Category Archives: word tasting notes


In botany’s catechism, catercorner from the cactus is the catkin. It may seem a petty distinction – you want to pet the one and distinctly not the other – but they are as thoroughly unalike as anyone would like. Continue reading


A hopper, of course, hops, just as a shopper shops and a chopper chops and a whopper… um, whops, I guess. And a bopper bops and a lopper lops and a popper pops and a topper tops and copper… oh. Whoops.

But then what does a whopper of a copper hopper do?

A hopper could, of course, be part of a rabbit response team. But in truth hoppers are not often seen to hop. A person who is a hopper is one who cutshops, as in the conical catkins that flavour beer, which have no relation (that we know of) to the action of hopping (aside from what you do while waiting for the washroom after a pint or two of IPA). And when they drop their plucked hops into a hopper that feeds into the machinery, that hopper probably doesn’t hop either. Continue reading


Alana doesn’t like this word, but I do.

What does it signify, bezelless? Is it a cross between a gazelle, a wildebeest, and a lioness? (No… and I’m not sure how that would work… sounds like a gory scene in the Okavango delta.) Is it a busy buzzy little demon, a minion of Beelzebub? (…n… …o…) Is it your friend’s German friend who joined you for the local Oktoberfest and was unimpressed? (Probably not… and that might seem a transgression of Gesellschaft.) Is it the word bevel as seen reflected in a pond with ripples from a dropped stone? (Well… maybe…)

What it is for sure is the kind of sports watch I prefer. Continue reading


Today I had to fix something that was cracked, so I used Krazy Glue. Which, depending on how you see it, is either ironic or apposite. Continue reading


No matter where I see it, when, or how, this word will always make me think of Asterix and Obelix. Continue reading


August 16, 1977. A summer day 42 years ago. The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, was found dead in his bathroom. He was 42 years old. Continue reading


“Psst! Hey! Wanna fork?”


OK, you may not think that joke has legs, but the Dictionary of Archaic Words does. Look: it defines furchure as “The place where the thighs part; sometimes, the legs.” Continue reading