Category Archives: Language & Etymology

Head-copping

An evening or two ago, I stopped into Mooney’s, the great little local market just on the border between Sewanee and Monteagle, to pick up some garlic powder. I had paid for it, when it occurred to me that I … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Etymology, Sewanee, Tennessee, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Regnet Pax Omnem Per Terram

This morning’s Sewanee Elementary School assembly was a real treat–this year’s petition for peace for the Peace Pole was in Latin: “Regnet Pax Omnem Per Terram.” To prepare, Kathryn Gotko Bruce had the 4th grade students do some study on … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Education, Emblems, Language & Etymology, Music, Sewanee, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

What’s in a Place-name?

Metonomasia is an obscure term– it’s not even found in the OED!– but it’s a real thing, the alteration of a place-name. Very often this takes place for political reasons: think of the change of St. Petersburg to Leningrad and … Continue reading

Posted in Drama, England, Ireland, Language & Etymology, Military, Sewanee, Slavery, The South, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Scofflaw

I didn’t know until just today that the word “scofflaw” was coined as part of a 1924 contest hosted by the Boston Herald to describe people who flagrantly ignored the Prohibition ban on drinking alcohol.

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Julius Caesar, the Hulk, and other Illeists

I’m getting ready to teach Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar this morning, and am reminded of the protagonist’s tendency to refer to himself in the third person, as in Act I scene 2: Who is it in the press that calls on me? … Continue reading

Posted in Cartoons, Classics, Drama, Language & Etymology, Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump’s Small Hands: innuendo, insinuatio, what?

Late last month, Sen. Marco Rubio decided to get down into the gutter with demagogue Donald Trump. As the Washington Post reported it: He turned insults lobbed by Trump against the billionaire. He said the only reason Trump isn’t as sweaty … Continue reading

Posted in England, Language & Etymology, Rome, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facing Demons in Etruria

Out to Fiumcino airport I went, thinking it would be easier to deal with a car rental there and get on to the E80 to Cerveteri and Tarquinia to look at the Etruscan tombs. Alas, Avis at FCO was an … Continue reading

Posted in Birds, Boston, Cemeteries & Funerals, Classics, England, Italy, Language & Etymology, Music, Mythology, Oxford, Poetry, Rome, Sports & Games, Time | 1 Comment