morning.  When we have a matineé, it happens in the afternoon.

Words become part of the accepted English language, the same way immigrants become citizens of a country – by naturalization.  If it’s used often enough, and for long enough – it’s English.  Some words/phrases just aren’t used enough, or they remain trapped in some jargon, and never become naturalized.

Cri de Coeur and voir dire, are heard, but remain French.  Ad Populum, actus reus and mens rea, remain Latin.  Pizza and Pizzazz have become part of English, but the musical word, pizzicato, remains Italian.

Even though I might only employ 5% of the English vocabulary, I’m happy to have more than enough words to interest, entertain and amuse you.  There’ll be another random offering in a couple of days.  😀

TILWROT II

Take me out of the ball game.

In the early 1960’s, before I arrived in this burgh, interest in, and support for, Junior, City-League Baseball was waning.  One local team felt that they needed $10,000, a considerable sum, to pay for a year’s uniforms, equipment and transportation costs, and no sponsors were coming forward.

One 16-year-old, baseball-crazy boy had an idea.  He would sit on a 6’ X 6’ platform on top of a 50 foot flagpole in the ball park, until the amount was raised.  He lasted three days, until unexplained stomach pains caused the same fire crew and ladder truck that put him up, to lower him down again.  His almost-feat was recently recounted in the ‘Flash From The Past’ history column in a Saturday newspaper.  His name was Ken Fryfogel.

Things I Learned While Researching Other Things – Act 2 – Fryfogel

The name Fryfogel is very uncommon.  Ancestry.com only has 298 listed in North America.  The unnumbered few in Canada are all in Ontario, and I suspect, most right here in Southwestern Ontario.  I decided to research.

Fryfogel appears to be a Germanic name, like Vogel – which is a bird, or Logel – who was a cooper.  Surname-meaning websites just shrugged.  I tried a translation website, but got nothing.  I tried changing the spelling from ‘el’ to ‘le.’  I tried pulling it apart, into Fry, and fogel – nothing.  I tried entering ‘fogel’ into a dictionary site.  I got, No listing for ‘fogel.’  Did you mean fodgel?’

I don’t know.  Do I??!  I’ve never run into the word.  What does it mean?   Yorkshire/Scottish dialect – a short, fat person-by extension, a fat hen.  So, a Fryfogel is someone who cooks up a big fat chicken.  Twenty miles from here, at the intersection of a concession road and the highway, halfway to Justin Bieber’s ex-home, stands the historic, 200-year-old Fryfogel Inn.  😎  What better name for an innkeeper than one that says that he’ll serve you up some fried chicken along with your ale?

I’ll be serving up some more interesting drivel in a couple of days.  Hope to see you then.  😀

’21 A To Z Challenge – M

 

THANKS FOR THE MAMMARIES

Truth, freedom of expression, and lack of censorship seem to be good ideas, but…. there’s something to be said for the more subtle, understated ways of yesteryear.

Let me re-introduce you to Marilyn Monroe.  When guys got a look at her, they often went

MMMMMMM

Back in the 1950s, and early ‘60s, there were a coterie of female movie starlets labelled as sweater girls.  They primly, modestly, covered up what they had, but emphasized it by stuffing it into tight sweaters.

Mamie van Doren

This was a time when female celebrities’ costumes were measured in yards of fabric, not yards of bare skin poking out.  Someone asked, “What’s the big deal about sweater girls??  Take away their sweaters, and what do they have?”

Anita Eckberg

As one of many such, the English language took the word milch from German.  In German, it is the noun, milk.  In English, it became the adjective, milk.  When a dairy-cow has been bred, delivered her calf, and is ready, again, to provide milk, she has been ‘freshened.’  She is referred to as a milch-cow.

Gina Lollobrigida Known to Mad Magazine as Gina Lottabazooma

The Germans also gave us a delightful, sweet, white wine, called Liebfraumilchdear/beloved-woman/wife/lady-milk.  It’s good that there is no actual milk involved, so that der frau would need to be a milkmaid, and the cream come from her cows.  A woman, working in a big office, had to put a note on her Tupperware container of liquid in the communal lunchroom refrigerator – To whoever is using this to cream their coffee;  This is my breast milk, that I pump for my baby.

Jayne Mansfield Mother of Mariska Hargitay of Law And Order: SVU

Well, that was an outstanding post, if I do say MMMMMM myself.

Spam Scam

When I first started blogging, I thought that I could inflate my number of posts by making fun of my spam.  I did one, then later, another, but quickly realized that everybody gets spam, and some of it is a lot more interesting than mine.

Most of the fun ones have disappeared, although I recently received these $2.39 translation program beauties.

March 9, 2019 at 7:18 am  (Edit)

very well claimed!If I recognized effectively… I can’t consider I remaining this eye-catching temperament trait out- unconditional loving compassion!!!I as soon as go through upon a bumper sticker:“Pricey God, Make sure you assist me in the direction of be the particular person my canine believes I am.”I need to don’t forget this each and every working day! Owing for the reminder.

Dear God, help me be the kind of person that my dog thinks I am.  I need to remember.  Thanks for reminding me.

And this one, about my work history:

Hello everyone, it’s my first vsit at this website, and piiece
of writing is genuinely fruitful desibned ffor me, keep up
posting such articles orr reviews.

Just look at those red underlines…. Oh wait, you can’t see them.  All those spelling and grammar mistakes – I hope it’s your last vsit…. Uh, visit.

My spam seems to have settled down to the same six remarks, attached to the same six comments, (one of them only two Emojis) on the same six (old) posts. I get dozens each day, in Spanish, which say, Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?  (Thank you very much. How can I log in?)  I regularly get a few, mostly from Hairdressing sites, which say, My goodness.  You seem to have the magic touch.  Any chance you could help me pick a lottery ticket?

A batch of identical ones has recently started pouring in, advertising an herbal treatment for deafness.  That’s about as useful as putting crystals in your car when it runs out of gas.  Only one so far, but I got a glowing, first-person-user review for Dr.(?) X’s absolutely, positively guaranteed two-week miracle cure for genital herpes.  Strangely, it did not mention the inevitable Nobel Prize in Medicine which must have followed its discovery.

I recently received a span which stood out from the rest, if only because it ran on, and on…. and on – for 7142 words.  It must have been sent out in bulk, otherwise why would the Akismet program have sieved it out?

It came from something/someone named Defense Of Israel.  I had neither the time nor patience to read it all, especially when 5% of it was in Hebrew,
ולירושלים עירך ברחמים תשוב ותשכן בתוכה כאשר דברת, ובנה אותה בקרוב בימינו בנין עולם, וכסא דוד מהרה לתוכה תכין:  ברוך אתה ה’, בונה ירושלים. את צמח דוד עבדך מהרה תצמיח, וקרנו תרום בישועתך, כי לישועתך קוינו כל היום:  ברוך אתה ה’, מצמיח קרן ישועה.

but it maundered on about the times that Israel has been invaded, the Six-Day War, Golda Meir saving the country, and how OPEC and the Arab League are working to drive the Jews back into the sea.

The author seems to feel, like the Christian Evangelicals in the USA, that the modern country is going to Hell – perhaps literally – and the only way to rescue it is to impose the strict 7 Noahide Religious laws.
Carry out justice – prohibition of any miscarriage of justice.
No blasphemy – Prohibits a curse directed at the Supreme Being.
No idolatry – Prohibits the worship of any human or any created thing. Also prohibited is the making …of idols and involvement with the occult. This necessitates an understanding of the One G‑d of Israel and His nature.
No illicit intercourse – Prohibits adultery, incest, homosexual intercourse and bestiality, according to …Torah definitions.
No homicide – Prohibits murder and suicide. Causing injury is also forbidden.
No theft – Prohibits the wrongful taking of another’s goods.
Don’t eat a limb of a living creature – Promotes the kind treatment of animal life. It also encourages an appreciation for all kinds of life and respect for nature as G‑d’s creation.

I received another – only 3300 words, complaining about Jewish dietary laws.  Apparently the writer wants to enjoy Tuna.  I can’t begin to imagine the time and energy that it took to compose and disseminate these massive missives.  I am at a loss to understand what the author felt that he would accomplish by doing so.

Apparently I now receive one of these once each month when I publish a post tagged ‘Religion.’  The most recent was a mere 1000 words about obeying the Torah, and being Jewish.  Either he’s running out of rants, finger strength, or Internet space.  Hey, leave some for the rest of us.  😯

Let’s talk about interesting spam – these ones, and any that you get.  😀

’21 A To Z Challenge – F


 

There is no “English Language!”

I tried to explain this to a reader, recently.  I don’t think that he understood – or believed me.  Every word in the English language came from somewhere else.  Some are just more obvious than others.  Take, for example, the word

FRANGIPANI

A flower of the tropical American tree or shrub, Plumeria rubra, of the dogbane family
The tree or shrub itself
A perfume prepared from or imitating the odor of the flower

The word is in every English dictionary – yet it is obviously Italian.   It entered the language circa 1860 – 65 from French, who spelled it frangipane – after Marquis Muzio Frangipani, a 16th-century Italian nobleman, the supposed inventor of the perfume.

The true, original meaning of the Signor Frangipani’s name is bread-breaker, as in, to break bread with others, a banquet-giver, a host, or merely, a good travelling companion – another Latin-based word which indicates togetherness, and bread.

Google’s translation department would have you believe that the word means bread-crusher – a totally different concept.

Stop back again in a couple of days, after you’ve had a sandwich that you tried to make by putting cold butter on fresh bread.  I’m going to try for a scratch-and-sniff post using Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop “This Candle Smells Like My Vagina.”   😯

goop x Heretic This Smells Like My Vagina Candle | Goop