Monday, May 28, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #22

spring winds
hoping the flowers burst
out in laughter

haru kaze ni
fukudashi warau
hana mogana


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Friday, May 25, 2018

Cool It

Each definition is rare or obsolete, but that just means you can save your breath to cool your porridge.

Okay, look, all the jokes can't be good. You have to expect that once in a while.

akele, v.

1. trans.

a. To make cold, to cool. Also fig.: †to make less ardent, vigorous, or vital, to assuage, quench (obs.). Now arch. and rare.

b. To refresh, reinvigorate. Also refl. Obs.

2. intr. To become cold, to cool; (fig.) to become less ardent. Obs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Japanese Wood

For @galooticus (on Twitter) who's a wood-worker and appreciates a good double-entendre. Also, generally a good bloke and one of the few people likely to see this post.

aka-matsu, n.

The Japanese red pine, Pinus densiflora, a valuable ornamental and timber tree with reddish wood; the timber itself. Cf. O-MATSU n.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #21

spring rain
a straw cape blows back
as river willows

harusame ya
mino fuki haesu
kawa yamagi


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Friday, May 18, 2018

Political Poetry

This is, basically, every English professor's dream: foreign, historical poetry by an oppressed people where the subtext is the only thing that matters.

aisling, n.

A type of allegorical poem in the Irish language, often serving as a vehicle for political or social comment, which depicts the poet's conversation with a spirit woman who is usually a personification of Ireland. Cf. vision poem n. at VISION n. Compounds 1a.

The aisling form is particularly associated with pro-Jacobite poets of the 18th cent. who used it to circumvent restrictions on political expression.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Air Cav Is Older Than You Might Think

Okay, well, that's slightly hyperbolic. The literal term "Air Cav", according to the OED, dates from the mid-60's. But the longer "air cavalry", actually has a reference as early as 1913. Which, for extra fun times, contains the phrase "especially the aeroplanists at Nancy".

air cavalry, n.

Mil. (chiefly U.S.).

A highly mobile division of an army which uses aircraft for a variety of functions, as observation, delivery of supplies and troops, aerial assault, evacuation, etc.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #20

eight or nine feet up
in the sky rain falls from
a willow

hakku ken
sora de ame furu
yamagi kama


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Saturday, May 12, 2018

BR Play Index Search: Walks

So I spent a few bucks and renewed my subscription to the Baseball Reference Play Index that I'd let lapse a few years back. It's not that expensive, but it is a frivolous item for me since I don't do anything at all professionally related to baseball. It's a lot of fun though. So, starting with a search I did a number of years ago regarding most walks given up in a shutout, I decided to see what the most walks given up in a win was.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Seems Unnecessary

I like a lot of the feminine forms of familiar words. This one seems like a stretch, even to me. But, I've kinda developed a tendency to include any and all unusual feminine words like this, so here ya go.

aideress, n.

Obs. rare.

A female helper.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Joe Green To You

Given the date of origin and the word itself, it must be related to the Verdi opera, but the actual connection is, as the etymology notes, "unclear". Cool word, though.

Good opera, too.

Aida, n.

Although the chronology suggests a connection with Verdi's opera, the reason for this is now unclear...

Needlework and Embroidery.

A loosely woven linen cloth with an even mesh, traditionally used in cross-stitch embroidery. Frequently attrib., esp. in Aida cloth. Cf. Java canvas n. at JAVA n.5.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #19

wake up wake up
I want to be your friend
little sleeping butterfly

okiyo okiyo
waga tomo ni se n
nuru ko cho


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Really, OED? Really?

The word is fine; I learned first from reading Patrick O'Brian's marvelous novels. What really gets under my skin is that the OED is citing Twitter for usage. Okay, it's the internet era, but Twitter? Really? We're all on a bobsled to Gehenna, friends.

ahoo, adv. and adj.

A. adv.

1. Unjustly, wrongfully; in error. Cf. mid or with wough at WOUGH n.2 2c. Obs.

 2. Askew, awry; crookedly, lopsidedly. Chiefly in all ahoo. Cf. HUH n. regional in later use.

 B. adj.

  Chiefly Naut. and regional. In predicative use: crooked, lopsided; askew, awry; disordered. Chiefly in all ahoo.

2015   @AMinorMuddle 10 May in (O.E.D. Archive)    A somewhat muddly time being had. Decorators due tomorrow. House all ahoo.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Forget the Definition

The real gem here is one of the sources referenced for usage. I enjoy knowing that there's a book out there that was written with this title.

aheight, adv.

Now Eng. regional (north-east.)

  At or to a height; above, aloft.

1969   S. Dobson Larn Yersel Geordie 25   He up wi' 'is deppity's stick hoyin' it reet up ahight.