April 9, 2012

in #15,2012,greek,history,Monday Comic,Webcomic

This is a companion post to last month’s Alcoholic Watergate Hamburgers post. (I just learned that a com-pan-ion is someone with whom you eat bread. So adorable.)

So my friend [ɦɑnɑ] has been playing Jeremina Paxmina for the University of York University Challenge team for the last few months, and while their fate in the tournament is a mystery until July, Hannah’s involvement in British quizzing got me to look into the serious fare offered in the UK. Here’s what I found: Serious British quiz shows are MEAN. They are unforgiving, humorless, exacting, and demanding of minutiae in zero seconds. I checked out University Challenge episodes on Youtube, as well as Only Connect, a Question of Genius, Countdown, Eggheads, and Mastermind.

My favorite of the bunch is Only Connect, which ruthlessly demands teams to find the connection between words with the fewest clues possible. (I made my own Only Connect Wall but I wasn’t able to upload it onto the site.) On the Champions of Champions episode last August, one question revealed the word Marathon, followed by Hamburger, Alcoholic, and finally Watergate. Having recently written about this, I knew the connection when I saw Hamburger.

[and then suddenly…]


March 22, 2012

in best post ever,career,english,greek,IPA,neologism,wordnik,Words & Origins,yiddish


March 5, 2012

in #10,2012,alphabet,Best Comics Ever,greek,international jokes,letters,Monday Comic,popsicle jokes,Webcomic,Words & Origins

Once upon a time, I learned that seeing -fer or -phor in a word means ‘to carry or bear.’ I love it a lot, I made a great comic about it, everybody’s happy. Yesterday I read Chapter 1 for my Syntax class, and it mentions the term anaphora. Examples of anaphors are himself, herself, itself, and themselves. Hmmm, said the brain. This term carries something, but what does ‘ana’ mean? At first I thought it was a simple negator like ‘a-‘ as in atypical, but no! [and then suddenly…]


October 20, 2011

in anagram,english,Etymology,greek,insignificant linguistics mystery,University of York,Words & Origins

1. symbolic
2. memorandum
3. patronymic
4. geophagy
5. sebec (I spelled it wrong)
6. aegis (I spelled it wrong)
7. strongylosis (I spelled it wrong)
8. patroon

They ran out of sufficiently difficult words so I tied for 2nd with 2 other ladies. Sort of unsatisfying, but if I can keep it for 2 weeks in my wallet, I’ll have a drink ticket the next time I go to spelling.


February 8, 2011

in 2nd place,arabic,greek,spelling,spelling bee,tied for 2nd

1. thoroughly
2. dexterous
3. calyptrate


All-around lovely person and superb speller Leila won, though, which is legit and fo real, and new-to-me Sarah was good too.


February 2, 2011

in greek,someday lounge,spelling,spelling bee

Oh hello. I’ve been up to no good, spending my time watching internet television and flipping around wordnik pages as I please.

First of all, I continue tagging more things in im-pure non-linguist approved format…. like vcvccv.

On my birthday, a great new game was invented because of conflicting pronunciation of the word chimera. Thus began a weeklong game of one-upmanship, trying to think of more new words that use ch in a word with a k sound. Most are Greek. In our game we could only use a root word once, so variations on ‘chronology’ did not count as new additions, unless they were really awesome. Loch is technically a different guttural sound, but for the purposes of a light-hearted list-based game, I hope I can be forgiven. Please add as you like. I tried to remember all the ones I could, but there were a lot. The list so far is HERE.

When I ran out of “ch with a k sound” words, my mind looked for more fun letter combinations to play with, and I soon realized that there are not many words that have R and H next to each other. Rhino, rhythm, rhombus, rheumatoid, the list does not go on for very long. But then! An extension was made, realizing that R and H are often in the middle of words, at the junction between the two parts of a compound word. neighboRHood. supeRHero. waRHorse. Fun times, the list I started is HERE. You may notice Spiderham on the list, which was a children’s comic book series that my family owns and I read as a child. You can find him immediately on Google Images, so I think it’s pretty legit.

Once upon a time in elementary school, I hated math. I still hate math. My math teacher said we could get a free pass on doing homework if we could bring in an example of a $1.00 word. The system is based off of A=1, B=2, J=10, T=20, Z=26. You add all the letters up and if they equal 100, that’s a dollar word. I super-sponge absorbed that system into my brain, and spent the next month of my life with a calculator at the ready, plugging in any and all words i could think of that might work. Pumpkin, elephant, wizards, hamburger, excellent. I loved them. It turns out the internet has taken the thinking out of the list, and you can find them all in one nice place called Math Lair. It lists 660 words, I entered in about a third of them while I was watching internet television this evening. It made me happy. Here’s the list so far.

BH are my initials, and B next to an H is not common. And it looks weird, and so far I just have Clubhouse. There must be others. I found a lot of -house words by looking through the font catalog at House Industries. I got a catalog from them in the mail once, very well designed. I believe I had them address it to bOb fencepost, which was my nom de internet at the time. Brilliant.

Another uncommon and strange looking letter order. This one I also found through hunting House’s fonts, but with a little more success. DHarma, maDHouse, roaDHouse, birDHouse.

Happy tagging, everybody. Please join in and play.

{ 1 comment }

January 15, 2010

in greek,House Industries,one-dollar words,tagging,wordnik