Did you know that Elmer of the glue fame is Elsie the Cow’s “husband.” Where Did Elmer’s Name Come From? Elsie the Cow became Borden’s very popular “Spokescow” in the late 1930’s. She was a big hit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and soon afterwards the character of Elmer the Bull was created as Elsie’s husband. In the late 1940’s, Borden’s new Chemical Division asked to use Elsie for its new white glue product. The thought of Elsie representing a non-food product didn’t seem appropriate, so as a compromise, Elmer was loaned to Chemical as their very own “spokesbull”. To this day, Elmer
In honor of the day — The difference between a yam and sweet potato can be found here: http://www.sallys-place.com/food/columns/ferray_fiszer/yams.htm Yams and sweet potatoes are two different plants from two different parts of the world but most of the yams we get here in the grocery store are really sweet potatoes. I wonder how we would be able to tell the difference. Sweet potatoes are a “Southern Thing” and a big deal in Louisiana. It’s nice that the article mentions this fact.
What is the origin of the term “French kissing?” This article talks about the use of the word “French” in a variety of slang phrases. French letter, for instance, is a condom. The first use of the term French kissing appeared in the early 1920s, according to the article. That seems awfully late to me. Around that time other slang using the word “French” also appeared, because the French were seen as risque. Anyway, the article is from the ever-reliable Good Vibrations website. This summer tidbit is brought to you by the letter K.
The Last Words of Real People is an excellent language and rhetoric source for speechies and wordies. Dying last words are so interesting.
Women can see variations on red better than man can, according to this CNN bit, because women have double hits of a red-seeing gene. People are too casual about the outcome of genetics. The article reports this red-seeing gene as a fait accompli, and never once questions the causal, teleological relationship between a gene and its manifestation or itsexpression. The article even goes so far as to attribute this gene’s presence to CAVEWOMAN days when women foraged for berries. What should we call these trivial assumptions. I find I cannot ignore them. They are like crackerjacks. I hate crackerjacks. I hate peanuts. I like the
It’s PEACH SEASON. A long time ago (1982 to be precise), I saw The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball,” which had a hysterical standup comic doing a spiel on “1001 things to do with cling peaches.” I remember laughing so hard that I spewed my coke. We’ve been bringing home peaches and nectarines and they are wonderful. July is the peak harvesting season for peaches and nectarines. What’s the difference between peaches and nectarines? The obvious difference is the skin: peaches are fuzzy and nectarines are smooth. Then there’s the size: peaches are smaller. Somewhere in my crazy life I heard that nectarines were peaches bred with tangerines to
On the origin of “cuppa joe.”