June 15, 2015

in #24,furniture,Monday Comic,sex,Webcomic



August 11, 2014

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March 24, 2014

in #12,2014,colors,Monday Comic,sex,Webcomic


November 26, 2012

in #48,2012,Best Comics Ever,Monday Comic,sex,Webcomic


I’m trying to figure out whether flapjack is an endocentric or exocentric compound. Flap is a verb, jack is a noun, and it’s a fun compound. If I can include it in my research, I’d like to. Is a flapjack a type of jack, or a thing (not a jack) that flaps jacks?

Flap from flapjack is listed in the OED under definition 4a. It has Germanic relatives.

— Do yourself a favor and act out the definition of flap as given above. Do it now. I defy you not to giggle while you do it. Descriptive words are amazing. You really get the feeling that you’re manhandling whatever it is between your hands. Wrestle it to the ground! Flap it!

[and then suddenly…]


May 25, 2012

in compounds,dissertation,food,sex,University of York,Words & Origins

So I’m looking at verb-noun compounds in English, and there are a number of endocentric compounds that begin with the verb blow. Blow comes from OE bláwan, and shows up in a lot of endocentric compounds, which makes sense, since it is a Germanic word. (Trust me on that.)

Blowgun (which comes from blowpipe), blowtorch (which comes from blowlamp) and blowfish are some of the common Modern English forms that use blow. Then of course there is blowjob, which my friend Jason thought up when I told him I was looking for verb-noun compounds in English. This tricked me into saying “Hmm, okay, I’ll look into blowjobs” in public. (Between that discussion and his political-ethical considerations about what makes necrophilia disgusting and illegal, “Hey Jason, how’s necrophilia going?” we seem to have conversations that are quite dangerous when out of context. But he’s cool. Check out his new vlog.)

Blowjob is first attested in 1961, while hand job (a noun-noun compound) first appeared in 1939. Both are American in origin (U! S! A!). Thus, it is very likely that blow job is modeled after the –job pattern of sex acts, rather than being independently created as a verb-noun compound.

And to top it all off, I found this little charmer with one citation from 1885… yes, it’s blow-cock. It really could NOT look more dirty if it tried, but apparently it is a boiler component. The definition even sounds like a euphemism…

So there it is. A dirty dip into etymology.

(All of the data from this post comes from


May 15, 2012

in compounds,sex,Words & Origins

Back of kooBi Front of kooBi (with duckie)

My first computer was a laptop called kooBi. It was an iBook. Its accompanying iPod was called doPi. It was great, went to Spain, and got a lot of stickers on it. Then poor kooBi aged and got tired. The disc burner stopped working, and that kind of feature is important to me, so I got a new one, a MacBook which I named McBook. Its iPod shuffle sidekick was called McPod. For graduation in 2008, I was given an iPod Touch named iToca, which is still with me. McBooks life was tragically cut short when it drowned in the summer of 2009, leading me to buy a MacBook Pro. I’m very attached to my laptops, the first 2 are living in a box in California, and I’ve taken this new one with me everywhere (Korea, Walnut Creek, Germany). But! It doesn’t have a proper name.

After 3 years of companionship, it’s still the new guy, and there’s some kind of smugness that comes with the title Pro that I do not enjoy associating myself with. So… back in 2009 I covered up the MacBook Pro label with a sticker that no one understands, because it’s in Latin. The label says Vade Mecum.

[and then suddenly…]


April 17, 2012

in Autobiographical,best post ever,career,computers,history of language,latin,sex,Words & Origins


December 12, 2011

in #50,2011,Books,children's literature,Monday Comic,sex,Webcomic

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April 5, 2011

in #14,Monday Comic,sex,Webcomic


March 29, 2011

in #13,2011,board games,innuendo,Monday Comic,sex,Webcomic