Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Maine Words of the Day ... All in One Place
Part Four

Maine word of the day: "seventh wave" from the notion that every seventh wave is larger than the preceding six. It refers to something that finally breaks a thing down, or the straw that broke the camel's back. example: "You know postal management has done a lot of foolish things but ending Saturday delivery will be the seventh wave."

Maine word of the day: "Gun" replaces the word hunt. As in: "Tom is out gunnin' for old pictures at the antique shops this weekend." Or, "Tim is gunnin' for that new supervisor. He's just too nice a guy." Or, a selfish athlete can be a gunner. Or simply, one can go gunnin' for deer, in or out of season, dependin'.

Maine Word of the Day: "head in a bucket" derives from the clever pigkeeper who can lead the most recalcitrant porker wherever he desires using that oldest of farm implements, the bucket. The blinded Sus scrofa domesticus is much more amenable to backing into his sty. Example: "That letter of warning you got wasn't Bob's idea. Tim's got his head in a bucket and he can’t take a piss unless he’s led by the hand to the urinal."

Maine word of the day: "Coot" the American scoter, or saltwater duck. The old expression "crazy as a coot" comes from this bird's habit of never flying over land. He will fly hugging the shoreline of Maine coves and inlets for miles rather than hop a hundred yards over a spit to get where he wants to go. The coot is notoriously difficult to cook into an edible meal if you don't have a clue about what to do in the kitchen. Example of the use of the word "coot" when applied to a crafty letter carrier: "John the mailman is a crazy old coot. He never saw a shortcut he thought was safe to take no matter how much his supervisor insisted on it. He just said walking a little further was worth it to avoid an accident."

Maine word of the day: "Chopper" (not a helicopter) old timers' term for a man who works in the woods taking down trees. Lumberjack is a western term. A ravenous man is said to "eat like a chopper"

Maine Word of the Day "Robin Snow": a couple of inches that fall in the spring. It lands and departs quickly. It is thought to help green up the landscape. It is also known as "poor man's fertilizer”. Again, these terms are found (for the most part) in John Gould's Maine Lingo, recommended but out of print., and adapted by me, some more, some less.

Maine Word of the Day: "To catch a crab"-originally referred to a rower who mishandles the oars and creates a splash of water, then, any mistake or bungled attempt to do something. Example: "Tim filled in handling the Westbrook unit yesterday and caught a crab trying to pivot every Tom, Dick, and Harry in there. Most everyone ended up going overtime."

Maine Word Of The Day: "Gurrybutt" any receptacle placed on the dinner table used to collect clamshells, lobstershells, or any other debris or discards resulting from fine Maine dining. Example: "Last week when we had that lobster feed I noticed the gurrybutt was tippin' noticeably in Tom's direction. He's always had a gannet gut." The gurrybutt was also a large wooden cask in which cod livers were stowed so that the oil that rose to the top could be collected for curing what ailed you.

Maine word of the day: Canoodlin' - Casual sexual activity which may take place in the bushes or out by the woodpile or in the barn or, dangerously, in a canoe. It does not happen in the bed.

Maine Term of the Day: "sidehill winder" a piglike animal with legs shorter on one side of the body than the other, sometimes the right side, sometimes the left side (less common), an adaptation to grazing around the side of a mountain or steep hill. Those with legs shorter on the right graze clockwise, on the left, widdershins. Most "sports" at camp have never heard of them.

Maine word of the day: "sawdust sorter" a job that doesn't need doing and would require no competence to actually do would be assigned to the "sawdust sorter", a step below a "waste mail sorter" in the post office. If one wants to punish, demean, or degrade somone, or, relegate him to idiot status, one assigns to him duties fit for a sawdust sorter.

Maine Words of the Day: "tomalley" a "spider's" (lobster's) liver/pancreas, not properly pronounced like the Mexican tamale, one authentically says "Tom-alley" Personally, I'll give it to whomever desires the thing. PCBs and other toxins that may be in the water can collect in this organ, but we all know the Gulf of Maine is a pristine place, don't we?

Quotes To Note
Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively, to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink."-George Orwell

No comments: