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Apr 14, 2019
This week’s theme
Words related to bones

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AWADmail Issue 876

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

Sponsor’s Message: Wise Up! is a brand-new smart-aleck party card game that’s guaranteed to provoke and delight both outlaws and in-laws alike, or your money back. Seriously, we double-dare Email of the Week winner, Steve Kirkpatrick (see below), as well as all AWADers -- to put on your party pants now and come play with us. Game on!

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

A Common Policy
London Review of Books
Also see lipogram

From: Elizabeth Block (elizabethblock netzero.net)
Subject: bones

Our backbone gives us structure
And strength to carry weight,
In the phylum called chordata
We join every vertebrate.
But let our bony ego
not exaggerate our worth,
For the spineless worms and insects,
They truly rule the earth.

From “One Species Are We” (slightly rewritten) by The Vox Hunters

Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada

From: David Franks (david.franks cox.net)
Subject: No bones about it

You wrote, “A trombone apparently works fine, but without bones we would all slump to the floor.” See video (16 sec.).

David Franks, Fayetteville, Arkansas

From: J L Rosner (jlrathome juno.com)
Subject: Bones

See the recent NY Times book review of Skeleton Keys: The Secret Life of Bone by Brian Switek.

J L Rosner, Washington, DC

From: Chips Mackinolty (chips.mackinolty gmail.com)
Subject: Bone words

My favourite “bone” word is not from English, but from Rembarrnga, a central Arnhem Land language (Australia).

I’d got used to the word “dawutno” for cigarette and didn’t think anything of it until a painter was describing a painting he had created and pointed to the image of a skeleton. Light bulb moment as he pointed to the thigh bone ... of course, the word used for cigarette!

Chips Mackinolty, Darwin, Australia

From: Claudine Voelcker (claudine.voelcker googlemail.com)
Subject: Bred-in-the-bone

Inveterate but not invertebrate.

Claudine Voelcker, Munich, Germany

From: Roy Meals (rmeals ucla.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bred-in-the-bone

BONES! Good choice. AWAD readers might enjoy this link to my quasi-coherent short, short story showcasing 30 bone expressions.

Roy Meals, Los Angeles, California

From: Noel Doherty (noeldoherty fitzsols.com)
Subject: ossify

Ossified is also an Irish slang for very drunk.

Noel Doherty, Cork, Ireland

Email of the Week brought to you by Wise Up! -- The card game for not horrible people >

From: Stephen L. Kirkpatrick (stevekirkp comcast.net)
Subject: bonehead

A true-to-life bonehead was the dinosaur pachycephalosaurus, which apparently fought by ramming its head against rivals and predators. My 3 y.o. grandson loves reciting names of dinosaurs, but hesitated on that one. That gave me time to coin pachycephalopotus.

Steve Kirkpatrick, Olympia, Washington

From: Jeff Wolfson (jeffw iafrica.com)
Subject: Jell-O

Known everywhere else in the world as jelly. Americans further confuse the issue by calling what everyone else calls jam (to spread on your bread) jelly.

You people have a lot to answer for.

Dr Jeff Wolfson, Faerie Glen, South Africa

From: Mary Ann Kull (makull2 icloud.com)
Subject: Jell-O History Lesson

Thought you might enjoy this. You’ll never know what you might find to visit in Western New York.

MaryAnn Kull, East Aurora, New York

From: Matt Nash (mattanash live.com)
Subject: Jell-O

My daughter became vegetarian at age 8 after accompanying me to a pig roast. The sight of drunken rednecks gleefully hewing away at the grinning carcass of an intelligent being that likely suffered unimaginably never left her. She’ll be 23 next week and has never intentionally strayed, except when travelling she sometimes samples the local seafood fare so as to get the full experience, and just to be polite. I remember her horror at discovering that Jello, among many other formerly favorite foods, was basically made from boiled pig hides and other slaughterhouse scraps. Curious that ingredients lists often have warnings like “contains wheat” or “processed in facility that processes nuts”, but they don’t seem compelled to indicate if they contain dead animal products. Many brands of chewing gum, marshmallows, and breakfast cereal are made with gelatin. “Frosted Mini-Meats”, anyone? She’s been an inspiration to me and I rarely eat meat these days.

Matt Nash, Oak Harbor, Washington

From: Chip Taylor (via website comments)
Subject: bone week

No bones about it, this was a fun week of words. Some of these words from the boneyard required me to bone up on various subjects so I wouldn’t commit a boner in my posts. Guess I will slip into my herringbone jacket and maybe even play the bones a bit while I await the next series of marvelous words.

Chip Taylor

From: Jane Irish Nelson (jane.irish.nelson gmail.com)
Subject: bones

I’ve enjoyed this week’s words about bones, especially since I work for a company known locally as the bone factory -- its real name is Sawbones, and we manufacture medical models.

Jane Irish Nelson, Vashon, Washington

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: bonehead and Jell-O

In keeping with this week’s bone-related words, I’ve anthropomorphized one of the most vital bones of the human body, the humerus (upper arm bone), into a boneheaded (literally) standup comic un-extraordinaire, Mr. Funny Bone, riffing on the classic, frankly hackneyed “so-and-so walks into a bar” joke setup. Forgive my injecting a superfluity of puns into this cartoon mix. I can’t blame any fellow AWAD-ers out there who may have a bone to pick with me on that score. (groan)
bonehead Jell-O
Behold “Lord of the Jell-O Rings!* As a member of the early baby-boomer generation, make no bones about it (groan), as a kid growing up in the ‘50s, Jell-O was a staple dessert item in our McCrae household. One of the prime characteristics of this gelatin-based treat is its ability to be molded, assuming the shape of the container into which it’s poured and refrigerated. The Jell-O ring was one of the fancier Jell-O configurations back in the day, considered in our home to be a kind of extra-special treat. Injecting pieces of various fresh fruits would enhance the texture and flavor. Tupperware Inc. came out with the most popular, best-selling aluminum Jell-O ring molds.
*Apologies to Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien.

I’m having to tend to some pressing family matters back in Canada for roughly the next month-and-a-half. So I won’t be able to contribute my regular weekly weekend “wrap” illos for that period of time while I’m up in The Great White North (Toronto area). But if all goes smoothly, as anticipated, I should be back at the AWAD drawing board sometime in May. Will be missing all you fine folks till then.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words

Words related to bones:
1. bred-in-the-bone
2. ossify
3. bonehead
4. Jell-O
5. bareboned
= 1. showed roots
2. harden to bone
3. feeble brain
4. blob dessert - enjoy!
5. lean-bodied
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Limericks

I have learned quite a lot while judging the limericks the past two weeks:
1) The poets are extremely clever with their story lines.
2) For the most part, they responded to the hints I gave them last week.
3) There is a lot of misunderstanding about “what rhymes”.
4) There’s even more confusion over what constitutes anapest.

Marcia Sinclair (who was shut out last week but had hers on Jell-O selected this week) sent a lagniappe that may reflect some of her fellow limericists’ frustrations also:

To adhere to a poem’s strict form,
Creates in my heart quite a storm;
I might want a spondee,
Or maybe a trochee,
But all anapest’s not my norm!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

Last week I selected 23. This week, 29 made the cut but don’t get your hopes up too high, poets. Thus far I’ve only graded objectively (on meter and rhyming). As improvement in those areas continues I’ll also choose based on which ones impress me most.

“His lying is bred-in-the-bone,”
To Congress said Michael D. Cohen.
“I’ll be soon on the shelf
As no Boy Scout myself,
But I’ll nonetheless cast the first stone.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Say the farmers, “Our seeds have been sown.
When and if crops become fully-grown,
Mother Nature decrees.
But that lady’s a tease
whose caprices are bred-in-the-bone!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

If to cynical thoughts you are prone,
and you fear they are bred-in-the-bone,
don’t succumb to despair --
there are good reasons there --
and remember, you aren’t alone.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Said The Donald to Pence with a groan,
“I am feeling so sadly alone.
This Prez job makes me glower,
How I miss Trump Tower,
These Dems are so bred-in-the bone.”
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

One thing you can drone about Joan,
She is verse prone. It is bred-in-the-bone.
When she gets her email,
From Anu, she will wail,
And moan and groan, “Leave me alone.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Telling whoppers is one of his tricks,
With his bred-in-the-bone politics.
His mountain of lies
Is reaching new highs
Trying hard to outdo Tricky Dick’s.
-Gayle Tremblay, Saint John, Canada (gayletremblay hotmail.com)

The fibs that he tells are well-known,
A habit that’s bred-in-the-bone.
It wouldn’t surprise
If “Here’s where he lies”
Were etched in the end on his stone.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

We find, as has been prophesied,
that our chief appears unqualified
to lead the US.
He lacks politesse,
and his ways have become ossified.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

“No longer shall hate you personify,”
Came a voice, “Or let old ideas ossify.”
Answered Paul, “You da man;
In Damascus I plan
To become your el primo apostle guy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

We’re glued to our phones all the time;
We think that our apps are sublime.
That is possibly why
Our minds ossify --
This waste of our brains is a crime.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

A boy watched his mother make bread,
Didn’t wait ‘til it baked but instead
Ate a lot of raw dough
Then began rising slow
Toward the sky; what a silly bonehead.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpmarlin456 gmail.com)

A bonehead whose thinking is flawed
Has somehow got followers awed.
With the nonsense he spews
And his ignorant views,
How can they not know he’s a fraud?
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

On finding young Goldilocks there,
with annoyance declares Baby Bear,
“Go sleep in your OWN bed,
you trespassing bonehead!
I saw what you did to my chair!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Mr. Barr has provided a wake-up call:
He isn’t a moderate after all.
He’s a Trump sycophant,
Who echoes each rant
Of the bonehead conspiracy falderal.
-Willo Oswald, Portland, Oregon(willooswald gmail.com)

The survey just conducted by State,
without mincing words, says true and straight
that mid those at the helm,
the boneheads overwhelm.
We’re concerned: their IQ mean is eight.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

There was once a young suitor, well-bred,
Though so handsome, he was a bonehead.
Women found him a bore,
Even so, he did score
By just luring those lovelies to bed.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Lorne Michaels has done very well
with his long-running hit, SNL,
but he joined the boneheads
when he produced the Coneheads.
A “comedy film” straight from hell.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

He was quite an attractive young fellow
and extremely adept on the cello.
Those deep, mellow tones
really thrilled her. Her bones,
when he played them, would turn into Jell-O.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

While a girl quite a few years ago
For dessert I would eat my Jell-O.
Please tell me what sweet
Teenagers now eat?
I am sure it is one I don’t know.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Said the handsome commander Othello,
“Desdemona, my legs are like Jell-O.
No nefarious scheme
Could disturb our sweet dream;
Be my wife, and you’ll find me quite mellow.”
(Author’s note: things don’t always work out as planned.)
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

He dances a samba with ease --
and a polka, as well. But his knees
begin turning to Jell-O
whenever the fellow
hears strains of a waltz Viennese.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

It’s part of the prep that I dread --
When Jell-O is all you are fed.
But worse yet, I think,
Is that godawful drink
And the time that you spend in the head.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

In hospital after your op
And you’re not feeling very tip-top,
You’re in no great mood,
And they don’t give you food,
You get Jell-O, more Jell-O -- what glop!
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

There are those who do try to lose weight,
And will exercise hard to look great,
But instead of care, toned,
They come off more bareboned,
And they land in an unhealthy state.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

When alive he did live bareboned style.
Rare if he greeted you with a smile.
To me it’s not odd,
With money his God,
He missed out on a lot the whole while.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

A slick gangster who walked around stoned
Was so light on his feet, and bareboned.
The town cops grew distraught
‘Cause he never got caught.
His maneuvers were very well-honed.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

Mr. Lincoln was gaunt and bareboned,
with a keen brain he constantly honed.
T, idle and plump
has a mind like a sump.
How I wish Honest Abe had been cloned.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

The doctor once said to Jack Sprat,
“It’s harebrained to diet like that.
You’re bare-boned as hell,
And you look unwell --
I wish that you’d sample some fat.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Cries the poet, “With sonnets I’m through!
I’ve decided to try something new.
It’s a form finely-honed,
concise and bareboned,
with only three lines: a haiku!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Bony puns (in both senses)

Marrow is soft... sort of like bred-in-the-bone.

My Brit friend would think me a total ossify shot him the bone.

If you swallow a small bonehead for the emergency room!

Despite my wife’s cooking our marriage is beginning to Jell-O K.

“Cook it ‘as is,’ please. I can’t bareboned chicken.”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

From: James Ertner (jde31459 gmail.com)
Subject: No bones about it

The skinny baker made and then ate an entire loaf and hoped it would build up more bred-in-the-bone.

I’d go visit the wizard of ossify could.

As the best brass musician in high school, I was the trom-bonehead in the band.

Often overheard on telephones in Mexico: “Jell-O. Jell-O? Is anyone there?”

My favorite, well-worn but shabby, herringbone sports jacket was thread-bareboned.

Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina

Civilizations in decline are consistently characterised by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity. -Arnold Toynbee, historian (14 Apr 1889-1975)

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