Monday, July 30, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #31

in a summer rain
the leg of the crane
becomes shorter

samidare ni
tsuru no ashi
mijikaku nareri


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Friday, July 27, 2018

A Pale Imitation

It's been a while since I had an obscure female variation on a common word. This is one I never even thought about being possible or necessary. It seems more obscure than most of the others I've come across so far.

albiness, n.

Now hist. and rare.

A female albino.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

All Together Now

A nice useful word; it's a shame it's obsolete. Think about it for a second, you could use this in all kinds of situations. Fun bonus fact: it's a combination of two words, one of which is "all". So there's another obsolete word coming up when I eventually get to the next letter of the alphabet.

albedene, adv.


1. As a group or total; altogether, collectively; all together. Also: one and all.

2. Completely, entirely; utterly.

3. Forthwith; immediately, presently.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #30

still summer
the harvest moon too hot
to enjoy the coolness

natsu kakete
meigetsu atsuke
suzumi kana


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, July 16, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #29

by a window
a nap on the bed
of a bamboo mat

madonari ni
hirume no dai ya
take mushiro


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sounds Catholic, but it's not

Though the word (phrase, really) and the definition would lead one to think of it as a result of the traditional Catholic prohibition against eating meat on Fridays, it's more prosaic. Just a surfeit of the item in question in a particular place. Though I do like the idea that beef is far preferable to fish that is implied by the nickname.

Albany beef n.

Etymology: < Albany, the name of the capital city of New York State + BEEF n., in reference to the abundance of the fish in the waters of the Hudson River near Albany

U.S. Now hist.

The flesh of the sturgeon, used as food.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #28

even a long day
is not enough for the singing
of a skylark

nagaki hi mo
saezuri taranu
hibari kana


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Friday, July 06, 2018

Vengeance pursues! They are heating the cauldrons!

This is a word that Gene Wolfe would use to describe some fantastical monster. You could tell someone that it was a minor part of the Book of the New Sun, and they'd believe you without hesitation. Alzabo, destrier,... alastor. Yep.

alastor, n.

Usually with capital initial. An avenging demon or god. More generally: any avenger of wrongs committed; an agent of retribution. Cf. NEMESIS n. 1.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Excuse me, do you have four quarters for a dollar?

This wasn't entirely an excuse to link to something humorous from my youth. Turns out that "Alaskan" to describe something or someone from Alaska was not the original word. Thankfully, however, it was the one that caught on and this malformation was, by and large, forgotten.

Alaskian, adj.

= ALASKAN adj.
   Some later examples may represent a typographical error for ALASKAN adj.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #27

already sad
now make me lonely too
mountain cuckoo

uki ware o
sabishigara seyo


Translated by Jane Reichhold