Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dispatch 11: Merkin, Lazania, Denim

Merkin [Mer-kin] (Latin Vulgate)

1) A pubic wig for women; associated with 16th century prostitutes, was designed to conceal a pubus denuded to exterminate body lice and/or evidence of venereal disease.

2) A New York-based private equity fund investor boasting a highly unorthodox strategy of buying the very top and selling at absolute bottom.

3) A New York Times writer related to the aforementioned Merkin.

4) Lower class woman.

5) Mop.

Lazania [La-za-nia] (Latin)

1) A 'variant' spelling of 'Lasagna': a dish made from layers of wide pasta strips and filled with cheese, meat and or vegetables.

2) Possibly derived from Latin 'cooking pot'.

3) A completely obscure prewar Italian colony wedged somewhere between the African lands of Tanzania and Azania (the Apartheid-era name for South Africa preferred by black nationalists).

4) A beach in both Cyprus and Spain.

5) As 'Lasania', a chain of restaurants in Pakistan whose proud slogan is 'serving with a difference.'  Free home delivery is only available in Karachi at this time.

Denim [de-nuhm] (French)

1) The title character in a controversial mid 20th century television show 'Denim the Mennonite'.

2) A heavy cotton fabric, or trousers made from such a fabric.

3) 'Of Nimes', an abbreviation of 'Serge de Nimes', or 'Serge of Nimes'; serge was a heavy fabric made in the French town of Nimes [neem] in the 17th Century. Contemporary use of the term began in the USA in the mid 19th Century.