Word of the Week  (WoW)

There are three kinds of swearing, and this week's Word of the Week (WoW) is one of them: as a negative euphemism, e.g, Does a bear shit in the woods?

A second type is idiomatic which is another word for casual swearing: That's a damn fine shiner you've got there.

The third is emphatic, which is basically a biological warning or release: Fuck! That stove is hot.

So when you do curse you'll know the how and why - just make sure you use some originality and wit.




This week's WoW (Word of the Week) is colloquially known as "Beaver Fever," an alliterative intestinal infection caused by the parasite giardia lambia, which results in abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. It is highly-contagious, and usually affects travellers - it got its name when some hikers in Banff Canada got sick after drinking contaminated water from a nearby dammed (and damned!) mountain stream.

Most cases clear up on their own after a few days, but sometimes antibiotics are used.

English is a rich, rich, incredibly plastic and vast fantastic universe.



Word of the Week (WoW) comes courtesy of my artist friend Cara, who gifted my sister-in-law one last Christmas.

From Wikipedia: Oosik is a term used in Native Alaska cultures to describe the bacula of walruses, seals, sea lions and polar bears. Sometimes as long as 60 cm (24 in), fossilized bacula are often polished and used as a handle for knives and other tools.

So now my lucky brother doesn't have to worry about being chased around the house and into the yard and maybe even down the street with a rolling pin anymore.

Every week we give you an unusual word or expression, from our readings or meanderings, to expand your vocabulary, and enrich your lives. And also to show how arch and clever we are.

Seriously, we think that you're only as smart as your vocabulary is large, and the broader, deeper, and interestinger the better. 



Word of the Week (WoW) is a common backyard animal. Any guesses?

A whistle pig is another name for a groundhog, which is also called a woodchuck. Gophers are in the same family.

Here's a classic hillbilly ditty to help you remember:

Shoulder up your sack, and whistle up your dog
Shoulder up your sack, and whistle up your dog
Off to the woods to catch a groundhog
Oh, groundhog


Here's a list of the other WoWs we've featured, in alphabetical order:

cackalack – a derogatory slang term for a resident of South Carolina.
keelhaul – punishment where a person is dragged under the keel of a ship
lagniappe – a gifted extra, e.g. a baker's dozen
looper – inchworm
mingo – Iroquoian people and language
mukluk – Eskimo sealskin boots
oosik – a walrus penis
pantywaist – an effeminate or cowardly person
piker – a cheapskate
piloerection – the bristling of hairs
recalicitrant – willfully disagreeable and rebellious
scrimshanker – a shirker, usually of military duties
shinbone alley – a seedy place known for bars and seedy venues
sizzurp – adding cough syrup to a carbonated drink and used as a recreational drug; also called drank
snickersnee – a curved sword
spiv – a flashy, disreputable man
November 29, 2020 — Johnny Mustard