Thursday, November 8, 2007

Words, Words, Words...

by Jeanne Adams

Writers live for words. We play with them. Substitute them. Delete them, add them and even invent them. Our "job" if you will, is to wordsmith; to hammer at the verbs and nouns, pronouns and participles, forging them into sentences that invoke images in our readers minds. If we do it well, we eventually get to the point where we win contests, get contracts, and get to see our name in print. Woohoo! If we don't...well, we don't. But print or no print, there are very few of us who could actually stop writing, even if we decided this publishing nonsense was for the birds. I know several Banditas who will admit that they tried to stop - much like giving up drugs or smoking - but came back to the addiction after a month, or two. In some cases, it took years to return to the "habit" but return they did. They couldn't stop. (Thank goodness, where would we be without Anna's CTC? and AC's wonderful soon-to-be published works?)

Neither can I, of course. Stop, that is. Thank goodness too, since if I'd given up, I'd never have gotten to be a Bandita, never gotten the privilege of a publishing contract. Not only that, my dear, departed Mama would have risen from the grave and boxed my ears. (She was a never-say-die kind of lady!) Grins. With an English teacher for a Mom and a Director of Libraries (now retired) for a Dad, I learned to love and play with words at an early age. My whole family loves books, love words and puns and malapropisms. Shakespeare, Dickens, Dante, Thurber, Dickinson and Austin were Olympians in my house. Point in fact, we can all quote from Macbeth and Othello. (And Mad Magazine, and the movie The Princess Bride!)

But its the playing with the words, the sly puns and the double entendres that's the most fun. Don't you agree? My sister regularly sends me "Eggcorns" - the misuses of words and phrases by public figures, all listed in their glory on the Eggcorn database. An Eggcorn, BTW, is what someone called an acorn. Some of my favorites include:

A posable thumbs - the real phrase? Opposable thumbs, meaning our ability to grasp.
A mute/mood point - the real phrase? A moot point. (Just how would one make a mute - silent - point? Assassination?)
A shot over the bough - the real phrase? A shot over the bow, as in the bow or front of a ship, rather than the limb of a tree.
And other words - the real phrase? In other words.
Collaborating evidents for the real phrase Corroborating evidence.
Extract vengeance for exact revenge...
Lack toast and intolerant...heehee, the real phrase? Lactose (milk) intolerance. This one nearly made me inhale Diet Coke when I read it, I was laughing so hard. I'm STILL laughing at it.

Never seizes to amaze
...for never ceases to amaze
Reek hammock (It stinks, I tell ya!)...for wreak havoc
Take with a grain assault (Quit throwing rice, darn it!) for take with a grain of salt
Two sense worth...two cents worth

You get the idea. And then there are the authors who in their zeal for the language, use a word in their book that is so arcane, so obscure that it stops you in your tracks and you have to go look it up. I read Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory's trilogy as it came out over the last two years. In the first book, they used the word marmoreal. I had no idea, from context, what on earth this could mean. I had to look it up.
What I mean is that it bothered me so much that I had to stop reading and Go Look It Up. Grrrr. Thankfully, I have this awesome, massive, four-inch-wide, ten pound dictionary. It exists solely to offer definitions for those incredibly odd, old, or long-forgotten words; unlike the ubiquitous Collegiate Webster's everyone has from school. As an aside, I met a woman not long ago who doesn't own a dictionary. Sacrilege, I say! Egads! How can this BE? (She owns five Bibles, but not one dictionary. What's wrong with this picture? I've had to look up tons of Biblical babble! Haven't you?)

BTW, marmoreal means "like marble." Yeah. Uh-huh. I use THAT one every day, don't you? Or remuda, which is a herd of horses. Yup. That's self-evident. NOT! Even those of us crazy enough to have taken Latin (JoMama, I know YOU did!) can't get some of these because they aren't based on Latin. Then again, lamia is Latin, but who the heck would get vampire out of the root word for blood? Jeeez.

Language, in all it's forms is so fascinating. The learning of it, the playing with it never ceases to fascinate. I love learning new words and phrases. I like to hear slang from different countries-our Banditas from Oz tell me that "flat out like a lizard drinking" is a euphemism Down Under for going fast. Did I get that right, gals?

What are some of YOUR favorite words, phrases or slang? Ever have to look one up, like marmoreal? Teach me a few new ones, ladies! The most unusual wins a Bandit Booty Barnes and Nobles gift certificate.


Keira Soleore said...

Me! Cock-a-doodle-doo! Yeah!

Keira Soleore said...

I love "lack toast and intolerant," becase I'm one, the correct and incorrect versions. :)

I thought "marmoreal" meant a smarmy arboreal animal. Ahem.

Jeanne, would you dictionary be the OED, by chance? If so, YEAH!

How about "qat," "cwm," "aa," and "protensive"? Can you tell I love Scrabble?

Trish Milburn said...

Dang, I was so close to the Golden Rooster, but Keira snatched it away! :) Guess I'll go to bed now.

Cool post, Kirsten. Of course, I'm so tired at the moment I can't think of anything to add except that I think it's funny when I find out that a song lyric I've been singing for years isn't what I've always thought it was.

Aunty Cindy said...

HRUMPH! Here I hoped by checking in during The Tonight Show I might snag the GR. Oh well, at least I've aced out the Down Under brigade. *smirks*

AWWWW! Thanx Jeanne for the kind words about my soon-to-be-published tome. I REALLY REALLY hope that everyone loves reading it as much as I loved writing it!

One of my all time best Eggcorns was my own. When I was a child I thought my Gramma was saying, "God a might nose!" instead of "God Almight knows!" I always wondered why God's nose was so large. Oh, and until I actually saw it written out, it was always a chester drawers to me.

proud of her Okie roots!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, what a great post! I love words and I love word games, as you would all know, having had to suffer through my pun-ishments (oh,no, there I go again! Stop me someone or civilisation as we know it will crumble, I tell ya!). I love authors who use words I don't know. I love arcane vocabulary to do with specific eras or trades or places. When I first started writing romance, I wrote medievals. Loved things like oratories and vair and palfreys and caravels. Don't those words just make you want to leap up and explore a new world? They sure do me! I've said my eggcorn before here, I'm sure. When I was at primary school, we used to say the Lord's Prayer on the school playground. I thought 'Our Father' was actually 'Alf Arthur' and I used to feel so sorry for little Alf Arthur who had clearly died and was now in heaven. By the way, Duchesse, flat out like a lizard drinking means you're really, really busy. But going fast isn't a bad approximation ;-) Hey, and thanks for the plug, my friend! I opened the blog and saw my cover and thought, "What the...?"

Hey, Keira, enjoy that golden rooster!

Buffie said...

Great post!! I have to confess that I am just awful at words and spelling and such. So I have not great word to leave you with :)

But I do have a dictionary, even if it is 45 years old!!!!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I love words, most of the time when I come across one of "those" words I can get the meaning from the text and go on, then I go back and look it up later. If I can't, I have to go look it up, I don't know how much my dictionary weighs but I don't toss it around a lot. :-) If it isn't in my dictionary, which hasn't happened yet I would go online and take a shot at finding it. The words that actually stop me dead is the ones pertaining to clothes and I can't get a picture of it in my head. Stomacher was one such word, ??? I kind figured okay, it has to go somewhere around the stomach, but what did it look like and how exactly did it go on.
I was born and raised in the country, my grandmother had a huge hand in raising me so my language habits are way back. Like AC it was years before I knew a chester drawers was actually a chest of drawers, which of course makes perfect sense when you see it written out. Right now the only phrases coming to mind are "six of one, have a dozen of others" and "same difference".

brownone said...

Well, we live in Florida and my sister had moved to Sarasota for a spell. When we told my son (then four) that she was moving to Sarasota, he aksed, "Why would she want to move to share-a-soda?" So now we call it Share-a-soda.
Other unoriginals:
My eldest daughter loves Tinkerbelle so we call her "stinkerbelle", my youngest has watched "The Little Murdermaid" at least 1000 times, and every Christmas we watch "The Princess Diarrheas".
Other than that, whenever anyone says "This one time" SOMEONE in my family has to say "at band camp" (a la American Pie)!

Claudia Dain said...

I'm clearly hanging out at the wrong water cooler since I've never heard of any of those, not even the term "eggcorn". My childhood was obviously a complete disaster.

As a tiny tot, my daughter once called the lazy susan (do you use that term down under?) a Swingin' Suzie, which is what we still call it--I mean, seriously, isn't that a way cooler name?

Caren Crane said...

Keira, congrats on the Golden Rooster! And 'qat' is one of my favorite online Scrabble words. I love the SOWPODS dictionary!

Another favorite is 'fremd'. My bff and I decided it was like a friend, only chummier. So now, she is my fremd. The Banditas are also my fremds! *g*

Laura J. said...

When my oldest was 5 he asked us "Member when I was appetized?" We had to ask him several times what he said, finally after a few minutes he said "you know when Rev. Joe sprinkled water on my head." Ahhhh, baptized.

Caren Crane said...

It's TICD and so early in the day, too! Love the Swingin' Suzie. She sounds much hipper than the Lazy Susan. A term, btw, to which my sister Susan always took exception. She called it the Lazy Teresa or the Lazy Constance--just a random name that wasn't "Susan".

Trish, I'm with you on the wrong song lyrics. Since I was a teen, I've been an avid reader of liner notes (and yes, I know some wicked trivia from those). Invariably, the lyrics I still have wrong today are the ones I learned (or thought I heard) as a child. Until this year I thought John Lennon said, "I am the ape man" rather than "I am the egg man" in the song "I Am the Walrus". Of course, neither makes more sense than the other, so perhaps that one is forgivable. *g*

My bff's husband thinks the U2 song "Numb" says "I feel fine" rather than "I feel numb". Hey, if it makes him happier...

Caren Crane said...

Laura J., that's so cute! When my older daughter was not quite 2, she started called my youngest (her baby sister) "Miss Mallicot". We asked her teachers at the daycare and asked her about it, but could never figure out where she got Miss Mallicot from. Still don't know--but we still call my youngest Cottie! *g*

Caren Crane said...

Btw, word lovers, Kirsten send us the most treacherous link the other day! I'm not suggesting you check it out: as a matter of fact, I forbid you to visit: Free Rice. Whatever you do, don't go there!!

Beth said...

Love the eggcorns, Jeanne! My family teases me because when I was younger I would call groundhogs (otherwise known as woodchucks) groundchucks *g* The sad part is, when I say 'younger', I mean a teenager :-)

We have a nephew who had very light blonde hair as a baby. His dad called him a towhead except his four year old brother thought he said Toad. It stuck and our nephew still carries the nickname to this day *g*

Anonymous said...

You know Trish was really tired, since she attributed this blog to me, and I haven't nearly the wordswomanship to draft it!

I have nothing fun or adorable to add but love everyone else's eggcorns! My daily word play is looking at sentences like the first above and saying, "Since denotes time, not causation; replace with beacause."

See? Boring. Lawyers are boring. There's no two ways about it.

Caren Crane said...

Kirsten, I can't totally get behind you being boring, since you've been known to gad about the office commando! Also, you provided the above-reference very evil link that NO ONE must visit (especially Keira): Free Rice. I never find evil boring. *g*

Anonymous said...

By the way, props to Keira for taking the GR away from the Aussies. Keira's a west coast lady, AC. Can't blame the Aussies for this one!

I love Laura J's "appetized"! :-)

Oh, and don't go visit the free rice site. It's way too addicting. And humbling. I think Caren got to 49 or something. I was somewhere in the (ahem) 30s.

Anonymous said...

If they only knew, right? ;-)

Then there was that time with the window washer and...oh, sorry. Having a flashback...

doglady said...

Don't listen, ladies! Caren is trying to lead you down the road to addiction!! Free Rice is EVIL!!! I love words from my favorite era - the Regency. Words like "looby" or "Lightskirt" or "brown study" We had a heated debate recently on Beau Monde as to when the word "dimwit" came into use. I LOVE words, their manipulation, the music of them, the ability to paint worlds with them. Of course coming from the South we have a vocabulary all our own - You can wrench your knee. Hand me a wrench. or Wrench out a washcloth!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh man, Kiera, I had to pull out the Webster's Third new International(Printed in China - I think its a rip off, but it's GOOD!) to get qat. Cool! I wish it were the OED, but then again, that takes up a LOT of space! I was LOL about the smarmy arboreal animal. Heehee. That wouldn't have fit in context - it was snowing heavily in the book - but its better than what I guessed, which had more to do with jam (marmalade) than marble. Harrumpf. This being why I was irritated enough to Look It Up in the monster dictionary.

Cindy, I almost got Starbucks coffee on the keyboard from God's Almighty nose. Snork!

Caren, my fremd, we love you too. Heehee. I also love the Mallicot story. And you are SO right about Free Rice. BTW, I looked it up on Snopes to be sure it wasn't a hoax or something. Its not. It was also written up in the Washington Post this weekend as totally legit. Drat it. I was hoping I could stay away from it but now that I know it's legit...sigh.

Laura J, I wasn't appetized until I was older, but it wasn't all that appetizing. Har, har. I was LOL at your son's Eggcorn. :>

Hello to the TICD! I'm loving some of these Eggcorns and there are a lot already that I'd not heard of! I love Scrabble too, but wow. Qat? And Cwm? But I love the Swingin' Suzie. Ha!

Kirsten, you do TO have the wordswomanship for a blog such as this or you wouldn't be a Bandita. And lawyers in general may be boring but YOU are not! Trust me...bwah-ha-ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Caren its so funny about the Lazy Constance. My sister's name is Susan as well and I know she'll get a kick out of that story! :>

Kiera, I forgot to say congrats on the Golden Rooster! And wasn't the Lack Toast thing a riot?

Doglady, you are SO right about the historical and Regency vocabulary being so addictive. I noticed that Free Rice (yep, already addicted) uses a lot of obscure words like palfrey and greaves from the medieval period. Love the word lightskirt. So evocative. I have a great calendar of Forgotten English. Today's word is actually a phrase - Inkhorn Mate. It means a bookish man, used as a term of contempt.
I also had to laugh about Southern Vocabulary. Mash the light, mash the potatoes, mash the bug. Oh, and hames (harness) and so many others.

Kirsten I wasn't going to mention some EXAMPLES of how not-boring you are (You commando you! And I want to hear about the window washer...cawl me...Oh, and there's always the fetish you have for dough...oh, better not say the word, right?) Snork

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beth, I loved the Groundchuck and Toad story. Did you know that we in the South also call these critters whistle pigs?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Duh, I meant to add that that web URL is for the Eggcorn Database. Ha! Not. Enough. Starbucks. Snork

MsHellion said...

*LOL* These are funny...and seem to all be mistakes our local "teaching journalism" paper would have made.

Fun slang.

I'm currently subscribed to "urban word of the day"--which is a hit or miss, but I had to join when I learned the word: "mantastic"--which besides defining the word, they use it in a sentence: (I've copied & pasted it from UWOTD for your viewing pleasure.)

Feeling fantastic after the successful completion of a particularly macho feat.

Following his fifth keg of beer, Kevin ripped the horn off of his pet narwhal, and then nailed his porn-star girlfriend for hours. Subsequently, he felt mantastic.

Today's UWOTD: Bluewalls--which apparently is the female equivalent of "blue balls"

MsHellion said...

Oh, I remembered an eggcorn--I used to think that it was "do you take [bride's name] to be your awfully wedded wife"--instead of LAWFULLY wedded wife.

MsHellion said...

And of course, I had to go the Free Rice place. Thanks guys! Like I'm not already procrastinating enough as it is!

Keira Soleore said...

FoAnna said, "Hey, Keira, enjoy that golden rooster!"
Caren said, "Congrats, Keira, on your GOLDEN ROOSTER!! Now, don't pop him in a stew pot..."

Well, gee, how am I going to serve him up to our friends Down Under on a golden platter without first making a trip to the pot or the oven? Perhaps they like their chickens squawking on their plates. Hm.

Caren wrote, "...very evil link that NO ONE must visit (especially Keira): Free Rice."

Too late. I've known about it for two weeks, and now it's part of my daily blog roll.

Kirsten said, "Keira's a west coast lady, AC."

Gosh, that sounds so posh, almost like Keira's a Sydney Lady. :)

Laura J: The "appetized" comment was priceless!

Jeanne said, "I have a great calendar of Forgotten English."

Guess what's sitting on my desk?? :) I already grabbed the 2008 one, the minute I saw that it was for sale at my Borders.

I have another eggcorn for you: "trader" for "traitor."

Donna MacMeans said...

Jeanne -

These are so much fun. I loved the Toad for Towhead and appetized for baptised. I wish I could contribute but I'm drawing a blank. However, anyone who's been in the car with me when I'm singing at the top of my rather sad voice can probably contribute a bushel load. I really don't care if I get the words exactly right, it's the pleasure of singing (loudly) that counts. But I know from the giggles and snorks that there's a few eggcorns in there.

BTW, I have lots of dictionaries about. As Doglady knows, writing historicals means frequent checking to see if a word was in use at the time of setting. One of my favorite references is the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. I can get lost in there.

Joan said...

LOL, great post Duchesse!

My brain's not on full out roll this am but I can recall several examples of creative word usage.

When my brother was little, he'd call spaghetti "pasketi". He still gets mad if I remind him.

There is an old Garth Brooks song called "Shameless". My BFF's husband listened to it several times then started singing along..."I'm Shaving" LOL. He really thought it said that.

The best though comes, again, from a friend's husband. Back when Princess Diana was so tragiclly taken from us and the news people were reporting on the role of the paparazzi, her husband asked "Pavaroti? What was Pavaroti doing chasing Princess Diana?"

Ya had to laugh.

Trish Milburn said...

brownone -- LOL on the "this one band camp." I can just hear Alyson Hannigan saying that line.

Beth, too funny on the groundchucks. I'm picturing a package of hamburger poking his head out of the hole on Groundchuck Day. :)

OMG, I did attribute the post to the wrong person. Oops. Sorry, Jeanne. But it was about 1 in the morning and I'd been doing revisions for hours. Brain was mush.

doglady, hee hee on the Southernisms. Being from the South myself, I recognize them all. Although I do cringe if I ever hear someone talk about "wrenching their warshin." Ahhhh!!!

Christie Kelley said...

Here's a funny one that happened just last night. I was helping my 10 yr old with his spelling. He had to look up his words and write the definition. So I was chasing down the words in his children's dictionary as he wrote. The word was blaring. So I looked up blare. Not there. Interesting because as I looked up another word I came across the word somnambulism (yes, blare was not there but this word was)

Curiosity took over and I have to discover what somnambulism was--sleepwalking.

Cassondra said...


Somnambulism was in your "children's dictionary?" Sheesh. My husband would know that one ala medical terminology, but I wouldn't have guessed.

One of our closest friends has a gift for creating Eggcorns. He does it on purpose--he mixes words and expressions and they always make us spew coffee or coke or whatever we're drinking at the time. Some of them have come into regular usage around our house, which is funny. But I do have to wonder what his kids will grow up using as "normal" words.

Let's see....
Perzactly--a bastardization of precisely and exactly.

Suddenly--as in, "I'll be there suddenly," (rather than immediately)

Destructions--I use this one all the time. Clerks in stores give me funny looks when I ask them to open the box to make sure the item I'm buying includes the sheet of assembly destructions.

I refuse to go to that rice website. R.E.F.U.S.E.

Oh, and Auntie Cindy, Chester Drawers' sister lived at my grandmother's house. Her name was Chesta.

I want an unabridged dictionary--all I have is the Webster's collegiate. You would not BELIEVE what is NOT in that silly book. But have you priced the unabridged versions???? DELAWDAMIGHTEY!

Jeanne, great subject!

anne said...

Dressed to the nines
Decked out

These are a few of my favorites since they are older and I enjoy seeing them used, although rarely nowadays.

ruth said...

I want to be very pacific on this point.

Specific and to the point is what I meant of course.

Cassondra said...

Hey, have any of you played that game "Balderdash"?

It takes weird words that nobody has ever heard of (well almost nobody) and the players have to make up a definition and get the OTHER players to vote for THAT definition--and if the others do, you get points.

I once got the word "mammock" and one of the other ladies said "a hammock for mommas" (grin). I said it was a type of baby carrier, made of animal skins, used by humans during the ice age. I actually don't remember what the real definition was--and I suppose it's troublesome that I don't care. ;0/

But I won.

It's about weird words and the ability to come up with a believable fake definition--and then lie like a rug.

I LOVE this game. I'm not much for Scrabble because it moves so slowly--but I love fast-moving word games.

CrystalGB said...

My neice has some funny words that she uses. She told me that I had pickles on my arm and what I had was freckles.
Some words I hear a lot here in the south are "fixin to" and "reckon".

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, speaking of eggcorns, it's very early in the morning here so I'm a bit bleary eyed. But I read fremd as "like a friend only chubbier." I was going to say, who you callin' chubby, girlfremd???!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

This is so fun! I love hearing everyone's irreverent and fun Eggcorns and mis-proununciations. Grins.

Cassondra, I know what you mean about those kind of deliberate imperfections coming into common use. I say, on purpose, "I need to renew my magazine perscription." My DH created one when he was having a Freudian moment one day. "Do you want to compare catalogs?" He meant calendars, but it stuck, so now we always say, "So, let's compare catalogs."

My kids are so NOT going to get it. Ha!

Christie, I cannot believe somnambulism was in a kid's dictionary and the other word wasn't. Gracious! When would a kid use THAT word?

MShellion, I love the "Mantastic" thing. And Bwah-ha-ha on going to the Free Rice thing. It is TOTALLY addictive to us wordies.

Keira, don't you just love that calendar? Wow. Toooo fun. (making note to go snag the 2008, ASAP)

pearl said...

When I was much younger we used to use the word, valise which I thought at the time was normal and the only word to use for a suitcase. Where I grew up it definitely was an everyday word. Nowhere else though unless you lived in France.

diane said...

Percolator was a word we used every single day growing up. Does anyone out there even know what is means anymore.
We used to talk about wall to wall carpet or even broadloom. No one says those words at all.

Laura J. said...

My daughter just came up with another one. Got to love the things kids come up with. We were looking at gloves and hats when she saw ear warmers and she goes "I want some ear muffins".

I had a substitute teacher in grade school and we used to think she was kidding around but now I wonder if she really was saying "misnake" instead of mistake and "exsqueeze me" instead of excuse me. She always said that never the other and for some reason I don't think she realized it. (She was one of our favorite subs!!)

M. said...

1. i'll offer 'a piece of quiet' (instead of peace and quiet) which is what my three year old boy used to say

2. 'Marmor' is the German word for marble, and even so, I didn't get 'marmoreal' until it was spelled out in the post! (German is my second language). sheesh.

Christine Wells said...

Snorked at those eggcoms, Jeanne! Great post!

Trish reminded me about song lyrics. My father had a few funny ones as a boy, including, "I'm gonna get you/on a slow goat to China." I felt sorry for the poor goat!

Helen said...

I love the post and the comments are fantastic my mind is not functioning this morning. A euphemism for going fast would probably be like a rat up a drainpipe correct me if I am wrong Anna.
When I was a child and I would ask my mum what was for dinner she would always say pigs bum and gooley gum that was one question my mother for some reason didn't like to be asked.
I have a dictionary that is well used if there is a word I don't know I look it up. BTW congrats Keira on the golden rooster.
Have Fun

Caren Crane said...

Laura J., my daughters called earmuffs "ear muffins", too! They still do, even though they are teenagers and know better. It makes them giggle.

Trish, many things are "warshed" when one lives in Middle TN. My mother will slip up and say it sometimes! She also says "soh-sul security" rather than "soh-shul". No idea why. Of course, in Nashville we said "vie-EE-nee sausages" for "Vienna sausages", so there you go.

Jeanne, we always use "destructions" at my house, too! And yes, clerks do look at you askance. *g*

Cassondra, I own Balderdash (which probably doesn't surprise you). My family (and by that, I mean my siblings) think this is the most fun game ever! We have to take it to San Fran. What fun we could have! Had to laugh about "mammock". Sounds very "Clan Of the Cave Bear". *g*

Brownone, I loved "share-a-soda". No wonder you still use it!

At our house, when we are in a hurry, we have to "get in the wind" or "get motor-vatin'". We make up words all the time or twist words and phrases to suit ourselves.

Of course, the girls and I are prone to drama, in general, and have been known to conduct whole conversations in opera until my husband puts the kibosh on it. Killjoy. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Diane, we had a percolator, too! It seriously was a percolator and that's what I called coffee pots until they all went drip. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Oh, I thought of another one my older daughter used to say. (I think she got it from my husband--please see earlier blog on malapropisms! *g*)

When we were irritating her when she was two or three she would say, "You're getting on my nervous."

Dianna Love Snell said...

Hi Jeanne -

I'm amazed at the information a historical author has to know. I love to read historicals, but could never keep anything straight. I'm much better off writing about what I can see today. ;)

Very interesting article and congrats again on your sale.


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Diane, that's so funny about the percolater. My Mama always called the coffee pot a percolater - then again, it WAS one! ha! I also grew up hearing Broadloom for carpet as well.
Helen you almost made me lose the tea I was drinking w/ your Mother's comment. I do that to my boys as well, although its not that I don't want to be asked. I just don't want the inevitable eye-rolls and "do I LIKE that?" or "Again?" So I tell them it's Lizard Stew and pork rinds. Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks Dianna! I feel like a "real" author - I got my revisions today. Yikes! Ha!

p226 said...

Reminds me of the whole mis-heard lyrics thing.

'Scuze me, while I kiss this guy!

Say again?

Hendrix took a flying leap out of the closet on Max Yazger's farm?


Sometimes, it's annoying. But misuse of language can be downright comical.

Picture the scene with me here....

It's eight grade health class. I'm sitting next to my girlfriend's best friend. She's flipping through her health book, and finds a word she thinks "sounds neat." She, of course, fails to check it's definition before she begins to sing it in this high, and quite pretty melody.

eeeeJAAAAAACKulaaaate...... eeeeJAAAAAACKulataate......

She was looking at me curiously while I was rolling in the isle between the desks knotted up in laughter, but no, that didn't stop her from singing her cool sounding word. Nope, she kept on singing pretty as a lark until the teacher intervened.

So, the mis-use of the language can certainly go both ways. You can appropriately use obscure stuff no one gets, or you can mis-use stuff everyone else gets, but you do not.

ellie said...

A term that we used to use all the time was , cooking with gas. Now that was a biggie then. Now you're cooking with gas was popular. Also like a house on fire and hold your horses.

Caren Crane said...

P226, when I was a little girl I thought Jiimy said, "Excuse me while I kiss this guy." I never assumed he was gay, but just figured he was being, you know, artistic. I don't think I knew better until my husband disabused me of the notion in my 20s! *g*

Too funny about the "ejaculate" song. Junior high made for many comical moments.

I worked with a lady one time who had a very distinct upper NY accent. She drove a Volvo, which she loved to talk about. But when she said "Volvo", it sounded exactly like "Vulva". She got more than a few polite Southerners asking, "Excuse me, what kind of car?" *eg*

Caren Crane said...

Ellie, at my house we're always "cooking with kerosene". Implying a much riskier conflagration, naturally. *g*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226, I was ROFLMAO. The melody which came to mind was the Hallelujah chorus. Snork. Still laughing. :>
Ellie, I've always loved Hold your Horses. It's so old-fashioned in its connotation, but everyone gets it. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Caren, you crack me up. The whole cooking w/ kerosene does bring up a waaaaaaay different picture than mere, pedestrian "gas." Also had to LOL about the Volvo. Gotta say, that lady was driving a car with some Power! Snork!

p226 said...

"Excuse me, what kind of car?" *eg*

"And where can I get one?"

hahahah, that's great.

Keira Soleore said...

I still tend to say, "Hold your horses," despite having a friend who'd immediately reply, "Held and stabled."

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I love that comeback Kiera! "Held and Stabled" indeed! Heehee. Kind of like that old playground thing of:
"Hey you!"
"Hay is for Horses, staw is for pigs."

Cassondra said...

p226 said:

Excuse me, what kind of car?" *eg*

"And where can I get one?"

Oh, you WOULD add that line.

LOL about the health book. And I would have loved to have seen the health teacher's face when she first heard that! (grin)

Cassondra said...

Hey, I love percolated coffee--I inherited the cutest little percolator from my grandmother when her house and estate got sold a couple of years ago.

Any time during college when I'd go home for visits and they'd ask what I wanted for breakfast, I'd always say, "will you perk the coffee?" (probably more likely "perc" but.....)

It's a completely different taste than drip.

kim h said...

ca sara sara lol
can i have fries with that

Cassondra said...

Claudia said:

As a tiny tot, my daughter once called the lazy susan (do you use that term down under?) a Swingin' Suzie, which is what we still call it--I mean, seriously, isn't that a way cooler name?

Oh yeah. That's a much better name. I'm calling it that from now on. Can you imagine the marketing potential for a swingin suzie?

Aunty Cindy said...

Laura J. and Caren,
to this day, my son calls earmuffs earmops!

And Keira, I do believe I saw aa on my last trip to The Big Island.

Everyone's eggcorns have me ROFLOL! Thanx for the post, Jeanne and thanx everyone for sharing!


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

AC, you can only avoid Free Rice for so long....Bwah-ha-ha! :> I'll be you won't be able to resist this one though... Try the Classic Boggler...

jo robertson said...

Jeanne, what a fun post!

P226, the ejaculate story has got to be the funny one of the day.

When I was a little girl, we sang a song in church about being "chaste and benevolent," which my mind translated as "chased by an elephant." I couldn't figure out why God wanted someone to be hounded by a large, lumbersome creature.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, that is SO funny! Chased by an elephant. I'll never hear that phrase the same way again. That's kind of like Round John Virgin (Round yon virgin...tender and mild)
Of course, I also thought O Holy Night was Oh, Holy Knight!

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, I never could figure out why God was stomping the grapes of wrath, so none of the hymns made much sense to me.

They might as well have been singing, "Lucy in disguise with diamonds" or "I am the ape man". *g*

I also never could figure out why we sang, "Here we go a-waffling among the leaves so green" at Christmas, but it sure made me hungry!

annie said...

Like Chalk and Cheese is one that I love. My sister and I are like Chalk and cheese.

Anna Campbell said...

Actually the knight line made me remember that I was most disappointed when Nights in White Satin wasn't KNIGHTS in white satin. So much more evocative! I had this wonderful picture of doomed romantic knights, a bit like the white knight from Through the Looking Glass. Nights wasn't nearly so cool! This was a great post, Cassondra!

doglady said...

Christine! SO glad I am not the only one who peruses the Vulgar! I could spend hours pouring over it. Hmm. How about "Let me cogitate over that and I am sure my edumacation will kick in." Any dish that has to marinate is said to "percolate" at my Mom's. "Let that fruit percolate a while before we make preserves."

Cassondra said...

JoMama said:

"chaste and benevolent," which my mind translated as "chased by an elephant."

OMGOMGOMG. I just got root beer float almost coming out my nose. Oh gross, Oh, ick OMG.

That's got to be the funniest dang thing I've ever read. I had immediate association with Monty Python and "Every Sperm Is Sacred."

I think P226 has been a bad influence on us. He's brought out our darker sides.

Ha! I'll have to thank him for that later.

Cassondra said...

Foanna said:

Nights wasn't nearly so cool! This was a great post, Cassondra!

Ha! I am vindicated. I have NOT been offered a bartending job because I am not a blonde bombshell, nor am I stacked like Barbie. But now I have been confused with a stacked, blonde bombshell! Ha!

Susan L Reid - Alkamae Blog said...

When a Wal-Mart employee wrote on a cake "Best Wishes Suzanne, Under Neat That, We Will Miss You" instead of what the cake buyer asked for: "Best Wishes Suzanne," and underneath that, write, "We will miss you."

It's all in the words, isn't it Jeanne?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Susan, you crack me up! That's hysterical!
Caren, I love the stomping grapes thing. My Mama was big on the grapes issue. I got "chapter and verse" about just WHY the Good Lord was a-stomping them grapes. Snork.
Cassondra and Foanna, thank you for the compliments. Foanna, I always wanted to be dark-haired, dark-eyed and gorgeous like Cassondra, so hey, there you go. And Cassondra, I'm delighted to be "so described."

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