Why is it called “Soccer” and why rugby is to blame.

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a happy and safe New Years Eve.  My new years was quite lovely.

As an American living in England, I very literally learn a new thing everyday.  I’ve learn that the English are as obsessed with bacon as America but English bacon is much better (soz America but these guys cut their bacon nice and thick), that the English have their own ways of pronouncing the alphabet (“h” is “haych” and “z” is “zed”), and they that cookies are biscuts (unless they have chocolate chips and THEN they’re “cookies”).  The list goes on(1).

One difference that I had been well aware of and understand the discrepency for but never understood how it happened was: football versus soccer.  Possibly more confusing, I’ve always wondered why we (Americans) call American football, football.

football-vs-soccer

Clearly it should be called “Handegg Ball”.

Short answer: It’s ruby’s fault and ergo Americans are not to blame (this time).

Long answer: In 1863 a collation of British public schools were trying to come up with a Continue reading

Competitive Worm Charming, Etymologies, and more Friday Fun

I woke up this morning, puttering(1), and got around to looking at a youtube video by this cheeky Brit Thoughty2(2)  on The Weird World of Competitive Worm Charming

 

I then proceeded to have a worm dream something like this:

source http://www.kosapress.com/art-of-science-fiction-038-leonardo-calamati/

I have to admit, I do not have a plan for the worm-pocolapse. Source. Judging from this chart I’m guessing this is a Tremors situation.

sandworm-size-chart

Know your sand worms!

 

Then more English related news, I received an email confirming that my visa has been processed and will be mailed back to me today. All this visa business is terribly dramatic however ether way it’s almost all over.  Either way, there will be tears.  Either way, I kicked a lot of ass to get to this point. And either way, I’m just getting started.

I’ve decided that Fridays are designed to be fun and as some of you may have already gathered, I’m a big fan of etymologies and word play so Friday’s Funday Word is: “FRIDAY”.  Friday is culturally a unique word in many languages deriving meaning from Venus or Venus-dieties including the Aztec god Quetzalcotl, Hinud God Shukra, and in astrology Friday is related to the two Venus signs Taurus and Libra (3).  The reason for why Friday is linguistically tied to Venus across cultures is one that will require further research and a separate post, which if there is significant feedback I will follow through or if anyone wants to take this and write their own essay please send me a link and I’ll re-post, however if there is one thing about the word “Friday” That I learned that I will be sharing for a while is this one last English (and Australian) bit about Friday or often known as POETS day or “PISS OFF EARLY TOMORROW’S SATURDAY”.

 

Footnotes:

  1. Putt (v) – the mindless half asleep wanderings of a toon who is having trouble transitioning between REM cycles, usually between the hours of 2am – 4am, and from what I understand is more prevalent in men and get’s more frequent with age
  2. It’s nice when things work out in theme, thoughty2’s username and byline and about are all references to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which if you haven’t read I’ve begun a review series on the entire Hitchhiker’s series which started last week.  The overall series review can be found here.

Source for cover Image

The Fork

I’m often fascinated with tiny details.  Today I’m paying homage to the noble origins of the eating fork.

First, a poem:

“Fork” by Charles Simic

This strange thing must have crept
Right out of hell.
It resembles a bird’s foot
Worn around the cannibal’s neck.

As you hold it in your hand,
As you stab with it into a piece of meat,
It is possible to imagine the rest of the bird:
Its head which like your fist
Is large, bald, beakless, and blind.

In language the fork had made a minor impression which has reflected its evolution.

“Fork in the road” ForkinRoad1

Muppet movie aside, this phrase represents a time when the young fork only had 2 prongs, more resembling its older brother the pitch fork.

Later when the fork became more commonly used, at least by nobility, the hand became known as “the poor man’s fork” as the utensil evolved to include more prongs and the resemblance to the hand became more apparent.  This would evolve into the phrase “fork it over”.

More recently the small city Forks, Washington became quite famous being the location of the surprisingly popular sparkling vampire series Twilight.

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The fork in new, hip, and way in vogue or at least until a new utensil takes rise.

Next week, I will be posting weekly on Mondays and about once or twice a month with a book review (maybe analysis too, interest and time pending). That being said, my first book review/analysis will be the hilarious, disturbing, and generally unnerving  Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.

If you have strong feelings on the fork or are excited for Infinite Jest or just want to express how much time you’ve wasted reading this and want to make me aware of that, please feel free to leave comments below.