I love dictionaries of all stripes, and this collection of slang from 1920s America proves why. We need to bring some of these terms back, and how! My faves: Chassis – the female body Fire extinguisher – a chaperone Giggle Water – An intoxicating beverage; alcohol Hayburner – (1) a gas guzzling car Spifflicated – […]
Category Archives: Linguistics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellerism Wellerisms, named after Sam Weller in Charles Dickens‘s The Pickwick Papers, make fun of established proverbs by showing that they are wrong in certain situations, often when taken literally. In this sense, wellerisms that include proverbs are a type of anti-proverb. Typically a Wellerism consists of three parts: a proverb or saying, a speaker, […]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phatic In linguistics, a phatic expression is one whose only function is to perform a social task, as opposed to conveying information… For example, “you’re welcome” is not intended to convey the message that the hearer is welcome; it is a phatic response to being thanked, which in turn is a phatic whose function is […]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondegreen Mondegreens are always good for a larf, but nothing beats the one that coined the phrase: When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me from Percy’s Reliques, and one of my favorite poems began, as I remember: Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, Oh, where hae ye been? They hae […]
http://www.uebersetzung.at/twister/en.htm Some of these tongue twisters are well known. Others are not terribly challenging. Some are downright impossible. This one, however, is both effective and amusing. There was a fisherman named Fisher who fished for some fish in a fissure. Till a fish with a grin, pulled the fisherman in. Now they’re fishing the fissure […]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_d4Dxntv24 What better way to celebrate the holiday than with a star, a manger, three kings, some shepherds, and Charlie Higson in hotpants. You can keep your Boney M; I like my Christmas disco nonsensical and with plenty of facial hair.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwy1qGdQ424 All of the pages offered by the Stumble button are depressing me. So I’m going rogue and picking my own. Here’s a goat that sounds like Jerry Lewis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onomatopoeia Word of the moment: Onomatopoeia (occasionally spelled onomateopoeia or onomatopoeia) is a word or a grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing, suggesting its source object, such as “click,” “clang,” “buzz,” or animal noises such as “oink”, “quack”, “flap”, “slurp”, or “meow”. The word is a synthesis of the Greek words […]
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=panjandrum Word of the Moment: Panjandrum, n. A self-important or pretentious official. [Origin: 1745-55; pseudo-Latin word (based on pan-) coined by Samuel Foote (1720-77), English dramatist and actor]
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=gracile Gracile, adj. 1. gracefully slender. 2. slender; thin. [Origin: 1615-25; < L gracilis slender, slight, thin]