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A new theme starts today. I dare not title it Double Entendres because, given last week's theme, you'd expect sniggers, sly winks and leers. Far be it from me to stoop to such low comedy.

Rather, the doubling in our theme different. At first glance each word presented this week is just a short-and-simple one. that any child would know. But each also has a very different meaning, not widely known.

poke1. a sack; a bag [as in the proverbial phrase "a pig in a poke"] 2. pokeweed (the young leaves can be used as salad greens)
    “I just love Silver Queen corn,” says the woman as I fill her poke with the unshucked green heads. “There's nothin better in this world!”
    – Waynesville Smoky Mountain News (NC), Aug, 8, 2001

    song lyric to Poke Salad Annie:
    Everyday 'fore supper time
    She'd go down by the truck patch
    And pick her a mess o' poke salad
    And carry it home in a tote sack
    Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
    Everybody said it was a shame
    'Cause her mama was a-workin' on the chain-gang.
 
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Double?
It's also to push or jab; prod
To make a hole in (a bag)
Stir up a fire
To thrust out (as from awindow)
To intrude or meddle
To pry of search
To protrude
To move slowly (with along
A bonnet's front brim

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Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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bark – to rub off or abrade the skin of
    He broke what could have been a bad fall, so I escaped with a slight bump on the head, a barked shin and a few bruises. I didn't even go for an X-ray …
    – Daily Herald (Chicago), Oct. 17, 1998
 
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burdenin music: the chorus or refrain of a composition (also, a drone, as of a bagpipe). originally bourdon
. . .figuratively, from the above: a main and recurring theme or idea

First sense:
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore —
    Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
    . . .Of 'Never — nevermore'."
    – Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven. Interestingly, the first-published version of the poem differed here, and did not included the play upon the two senses of "burden".
Second sense:
    The burden of his argument in Middle Eastern capitals this month will be that Western actions are not aimed at Arab countries.
    – The Independent, Nov. 6, 1998
 
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Burden stirs a recollection:

"Honor" and "onus" share a common etymology, from the Latin for burden.

So "honor" is not about the display or reward, but rather about the weight of duty.


RJA
 
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"Honor" and "onus" share a common etymology, from the Latin for burden.

Latin honor (earlier honos), honois, 'honor, dignity' (link) and onus, oneris,
burden, load' (link) are etymologically and semantically unrelated. Sometimes the later was spelled incorrectly with an h; it is from the PIE root *enos 'weight'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Arvanitis:
Burden stirs a recollection:

"Honor" and "onus" share a common etymology, from the Latin for burden.

So "honor" is not about the display or reward, but rather about the weight of duty.


Even if this was true, it's still the etymological fallacy.
 
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Today's word, like our last one, has to do with singing.
    Don we now our gay apparel,
    Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
    Troll the ancient Yule tide carol,
    Fa la la la la, la la la la.
troll – to sing heartily in a full, rolling voice, merrily or jovially (also, to sing the parts of (a round, etc.) successively)

This is the standard version of the lyric, but another version has a more alcoholic text for "Don we now" line: Fill the mead-cup, drain the barrel. And in the lesser-known further verses, it has two more alcohol references that the "standard" version lacks. (See the flowing bowl before us instead of "See the blazing Yule", and Laughing, quaffing, all together instead of "Sing we joyous, all together".) I suspect the alcoholic version is older, and that the standard version is a bowdlerization written by prohibitionist prudes.
 
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our gay apparel

Would that be festive clothing or that of an "alternative lifestyle"?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Yule tide carol

Tide in the sense of time. Cf. German Zeit 'time'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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apostropherhetoric: a figure of speech, by which a speaker suddenly stops in his discourse, and turns to address pointedly some person or thing, either present or absent
    He made some commonplace observation upon the baneful effect of the night air at the season. Then as his gaze reached out into the darkness, he murmured, half to himself: "'Night of south winds--night of the large few stars! Still nodding night--'" She made no reply to this apostrophe to the night, which, indeed, was not addressed to her.
    – Katherine Chopin, A Respectable Woman
Quite often, when I am doing a theme, I coincidentally stumble across a theme-fitting word in my everyday reading. I hadn't known that "apostrophe" has had a meaning other than the familiar one, until I found it used in a Wall Street Journal editorial a few days ago.

I don't quote that editorial, though, because as it turns out, the Journal misused the word, misunderstanding its non-familiar meaning.
 
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pulse – the edible seeds of pod-bearing plants cultivated for food (peas, beans, lentils, etc.); also, the plants producing those seedpods
    [W]heat and barley exemplify cereals or grains (members of the grass family), while peas and lentils exemplify pulses (members of the legume family, which includes beans). Cereal crops have the virtues of being fast growing, high in carbohydrates, and yielding up to a ton of edible food per hectare cultivated. Many cereal crops are low in protein, but that deficit is made up by pulses, which are often 25 percent protein (38 percent in the case of soybeans). Cereals and pulses together thus provide many of the ingredients of a balanced diet.
    – Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (ellipses omitted)
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
apostropherhetoric: a figure of speech, by which a speaker suddenly stops in his discourse, and turns to address pointedly some person or thing, either present or absent


...as in The MIkado, Act I, viz.,

KOKO. (looking after Yum-Yum). "There she goes! To think how entirely my future happiness is wrapped up in that little parcel! Really, it hardly seems worth while! Oh, matrimony!" -- (Enter Pooh-Bah and Pish-Tush.) "Now then, what is it? Can't you see I'm soliloquizing? You have interrupted an apostrophe, sir!"...
 
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<blushing> Thank you, hab. How could I have forgotten?

rote – the sound of surf breaking on the shore
[prob. akin to Old Norse rauta to roar]
    I speak of [ships'] pilots who knew the wind by its scent and the wave by its taste, and could have steered blindfold to any port between Boston and Mount Desert, guided only by the rote of the shore; the peculiar sound of the surf on each island, beach, and line of rocks, along the coast.
    – Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Village Uncle, in Twice Told Tales
 
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The Online Etymology Dictionary has no clue about rote in the sense of learning:

"rote
c.1300, in phrase bi rote "by heart," of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be connected with O.Fr. rote "route" (see route), or from L. rota "wheel" (see rotary), but O.E.D. calls both suggestions groundless."

Could the Old Norse in fact be the source?


RJA
 
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