Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About | Media | Search | Contact  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



Nov 3, 2019
This week’s theme
Eponyms from fiction

This week’s words
Red Queen hypothesis

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

AWADmail archives

Next week’s theme
Words originating in the hand

Like what you see here?
Send a gift subscription
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share

AWADmail Issue 905

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

Sponsor’s Message: We’ve finally become our own worst nightmare: a sell-out. Large anonymous corporation gets wind of One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game and wants to license it worldwide. We say sure, why not? Creativity, principles, artistic integrity, success on our own terms? Right out the window at the first sign of cash we’re happy to say. Seriously, we’re offering all AWADers, including Email of the Week winner, Davide Migliaccio (see below), 50% OFF our Special Dark Edition, while supplies last. Once this limited and lovely version of our best-selling cutthroat IQ contest is gone, it’s gone forever. So, smarten up (on the cheap) RIGHT AWAY >

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

Trump’s Tortured English
The New York Times

How Brexit Is Changing the English Language

From: Ivy Kaminsky (ivykaminsky yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--grobian

Synonym of Trumpian, eh?

Ivy Kaminsky, Houston, Texas

Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! -- Play mind games on the cheap NOW >

From: Davide Migliaccio (dcmiglia gmail.com)
Subject: Scheherazade

One of my favorite classical pieces is the symphonic suite Scheherazade by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It is a gorgeous and moving musical rendition of the story of One Thousand and One Nights (which is really a series of stories within a story), with typically brilliant R-K orchestration. My parents introduced me to it as a child (thanks, Mom and Pop!), and I never tire of listening to it!

Davide C. Migliaccio, Colorado Springs, Colorado

From: Bob Stein (stein visibone.com)
Subject: Red Queen hypothesis

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature is an excellent 1994 book by Matt Ridley on the application of this principle to human evolutionary sociology. He credits the Red Queen hypothesis for the (putatively prodigious) advances in human intelligence itself, all out of proportion to survival needs, akin to a peacock’s tail. You gotta admit, that’s an awfully hefty bowling ball we all carry around up there.

Bob Stein, Emporia, Kansas

From: Paul G Ross (paul.g.ross.gszh statefarm.com)
Subject: Red Queen hypothesis, the band

As with many things in life, I am too late. I was thinking “Red Queen Hypothesis” would be a cool band name. But it has been taken already.

Paul G Ross, Pembroke Pines, Florida

From: Robert Burns (robertburns oblaw.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--rodomont

Who there is willing to go on record claiming that this rodent soundbite is a word?!? Who has read Orlando Innamorato?

Robert Burns, Ocean Beach, California

From: Gerry Brague (gerry foster-brague.net)
Subject: Rodomont

Congratulations on using the word rodomont without mentioning 45. I’m not sure I could have been so restrained.

Gerry Brague, San Francisco, California

From: M Henri Day (mhenriday gmail.com)
Subject: rodomont

A man said to the universe: “Sir, I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.” -Stephen Crane, writer (1 Nov 1871-1900)

While a man’s -- or, for that matter, a woman’s -- existence may not create a sense of obligation on the part of the universe, let us hope that it does so on the part of their fellow humans. Otherwise, we are lost...

M Henri Day, Stockholm, Sweden

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Sinon and Rodomont

Here, I’m clearly playing off poet Virgil’s tale of the Trojan horse, perhaps one of the most dramatic displays of grand subterfuge and betrayal in the historical fictive canon. Rather than depict Trump as the massive wooden-horse-on-wheels of ancient lore, I’ve taken the liberty of portraying him as a humongous steel-plated* pachyderm, symbolically befitting his status as the leader of the Republican Party (The GOP), the party of the elephant. A rabid gathering of Trump MAGA-hatted supporters welcomes the beastly Trump, unaware of his legion of secreted devilish minions emerging from his ample elephantine rump... through a strategically concealed trapdoor. Recall that old adage... “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!”? Pass the baklava. *Of course, made-in-China steel-plating. Ha! So much for those Trumpian tariffs.

On seeing the word rodomont, in a nano second, the “vain boaster” writ large, Donald J. Trump, came to mind. Some might argue, “Such an easy target for ridicule.” But I’m perfectly fine with “easy targets”. Ha! In this scenario, I’ve pictured The Bloviator-In-Chief at full-throttle, doing what he does best, namely, extolling his (alleged) astounding greatness; never mind that these self-aggrandizing superlatives are patently bogus. I’ve included a peanut-gallery of Trump’s bemused, willing GOP enablers, in the guise of those classic “say-no-evil”, see-no-evil, hear-no-evil” chimps. IMHO, shades of evil, hardened prejudices, and hatefulness continue to taint the Trump administration... starting from the very top, with most loyal Trump sycophants choosing to either look away, hold their tongues, or block their ears, in sum, allowing rodomont Trump complete free “reign”.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words
Eponyms from fiction:
1. sinon
2. grobian
3. scheherazade
4. red queen hypothesis
5. rodomont
1. con - horde hiding in pony
2. any harsh person
3. memorizes quotes
4. domino effect
5. boaster
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Limericks

I find there’s no table to dine on,
nor sofa nor bed to recline on.
“Fully-furnished,” he’d said,
but I’ve sure been misled
by that lying, conniving old sinon!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Such a clever man, lively and witty,
Though a sinon too! More is the pity.
So we’re gleeful no end
That this counterfeit “friend”
Is now facing a probing committee.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

A sinon is known for deceit;
His foes in this way he’ll defeat.
Our Prez is a pro
At lying, we know,
And nobody else can compete.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

I once had a friend whom I trusted,
Till I thought for my husband she lusted.
Did the shoulder I’d cried on
Belong to a sinon?
I caught ‘em, and shouted, “You’re busted!”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpmarlin456 gmail.com)

“The chef in this place is a sinon,
For what is this meat that I dine on?”
Said the critic, “This chow
When alive cried ‘meow’,
And it’s tougher to chew on than nylon.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

I’m a grobian, not a buffoon;
I’m the Donald -- could paint you the moon.
From the day I was born
From that very first morn
In my mouth was that first silver spoon.
-Joe Budd Stevens, MD, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (joebuddstevens gmail.com)

There was once a fine scholar named Dorian,
Who waxed eloquent as a historian.
A professor of note,
He taught students at Choate,
But was really an uncouth old grobian.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

This grobian’s vulgar and crude.
He boasts of his groping; he’s lewd.
So please tell me why
His base likes this guy
And rare are the times he is booed.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

How can someone so stupid and gross be an
example to children? A grobian,
he’s a danger each hour
that he stays in power.
We should vote the lout out, and I hope we can.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

In democracy’s latest custodian,
We’ve descended from heights Jeffersonian.
“All men were once equal,
But not in my sequel;
I’m tops!” says the orange-haired grobian.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

These stories might be a mistake,
sighs his mother. As day starts to break,
Scheherazade tires,
but young Billy requires
yet another. He’s still wide awake.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

When he was only a wee lad,
He came to know Scheherazade.
From that day on it seems
She remained in his dreams.
Some nights her tales were all he had.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Scheherazade’s tales were enthralling!
The sultan each day would come calling.
Suspense she created
With what she related --
To save her own skin she was stalling.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Lovely face and a dynamite bod
with a brain behind her fair facade,
she preserved her own life
and became the king’s wife.
Quite resourceful was Scheherazade.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

Sending kids to the Land of Nod,
Through so many stories I’ll plod.
They beg, “Oh, mother,
Read us another!”
Who am I, Scheherazade?
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Squidward the cephalopod,
“Our creator’s a Scheherazade.
In the depths of the sea,
He made SpongeBob and me;
If you’re us, a cartoonist is God.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Says the hare to the tortoise, “We know
that you won, though your progress was slow.
So I’m finding a lot of this
Red Queen hypothesis
true. Shorter legs I must grow!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The Red Queen hypothesized thus:
“If you can adapt, it’s a plus!
Your genes will survive;
Your species will thrive
(Unless you are hit by a bus).”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Superman, “Here in Metropolis,
We’ve abolished the Red Queen hypothesis.
There’s no need to evolve,
For all problems I solve,”
He told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Today it seems quite au courant
To win votes as a crude rodomont.
Puffing up one’s own tale
In expansive detail,
With a great (well, we’ll see!) denouement.
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Bad news ev’ry day seems to break.
“Witch-hunting!” says he. “Big mistake!”
Our dear rodomont
appears nonchalant,
still claiming the news is all fake.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The rodomont bragged all the time,
“Whatever I do is sublime!
Perfection I reach;
Why would you impeach?
Since when is a phone call a crime?”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“I know nussing,” said Schultz to the Kommandant,
a conceited, incompetent rodomont.
“Vith my use of zat slogan,”
He told his friend Hogan,
“Eez best you don’t make me your confidant.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Anonymous eponymous people

Those who supported Quisling had to Synon the dotted line.

Don’t be impatient, always telling your child, “Grobian adult!”

In 1978’s “Superman movie Scheherazade was trimmed and coal-black.

His gay friend offered drugs to get the dressed-in-Red Queen hypothesissy wouldn’t take them.

Makin’ moonshine requiahs the rodomont o’ sugah.

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

This is the devilish thing about foreign affairs: they are foreign and will not always conform to our whim. -James Reston, journalist (3 Nov 1909-1995)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere


Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2024 Wordsmith