Throughout history, men have managed to tag their names to countless gizmos and gadgets as well as species, medical procedures, landmarks, and doodads, claiming the lion’s share of eponyms for themselves.

An eponym, as you probably guessed, refers to a person after which a particular something is named.

Think Bunsen burner, Douglas fir, Kafkaesque, and, well …

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Okay, fine. I’ll go with kine.

Call me bewildered, bamboozled, and flat-out flummoxed!

Carol sent me a little word quiz this morning that left me scratching my noggin.

She hinted that the answer was one that should come easily to any true-blue farmgirl,

but the fact is …

it had us both hoodwinked.

So, let’s see if you can guess:

What English plural word does not contain any of the same letters as its singular equivalent?

Think on it as you ponder my lush pasture below, and then meander down the page to find the answer.

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Quickly, she acted prickly.

You should have seen her!

She was …


(but not peevish),


(yet not exactly sharp),

and thorny

(without a trace of temper).

I’m quite sure she had four tiny paws and a little black nose,

but she was curled up into a bristled ball such that I couldn’t tell one end from the other.

She was positively erinaceous!

Can you guess what she was?

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