Sep 19 2017

Overheard: 40 yr old male

“My uncle was ad-libbing as a physician.” 

I talked to this guy, and he clarified that he meant “moonlighting”.

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Sep 11 2017

Slumgum

“Slumgum in beekeeping is the residue of the beeswax rendering process. When the beeswax from brood comb is rendered to produce clean wax, it leaves behind the pupal lining, wax moth cocoons, excrement from larvae, and other residual debris included in the original material.”

from Wikipedia

For extra fun, do a Google image search for “slum gum.”

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Nov 4 2016

Zerk

When I was growing up I remember hearing the term ‘grease zert,’ and I just assumed it was a made-up word. While my dad was skilled at a lot of things (drawing, aviation, mechanics,welding), he was not always known to handle the English language in a manner consistent with the generally agreed upon principles of usage (he once wrote the word ‘paided’ as a past tense for ‘pay’).

But it turns out that in this case he was pretty darn close:

images

See more of the etymology here at Merriam-Webster.

Pic borrowed from Currie Enterprises.

 

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Aug 6 2016

Trumpertantrum

Elsa and I were discussing portmanteaus the other night (the word, not the trunk). Hangry is one of my favorites. But I think this may be one of the finest: Trumpertantrum.

I assumed one of the media outlets had coined the phrase, but it turns out to be attributed directly to Ted Cruz (or, perhaps, his writers).

“‘Trumpertantrum’: Trump Says Cruz Cheated In Iowa, Wants Results Overturned”

more at npr.org

 

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Jan 30 2016

Twee

A British pejorative meaning overly quaint, dainty, cute or nice. The word comes from a childish pronunciation of ‘sweet.’

“Those Beatrix Potter animals are a little twee for my taste.”

See more at wiktionary.

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May 12 2015

Fremdschämen

fremdschämen (German). “This is what occurs when you are embarrassed for someone who ought to be embarrassed for himself, but isn’t.”

From Douglas Wilson, Whose Ox Is Being Sued

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Mar 27 2015

Literally literally does not mean literally

“Update: Graham’s spokesperson has clarified to Bloomberg that when Graham said “I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to,” that statement was “not to be taken literally.” Glad that’s been cleared up.”

–from Vox.com’s article about Lindsey Graham. They don’t say it, but people who don’t understand what literally literally means literally should not be in public office. Literally.

via One Foot Tsunami

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Mar 23 2015

Foerster’s Syndrome

When the surgeon began to manipulate the tumor, affecting those sensitive structures, the (conscious) patient burst into a manic flight of puns.”

From a weird article at Wikipedia

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Mar 20 2015

The Touch

The Touch is a Stan Busch song that was included on the Transformers: The Movie soundtrack. As far as 80’s rock songs go, it is 3 minutes of pure distilled 80’s awesomeness that will make you yearn for ye olden dayes of yore when Transformers and G. I. Joe were cool the first time.

However, the song might have the highest amount of clichés I have ever seen–perhaps even more than most country songs. I have pasted the entire lyrics and highlited the clichés in red:

 

The Touch

You got the touch, you got the power

After all is said and done, you’ve never walked
You’ve never run, you’re a winner
You got the moves, you know the streets
Break the rules, take the heat, you’re nobody’s fool

You’re at your best when when the goin’ gets rough
You’ve been put to the test but it’s never enough

You got the touch, you got the power
When all hell’s breakin’ loose
You’ll be riding the eye of the storm

You got the heart, you got the motion
You know that when things get too tough
You got the touch

You never bend, you never break, you seem to know
Just what it takes, you’re a fighter, it’s in the blood
It’s in the will, it’s in the mighty hands of steel
When you’re standin’ your ground

And you never get hit when your back’s to the wall
Gonna fight to the end and you’re takin’ it all

You got the touch, you got the power
When all hell’s breakin’ loose
You’ll be riding the eye of the storm

You got the heart, you got the motion
You know that when things get too tough
You got the touch

You’re fightin’ fire with fire, you know you got the touch
You’re at your best when when the road gets rough
You’ve been put to the test, but it’s never enough

You got the touch, you got the power
You got the touch, you got the power

My favorite has got to be verse 2, which has 5 clichés in a row.

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Feb 23 2015

Boobam

“The name boobam was coined in Mill Valley, California in 1954 and was described as “bamboo spelled sideways”.”

–from the Wikipedia article on the awesomely named instrument.

Update: I was reviewing my blog posts and figured I ought to clarify the pronunciation of this instrument. It should be pronounced like too separate words, with the stress on the first: Boo Bam.

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