Monday, August 31, 2009

What's that Smell?

funny word of the day: musk

I think this word is hilarious and it turns out its origin means "testicle" so that's even funnier. See Wikipedia entry:

Musk is the name originally given to a substance with a penetrating odor obtained from a gland of the male musk deer, which is situated between its stomach and genitals. The substance has been used as a popular perfume fixative since ancient times and is one of the most expensive animal products in the world. The name, originated from Sanskrit muṣká meaning "testicle," has come to encompass a wide variety of substances with somewhat similar odors although many of them are quite different in their chemical structures. They include glandular secretions from animals other than the musk deer, numerous plants emitting similar fragrances, and artificial substances with similar odors.[1]
Until the late 19th century, natural musk was used extensively in perfumery until economic and ethical motives led to the adoption of synthetic musk, which is used almost exclusively.[2] The organic compound primarily responsible for the characteristic odor of musk is muscone.

Yesterday's FWOTD: chewy (I sat next to a guy at brunch yesterday who was with his dog named Chewy, also the nickname for Chewbaka from Star Wars and generally a humorous adjective.)

Saturday's FWOTD: clunker (only funny if you tried to get cash for yours and you missed the deadline!)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nothing Like a Lumpy Monk

funny word of the day: monk

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

  • 1monk
  • Pronunciation: \ˈməŋk\
  • Function: noun
  • Etymology: Middle English, from Old English munuc, from Late Latin monachus, from Late Greek monachos, from Greek, adjective, single, from monos single, alone
  • Date: before 12th century

: a man who is a member of a religious order and lives in a monastery; also : friar

  • 2monk
  • Function: noun
  • Date: 1843

: monkey

Also a popular show on the USA Network starring Tony Shaloub.

yesterday's FWOTD was: lumpy

I once knew a guy whose nickname was "Lumpy" for obvious reasons. He had a big crush on me and bought me a giant stuffed dolphin from SeaWorld. It did not win me over.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First part of this word sounds like something else

funny word of the day: condiment

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈkän-də-mənt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin condimentum, from condire to season
Date: 15th century
: something used to enhance the flavor of food; especially : a pungent seasoning
— con·di·men·tal \ˌkän-də-ˈmen-təl\ adjective

I'm a fan of some condiments (soy sauce, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce) and I dislike others (ketchup, mayo, relish). What's your favorite condiment?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oodles of Noodles

funny word of the day: oodles

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈü-dəlz\
Function: noun plural but singular or plural in construction
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: circa 1867
: a great quantity : lot

Remember Oodles of Noodles Ramen -- a college student's best friend? Yum.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What? You're Not Making Any Sense!

funny word of the day: gibberish

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈji-b(ə-)rish, ˈgi-\
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from gibber
Date: circa 1554
: unintelligible or meaningless language: a : a technical or esoteric language b : pretentious or needlessly obscure language

If you want a tutorial on how to speak gibberish, here's a video on YouTube that shows you in five easy steps:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is there such a thing as a glib banshee?

I didn't have time to post yesterday (party at my sister's house in NJ, followed by a party in NYC) but yesterday's FWOTD was: glib

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈglib\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): glib·ber; glib·best
Etymology: probably modification of Low German glibberig slippery
Date: 1584
1 a : marked by ease and informality : nonchalant b : showing little forethought or preparation : offhand c : lacking depth and substance : superficial
2 archaic : smooth, slippery
3 : marked by ease and fluency in speaking or writing often to the point of being insincere or deceitful

— glib·ly adverb
— glib·ness noun

Today's funny word of the day: banshee

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈban-(ˌ)shē, ban-ˈ\
Function: noun
Etymology: Irish bean sídhe & Scottish Gaelic bean sìth, literally, woman of fairyland
Date: 1771
: a female spirit in Gaelic folklore whose appearance or wailing warns a family that one of them will soon die

Evidently, a Banshee is also a funny-looking four-wheel Yamaha motorbike.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The World's Most Finicky Cat & Dog

funny word of the day: finicky

Definition from Merriam-Webster:
Pronunciation: \ˈfi-ni-kē\
Function: adjective
Etymology: alteration of finicking
Date: circa 1825
1 : extremely or excessively particular, exacting, or meticulous in taste or standards 2 : requiring much care, precision, or attentive effort
— fin·ick·i·ness noun

For some reason, this word is often used to describe cats moreso than people. Remember Morris the Cat? Voiced by John Irwin of Masters of the Universe, he is the advertising mascot for 9Lives brand cat food, appearing on its packaging and in many of its television commercials. A large red tabby tom, he is "the world's most finicky cat", and prefers only 9Lives brand, making this preference clear by means of humorously sardonic voice-over comments when offered other brands. Every can of 9Lives features Morris' "signature".

Evidently, dogs can also be finicky. My husband likes to sing this jingle from a Mealtime dog food commercial he watched growing up. It went like this: "You get so finicky when it comes to meal time. That's why it's Mealtime for you, my finicky friend." Their slogan was "A meaty taste for your finicky friend." Gross.

Here are links to both commercials:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

These Can Both Be Gross...

funny word of the day: dumpster

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈdəm(p)-stər\
Function: trademark
—used for a large trash receptacle

Dumpter diving has become a popular pasttime, particularly in this economy and because it's eco-friendly (you're "recycling" items). According to Wikipedia, Dumpster diving is the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners, but which may be useful to the dumpster diver. The practice of Dumpster diving is also known variously as urban foraging, curb shopping, binning, alley surfing, aggressive recycling, Curbing, D-mart, Dumpstering, garbaging, garbage picking, garbage gleaning, dumpster-raiding, dump-weaseling, tatting, trash picking, treasure hunting, skally-wagging, skipping, or trashing. The term originates from the best-known manufacturer of commercial trash bins, "Dumpster," and the fanciful image of someone leaping head first into a dumpster as if it were a swimming pool. In practice, the size and design of most dumpsters makes it possible to retrieve many items from the outside of dumpsters without having to "dive" inside.

Yesterday's word of the day was: pimple

Pronunciation: \ˈpim-pəl\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English pymple; akin to Old English piplian to break out in pimples, and probably to English pimp — more at pimp
Date: 14th century
1 : a small inflamed elevation of the skin : papule; especially : pustule

Ew, pustule is even grosser tham pimple!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Frequently Used in Crossword Puzzles

funny word of the day: oaf

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈōf\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural oafs
Etymology: alteration of auf, alfe goblin's child, probably from Middle English alven, elven elf, fairy, from Old English elfen nymphs; akin to Old English ælf elf — more at elf
Date: 1625
1 : a stupid person : boob 2 : a big clumsy slow-witted person
— oaf·ish \ˈō-fish\ adjective
— oaf·ish·ly adverb
— oaf·ish·ness noun

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hey, Champ!

funny word of the day: champ

Definition from American Heritage Dictionary:

champ 1 (chmp)
v. champed, champ·ing, champs
To bite or chew upon noisily.

To work the jaws and teeth vigorously.
champ at the bit
To show impatience at being held back or delayed.
champ 2 (chmp)
n. Informal
A champion.
But my favorite definition of all is from Wikipedia:

Champ or Champy, is the name given to a reputed lake monster living in Lake Champlain, a natural freshwater lake in North America, partially situated across the U.S.-Canada border in the Canadian province of Quebec and partially situated across the Vermont-New York border.[1] While there is no scientific evidence for the cryptid's existence, there have been over 300 reported sightings. The legend of the monster is considered a draw for tourism in the Burlington, Vermont area.

Like the Loch Ness Monster, some authorities regard Champ as legend, others believe it is possible such a creature does live deep in the lake, possibly a relative of the plesiosaur, an extinct group of aquatic reptiles.

FWOTD Catch-Up

Hopefully you still followed my daily word on Twitter and Facebook while I was on vacation but I didn't have my computer so I missed a week of blog posts. Here's a recap of the words in case you missed them:
8/10 -- shuffle

8/11 -- smudge

8/12 -- lube

8/13 -- orifice (remind me never to post two potentially sexual words back-to-back...I got a lot of comments on these two!)

8/14 -- pumpernickel (which I hate, btw)

8/15 -- bungalow

8/16 -- freckle

My friend Michael will have a field day making a sentence out of these.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

These Are So Hot Right Now (Why, I Don't Know)

funny word of the day: mustache

Mustaches are funny (no offense to any readers who have one) and they're more prevalent than ever, especially in hipster meccas like Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Personally, I prefer a clean-shaven man.

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

  • mus·tache
  • Variant(s): also mous·tache \ˈməs-ˌtash, (ˌ)mə-ˈstash\
  • Function: noun
  • Etymology: Middle French moustache, from Old Italian mustaccio, from Middle Greek moustaki, diminutive of Greekmystak-, mystax upper lip, mustache
  • Date: 1585

1 : the hair growing on the human upper lip; especially : such hair grown and often trimmed in a particular style 2 : hair or bristles about the mouth of a mammal

mus·tached also mous·tached adjective

If you want to see what you or someone else looks like with a funny mustache, try this awesome iPhone app (okay, my husband created it but it's still super cool) called uArt. You upload a photo of anyone and then you can select the kind of facial hair you want to put on them and then you can shave it into whatever style you like (or shave it off entirely). It's fun.

Note: I won't be able to post this week as I'm on vacation w/o access to a computer but I'll still put a FWOTD on Facebook and Twitter so please check there.

Friday, August 7, 2009

RIP Don Ameche...and John Hughes

funny word of the day: cocoon

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \kə-ˈkün\
Function: noun
Etymology: French cocon, from Occitan coucoun, from coco shell, probably ultimately from Latin coccum kermes (thought to be a gall or berry), from Greek kokkos berry, kermes
Date: 1679
1 a : an envelope often largely of silk which an insect larva forms about itself and in which it passes the pupa stage b : any of various other protective coverings produced by animals2 a : something suggesting a cocoon especially in providing protection or in producing isolation b : a protective covering placed or sprayed over military or naval equipment in storage

Cocoon is also a great 80s movie directed by Ron Howard about a bunch of geezers who get energized by some alien cocoons in a pool (now it just sounds ridiculous but Don Ameche won an Oscar for his performance).

Speaking of great 80s movies, I wanted to have a moment of internet silence for John Hughes, whose films helped form my teenage years (in fact, I was often told I looked like Molly Ringwald, maybe because I cut my red hair shorter on one side than the other and wore vintage clothes and hats for a spell in seventh grade). His movies were (and still are) among my favorites of all time: Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day, The Breakfast Club...and even his later ones like Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains & Automobiles (RIP John Candy). He stopped making movies too soon and died too soon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wish I Hadn't Discovered What These Are

funny word of the day: gizzard

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈgi-zərd\
Function: noun
Etymology: alteration of Middle English giser gizzard, liver, from Anglo-French gesir, giser, from Latin gigeria (plural) giblets
Date: 1565
1 a : the muscular enlargement of the alimentary canal of birds that has usually thick muscular walls and a tough horny lining for grinding the food and when the crop is present follows it and the proventriculus b : a thickened part of the alimentary canal in some animals (as an insect or an earthworm) that is similar in function to the crop of a bird2 : innards

Last night, my friends Michael (he of the funny sentences) and Christian made me a delicious dinner of roast chicken and gravy, summer slaw and grilled flatbreads with artichoke spread. I ate entirely too much but when I asked Michael how he made the gravy, he told me he had boiled down the gizzards, mixed in tomato paste and fresh herbs, etc. Well, it was yummy but after reading the definition, I have to admit, I'm feeling a little queasy. I didn't think I could ever be a fan of any kind of innards but when disguised in gravy as something that resembles mushrooms (which is what I thought it was!), chicken gizzards are actually quite tasty.

This isn't Michael's recipe but if you're interested in making chicken gizzard (aka giblet) grazy, here's a recipe from


Chicken liver and gizzard, cooked

1/2 c. pan drippings

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 c. chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper
Cook chicken liver and gizzard in 2 cups water until tender. Drain meat, reserving broth. Chop liver and gizzard. In a small saucepan, mix drippings, flour, broth, salt, pepper, and chopped meat. Cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until gravy thickens.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm Feeling Flummoxed

funny word of the day: flummox

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

\ˈflə-məks, -miks\
transitive verb
origin unknown
: confuse

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Gong Show

funny word of the day: gong

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

\ˈgäŋ, ˈgȯŋ\
Malay & Javanese, of imitative origin
circa 1590
1: a disk-shaped percussion instrument that produces a resounding tone when struck with a usually padded hammer2 a: a saucer-shaped bell (as in a fire alarm) that is struck by a mechanical hammer b: a wire rod wound in a flat spiral for sounding the time or chime or alarm (as in a clock)3British : medal
— gong intransitive verb

But the funniest use of the gong was on The Gong Show, the popular television show in the 70s and 80s and one of my personal favorites that had judges "gong" people off the stage if their performances sucked. According to Wikipedia, The Gong Show was a parody of television variety shows. It broadcast on NBC's daytime schedule from June 14, 1976 through July 21, 1978, and in first-run syndication in the U.S. from 1976 to 1980, and from 1988-1989. The NBC incarnation and the later years of the syndicated version were emceed by Chuck Barris, who also produced them.

I'll never forget the episode of "What's Happening!" when Raj manages a kids group that he books on The Gong Show. They sing "Bubbly Brown Sugar" and it's awesome. Watch the episode here:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Makes Your Pee Smells Funny

funny word of the day: asparagus

I don't need to give a definition for this vegetable but it is one I enjoy. It's really yummy roasted in the oven at 400 degrees with just some sea salt and olive oil, then doused with a few squeezes of lemon juice. Also great on the grill.
Some additional background from Wikipedia:

Asparagus has been used from early times as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties. There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. It was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter.[verification needed] It lost its popularity in the Middle Ages but returned to favour in the seventeenth century.

Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol, and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of folic acid, potassium, dietary fiber, and rutin. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I've Been a Word Hog

I've been so busy this past week that I haven't had time to post on the blog. So forgive me for listing the past few days' FWOTDs.

today's funny word of the day: hog

Definition from

hog (hôg, häg)

noun pl. hogs, hog

1. any swine, esp. a domesticated adult (Sus scrofa) ready for market, or, in England, a castrated boar BRIT. a young sheep not yet shorn INFORMAL a selfish, greedy, gluttonous, coarse, or filthy person SLANG a large, heavy motorcycle

Etymology: ME <>hogg < ? or akin to ON höggva, to cut (akin to OE heawan, hew), in basic sense “castrated”

transitive verb hogged, hogging hog′·ging

to arch (the back) like a hog's

to cause (a ship, keel, etc.) to be higher in the center than at the ends

to trim (a horse's mane) in order to make it bristly

SLANG to grab greedily; take all of or an unfair share of

intransitive verb

to be higher in the center than at the ends, as the bottom of a ship

8/1 FWOTD: chubby

7/31 FWOTD: grubby

7/30 FWOTD: dangle

7/29 FWOTD: grumpy