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: