logophile

Are you a logophile?

That is, a lover of words?

Well then, you probably have an impressive word-hoard,

(better known to the lay folk of language as a vocabulary).

If so, you may already be familiar with Anu Garg,

the logophilic luminary behind

A.Word.A.Day,

“the most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace,”

according to The New York Times.

Anu Garg founded Wordsmith.org in 1994, a worldwide online community of people who share a love for

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cachinnate

Leave it to a bunch of hens …

Those garrulous girls can be heard

all around the farm.

Squawk!

Is a raccoon causing the ruckus?

A weasel, perhaps? Stray dog? Barn cat? Eagle? Owl?

The uproar sends me running every time,

tripping over my feet and bushes along our pathways,

to see what’s ruffling their feathers.

And more often than not,

what do I find?

Just a coop full of cachinnating chickens …

What’s so funny?

gleaming_word-cachinnate1

Photo by Jeff Kramer via Wikimedia Commons

Cachinnate (KAK-i-nayt): a verb meaning to laugh very loudly or immoderately.

double take

Have you ever considered how many women’s names have taken on double meanings in the English language?

If you’re scratching your head, take it from a gal who knows …

A Mary Jane, after all, isn’t a far cry from a MaryJane.

(I prefer the Butters version.)

See what I mean?

If you’re a Nellie or a Patsy, you’re nodding emphatically right now.

Unfortunately, girls named Nellie and Patsy are harder to come by these days,

thanks to popular expressions that have put a damper on their demand.

“Whoa Nellie! It just ain’t so,” said Nervous Nellie. “Don’t blame me. I refuse to be your Patsy.”

Let’s take a gander at several handles that have become noteworthy

(or even a tad notorious)

by their starring roles in our ever-evolving vernacular …

Mary Jane

My name, with a space between, doubles as the name of a …

perfectly legal …

shoe.

I must say I’m pleased as punch—who doesn’t love a Mary Jane? It’s a shoe-in.

gleaming_word-clogs-mary_jane-style

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Plain Jane

Some Janes have it harder than others. Jane paired with plain is a term used to describe a woman of “unremarkable appearance.” With a play on words, I named my milk chocolate “Playin’ Jane.”  I quite prefer her lack of fanfare over the more complicated Janes. Divulge your favorite type of chocolate in the comments section below and this Playin’ Jane (along with her friends, Almond Daze and Mintsummer’s Day) will get mailed to you when our very own StellaJane picks your name out of our giveaway hat.gleaming_word-chocollect-milk_8959

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photo-of-the-day

farm_romance-1726

ha-ha

Wandering the fields one fine spring morning,

Farmer Jane was so busy sniffing out newly sprung wildflowers

that she nearly tripped headlong

into a ha-ha.

gift_gab-ha-ha1

The Athaneum by De Scott Evans via Wikimedia Commons

A ha-ha?

Uh-huh,

a ha-ha.

Tsk, tsk—it isn’t nice to laugh at Jane’s blunders, now, is it?

However, a “ha-ha” is not always what it seems …

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