Free-Floating Hostility

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


What's in Mike's Vocabulary?

Once again, I am short on stories. Not much is likely to happen around here unless I can get one of the ergonomics guys to weigh in on the advantages of typing with a chihuahua in your lap. So, in lieu of narrative, I offer lexicography. These are some terms I've been overusing recently:

  • Pie Hole. I picked this one up when I was still working at the clinic. A certain coworker was complaining that she'd had to talk on the phone all day to patients, repeating "I've been talking all day and I don't want to talk anymore," to which April muttered, "If she's so sick of talking, why doesn't she just shut her pie hole?"
  • Farcocked (pronounced roughly as fuh-COCKT and spelled however you please). I've been saying "farcocktah" for quite some time, as in "I'm sick of this farcocktah grant proposal," but I only recently learned that if it is used with a linking verb, it should be declined to farcocked, as in "This grant proposal is utterly farcocked."
  • Vagary. Always plural, as far as I can tell. I like it cause it sounds like it's related to "vague" but it isn't.

These are some terms and phrases Mike has been overusing.

  • We're getting the band back together! I have no idea what this refers to. I believe it connotes sarcastic joy. Apparently it has infinite applications.
  • True or False. He picked this up from one of his baseball buddies, and uses it to restructure questions like "Are we out of toilet paper?" to "True or False: We are out of toilet paper." Your answer must be phrased as "That would be a false" or the reverse.
  • Batshit Insane. Sometimes this is varied to "crazy as a pile of guano."

I think Mike is cooler than me.

8 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at May 03, 2005 6:26 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • It's not "far" it's "ver," some kind of german deal carried into yiddish which, I think, changes a verb into a reflexive as in verklempf and verbluggerned.

  •   Posted by Blogger Mike at May 03, 2005 10:06 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I thought I have used "Getting the band back together" fairly judiciously over the past few months.

    And I'm certainly not cooler than you, though I may have more schtick.

  •   Posted by Anonymous Akil at May 03, 2005 10:11 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I love the term "pie hole". I can't think of any other word but pie that will make the concept work. "Cake hole" just doesn't do it for me. Didn't Chris Farley coin this one? He's the first cat that I heard using it.

  •   Posted by Blogger Anna at May 04, 2005 1:44 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I think you're right, Akil. Apparently "cake hole" has a hundred-year history or thereabouts, but as far as my research can tell "pie hole" was Farley's innovation.

  •   Posted by Blogger Anna at May 04, 2005 1:45 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Dodger--It can be either of our choices, or "fer" or "fur" or whatever. I looked it up. Everyone pronounces it "fuh" anyway. It's a transliteration.

  •   Posted by Blogger BrooklynDodger at May 07, 2005 10:16 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Pedantry has few bounds. 5 minutes on the internet reveals:

    Simple Infinitives
    The infinitive consists of the root and usually the suffix "-en". There are a few verbs having another ending, mostly "-ern" or "-eln". The ending "-n" is regarded to be the suffix of those.

    "laufen" (to walk)
    "lächeln" (to smile)
    "meistern" (to master)
    There are some verbs which have a permanent prefix at their beginning. The most common permanent prefixes found in German are "ver-", "ge-", "be-", "er-", "ent-" and "zer-".

    "brauchen", to need - "verbrauchen", to consume or to use up
    "raten", to advise - "verraten", to betray
    "fallen", to fall - "gefallen" to be pleasing
    "hören", to hear - "gehören" to belong to
    "brennen", to burn (intransitive) - "verbrennen", to burn (transitive), "to burn completely"
    "beginnen", to begin (no form without the prefix)
    The meaning of the permanent prefixes does not have a real system; the alteration in meaning can be subtle or drastic. The prefixes "ver-", "be-" and "ge-" have several different meanings. Verbs with "er-" tend to relate to creative processes, verbs with "ent-" usually describe processes of removing, and "zer-" is used for destructive actions.

    Many verbs have a separable prefix that changes the meaning. The separable prefix is added at the beginning, before the permanent prefix.

    "wegtragen" (to carry away)
    "umverteilen" (to share around)
    In some cases these separable prefixes merge together with the infinitive; therefore, they are actually permanent prefixes. Unfortunately for the learner, there are even verbs that have a version with a separable prefix and another version with same prefix, but permanent.

    "umfahren"
    =1. pronounced 'umfahren, with the stress on the first syllable
    to run down (in one's car)
    "Ich fahre den Baum um" (I crash into the tree)
    =2. pronounced um'fahren, with the stress on the second syllable
    to drive around
    "Ich umfahre den Baum" (I drive around the tree)

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at December 12, 2011 9:21 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Vagaries and vague are both derived from the Latin root vagus, wandering

  •   Posted by Blogger KevFrey at March 22, 2012 12:36 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • "Getting the band back together..." refers to the Blues Brothers movie (John Belushi)...


    Trivia FYI;

    -- KevFrey --

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