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Wondrous Words Wednesday 27th June 2012

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‘WONDROUS WORDS WEDNESDAY‘

is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading.

It is hosted by Kathy, over at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered, there is always a great selection.

Don’t forget that Kathy and the rest of us, all love to read your comments  as well!!

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I have a feeling that a couple of my words this week will instantly be recognised by readers in the US, however they were all new to me, so please bear with me as I explore them.

All my words this week, come from my last book

‘The Devil’s Dime (The Samaritan Files)’ by Bailey Bristol.

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1. MOXIE

Beautiful and talented, Addie came to the city with little more than a violin tucked beneath her chin and enough moxie to launch her dream.

MOXIE1. The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.

                       2. Aggressive energy; initiative:

                       3. Skill; know-how.

I discovered that moxie is also an American carbonated soft drink, first produced as far back as the 1870’s and still just as popular today.

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2. PADDY WAGON

A paddy wagon waited in the street, and a cordon of uniformed police kept traffic back from both sides.

PADDY WAGON …      

  • The most prevalent theory is based on the term “Paddy” (a common Irish shortening of Patrick), which was used (sometimes as derogatory slang) to refer to Irish people.  Irishmen made up a large percentage of the officers of early police forces in many American cities. Thus, this theory suggests that the concentration of Irish in the police forces led to the term “paddy wagon” being used to describe the vehicles driven by police.
  • An alternative theory is similarly based on the term “Paddy” but states that the term arose due to the high crime level among Irish immigrants.

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3. CUSHLAMACHREE

“But cushlamachree, girl, I can’t leave ’em cryin’. The hotel would kill me!

CUSHLAMACHRRE … cushla machree comes from the Irish, ‘Cuisle mo chroí – Pulse of my heart’.

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4. HUNYOCKS

“Yup. But those hunyocks kept gawkin’ at the hussy”

HUNYOCKS (HONYOCKS)

  1. (US, slang, derogatory) An immigrant to the United States from east-central Europe.
  2. (US, slang, derogatory) A rube or simpleton
  1. (US, slang) A hardscrabble farm (this usage known in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alberta and Saskatchewan).

For a full description and history of this word, click here.

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There were also a couple of phrases which were new to me in this book, so I checked them out and thought that this post might be the appropriate place to share them ….

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NEW YORK CITY’s TENDERLOIN DISTRICT

 The Tenderloin was an entertainment and red-light district in the heart of the New York City borough of Manhattan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.The area originally ran from 23rd Street to 42nd Street and from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue, but by the turn of the century, it had expanded northward to 57th or 62nd Street and west to Eighth Avenue, encompassing parts of what is now the Flatiron District, NoMad, Chelsea, Clinton, the Garment District and the Theatre District.

Police Captain Andrew S. “Clubber” Williams gave the area its name in 1876, when he was transferred to a police precinct in the heart of the district. Referring to the increased payoffs he would get for police protection of both legitimate and illegitimate businesses there, especially the many brothels, Williams said “I’ve been having chuck steak ever since I’ve been on the force, and now I’m going to have a bit of tenderloin.”

 

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ONIONSKIN TYPEWRITER PAPER

Onionskin or onion skin is a thin, light-weight, strong, often translucent paper. It was usually used with carbon paper for typing duplicates in a typewriter, for permanent records where low bulk was important, or for airmail correspondence. It typically has a 9 pound basis weight, and may be white or canary colored.

In the typewriter era, onion skin often had a deeply-textured cockle finish which allowed for easier erasure of typing mistakes, but other glazed and unglazed finishes were also available then and may be more common today.

Onionskin paper is relatively durable and lightweight due to its high content of cotton fibers. Because of these attributes and its crispness when folding, onionskin paper is one of the best papers to use for advanced paper airplanes. Paper airplanes made from onionskin paper tend to fly very well due to its low weight and high integrity once folded.

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Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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20 comments
  • #3 made me giggle, until I saw the definition. That’s quite beautiful.

    I also love the word ‘moxie’ especially in old-time movies (“you got moxie, kid”) but never knew that it’s also a soft drink.

    • Hi HKatz,

      I too know of ‘moxie’ from the old American films (probably gangster or ‘mob’ films), however it isn’t a word that I would expect to come across very often, here in the UK. It certainly isn’t a soft drink product that the US has ever exported to the UK as far as I know, which is unusual as most other products seem to find their way ‘across the pond’ eventually.

      Yes, I agree that ‘cushla machree’ is a lovely word. I had an inkling that it meant something like its official definition, but ‘pulse of my heart’ is just so beautiful. That is by far my ‘nicest’ word this week, although I think that discovering ‘onionskin paper’ was probably the most interesting.

      Thanks for stopping by, your comments are always appreciated.

    • Hi Margaret,

      I agree that ‘moxie’ is the kind of word that we have all heard of, yet don’t really know the true meaning of, isn’t it?

      When I stop and think about it, I could probaby compile a whole list of words in a similar vein. It’s really uncanny how we just make things up as we go along without taking the time out to stop and look things up, or just assume that so long as we know the gist of what something means or does, then that’s okay!! That’s human nature, I guess!!

  • Moxie is used fairly often in the US so I knew that one. I also knew paddy wagon but didn’t know its origin. I’m probably showing my age by admitting that I’ve used onion skin paper before. The other words are new to me and hunyocks is slang in the US! Thanks for playing along today!

    • Hi Kathy,

      I am reliably informed that you can still buy onion skin paper, but only at a price (about 5 times the price of an ordinary good quality paper), as it is quite a unique and exclusive commodity these days.

      I didn’t much care for the sound of ‘hunyocks’ myself and it isn’t a word that I have ever heard used here in the UK.

      ‘Paddy’ is still very much used as a slang word for the Irish, or as a nickname for someone called Patrick and no-one seems to mind that too much.

      I think that generally, we ‘Brits’ tend to use a lot of slang words to describe different races of people and whilst it is perceived as becoming more and more ‘politically incorrect’, very few people raise objections … we seem to be a nation who are totally able to have a laugh at our own expense, without causing, or being caused offence.

  • Paddy wagon is the only term I’m familiar with as an Australian. It’s very commonly used here (still) for a police wagon. Here it’s speculated that it was used to transport Irish people rather than have Irish people driving it.

    • Hi Louise,

      I had to chuckle at your speculation about the early Irish settlers in Australia, although you can see that the Americans had pretty much the same ideas.

      I did manage to check out another reference site to the term Paddy Wagon and that confirms that the term is still widely used today to describe the larger sized vans which either transport prisoners, or which carries large numbers of officers to a incident. I have never heard called such here in the UK, but then I guess they have to be more ‘politically correct’ on a television programme and the term did in fact originate in the US.

      Thanks for taking part in the discussion, your comments and participation are always appreciated.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      ‘Cushlamachree’ is such a beautiful sounding word and its definition fits it exactly.

      I love many of the Irish words, they are not quite as harsh sounding as many of the Welsh or Scottish words.

      The Southern Irish accent however, is totally different to that spoken in the North. It is much softer, with a distinct silky burr to it, much more alluring and sexy, in my husbands opinion.

      Thanks for stopping by, it is always good to hear from you.

  • Cushlamachree is the only one I didn’t know. Such a lovely sentiment. I have a feeling, however, that only someone Irish could pronounce it so we got the true sense of it.

    • Hi Margot,

      I really should learn to read all of my comments, before I start replying to them, as I always try to think of something different for each reply, out of courtesy to the people who take the time to comment.

      Unfortunately, you really expanded on what my previous commenter had already said, so my answer to Mary Ann, stands in good stead as a reply to your comment also.

      ‘Cushlamachree’ is such a beautiful sounding word and its definition fits it exactly, although as you say, it would take an Irish person saying it, to do such a lovely word justice.

      I love many of the Irish words, they are not quite as harsh sounding as many of the Welsh or Scottish words.

      The Southern Irish accent however, is totally different to that spoken in the North. It is much softer, with a distinct silky burr to it, much more alluring and sexy, in my husbands opinion.

      If any of the local theatres have Southern Irish folk singers appearing, we generally get in quickly to get the best seats.

      I have never been to Southern Ireland and Dave has only ever been on business, but it is somewhere that is on our ‘to do’ list for definite, although it is very expensive there, so a bit of saving is called for first!

      Thanks for taking the time out to comment, I appreciate your thoughts.

    • Hi Nikki,

      I must admit, that until I looked it up, I had no idea that ‘paddy wagon’ was still in use, in todays modern police forces. I only really know what goes on inside the force, from watching some of the many televised police programmes, and I guess that it would be socially unacceptable to air a phrase like that on mainstream television!

      I only ever watched the first few episodes of ‘Auf Weidershen Pet’ and yes, you are right that there was a charcter called ‘moxy’ in it. However, Albert Arthur Moxey, who was played by Christopher Fairbank, was the only character not introduced in the first episode, so I can’t even recall him at all.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments, they are appreciated as always.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever heard of hunyocks or seen it in print. And moxie as you describe it is used a lot but the Moxie softdrink, as far as I know, is exclusively a product found in the state of Maine. Most of the US has never tried it.

    • Hello Care,

      Quite a few of your fellow US readers knew of ‘hunyocks’, although this is not a word that I have ever come across, here in the UK. To me it is a pretty offensive sounding word though and not one that I would want to hear in everyday use.

      I was thinking how strange it was to have a product which is generally confined to a single state in the US.
      http://drinkmoxie.com/history.php

      However after some deliberations, I realised that we have just as many vagaries over here in the UK. Each area of the country has its own unique signature food and with the upsurge in small micro-breweries, there is a huge selection of local beers and ales, with some very strange and some unprintable names … such as, ‘Devon Dumpling’, ‘Black Sheep Ale’ and ‘Canary Pale Ale’.

      Thanks for starting off a whole new train of thought about the post.

    • Hi Peggy,

      I know that discussing ‘Onion Skin Paper’ and ‘The Tenderloin District’, weren’t strictly words, however, I thought that they were suficiently new to me and interesting enough to share.

      I know that every country has its own unique districts, with some equally eye-catching names, however these areas, in conjunction with the storyline, help to set the scene and are therefore worthy of a mention.

      My review of ‘The Devil’s Dime’ will be up in a day or so and I can highly recommend it, if you enjoy historical/romance, with some mystery and suspense thown into the mix.

      Thanks for stopping by, I love to chat with you and your comments are always a pleasure to read.

    • Hi Naida,

      I think that ‘moxie’ is quite a strong word, quite easy to drop into a conversation or two, and well suited to its definition.

      I am not quite so sure that ‘moxie’ works well, as the name for a soft drink, although it sounds much better than the brand of bottled water we came across on one of our visits to Florida, called ‘Zephyrhills’, which when you look at it quickly, reads like the name of some tropical disease! There is also a town by the same name in Florida, which could be made to sound much more attractive if the two words were separated!!

      I love to find out not only about new words that I come across in my reading, but also about the history behind names and places in other countries, it is just all so absorbing and interesting!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is always great to chat with you.

Written by Yvonne

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