Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dispatch #5: Today's special names are Ballsach, ESPN and Brandon

Ballsach [bawl-zak] (Franco-German)

1) Saxon variant of Balzac, the 19th Century French author and a founder of the realist school of fiction.

2) Anthroponymist Andrea Todd detects a strong testo-phallocentric impulse, underscored by the centrality of women in Balzacian literature and the 12,000 letters the author received from admiring ladies.

3) A responsive if nervous pouch, known to swell when content but defensively contract, retract and wrinkle in alarm upon sudden exposure to chilly weather, cold water or intimidating males.

ESPN [Ess - pn] (American English)

1) One capable of either mindreading or seeing future events. May be used as a verb, i.e. "That fortune teller is really good at ESPn' "

2) A keen aficionado of two dimensional athletic zhlobbery projected onto a flat screen.

3) A person of Spanish or Hispanic extraction.

Brandon [brændən] (Old English)

1) Broom Hill -- Maybe after a small, old eponymous English town. Or maybe it really is just a hill of brooms -- England was, after all, a strange place populated by odd people during the first millenium.

2) Reflecting the recent trend of naming children after consumer products, pioneering parents may choose Brandon as a clever catchall name for all brands: 'brand' and 'don' combine to mean 'Master of ALL Brands'.

3) Perhaps a variant of Breanden, yet another legendary explorer claimed -- this time by the Irish -- to have preceded the 8th century Viking landing in America by two centuries, never mind Colombus.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dispatch # 4 -- today's special names: Cale, Areola, Jade

Cale [Kay -l] (Middle English)
1) A cabbage like vegetable with wrinkled leaves; derived from 'cole' as in cole slaw.

2) In honor of Cale Yarborough - famous NASCAR driver. (though in this case, Cale is short for Caleb)

3) Commemorating John Cale - Welsh songwriter and drugged out founder of the Velvet Underground.

4) Abbreviation of Mikhail (Mi-keyl), as in Gorbachev, the last Soviet emperor famous for the Russia-shaped red raspberry he patriotically sported upon his bald head.

Variants: Kale, Caile, Cayle, Kale, Kail(e), Kayle, kael

Areola [uh-ree-uh-luh] (Latin)

1) Diminutive for 'open space', this is the circular or oval area of pigmented skin surrounding the human nipple.

2) The focal point of the known male heterosexual mental universe.

3) The gratefully responsive stepsister of Ariel, the admired mermaid.

4) Patron saint of Colostrum.

5) A sombrero.

Jade [jeyd] (Middle English)

1) A broken down or useless horse.

2) Supposedly-prized green mineral often used in low-budget jewelry; popular gift purchase at duty-free shops for frugal husbands and boyfriends requiring something, anything, to bring back from their trips to Vegas to their irritated wives and girlfriends.

3) A disreputable or ill tempered woman or girl.

4) A nag.

5) To become spiritless and/or cynical.

Variant: Jaden, Jaiden, Jayden.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dispatch # 3: Brayden, Phillopia, Buick, Isabelle

Brayden [Bray-den] (Gaelic)

1) Salmon -- the fish.

2) Traditional Irish hallah bread.

3) 'He who brays indoors' -- boasting ass-like vocal chords.

 Variants: Braydon, Braeden, Braedon, Bradyn, Braiden

Phillopia [fäl-'lop-ya] (Italic)

1) A land populated by women noted for their extreme accessibility and rampant fertility; located near the legendary kingdoms of Amazonia and Atlantis.

2) Variant of Fallopia, the character played by model Irina Voronina on Saul of the Molemen, a live action series on the cable network Adult Swim; mistaking the land of her birth for Fallopia rather than her native Russia, Voronina was reportedly propositioned off camera by the curious stars of the series Entourage during her appearance on the show.

3) After one of two Phillips: husband of Queen Elizabeth II or the Macedonian ruler of antiquity and father of Alexander the Great.

4) Recalling Fallopius, the discoverer of the tubes that connect the ovary to the uterus - the path traveled by an egg to reach a sperm released from the male.

Of interest, a highly instructive if humorous riddle has emerged in the US Northeast:
Q: What's the subway system in Fallopia?
A: The Fallopian tubes.
 Variants: Philopia, Fallopia, Filopia, Phalopia

Buick [Byoo-ik] (English)

1) In honor of David Dunbar Buick, founder of the Buick Motor Company.
2) Vomitus, or the act of regurgitation, as in the following illustrative example: "I buicked in the backseat of Uncle Harry's Ford Escort".

3) Originally a surname derived from the one of two small English villages of Buick (alt. Bewick).

4) Mythical brother of Fallopian princess Pontiaca.

Isabelle [iz-uh-bel] (Hebrew)

1) Assumed to be of Italian origin, meaning 'She so byudeeful'.

2) Mystifyingly translated in some sources as 'God's promise', Isabel was the despised Phoenician wife of King Ahab who reigned over the northen kingdom of Israel in the 9th century BCE. Pronounced 'Ee-zevel', its Hebrew meaning is 'pile of garbage'.

3) Given the name's etymology, it is a happy irony that the queen who reigned during the persecutions and expulsions of the Spanish Inquisition was named Isabella.

Variants: Isabella, Isabel, Ysabela etc.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dispatch # 2: Hayden, Aquanetta, Porter, Larva, Placenta

Hayden  [hād'n] (Germanic).

1) From Medieval German meaning 'godless heathen'.

2) An etymological  word compound

('hay' and 'den') meaning 'cow feed

storage barn'.

3) Planetarium near Central Park

crowded on weekends by throngs of hyper-educated

parents and their always brilliant children.  

Alternate spellings: Haiden, Hydn

Aquanetta [ˈækwəˌnetta] (Latin Vulgate)

1) She who displays an uncanny

ability to maintain her hair in a

rigid, glacier-like state under all

environmental conditions.

2) Evokes the solitary romance of deep sea fishing, while slyly addressing the ironic reality of a male dominated fishing industry amid an undulating sea and its mythological femininity.  

Porter [ˈpɔrtər] (Middle English)

1) Janitor.

2) An attendant working in rail cars, usually equipped with nifty hats and white gloves.

3) A dark beer first brewed in the 17th Century originally prepared specifically for porters.

Larva [laarv] (Latin)

1) Freshly hatched, wingless, often wormlike form of many insects before metamorphosis.

2) Deep symbol of fertility; representing the theological expression of the biblical injunction to furiously and incessantly copulate. 
3) Latin Origin: ghost, specter, devil, mask, skeleton.

Placenta [plsent] (Greek)

1) A flattened circular organ in the uterus of a pregnant mammal, nourishing and maintaining the fetus through the umbilical cord (OxDic); better known as the rather messy detritus of afterbirth. 

2) A profound expression of Mother Earth nurturing all creatures in its messy and sloppy primordial midst.

3) Likewise, an etymological compound ('place' and 'centah'), or central place for fetii.

4) Originally a Greek flat, round cake, implying an inherent sweetness and roundness recalling the circularity of all life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dispatch # 1: Cade, Cheyenne, Portia, Alexia, Meconium, Brody

Cade   [kād] (Gaelic) 

1) Something round and lumpy.  

2) Anthroponymists posit a popular etymologico-cultural connection to Reuben Kincaid, the daffy agent in early seventies sitcom The Partridge Family.

Similar content-free names include Caden, Caiden, Cayden, Kade, Kaden

Cheyenne  [shahy-en, -an] (Dakota)

1) A Native American tribe

2) Derived from the Dakota tongue, meaning ‘to speak incoherently'.

3) Another example of the mystifying habit of naming babies after geographical locations, in this case Wyoming’s capital city, which coincidentally is an anagram of Wyomingian Dick Cheney – a state of affairs likely to vex the numerous hippies and pinkos who have so named their beaded and tousled progeny.

Portia  [pawr-shuh, -shee-uh] (Latin)

1) A character from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice who disguised herself as a male lawyer.  

2) Apparently derived from the Latin porcus, or pig.

3) More recently, seen by homonymists in certain parts of the USA as an alternate spelling for Porsche, the fensy shmensy Saxon sports car.

Alexia [uh-lek-see-uh] (Greek)

1) A neurological malady marked by an inability to understand written or printed language, usually resulting from a brain lesion or a congenital defect.

2) Alternately Alexus, frequently thought to be a Japanese luxury automobile.

Meconium [mi-koh-nee-uhm] (Latin Vulgate)

1) Newborn's inaugural fecal excretion - a potent cocktail of bile mucus and epithelial cells.

2) Derived from Maconius, a Roman usurper of the mid third century CE. 

3) A child so named in NYC in 2008.

4) Maconium is a now-dissolved Sacramento CA garage band (see logo above).

Brody [broh-dee] (Gaelic) (also Brodie

1) Muddy ditch.

2) Failure or flop. 

3) Slang for suicidal leap or severe skid – definitions recalling Steve Brodie, who claimed to have survived a leap off the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886.

4) A certain uncharming small-organed squealing midget known to the editors, an elementary school pupil who was a passenger onboard a Manhattan school bus for several years during the latter part of the 1970s.