Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls

14 05 2005

When he entered the kitchen this morning, I was on my knees wiping the floor with a wet paper towel.

“What happened?”

“Oh, I dropped that . . . thing . . . the dealie that the coffee goes into when you grind it. What would you call it?”

He pointed. “This? It’s a habernaculum.”

I’m pretty much convinced that George likes me best with an expression of cynical amusement on my face. “Yeah, right. A habernaculum. Let’s just call it a receptacle.” I flipped the switch on the espresso machine.

“I’m serious. Aren’t you going to look it up?”

“No. For two reasons. It’s ridiculous, and ‘dictionary’ comes after ‘coffee.'”

This is not an uncommon scenario around here. We often invent words. Or, if circumstances so dictate, we take real words and make up definitions. Which brings me to yesterday.

I usually work the newspaper cross-word puzzle in the morning. It’s a small, easy-ish puzzle that takes about 10-15 minutes to finish, and helps awaken my brain for the day. But yesterday I didn’t get around to it until after dinner.

I came to a clue I’d seen in puzzles before, but the definition failed to materialize amidst the brain clutter. (It had probably been way too long since coffee.) When George is around, I often throw science-related clues his way. Maybe this one had a geek connection? He was reading nearby, so I asked him. “Do you know what ‘dray’ means?”

He glanced up. “Sure. That’s a female albatross.”

Mmmm hmmm. I looked it up and wrote “cart” on the puzzle.

After we went to bed, and his even breathing told me he was asleep or almost, I whispered, “A dray is a female albatross.”

He said, “Hey. It could be. What’s a female goose called?”

“A nene.” (pronounced nay-nay)

He laughed. “Whatever.”

“No, really! I’m not sure it’s a female, but I know it’s a goose.” (I just looked it up–yes, I’ve had my coffee–and it’s an endangered goose found in the Hawaiian Islands. Ah, the wonders of a brain that retains such important data and forgets its own phone number.)

“Okay, so why can’t a ‘dray’ be a female albatross?”

“Well, I suppose it could, except that it isn’t.”

How’s that for sizzling pillow talk, folks? Take note, aspiring authors. This is the stuff romance novels are made of.

And now it’s your turn. “I’ll take subject lines for $800, Alex.”

Answer: “The TV show from which the line ‘Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls’ was taken.”

*insert Jeopardy music here* Don’t forget to buzz in!


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45 responses

14 05 2005
Anonymous

What is Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In? “Smoots and Toots” for $600 please, Alex.

Craig S.

14 05 2005
Anonymous

What is Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In? “Smoots and Toots” for $600 please, Alex.

Craig S.

14 05 2005
Anonymous

What is Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In? “Smoots and Toots” for $600 please, Alex.

Craig S.

14 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Score! Good job, Craig. πŸ™‚

14 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Score! Good job, Craig. πŸ™‚

14 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Score! Good job, Craig. πŸ™‚

15 05 2005
allenb

Yup! A Dray is a cart, hence the expression: “Working like a Dray Horse.”

Nice snapshot of your humerous daily life. πŸ™‚

15 05 2005
allenb

Yup! A Dray is a cart, hence the expression: “Working like a Dray Horse.”

Nice snapshot of your humerous daily life. πŸ™‚

15 05 2005
allenb

Yup! A Dray is a cart, hence the expression: “Working like a Dray Horse.”

Nice snapshot of your humerous daily life. πŸ™‚

15 05 2005
ilitherian

i think it is spelled hibernaculum.

love,
luke

15 05 2005
ilitherian

i think it is spelled hibernaculum.

love,
luke

15 05 2005
ilitherian

i think it is spelled hibernaculum.

love,
luke

15 05 2005
jeannedamoff

I’ve never heard that expression before. Maybe because we’re all lazy bums around here. πŸ˜‰

Thanks. I try to keep a humor-magnifying lens on my life camera at all times. Makes everything look a little brighter.

15 05 2005
jeannedamoff

I’ve never heard that expression before. Maybe because we’re all lazy bums around here. πŸ˜‰

Thanks. I try to keep a humor-magnifying lens on my life camera at all times. Makes everything look a little brighter.

15 05 2005
jeannedamoff

I’ve never heard that expression before. Maybe because we’re all lazy bums around here. πŸ˜‰

Thanks. I try to keep a humor-magnifying lens on my life camera at all times. Makes everything look a little brighter.

15 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Yes, there is a real word spelled that way. However, before I wrote this story, I asked George how to spell the word he’d said. He said, “Oh, it’s pretty much phonetic.” I replied, “Okay. So spell it.” He spelled out habernaculum. Later he went to an online dictionary, found hibernaculum, and said that was the word he’d meant, and that it is some kind of protective covering for a plant, and since the coffee grinder receptacle protects the flying bits of ground coffee beans (which grow on plants), it was a perfectly good name for it, blah, blah, blah . . .

All I’m saying is, nice try, Mr. Smarty Science Pants.

15 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Yes, there is a real word spelled that way. However, before I wrote this story, I asked George how to spell the word he’d said. He said, “Oh, it’s pretty much phonetic.” I replied, “Okay. So spell it.” He spelled out habernaculum. Later he went to an online dictionary, found hibernaculum, and said that was the word he’d meant, and that it is some kind of protective covering for a plant, and since the coffee grinder receptacle protects the flying bits of ground coffee beans (which grow on plants), it was a perfectly good name for it, blah, blah, blah . . .

All I’m saying is, nice try, Mr. Smarty Science Pants.

15 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Yes, there is a real word spelled that way. However, before I wrote this story, I asked George how to spell the word he’d said. He said, “Oh, it’s pretty much phonetic.” I replied, “Okay. So spell it.” He spelled out habernaculum. Later he went to an online dictionary, found hibernaculum, and said that was the word he’d meant, and that it is some kind of protective covering for a plant, and since the coffee grinder receptacle protects the flying bits of ground coffee beans (which grow on plants), it was a perfectly good name for it, blah, blah, blah . . .

All I’m saying is, nice try, Mr. Smarty Science Pants.

17 05 2005
Anonymous

I can imagine the “cynical amusement.” Y’all crack me up. I miss sitting at the table, eating my turkey sandwich with grated mozzarella cheese on potato bread (toasted), witnessing some of the most entertaining family comedy ever.

By the way, I linked you to my blog.

Blake <><

17 05 2005
Anonymous

I can imagine the “cynical amusement.” Y’all crack me up. I miss sitting at the table, eating my turkey sandwich with grated mozzarella cheese on potato bread (toasted), witnessing some of the most entertaining family comedy ever.

By the way, I linked you to my blog.

Blake <><

17 05 2005
Anonymous

I can imagine the “cynical amusement.” Y’all crack me up. I miss sitting at the table, eating my turkey sandwich with grated mozzarella cheese on potato bread (toasted), witnessing some of the most entertaining family comedy ever.

By the way, I linked you to my blog.

Blake <><

17 05 2005
jeannedamoff

I imagine you can imagine it. Better than many.

The table, turkey, cheese, and bread (toasted) miss you, too. Thanks for the linky-dink!

17 05 2005
jeannedamoff

I imagine you can imagine it. Better than many.

The table, turkey, cheese, and bread (toasted) miss you, too. Thanks for the linky-dink!

17 05 2005
jeannedamoff

I imagine you can imagine it. Better than many.

The table, turkey, cheese, and bread (toasted) miss you, too. Thanks for the linky-dink!

18 05 2005
Anonymous

“Bring Me The Dictionary!”

My husband goes easy on me, unlike yours, Jeanne. But only because I’ve led a traumatized childhood with a father who could not get through dinner without yelling, “Bring me the dictionary!” (I don’t know why he had to yell. It was in the cabinet three feet away, and all of us were right there next to him… )

My dad used to make up the most elegant, believable words when playing Scrabble, that no one dared challenge him. He used the dictionary as his coaster and arm rest during the game. Which of us had the guts to say, “Umm….I don’t think so, Dad. May I borrow that dictionary?”

His dictionary, which my parents received as a wedding present in 1950 when he was fresh off the boat from Scotland, has now passed to my son, Scott. Scott has a degree in linguistics, by the way… πŸ™‚

Katy Raymond http://www.fallible.com

18 05 2005
Anonymous

“Bring Me The Dictionary!”

My husband goes easy on me, unlike yours, Jeanne. But only because I’ve led a traumatized childhood with a father who could not get through dinner without yelling, “Bring me the dictionary!” (I don’t know why he had to yell. It was in the cabinet three feet away, and all of us were right there next to him… )

My dad used to make up the most elegant, believable words when playing Scrabble, that no one dared challenge him. He used the dictionary as his coaster and arm rest during the game. Which of us had the guts to say, “Umm….I don’t think so, Dad. May I borrow that dictionary?”

His dictionary, which my parents received as a wedding present in 1950 when he was fresh off the boat from Scotland, has now passed to my son, Scott. Scott has a degree in linguistics, by the way… πŸ™‚

Katy Raymond http://www.fallible.com

18 05 2005
Anonymous

“Bring Me The Dictionary!”

My husband goes easy on me, unlike yours, Jeanne. But only because I’ve led a traumatized childhood with a father who could not get through dinner without yelling, “Bring me the dictionary!” (I don’t know why he had to yell. It was in the cabinet three feet away, and all of us were right there next to him… )

My dad used to make up the most elegant, believable words when playing Scrabble, that no one dared challenge him. He used the dictionary as his coaster and arm rest during the game. Which of us had the guts to say, “Umm….I don’t think so, Dad. May I borrow that dictionary?”

His dictionary, which my parents received as a wedding present in 1950 when he was fresh off the boat from Scotland, has now passed to my son, Scott. Scott has a degree in linguistics, by the way… πŸ™‚

Katy Raymond http://www.fallible.com

18 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: “Bring Me The Dictionary!”

Katy, your dad reminds me of my grandparents. I can’t remember a single time we made it through a dinner visit without their arguing over a word and demanding a dictionary to settle the argument.

They argued over words in foreign languages, too. I think they just liked to argue.

I love that your dad made up words for Scrabble. πŸ™‚

18 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: “Bring Me The Dictionary!”

Katy, your dad reminds me of my grandparents. I can’t remember a single time we made it through a dinner visit without their arguing over a word and demanding a dictionary to settle the argument.

They argued over words in foreign languages, too. I think they just liked to argue.

I love that your dad made up words for Scrabble. πŸ™‚

18 05 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: “Bring Me The Dictionary!”

Katy, your dad reminds me of my grandparents. I can’t remember a single time we made it through a dinner visit without their arguing over a word and demanding a dictionary to settle the argument.

They argued over words in foreign languages, too. I think they just liked to argue.

I love that your dad made up words for Scrabble. πŸ™‚

25 05 2005
Anonymous

Nene Jorge

Not only is the nene an endangered Hawaiian goose, it’s the state bird. However, it suffers name envy when viewing the state fish, which is the humuhumunukunukuapua’a. (I’m not making this up.) I wonder how many states have a state fish.

bradford

25 05 2005
Anonymous

Nene Jorge

Not only is the nene an endangered Hawaiian goose, it’s the state bird. However, it suffers name envy when viewing the state fish, which is the humuhumunukunukuapua’a. (I’m not making this up.) I wonder how many states have a state fish.

bradford

25 05 2005
Anonymous

Nene Jorge

Not only is the nene an endangered Hawaiian goose, it’s the state bird. However, it suffers name envy when viewing the state fish, which is the humuhumunukunukuapua’a. (I’m not making this up.) I wonder how many states have a state fish.

bradford

25 05 2005
jeannedamoff

humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Wow. I tried to say that word, but I was laughing too hard by the end of it to finish. Do you know what it means?

You made me curious, so I googled “Texas state fish.” It’s a Guadalupe Bass. So, um, yeah. I guess that’s one less state to wonder about. (But now I’m wondering why the heck Texas needs a state fish. And who decides this stuff, anyway?)

25 05 2005
jeannedamoff

humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Wow. I tried to say that word, but I was laughing too hard by the end of it to finish. Do you know what it means?

You made me curious, so I googled “Texas state fish.” It’s a Guadalupe Bass. So, um, yeah. I guess that’s one less state to wonder about. (But now I’m wondering why the heck Texas needs a state fish. And who decides this stuff, anyway?)

25 05 2005
jeannedamoff

humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Wow. I tried to say that word, but I was laughing too hard by the end of it to finish. Do you know what it means?

You made me curious, so I googled “Texas state fish.” It’s a Guadalupe Bass. So, um, yeah. I guess that’s one less state to wonder about. (But now I’m wondering why the heck Texas needs a state fish. And who decides this stuff, anyway?)

3 06 2005
Anonymous

Re: humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Don’t know that it means anything. It’s just the name of the thing.

And whaddaya know. Every state seems to have a fish.

http://www.statefishart.com/states

You can even take a gander at the humuhumunukunukuapua’a.

http://www.statefishart.com/states/west/hi.htm

I got a picture of a nene crossing sign last weekend when I went to the big island, but I don’t have time to post it anywhere so you’ll just have to look at this one:

http://www.nps.gov/havo/news/pr_20040621.htm

bradford

3 06 2005
Anonymous

Re: humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Don’t know that it means anything. It’s just the name of the thing.

And whaddaya know. Every state seems to have a fish.

http://www.statefishart.com/states

You can even take a gander at the humuhumunukunukuapua’a.

http://www.statefishart.com/states/west/hi.htm

I got a picture of a nene crossing sign last weekend when I went to the big island, but I don’t have time to post it anywhere so you’ll just have to look at this one:

http://www.nps.gov/havo/news/pr_20040621.htm

bradford

3 06 2005
Anonymous

Re: humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Don’t know that it means anything. It’s just the name of the thing.

And whaddaya know. Every state seems to have a fish.

http://www.statefishart.com/states

You can even take a gander at the humuhumunukunukuapua’a.

http://www.statefishart.com/states/west/hi.htm

I got a picture of a nene crossing sign last weekend when I went to the big island, but I don’t have time to post it anywhere so you’ll just have to look at this one:

http://www.nps.gov/havo/news/pr_20040621.htm

bradford

3 06 2005
Anonymous

Re: humuhumunukunukuapua’a

oops, i read the rest of the page. it means “fish with a pig’s nose.”

3 06 2005
Anonymous

Re: humuhumunukunukuapua’a

oops, i read the rest of the page. it means “fish with a pig’s nose.”

3 06 2005
Anonymous

Re: humuhumunukunukuapua’a

oops, i read the rest of the page. it means “fish with a pig’s nose.”

5 06 2005
jeannedamoff

Not like the pigs’ noses ’round these parts.

Thanks for the links! I love the nene crossing sign. πŸ™‚

I think the humuhumuwangitangikukupop fish is pretty and not the least bit pig-nosed. But then again, I’ve never seen a Hawaiian pig.

5 06 2005
jeannedamoff

Not like the pigs’ noses ’round these parts.

Thanks for the links! I love the nene crossing sign. πŸ™‚

I think the humuhumuwangitangikukupop fish is pretty and not the least bit pig-nosed. But then again, I’ve never seen a Hawaiian pig.

5 06 2005
jeannedamoff

Not like the pigs’ noses ’round these parts.

Thanks for the links! I love the nene crossing sign. πŸ™‚

I think the humuhumuwangitangikukupop fish is pretty and not the least bit pig-nosed. But then again, I’ve never seen a Hawaiian pig.

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