Friday, May 13, 2016

A Good Pun is its Own Reword

Thought for the day:  Writers fish for the right words like fishermen fish for, um, whatever those aquatic creatures with fins and gills are called. [Jarrod Kintz]

We all flounder for the right word at times— especially as we get older— but I have a confession to make: I am so helplessly hooked on words, I'm not even trying to wriggle off the hook. Yep, I must confess, for it's true. I have a deep-seated and incurable case of logophilia, which is further complicated by my inexplicable love of puns.

A pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you thought of it yourself. [Gary Larson]

So just for the halibut, let's do a little fishing together, shall we? Let's talk about lost and found words— words and phrases of the past, and brand spanking new ones that have recently finagled their way into the dictionary.


Some really cool words and phrases have gone the way of milkmen. Just as young people of today missed out on the rather dubious experience of picking up bottles of milk from their front porches early in the morning, (A memorable experience in the wintertime, when the milk is partially frozen, and the cap is popped off, and sitting atop a big bulge of icky -thick cream...) they've also missed out on a bunch of colorful expressions and phrases. Do kids today know what a carbon copy is? Does anybody even make carbon paper any more? (Believe it or not, I still have a partial box of it.) With the advent of remote controls, kids today have no concept of jumping up to change the channel, and have never heard a TV announcer say, Don't touch that dial! Would your kids have any idea what you were talking about if you told them they sounded like a broken record? Or if you complained that someone had hung you out to dry? Nope, the kids of today may be living the life of Riley, but it's unlikely that they've ever heard that expression. That's okay. We may never again be the bee's knees, or the cat's pajamas, and nothing may ever again be dubbed gross enough to gag a maggot, but with all of the new words that are added to the dictionary every year, I guess something's gotta give. Out with the old and in with the new. And now for a glimpse of some of the lost ones we've shoved off a cliff, and some of the new ones that have taken their place. And a-waaaaay we go. (How sweet it is!)



Okay, here's a handful of long-lost words most of us never heard of before, and more's the pity, because some of them are pretty darned spiffy:

Wonder-wench: A sweetheart [Wouldn't you gals love it if your fella hung that moniker on you?]
Groak: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them [Dogs are the undisputed masters of this art]
Beef-witted: Having an inactive brain, thought to be from eating too much beef. [Makes sense.. I guess doughnut dumb will be next.]
Queerplungers: Cheats who throw themselves into the water in order that they may be taken up by their accomplices, who carry them to one of the houses appointed by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, where they are rewarded by the society with a guinea each, and the supposed drowned person, pretending he was driven to that extremity by great necessity, is also frequently sent away with a contribution in his pocket. [Talk about a specific definition...]
Resistentialism: The seemingly spiteful behavior shown by inanimate objects [There is definitely still a need for this word.]



Because I like to cling to old words, in spite of my age, I still say words like cool and neat, I must confess, some of the new words just added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary are pretty darned cool, too. (Told ya!)

belignorant- both belligerent and ignorant [a word necessitated by the state of politics in today's world?]
mantrum- a tantrum thrown by a man [hmmm, also politically based?]
breakfunch- a small meal between breakfast and lunch [Um, I thought that was called brunch]
confungry- both confused and angry [back to politics...]
definotly- definitely not [HA! I like that one]
jokative- causing laughter [sounds like a made-up word, doesn't it?]
niblings- a person's nieces and nephews [kinda cool]
smellucination- an olfactory hallucination; the perception of a smell when there is no source for that smell. [another cool one]
gayborhood- neighborhood where gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people live and/or work

Like gayborhood, a number of new words are based on society's changing perception about sexuality.

Like cisgender. I guess you could say this word is the opposite of transgender. It describes someone who does still identify with his/her birth gender. [I never heard of this word, and wouldn't have thought it a necessary word, but it has been in use within the LGBT community since the late '90s]
And genderqueer, meaning someone who doesn't clearly qualify(?) or identify as either male or female.
How about Mx? That's now an accepted gender-neutral title of address.

And just a few more new words, non-sexuality based:

nomophobia- the fear of being without a working cellphone [Now you know what to call it!]
FOMO- fear of missing out
hella- a lot of




Let's end this post with something rock solid... you know, something you can hang your hat (or quoit) on. Although there was some stiff competition as to what that should be, I made the hard decision to consider the potentially punny and funny side of naming drugs. In particular... Viagra... you know, that wonder drug that brings good things to life, and provides a lift to dudes who have fallen and can't get up. For sure, it's a swell medication, to which many would offer a standing ovation, but for all that, its name is rather... limp.

As you all know, drugs have two names... a trade name and a generic name. So what about Viagra? Its generic name is currently sildenafil, but surely this most uplifting drug of them all should have a more edifying  generic name to reflect its rise in popularity, don't you think? Indeed, the generic form of Viagra offers more bang for the buck, but why can't its name be more... fun?

So here we go: I humbly suggest some possible nominees for an appropriate name (or inappropriate, depending on your point of view...)  for the FDA to consider as Viagra's new generic name:

  • Fixaflatun
  • Peckerupp
  • Nomorefloppin
  • Nulazarus
  • Nolimpics (for marketing to athletes)
  • Hardwood
  • Lovinlarge 
  • Poleraisin
  • Wheewillie
  • Popnrock
Hmm, I dunno. I think it'd be a really hard choice...

Oh, and guess what? Word has it that Pfizer may soon be offering Viagra as a liquid, and in a beverage suitable for mixing with liquor. Cool, huh? Just think. If he wanted to, a man could literally pour himself a stiff one. I guess it wouldn't sound quite right to call the beverage a soft drink, but I dunno, if Pepsi agreed to bottle it, they could always call it Mount & Do. Or maybe it could be offered as a hot beverage. Something like Viagracinno... guaranteed to keep you up all night. Or as a lip balm... to help one keep a stiff upper lip. Shoot, maybe even as a nasal spray. They could call it Kama Snootra. And I think the product should have a spokesperson, too. Maybe Poppin Fresh would like to earn a little money on the side? Oh, and a theme song, too. I think either Paul Simon's I Am a Rock or the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night would fit the bill quite nicely. And wasn't there once a song about The Hardest Part of Loving You? (If not, there should be.)

Okay, I'll stop now.

On that note, I'll bid y'all adieu. Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


It's very difficult to explain puns to a kleptomaniac, They always take things literally.



72 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Coming from you, I'll take that as quite a compliment.

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  2. Big smiles. And if liquid Viagra becomes availabe men may find out what it is to have their drinks spiked...
    My favourite pun (and yes I like them too) is by Dorothy Parker.
    'Champagne to my real friends -
    And real pain to my sham friends'...

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    1. HA! Good point about the spiking.

      Dorothy Parker was an amazing lady. Not just punny, but witty, too.

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  3. Him: Boy, what a day!.
    Her: drink darling?
    Him: make it a stiff one....

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  4. Ohh! What a fisherman! I saw some photos of people potting plants in potholes!

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    1. I haven't seen any photos of people putting plants in potholes. Makes a great statement, though!

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  5. What a delightfully informative post! I occasionally have a way with words, but unfortunately I seem to know very few of them. As I grow older (not that I'm old, mind you) my desire to increase my vocabulary has diminished considerably.

    I remember all the old words and phrases that you mentioned, but I'm admittedly completely ignorant to the new ones.
    I really like "mantrum" and I've definitely thrown a few.

    As for Viagra - hell, I don't need it.
    ....not yet, anyway....

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad ya liked it. I'm an avid Scrabble player who loves working tough crossword puzzles, so I'm always interested in adding new words to my vocabulary. (Even though I mostly continue to use the old ones...)

      Viagra is kinda like having money in the bank. Even if you don't need it, it's reassuring to know it's there.

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  6. Ha! Great post! I love words and puns too. I'm going to have to make an effort to use the word, "definotly," in a sentence now. :) Happy weekend, Susan!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Yeah, "definotly" is one of the better new words. :)

      And a very happy weekend to you, too!

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  7. Kama Snootra made me have to get a tissue. Interesting and funny stuff, quite a collection of old and new words. Very clever. enjoy the weekend!

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    1. A tissue, huh? Cool. Then my job here is done. :)

      You have a super weekend, too.

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  8. Never heard of any of the old ones and very few of the new, I'm out of touch I guess. But with liquid Viagra even if one's drink was chilly there would be no shrinkage of the willy.

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    1. Uh-huh. You've heard of them NOW. :)

      HA! Good one. (And it rhymes!)

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  9. I still have carbon paper too. You never know when it might come in handy! LOL There's some interesting words for sure. Not familiar with a great number of them, but the one that's a pet peeve today is the word 'hack' now it's hack this and hack that, and really what an unattractive word. I understood it in reference to hacking a computer, but recipes, fashion, etc. Just silly and irritating!
    Okay, that's my rant today! :)
    Oh, and I posted a Drabble today in honor of your comment on the last one. :)

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    1. I agree with you about the word "hack," and it reeeeeally tickles me that you called it "unattractive." I get that! Some words sound so good, they're a pleasure to say, and others are... unattractive. NOT pleasant to the ear or tongue. (I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way about words.)

      Oh! Very cool... here I come to check it out!

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    2. Hack makes no sense. Why would I hack something other than feeling the need to hack up a hairball?

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    3. Exactly! Or you could also hack something or someone up with an ax. (Especially someone who uses annoying words.) :)

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  10. Loved this post and the cartoons. I am also a big fan of words and puns. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Maybe there should be a club for Pun-lovers Anonymous? Nah! There are far too many of us with such "sophisticated" senses of humor, even though some don't want to admit it. Punsters unite!

      Greetings back atcha.

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  11. I vote for popnrock because it made me laugh. I'm sure that my oxymorons (adult children) know nothing about getting up to do something to the TV. I can't do anything to my TV without the remote control. I can't even turn it on without the remote, no less change the channel. Life is a strange journey, my friend.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. HA! I love that you call your grown kids oxymorons. Perfect!

      Yep, it's a strange journey, but ain't it grand?!

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  12. 'Nomorefloppin' and 'Popnrock' had me snorted like a pig digging for truffles. From beginning to end, this had me laughing like a loon.
    You ROCK like a rocky rock that rocks!

    Have a wonderful weekend! :)

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    1. Thank you, luv. As many times as you've made me laugh, it's nice to return the favor.

      You have a super weekend, too.

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  13. I've always had a respect for puns as tension relievers. They have their use, or they wouldn't have persisted in so many languages.

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    1. Funny, but I never thought about puns as a part of other languages. (I know. Talk about arrogant thinking.) Now I'm intrigued.

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  14. Sitting here laughing at your post...what a great way to enter the weekend!

    I love language and how it evolves and changes. We still say "tape a TV show" even though tape has been gone for about a decade.

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    1. I'm glad to hear the post kicked your weekend off with a chuckle. :)

      Yeah, we "tape" shows... and music... at our house, too. Old habits are hard to break.

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  15. Those are funny generic names. I have not seen any of these words before and I like old words.

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    1. Thanks. I had a lot of fun making up those generic names. :)

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  16. Your so funny, the names are so funny. and your post is very funny !
    Glad your back. hope you had a nice time off.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad I tickled your funny bone. It's good to be back, and my break was terrific. Got a pretty good bit of writing done.

      Cheers back atcha!

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  17. That was so funny - I think a coffee break with you would be a hoot!

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    1. We'd have a blast, but okay if I drink tea? :)

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  18. You had way too much fun writing this. I used to "collect" words and look for ways to use them. Now, in my dotage, I seemed to have lost them. It drives me crazy, but that may be the problem.

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    1. HA! Yeah, I did. I especially had fun coming up with those generic names.

      It's really scary when we lose words, isn't it? Sometimes, the simplest word can escape me, but thankfully, I can usually rope it back in.

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  19. Hi Susan - love all of these thoughts - those 'old ducks' in the cartoon awaiting some stiffening before they can play .. what a great image! And yes we are losing words - thankfully bloggers tend to bring them back into being ... and literature still provides them ...

    Wonderful cheery and other thing post! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary.

      Those "old ducks" cracked me up, too. We've gotta enjoy life, and take advantage whenever the opportunity rises. :)

      Cheers to you, too. I hope you have a super weekend.

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  20. Lots of words. I do love the old milk trucks, in fact I see new autos that look very much like those old trucks. Not exactly built for speed. Good old thoughts. Seems like only yesterday.

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    1. I love the old trucks, too. I have quite a few great pictures of them. Might have to turn them into a post sometime.

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  21. Peckerup gets my vote!

    Do people still use "hang up the phone?"

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    1. That one made me giggle, too. (Yeah, I definitely had fun making up those names.)

      We still use "hang up the phone" in our house, because we have landlines. :) I even have an old 1920-something vintage phone here in my office.

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  22. Hi Susan, I'm in pun heaven! Great Charles Dickens cartoon! This was fun from beginning to end. I vote for Mount & Do. If the caffeine doesn't hurt you, this definitely will!

    Julie

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    1. Hi-ya, girlfriend!

      You must like puns as much as I do. :)

      If you want extra caffeine, Red Bull fits the bill. Add some picker-upper Viagra, and you'd have a raging bull. :)

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  23. oh, you were slaying me with that last bit! ha ha ha!
    loved every word you shared!! such funtastic definistions!
    and these words with the f's in them made me think of other definitions for them...
    breakfunch - f-ing brunch
    confungry - f-ing hungry
    definotly - no f-ing way
    puns and mixed up new words are the best!

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  24. Funny as always Susan, not sure I would have been able to think up some of these names and so on the mark... lol

    I said a punny saying the other day and my daughter and her friends looked at me funny and then laughed... I just smiled and said that's what we used to say all the time... I don't seem to catch myself easily when I talk... oh well, maybe they can learn something.. lol xox

    Have a great week xox

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    1. Aw, you would have come up with a bunch of good names, too, if you tried. It isn't very hard. HA!

      You have a super week, too.

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  25. This was hilarious! The pics, that last line :P The vocabulary and expressions sure are changing--in French too!

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad it made you laugh.

      Changes in French, too, huh? It'd be interesting to know more about those changes. After studying French for five years, I was fairly fluent at one time, but I haven't kept up with any of the changes. (And that was a looooong time ago.)

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  26. Slide and fail? Hilarious! And your options on renaming it? Fun!

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    1. Sildenafil really IS the generic name... but that's hilariously close to slide & fail. Good catch!

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  27. Concerning that first picture of the guy fishing in the pot hole. I've actually considered creating a blog showing pictures of all the crappy roads in my area. I sure as hell wouldn't lack for source material. This state's roads has a lot in common with a couple of third world countries I've visited.

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    1. All in all, our roads here are pretty good. Seems like they are ALWAYS resurfacing somewhere or another. We were somewhat critical of the roads here until we re-visited Baltimore. OY! The roads up north are far worse. Then again, you ARE north of us... :)

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  28. When I call my wife a Wonder-wench I'm gonna be sure and send her here so she knows it's a term of love. That with her I'm a gold medalist in the nolimpics.

    Also, thinking of carbon copies... no, we don't use those anymore. But you see that in e-mail a lot. CC someone. I bet most people don't even know what those really are. Kind of like how the sign to call someone on a cellphone is a rotary telephone and I bet most kids haven't even seen one of those. Or the sign to save something on a computer is a floppy disk. Ah, good times. Nothing makes you feel older than reminiscing outdated technology.

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    1. HA! Okay, you do that.

      Yeah, reminiscing about outdated technology CAN make you feel old, but the funny thing is, my hubby and I still HAVE a lot of the old stuff. (8-track player, anyone...?)

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  29. I am so sure that I commented this post - but can't find it (must have put it in the fridge maybe?) Maybe I was distracted, because a friend had sent me a mail about the things that have changed from our childhood till now. But yours here a funnily illustrated and fine described - thank you!

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    1. Dontcha hate it when that happens? Lots of times, I'm so sure I already left a comment somewhere, but when I go back, nada. (I'm sure it couldn't POSSIBLY have anything to do with our age...)

      You're welcome. I'm glad you liked it.

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  30. I need to add "resistentialism" to my vocabulary. Too many of the inanimate objects in my life are SOBs, haha.

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    1. Isn't that a GREAT word? I can't imagine why it was dropped from our vocabulary, because inanimate objects are just as spiteful as they've always been.

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  31. Fun post, Susan! I love puns as long they’re kept out of book titles. Ahem.

    I’ve long wondered how drug companies come up with names for their products. Not the generics which have to reflect the chemical make up, but the marketing names. I mean, really, Viagra? Who came up with that? Your suggestions are far more descriptive and memorable. :)

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I like puns so much, I even like (some of) them in book titles.

      I wonder about the derivation of drug names, too, but some of the names, I really like. I mean, I would never USE them, but I like the amusing sound of their names.

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  32. LOL! Your new header is epic. I actually busted up when I saw it. I love the evolution of words. Etymology is fascinating to me.

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    1. Word-lovers, unite! Some people don't "get" how fascinating words can be, but I have a feeling none of those people write blogs. :)

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  33. What a great post. I learned so much. I think I'll take away a few: mantrum and belignorant for starters. And what about the word "sick"? It's a good thing, I understand, for something or someone to be sick. So strange!

    Generic name possibilities:
    -Hehasrisen
    -Notjustforbreakfastanymore
    -Insertquicklyexpiresinonehour

    xo

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    1. Using sick to mean something good does seem weird. Same as the word "phat." Somebody says I'm something that sounds like "fat," and I'm not gonna be overly pleased...

      HA! Great generic names! You rock, girl.

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