Word Dorky

August 26, 2010

For those of you that are as word-dorky as me, check out these sites. I could spend all day at Wordspy and the site for the Dictionary of American Regional English.

From Wordspy:

tuxeda
n. A tuxedo designed for a woman.
Example Citations:
From locating a gay-friendly rabbi to finding a smokin’ tuxeda for you and your wife-to-be, planning a same-sex wedding can present many hurdles not found in the hetero world.
—Caroline Ryder, “We do, too!,” LA Weekly, February 10, 2006
Last week I learned a new word: tuxeda.It’s a tuxedo for women — one of the terms that might come up when planning a lesbian commitment ceremony. Then again, both partners may choose to wear a traditional wedding gown, or something altogether different.
—Dalia Colon, “‘Out’ weddings are in,” St. Petersburg Times, May 2, 2008

Earliest Citation:
Megan and Debbie Rosenhart, a lesbian couple, drove 1,100 miles from Santa Cruz, Calif., to show beaded and sequined gowns and “tuxedas,” jackets and tails designed for women, at Spokane’s coronation.
—Carla K. Johnson, “Ball lets men be queen for a day,” The Spokesman Review, October 11, 1994

From DARE:

dropped egg n  Also drop egg [Prob from Scots dial; cf SND drap v. 5. (2) (b) 1824 →] chiefly NEng See Map somewhat old-fash A poached egg.1884 Harper’s New Mth. Mag. 69.306/1 MA, Martha was . . eating her toast and a dropped egg.  1896 (c1973) Farmer Orig. Cook Book 93, Dropped Eggs (Poached). 1933 Hanley Disks neMA, Dropped egg—take and put a pan of milk on the stove and boil and drop the egg in and let it cook.  1941 LANE Map 295 (Poached Eggs), throughout NEng, Dropped eggs. . . 1 inf, ceVT, Drop eggs.  1948 Peattie Berkshires 323 wMA, In Berkshire . . you could not get a poached egg, but you could get a “dropped” egg, which was the same thing. 1965 PADS 43.24 seMA, 6 [infs] poached eggs, 4 [infs] dropped eggs, 1 [inf] dropped egg on toast. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. H35, When eggs are taken out of the shell and cooked in boiling water, you call them _____eggs) 40 Infs, chiefly NEng, Dropped; NH15, Dropped egg on toast. [33 of 41 Infs old]  1975 Gould ME Lingo 82, Dropped egg—Maine for poached egg, usually on toast. 1977 Yank ee Jan 73 Isleboro ME, The people on Isleboro eat dropped eggs instead of poached.

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Plug Love

August 7, 2010

So, I show up at a client’s mom’s house and she says that the client and her live-in boyfriend are out getting p!gt@!7s. And I say,”What?” and she says the word again that I dont really understand but I say,  “Oh, OK,” because she doesnt have any teeth and that accent and also she is a little stand-offish and I would just feel dumb asking a third time.

Toward the middle of the session, we warm up to one another (we have to warm up to one another all over again every session) and the word comes up again. I admit that I have no idea what she said and she says more clearly, while looking at me, “Pigtails.” And I say, “What’s a pigtail!?” And she explains that a pigtail is a three-pronged plug. Not a two prong. And not a four prong. A pigtail is an electrical cord with a three-pronged plug.

Except, she said, “Prawn.”

I say, “I didn’t know that!” And she says, “Me neither,” and I say, “Thank you for teaching me something new; I love learning new words!” And she doesnt say anything back because she is has borderline intellectual functioning, suffers from untreated depression and has an extensive history of trauma.

At least, that’s what I say to myself when she ignores me.

So yesterday, I get off at exit 20 and drive past my new client’s house because I have time to kill and cruise right into a police check point. They are asking for licenses. I havent had my license or my tags switched over. I have been in this this state since January. The officer asks me these questions and I am honest. He tells me that he is not going to do anything because of my pretty  eyes. I say, I know. Just with a big smile.

I have to detour the GPS twice to get a route back to my client’s house that will not take me past the check point again. I end up on a dirt road, off of a dirt road. Which is then off of another dirt road. (I am still two dirt roads from the client’s house.) I am driving through what feels like the front yards of two trailers, waving at the assembled neighbors, before I come to a ditch cut into the road and reinforced with 2′ x 4’s. I, um, park.

A man walks over to my car. He has an eyebrow ring which means he is counter-cultural like me. I tell him my computer told me to come here and says, “We had to dig that ditch because the police were chasing the crackheads all through here, but we got rid of the crackheads.” He is super nice, as my dad would say. He asks me whose house I am going to and I sheepishly say as evasively as possible . . . Jennifer’s house? He says he doesnt know Jennifer. He says I can leave my car here, since, you know, I’ve decided to walk the .2 miles to my client’s house.

Halfway down the dirt road, I call the client again and get no answer. My phone is almost dead. It’s been almost dead since I took it from the charger this morning, it’ s that kind of phone. Two huge German Shepards start running towards me from a house about 100 yards away, but I figure most dogs dont leave their yards. I call Wifebian and tell her what a series of dumb decisions I am making. I narrowly miss stepping on a dead toad the size of my foot. I am wearing sandals. I see that the dogs are on a chains. I am getting high off of my increasingly poor decision-making, but my call is launching Wifebian into a panic attack. I can’t stop laughing and talking very loudly in the middle of this dirt road. The phone drops the call. I look up and it is about to rain. Enough is finally enough? I walk back the way I came.

I go get my new friend and tell him that I’ve changed my mind since it’s about to rain. He says, “Are you a census worker?” I say, Well, I’m not allowed to tell you who I am, I mean, I want to because you’re being so nice and I am nice, and I’m sure the person I’m going to meet is nice, but you know where being nice gets you sometimes. He smiles and tells me how to get back on the highway without running into the police.

My point is that working with white people in the country has sent my boundaries all to shit.