Thursday, December 31, 2009

Want Some Gummy Bears? They've Been in My Pocket

funny word of the day: gummy

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈgə-mē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): gum·mi·er; gum·mi·est
Date: 14th century

1 : viscous, sticky
2 a : consisting of or containing gum b : covered with gum

gum·mi·ness noun

My favorite kind of candy is the gummy kind -- Gummy Bears (Haribo are best), gummy peaches, Sour Patch Kids and Swedish fish (although I don't like how they get stuck in your teeth). Just to prove that there's something for everyone, here's a link to the "world's biggest Gummy Bear"...appropriate for either a sweet-toothed giant or someone who loves to visit the dentist:

However, I'm not as big a fan of people with gummy smiles. That's disturbing.

Happy New Year to everyone -- since I'm on bed rest, my husband and I will be celebrating at home tonight. Wish I had some Gummy Bears, but the peanut butter chocolate cupcakes I ordered will have to satisfy my sweet tooth. No New Year's diet resolutions for me!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stoop Sale

funny word of the day: stoop

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈstüp\
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English stoupen, from Old English stūpian; akin to Swedish stupa to fall, plunge, Old English stēap steep, deep
Date: before 12th century

intransitive verb 1 a : to bend the body or a part of the body forward and downward sometimes simultaneously bending the knees b : to stand or walk with a forward inclination of the head, body, or shoulders
2 : yield, submit
3 a : to descend from a superior rank, dignity, or status b : to lower oneself morally ed to lying>
4 a archaic : to move down from a height : alight b : to fly or dive down swiftly usually to attack preytransitive verb 1 : debase, degrade
2 : to bend (a part of the body) forward and downward

Function: noun
Date: 1571

1 a : an act of bending the body forward b : a temporary or habitual forward bend of the back and shoulders
2 : the descent of a bird especially on its prey
3 : a lowering of oneself


Function: noun
Etymology: Dutch stoep; akin to Old English stæpe step — more at step
Date: 1755

: a porch, platform, entrance stairway, or small veranda at a house door

I like all the definitions of this word but living in Brooklyn, the land of brownstones with stoops, the latter definition resonates the most. Stoop sales are very popular here and occasionally I do see people sitting on their stoops, although not as much as I thought I would when we moved here. We do not have a stoop but sometimes I wish we did.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What a Beast

funny word of the day: beast

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈbēst\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English beste, from Anglo-French, from Latin bestia
Date: 13th century
1 a : a four-footed mammal as distinguished from a human being, a lower vertebrate, and an invertebrate b : a lower animal as distinguished from a human being c : an animal as distinguished from a plant d : an animal under human control
2 : a contemptible person
3 : something formidably difficult to control or deal with

Beast is also an excellent restaurant and bar in my neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. It looks like some sort of dark, Goth, Sapphic bar but the food, all cooked in a tiny open kitchen in the bar's corner, is outstanding. For more info, see

Friday, December 25, 2009

Gift of the Magi

funny word(s) of the day: frankincense & myrrh (I couldn't decide between them and since they go together, I'm adding one as a special Christmas bonus word)

In the New Testament, myrrh was one of the gifts of the Magi to the infant Jesus according to Matthew, is cited in Mark as an intoxicant that was offered to Jesus during the crucifixion, and in John was one of the spices used to prepare Jesus' body for burial:

Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Frankincense is a gummy resin from the non- descript Boswellia Thurigera. The deciduous tree is a low twisted, thorny shrub without a central branch. Today, almost all frankincense comes from Somalia, where the trees grow along the coastline, without soil, growing out of rocks. The young trees give the best gum while the older trees yields are less desirable. To harvest frankincense, a deep cut is made into the bark and a 5-inch strip is peeled off. A milk-like juice exudes and is hardened by exposure to air. In 3 months the resin hardens into "yellowish tears" which are then scraped off and harvested.

Frankincense is highly fragrant when burned; it was used in worship where it was used as a pleasant offering to God. Medicinally it is seldom used now, though formerly it was much sought after. It was thought to be an antidote to hemlock!

Myrrh is also a gummy resin. This pale yellow resin, which dries to brown even black, is from the Commiphora shrub. The Commiphora shrub is a large shrub or tree found in East Africa, Yemen and the Red Sea countries. The shrubs yielding the resin do not grow more than 9 feet in height. The shrubs are sturdy with knotted branches that stand out at right angles. There are ducts in the bark, which fill with a granular secretion that drips when the bark is wounded or has natural fissures. The myrrh drips from the gray bark, forming irregularly shaped grains of resin. Dried myrrh is hard and brittle with a bitter taste.

Myrrh was one of the ingredients of the holy anointing oil and also of incense. It served as a fumigant in the temple and was a burial spice. Myrrh was valued as a perfume as well as for its medicinal properties. It served as local anesthetic and was given to both mother and child for postnatal care, perhaps one reason the Wise Men brought it to Jesus.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


funny word of the day: tinsel

From Wikipedia:

was originally a metallic garland for Christmas decoration. Nowadays it is typically made of plastic, and used particularly to decorate Christmas trees. In addition it can be hung from walls or ceilings and is normally flexible enough to be wrapped around almost anything e.g. statues or lampposts. Tinsel in its modern form was invented in Higham Ferrers, England in 1843, and was originally made of shredded silver.[1]

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the word is from the Old French word "estincele", meaning sparkle.

Tinsel is a rare German, Czech and Dutch surname, originating from the same old French Word "estincele".

Tinsel used to include lead, which caused the strands to hang better from the branches. This was eventually removed due to safety concerns.[citation needed]

Tinsel also can harm or kill pets, so it should be used cautiously in homes with pets. [2]

In honor of Christmas Eve, I thought this was an appropriate word. For the first time in 12 years, I'm not spending Christmas with my husband and his family in Wisconsin because I cannot travel this late into my pregnancy. We're going to try to Skype later but it's not the same as being there. I'm wishing everyone a long-distance Merry X-mas and hope they still have fun playing our annual game of Pictionary without me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I missed a few days of blog posts so here are the FWOTDs that you may not have seen:

Monday, 12/21: booger
Sunday, 12/20: blizzard
Saturday, 12/19: dinky (my mother's suggestion)

In honor of my pal Michael and the recent snowstorm that hit NYC and the rest of the East Coast, I've created a funny sentence with these words:

I went out in a blizzard wearing a dinky coat and got so cold that I had boogers coming out of my nose. That wasn't funny.

That story isn't true, btw.

Chunky Monkey

funny word of the day: chunky

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈchəŋ-kē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): chunk·i·er; chunk·i·est
Date: 1733

1 a : heavy, solid, and thick or bulky ; especially : stocky b : plump, chubby
2 : filled with chunks

chunk·i·ly \-kə-lē\ adverb

You can easily get chunky by eating Chunky bars, Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream (one of my favorites) and chunky peanut butter.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Scout's Honor!

funny word of the day: boondoggle

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈbün-ˌdä-gəl, -ˌd-\
Function: noun
Etymology: coined by Robert H. Link †1957 American scoutmaster
Date: 1929

1 : a braided cord worn by Boy Scouts as a neckerchief slide, hatband, or ornament
2 : a wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft

boondoggle intransitive verb

boon·dog·gler \-g(ə-)lər\ noun

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fluffy the Cat

funny word of the day: fluffy

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈflə-fē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): fluff·i·er; fluff·i·est
Date: circa 1825

1 a : covered with or resembling fluff b : being light and soft or airy : puffed up
2 : lacking in meaning or substance :
superficial 2c

fluff·i·ly \ˈflə-fə-lē\ adverb

fluff·i·ness \ˈflə-fē-nəs\ noun

I'm allergic to cats but I think if I ever got one, I'd name it Fluffy because it's funny and cute. If I ever get dogs, I plan to name them Don Pickles and Lamar LaRue. Those names would work best on pugs because that breed just looks funny.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sew What?

funny word of the day: bobbin

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈbä-bən\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1530

1 a : a cylinder or spindle on which yarn or thread is wound (as in a sewing machine) b : any of various small round devices on which threads are wound for working handmade lace c : a coil of insulated wire; also : the reel it is wound on
2 : a cotton cord formerly used by dressmakers for piping

Recently, my mom (a very talented fiber artist and experienced sewer - see her gorgeous work at and I went shopping for fabric to recover some throw pillows I had that didn't match my new duvet and I mentioned that someday I'd love to learn how to sew. Next thing I knew, a gigantic box arrives to my apartment and inside is a used sewing machine that my mother ordered for me on eBay. Now, I wasn't sure if this was her passive-aggressive way of saying "Sew your own goddamn pillowcases" or if it was just a thoughtful gesture (I think the latter) and, while I didn't want to be unappreciative, I really don't have room for a sewing machine in our small apartment and with a baby on the way, won't have much time to handcraft much! So she took the sewing machine back and made me some beautiful new covers for my pillows in a cool fabric we found at Ikea. Thanks, Mommy!

Po-tay-to, Po-tot-o

funny word of the day (12/13): latke

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈlät-kə\
Function: noun
Etymology: Yiddish, pancake, from Ukrainian oladka
Date: 1927

: potato pancake

I usually try to make these every Hanukkah but as our apartment is being renovated, our Menorah is packed away and our kitchen is unusable until our countertops get installed later this week, I had to miss a year. But these are delicious and easy to make, despite their funny name.

Here's a recipe -- you don't have to be Jewish to make them. They're basically just potato pancakes.

Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Elegant? I Don't Think So, But Cute and Funny, Yes

funny word of the day: hedgehog

From Wikipedia:

A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae and the order Erinaceomorpha. There are 17 species of hedgehog in five genera, found through parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand. There are no hedgehogs native to Australia, and no living species native to North America; those in New Zealand are introduced. Hedgehogs have changed little over the last 15 million years. Like many of the first mammals they have adapted to a nocturnal, insectivorous way of life. The name 'hedgehog' came into use around the year 1450, derived from the Middle English 'heyghoge', from 'heyg', 'hegge' = hedge, because it frequents hedgerows, and 'hoge', 'hogge' = hog, from its piglike snout.[2] Other folk names include 'urchin', 'hedgepig' and 'furze-pig' .

For more information on the hedgehog, see

There's a bestselling book out now called "The Elegance of the Hedgehog," which I have not yet read but is supposed to be very good. I'm curious to read it because elegant is not the first adjective I'd use to describe this little animal.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bugle Boy (and Electronic Synthesizer Girl)

funny word of the day: bugle

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈbyü-gəl\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin bugula
Date: 13th century

: any of a genus (Ajuga) of plants of the mint family; especially : a European annual (A. reptans) that has spikes of blue flowers and is naturalized in the United States


Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, buffalo, instrument made of buffalo horn, bugle, from Anglo-French, from Latin buculus, diminutive of bos head of cattle — more at cow
Date: 14th century

: a valveless brass instrument that resembles a trumpet and is used especially for military calls

I never played the bugle but I did play the flute in fourth grade for a few months. Then I quit. I just wasn't for me. However, I did play the electronic synthesizer in gifted and talented music in sixth grade and performed "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister in the school concert. That was pretty rockin'.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nibbles the Mouse

funny word of the day: nibble

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈni-bəl\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): nib·bled; nib·bling \-b(ə-)liŋ\
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: circa 1512

transitive verb 1 a : to bite gently b : to eat or chew in small bits
2 : to take away bit by bit nibbling the shore>intransitive verb 1 : to take gentle, small, or cautious bites; also : snack
2 : to deal with something as if by nibbling

nib·bler \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

Nibbles was also the name of Jerry's cute mouse nephew on "Tom & Jerry" -- he was tiny and naughty but ate everything in sight (kind of like me!).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Beware The Hamburglar

funny word of the day: burglar

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈbər-glər also -gə-lər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Anglo-French burgler, from Medieval Latin burglator, probably alteration of burgator, from burgare to commit burglary
Date: 1541

: one who commits burglary

I think the Hamburglar, the character from McDonald's, is funny too. I'm not sure I think McD's burgers are good enough to steal but maybe the ones at Corner Bistro in the Village would be worth getting caught swiping.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Situation Normal All F**ed Up

funny word of the day: snafu

My mother told me the origin of this word recently and I had no idea...I guess it was a term developed in WWII. It probably wasn't funny when the army used it, but it is now.

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \sna-ˈfü, ˈsna-ˌfü\
Function: noun
Etymology: situation normal all fucked up (fouled up)
Date: circa 1941

: a situation marked by errors or confusion : muddle; also : an error causing such a situation

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm Conched Out

funny word of the day: conch

From Wikipedia:
A conch (pronounced /ˈkɒŋk/ "konk" or /ˈkɒntʃ/)[1] is one of a number of different species of medium-sized to large saltwater snails or their shells. The true conchs are marine gastropod molluscs in the family Strombidae, and the genus Strombus and other closely related genera.

The name "conch" comes, via French, from the Greek word meaning any kind of shellfish or their shells.

The first use in English cited by the OED is from 1398, and declares firmly that "Al that fysshe wyth the shelles ben callyd conch" in other words, "all water animals with shells are called conch."

Later the word conch narrowed in usage, and is now primarily used for the shells (or whole animals, or meat) of several different kinds of large sea snails that have shells which are pointed at both ends. A conch shell has a high spire and a noticeable siphonal canal.

Species often called a "conch" that are not in the family Strombidae include the crown conch Melongena species; the horse conch Pleuroploca gigantea; and the sacred chank or more correctly Shankha shell, Turbinella pyrum.

Another use of the word, the conch in architecture is used in the old sense, and refers to a mollusk shell from a different class, the Bivalvia or bivalves, and which has a totally different shape, that of a scallop.

The true conch species within the genus Strombus vary in size from fairly small to very large. Several of the larger species are economically important as food sources; these include the endangered queen conch or pink conch Strombus gigas, which very rarely may produce a pink, gem quality pearl.

About 74 species of the Strombidae family are living, and a much larger number of species exist only in the fossil record.[2] Of the living species, most are in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Six species live in the greater Caribbean region, including the Queen Conch, and the West Indian Fighting Conch, Strombus pugilis.

Many species of true conchs live on sandy bottoms among beds of sea grass in tropical waters. for the good stuff. Conch fritters. Indigenous to the Caribbean and West Indies, these deep-fried sea critters are delicious. Here's a recipe if you want to try to make them yourself:

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Feel Like a Turkey

Apologies for the time between blog posts but as you may already know, I do post a funny word on Twitter and Facebook daily. I just don't always have time to dedicate to a blog post. But in case you only follow me here, I've included the past week's FWOTDs:

11/25 - gobble
11/26 -- turkey (of course -- it was Thanksgiving!)
11/27 -- soggy
11/28 -- blurb
11/29 -- mope

Now for the latest sentence of the day by my friend Michael using some past FWOTDs (he's going to need to do one with this group too!):

My friend was in a pickle because everyone was saying that she was sent out some bad juju by bringing jambalaya to the Seder dinner. Not being Jewish she had no idea just how spooky this would be for the other non-shellfish eating people at the table. In an act of solidarity she chose to eat the entire dish on her own and subsequently felt like a real Heifer.

National Lampoon is Funny Too

funny word of the day: lampoon

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \lam-ˈpün\
Function: noun
Etymology: French lampon
Date: 1645
: satire 1; specifically : a harsh satire usually directed against an individual

National Lampoon, the infamous satire magazine at Harvard, was very funny, although they overextended their brand name to be on movies such as National Lampoon's Vacation (very funny) to Van Wilder (not so funny).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pa (cough), I think I have the black lung!

funny word of the day: lung

From Wikipedia:

The lung or pulmonary system is the essential respiration organ in all air-breathing animals, including most tetrapods, a few fish and a few snails. In mammals and the more complex life forms, the two lungs are located in the chest on either side of the heart. Their principal function is to transport oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream, and to release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere. This exchange of gases is accomplished in the mosaic of specialized cells that form millions of tiny, exceptionally thin-walled air sacs called alveoli.

In order to completely explain the anatomy of the lungs, it is necessary to discuss the passage of air through the mouth to the alveoli. Once air progresses through the mouth or nose, it travels through the oropharynx, nasopharynx, the larynx, the trachea, and a progressively subdividing system of bronchi and bronchioles until it finally reaches the alveoli where the gas exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen takes place.[

The quote in the title of this post is from one of my favorite movies, Zoolander, when Ben Stiller's lead character goes home to the coal mine country of New Jersey to visit his father, played brilliantly by Jon Voight.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


funny word of the day: foible

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈfȯi-bəl\
Function: noun
Etymology: obsolete French (now faible), from obsolete foible weak, from Old French feble feeble
Date: circa 1648

1 : the part of a sword or foil blade between the middle and point 2 : a minor flaw or shortcoming in character or behavior : weakness s>

synonyms see fault

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sounds Funny but Tastes Good

funny word of the day: tabbouleh

I was watching a Family Thanksgiving challenge on the Food Network last night and the family that made a Middle Eastern Thanksgiving won. They made tabbouleh as a side dish and it looked delicious.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة‎; also tabouleh or tabouli) is a Levantine salad dish,[1][2] of Lebanese origin.[citation needed] Traditionally a mountain dish from the Eastern Mediterranean, it has become one of the most popular Middle Eastern salads.[3]
Its primary ingredients are finely chopped parsley, bulgur, mint, tomato, spring onion, and other herbs with lemon juice, olive oil and various seasonings, generally including black pepper and sometimes cinnamon and allspice.
In the Arab world, but particularly the Greater Syrian region, it is usually served as part of the mezze,[4][5] and is served with romaine lettuce.[6] In Iraq, the dish is considered native to Mosul, whose cuisine is tightly linked to that of Syria.[7] The Lebanese, who are considered to be master tabbouleh makers, use more parsley than bulgur wheat in their dish.[4]
A Turkish variation of the dish is known as ksir,[3] while a similar Armenian dish is known as eetch. In Cyprus, where the dish was introduced by the Lebanese, it is known as tambouli.[8]

Tabbūle is a Levantine Arabic word meaning literally "little spicy". The emphatic diminutive structure faʕʕūl is common in Syrian Arabic and is related to the formal Arabic emphatic structure faʕʕūlun (as in quddūsun "much sacred").

Here's a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa if you want to make this on your own -- it's really easy and healthy:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Does This Mean You're Really Religious?

funny word of the day: juju

No, it doesn't mean you're a particularly devout Jew (I know I'm not). Here's the definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈjü-(ˌ)jü\
Function: noun
Etymology: of W. African origin; akin to the source of Hausa jùju fetish
Date: 1894

1 : a fetish, charm, or amulet of West African peoples 2 : the magic attributed to or associated with

Function: noun
Etymology: Yoruba jújù
Date: 1982

: a style of West African music that is characterized by a rapid beat, the use of percussion instruments, and vocal harmonies

Also used in the phrase "bad juju," which means that there's a bad aura around something and it spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm in a Pickle

funny word of the day: pickle

I love pickles and, since I've been pregnant, have been liking them even more (yes, the myth is true, although I don't combine them with ice cream -- yuck). If you don't know that a pickle is a cucumber pickled in brine, you don't deserve to eat them.

If you're craving some pickles now, I'd recommend two small pickle companies (the companies are small, not the pickles!) that are sold in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY:

McClure's, which you can order here:

Rick's Picks, which you can get here:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nothing Better than NOLA

funny word of the day: jambalaya

This is a Louisiana specialty that kind of resembles paella and one of many indigenous dishes to New Orleans and its environs. I happen to adore NOLA and its food (especially the oysters and beignets -- yum!) but I've actually never eaten jambalaya.

From Wikipedia (

Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It is also a close cousin to the saffron colored paella found in Spanish culture. There are two primary methods of making jambalaya.

The first and most common is Creole jambalaya (also called "red jambalaya"). First, meat is added, usually chicken and sausage such as andouille or smoked sausage. Next vegetables and tomatoes are added to cook, followed by seafood. Rice and stock are added in equal proportions at the very end. The mixture is brought to a boil and left to simmer for 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the recipe, with infrequent stirring. Towards the end of the cooking process, stirring usually ceases.

The second style, more characteristic of southwestern and south-central Louisiana, is Cajun jambalaya, which contains no tomatoes. The meat is browned in a cast-iron pot. The bits of meat that stick to the bottom of the pot are what give a Cajun jambalaya its brown color. A little vegetable oil is added if there is not enough fat in the pot. The trinity (of onions, celery, and green bell pepper) is added and sautéed until soft. Stock and seasonings are added in the next step, and then the meats are returned to the pot. This mixture is then simmered, covered, for at least one hour. Lastly, the mixture is brought to a boil and rice is added to the pot. It is then covered and left to simmer over very low heat for at least 1/2 hour without stirring. The dish is finished when the rice has cooked.

A third method is less common. In this version, meat and vegetables are cooked separately from the rice. At the same time, rice is cooked in a savory stock. It is added to the meat and vegetables before serving. This is called "white Jambalaya." This dish is rare in Louisiana as it is seen as a "quick" attempt to make jambalaya, popularized outside the state to shorten cooking time.

Jambalaya is considered by most Louisianians to be a simple dish to prepare, yet filling, rice dish; gumbos, étouffées, and creoles are considered more difficult to perfect. Most often a long grain white rice is used in making jambalaya.

Jambalaya is differentiated from other traditional ethnic Louisiana dishes, such as gumbo and étouffée, by the way in which the rice is included. In the latter dishes, the rice is cooked separately and is served as a bed on which the main dish is served. In the usual method of preparing Jambalaya, a rich stock is created from vegetables, meat, and seafood. Raw rice is then added to the broth and the flavor is absorbed by the grains as the rice cooks.

I've Been MIA with my FWOTD

Sorry I haven't posted in a while but I've been really busy and spent a few days in the hospital last week (which is why I missed a couple days of FWOTD). All is ok now so no worries but it kept me from blogging -- although on most days I still posted to Twitter and Facebook so if you follow me on either, you would have been up to date. If not, here are my latest funny words of the day:

funny word of the day: murmur

funny word of the day: hullaballoo

Funny word of the day: girdle
Funny word of the day: falafel

nny word of the day: clingy
funny word of the day: putz

Monday, November 2, 2009

Belated Halloween

I haven't gotten around to posting the last few days but in honor of All Hallow's Eve and Halloween, here were the two funny words of the day:

10/30: spooky
10/31: ghoul

Two more previous words I didn't post:

10/29: duty
10/28: slobber

Today's FWOTD: bubble

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈbə-bəl\
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English bobel
Date: 14th century

1 : a small globule typically hollow and light: as a : a small body of gas within a liquid b : a thin film of liquid inflated with air or gas c : a globule in a transparent solid d : something (as a plastic or inflatable structure) that is hemispherical or semicylindrical
2 a : something that lacks firmness, solidity, or reality b : a delusive scheme
3 : a sound like that of bubbling
4 : magnetic bubble
5 : a state of booming economic activity (as in a stock market) that often ends in a sudden collapse
6 : the condition of being at risk of exclusion or replacement (as from a tournament) —usually used in the phrase on the bubble

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I Feel Like These Days

funny word of the day: heifer

Definition of Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈhe-fər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English hayfare, from Old English hēahfore
Date: before 12th century
: a young cow; especially : one that has not had a calf

BTW, I feel like a heifer because I'm five months pregnant!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Remember Cabbage Patch Kids?

funny word of the day: cabbage

From Wikipedia:

"The cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea Linne (Capitata Group) of the Family Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae), and is used as a leafy green vegetable. It is a herbaceous, biennial, dicotyledonous flowering plant distinguished by a short stem upon which is crowded a mass of leaves, usually green but in some varieties red or purplish, which while immature form a characteristic compact, globular cluster (cabbagehead).

The plant is also called head cabbage or heading cabbage, and in Scotland a bowkail, from its rounded shape. The Scots call its stalk a castock,[1] and the English call its head a loaf[citation needed]. It is in the same genus as the turnip – Brassica rapa L.

Cabbage leaves often display a delicate, powdery, waxy coating called bloom. The sharp or bitter taste sometimes present in cabbage is due to glucosinolate(s).

Boiling tenderizes the leaves and releases sugars, which leads to the characteristic "cabbage" aroma. Boiled cabbage has become stigmatized because of its strong cooking odor and the belief that it causes flatulence. Boiled cabbage as an accompaniment to meats and other dishes can be an excellent source of vitamins and dietary fiber."

I also think that Cabbage Patch Kids, those slightly creepy, baby-faced dolls that were all the rage when I was a little girl, are funny. I had two -- a little black bald preemie boy named Arnie Frederick and a brunette girl named Dyna Merrill (is it scary that I remember their names after 25 years?). My mom knitted Dyna a tiny cardigan sweater that was so cute.

I also like corned beef and cabbage, the traditional Irish meal that for whatever reason, my Jewish mother used to make when I was growing up.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not Something I Enjoy Seeing my College Football Team Do Every Week!

funny word of the day: fumble

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈfəm-bəl\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): fum·bled; fum·bling \-b(ə-)liŋ\
Etymology: probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish fumla to fumble
Date: 1534
intransitive verb
1 a : to grope for or handle something clumsily or aimlessly b : to make awkward attempts to do or find something c: to search by trial and error d: blunder
2 : to feel one's way or move awkwardly
3 a : to drop or juggle or fail to play cleanly a grounder b : to lose hold of a football while handling or running with it
transitive verb
1 : to bring about by clumsy manipulation
2 a : to feel or handle clumsily b : to deal with in a blundering way : bungle
3 : to make (one's way) in a clumsy manner
4 a : misplay b : to lose hold of (a football) while handling or running

— fum·bler \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

— fum·bling·ly \-b(ə-)liŋ-lē\ adverb

Though this is a funny-sounding word, it is not at all funny when my college football team from the Univ. of Michigan fumbles multiple times in one game, which has happened three times so far in today's game against Penn State and generally has been happening more often this season than I'd like. They used to be so good! What happened?
Yesterday's FWOTD: doozy
Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Variant(s): or doo·zie \ˈdü-zē\ also doo·zer \-zər\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural doozies or doozers
Etymology: perhaps alteration of daisy
Date: 1916
: an extraordinary one of its kind

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!

funny word of the day: pudding

From Wikipedia:

Pudding most often refers to a dessert, but can also refer to a savory dish in some dialects.

In the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, pudding refers to rich, fairly homogeneous starch- or dairy-based desserts (e.g. rice pudding, Christmas pudding), or, informally, is used to refer to any dessert. The word is also used for fairly homogeneous encased savory dishes, e.g. black pudding, suet pudding.

In the U.S., pudding denotes a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards as well as to more traditional puddings such as bread pudding or rice pudding.

The word pudding probably comes from the French boudin, originally from the Latin botellus, meaning "small sausage," referring to encased meats used in Medieval European puddings.

Pudding is also used in one of my favorite lines from Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall":

"If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!"

The sweet version was also made famous by Bill Cosby who, for years, was a spokesman for Jello Pudding. Here's one of his commercials from the 80s:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Smocks are Funny but Rarely Sexy

funny word of the day: smock

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈsmäk\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English smok, from Old English smoc; akin to Old High German smocco adornment
Date: before 12th century
1 archaic : a woman's undergarment; especially : chemise
2 : a light loose garment worn especially for protection of clothing while working

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Play that Funky Music (White Boy)

funny word of the day: funk

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈfəŋk\
Function: noun
Etymology: probably ultimately from French dial. (Picard) funquer to give off smoke
Date: 1623
: a strong offensive smell

Function: verb
Date: circa 1739
intransitive verb
: to become frightened and shrink back
transitive verb
1 : to be afraid of : dread
2 : to shrink from undertaking or facing

Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from obsolete Dutch dial. (Flanders) fonck
Date: 1743
1 a : a state of paralyzing fear b : a depressed state of mind
2 : one that funks : coward
3 : slump

Function: noun
Etymology: back-formation from 2funky
Date: 1959
1 : music that combines traditional forms of black music (as blues, gospel, or soul) and is characterized by a strong backbeat
2 : the quality or state of being funky

My favorites are the first and last definitions. I like Funk music (nothing like a good George Clinton or James Brown song to get you going); however, I am not a fan of funky smells, which I encounter often on the NYC subway and when I pass homeless people on street corners.

Here's a list of the 100 Greatest Funk songs:

Funk is also used to describe a feeling of depression or sadness, like in the phrase "in a blue funk."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Remember the Mansierre?

funny word of the day: brassiere

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \brə-ˈzir also ˌbra-sē-ˈer\
Function: noun
Etymology: obsolete French brassière bodice, from Old French braciere arm protector, from bras arm — more at bracelet
Date: 1911
: a woman's undergarment to cover and support the breasts

Does anyone remember that classic Seinfeld episode where George's father went into sales of the man-sierre (or as Kramer liked to call it, the "Bro"), an undergarment for men's breasts? If not, I urge you to loo it up on YouTube. It was hilarious.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Swedish Chef

funny word of the day: smorgasboard

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈsmȯr-gəs-ˌbȯrd\
Function: noun
Etymology: Swedish smörgåsbord, from smörgås open sandwich + bord table
Date: 1879
1 : a luncheon or supper buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (as hors d'oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads, and relishes)
2 : an often large heterogeneous mixture : mélange
I have to admit: I'm getting very hungry.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Get Blotto, Bumble About and Then Skedaddle

funny word of the day: blotto

Definition from

blotto [ˈblɒtəʊ]
Slang unconscious, esp through drunkenness
[from blot1 (vb); compare blot out]

Yesterday's FWOTD: bumble

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈbəm-bəl\
Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): bum·bled; bum·bling \-b(ə-)liŋ\
Etymology: Middle English bomblen to boom, of imitative origin
Date: 15th century
1 : buzz
2 : drone, rumble

Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): bumbled; bumbling
Etymology: perhaps alteration of bungle
Date: 1532
intransitive verb
1 : blunder; specifically : to speak ineptly in a stuttering and faltering manner
2 : to proceed unsteadily : stumble
transitive verb
: bungle

— bum·bler \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

— bum·bling·ly \-b(ə-)liŋ-lē\ adverb

Tuesday's FWOTD: skedaddle

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ski-ˈda-dəl\
Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): ske·dad·dled; ske·dad·dling \-ˈdad-liŋ, -ˈda-dəl-iŋ\
Etymology: probably alteration of British dial. scaddle to run off in a fright, from scaddle, adjective, wild, timid, skittish, from Middle English scathel, skadylle harmful, fierce, wild, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skathi harm — more at scathe
Date: 1861
: run away, scram; especially : to flee in a panic

— ske·dad·dler \-ˈdad-lər, -ˈda-dəl-ər\ noun

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't Be Snooty!

funny word of the day: snooty

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈsnü-tē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): snoot·i·er; snoot·i·est
Date: 1919
1 : looking down the nose : showing disdain 2 : characterized by snobbery
— snoot·i·ly \ˈsnü-tə-lē\ adverb
— snoot·i·ness \ˈsnü-tē-nəs\ noun

This word is often used to describe British people (and evidently also foxes who dress in hunting clothes).