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.