“ATM machine” is an example of a redundant acronym — the M already stands for machine, so this phrase means “automatic teller machine machine.” Other examples:
- PIN number = personal identification number number
- GUI interface = graphical user interface interface
- ISBN number = International Standard Book Number number
- SAM missile = surface-to-air missile missile
- LCD display = liquid crystal display display
- CRT tube = cathode-ray tube tube
- HIV virus = human immunodeficiency virus virus
- SCSI interface = Small Computer System Interface interface
- AC current = alternating current current
- RPG games = role-playing games games
This goes for people, too. Jeb Bush’s nickname derives from his initials (J.E.B., for John Ellis Bush). So “J.E.B. Bush” stands for “John Ellis Bush Bush”.
The most difficult word in the world to translate is ilunga, according to a 2004 survey of 1,000 linguists.
The word comes from the Tshiluba language spoken in the southeastern Congo. It means “a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time and to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.”
adj. relating to the medical care of mules
adj. lacking eyebrows
Actual names of politicians in the state of Meghalaya, India:
- Adolf Lu Hitler Marak
- Lenin R. Marak
- Stalin L. Nangmin
- Frankenstein W. Momin
- Tony Curtis Lyngdoh
Hitler Marak told the Hindustan Times: “Maybe my parents liked the name and hence christened me Hitler. … I am happy with my name, although I don’t have any dictatorial tendencies.”
full of broth or soup
Dog barks around the world:
- English: woof, woof
- Albanian: ham, ham
- Arabic: haw, haw
- Bulgarian: bau, bau
- Danish: vov, vov
- Estonian: auh, auh
- Farsi: vogh, vogh
- Finnish: hau, hau
- French: ouaf, ouaf
- German: wau, wau
- Greek: gav, gav
- Hindi: bho, bho
- Icelandic: voff, voff
- Italian: bau, bau
- Japanese: wan, wan
- Korean: mung, mung
- Latvian: vau, vau
- Mandarin Chinese: wang, wang
- Norwegian: voff, voff
- Polish: hau, hau
- Romanian: ham, ham
- Russian: gav, gav
- Spanish: guau, guau
- Swedish: voff, voff
- Thai: hoang, hoang
Robert Benchley wrote, “A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.”
What does this mean? Who knows? Here are some guesses, from the readers at Swanksigns:
- The happy, smiling sun will kill your puppy.
- Don’t let your puppy drive in the sunshine.
- This combo may turn dog into looming castle.
- Do not let your dog drive into the sun, or they will be killed with green fire.
- Attention! Dogs will drive to the beach on sunny days.
- Car-driving dogs make the sun happy and then they die.
- Warning: Car-driving dogs in sunlight may cause harmful power plant exposure.
n. one who presides over orgies
v. to attempt to suppress one’s laughter
National Spelling Bee winning words:
- 1995: xanthosis
- 1996: vivisepulture
- 1997: euonym
- 1998: chiaroscurist
- 1999: logorrhea
- 2000: demarche
- 2001: succedaneum
- 2002: prospicience
- 2003: pococurante
- 2004: autochthonous
A man goes to a psychiatrist. “Nobody listens to me!” The doctor says, “Next!”
A man enters siquiatra felt “Nobody me!” They are indicated with respect to him of the doctor, “Next!”
The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip.
The horse, that one that I bet, were, the pulley of tenditrice arrested for him therefore diem of a slow illuminated course.
Is that your hat or are you wearing a cabana?
Are you he your protection that protects or takes a hut?
My wife will buy anything marked down. Last year she bought an escalator.
The purchase of the moglie of the mine everything, of that the deep one for if it indicates. Slipping the scale it bought last year one.
I just finished my income tax forms. Who says you can’t get wounded by a blank?
I exactly finished to my forms they imposed them on the rent. Who visualizes that you cannot be the damages you of a white man?
If my mother knew I did this for a living, she’d kill me. She thinks I’m selling dope.
If the mine to nut/mother that he knew, I did this for a duration, he I I would destroy it. You think about that sells the representative in the painting.
n. the spearing of fish or eels by torchlight from canoes
adj. baked in haste
Slovenian names of Disney characters:
- Mickey Mouse: Miki Miška
- Minnie Mouse: Mini Miška
- Donald Duck: Jaka Racman
- Daisy Duck: Jakica Racman
- Scrooge McDuck: Stric Skopušnik
- Huey, Dewey and Louie: Pak, Žak in Mak
- Goofy: Pepe
- Pluto: Pluton
- Chip ‘n Dale: Cik in Cak
n. one who eats babies
Dangerous tongue twisters:
I am not the pheasant plucker,
I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate.
I am only plucking pheasants
Because the pheasant plucker’s late.
I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit;
and on the slitted sheet I sit.
I’m not the fig plucker,
Nor the fig pluckers’ son,
But I’ll pluck figs
Till the fig plucker comes.
- DEBIT CARD = BAD CREDIT
- MOTHER-IN-LAW = WOMAN HITLER
- SLOT MACHINES = CASH LOST IN ‘EM
- DESPERATION = A ROPE ENDS IT
- ASTRONOMER = MOON STARER
- ELECTION RESULTS = LIES — LET’S RECOUNT
And SNOOZE ALARMS = ALAS! NO MORE Z’S.
“College isn’t the place to go for ideas.” — Helen Keller
n. a retreat for times of ill humor
The shortest word containing six unique vowels in alphabetical order is facetiously.
Subcontinental has them in reverse order.
v. to criticize beyond sphere of one’s knowledge
Excerpts from the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence, by Captain Grose (1811):
- ADMIRAL OF THE NARROW SEAS. One who from drunkenness vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to him.
- ANGLING FOR FARTHINGS. Begging out of a prison window with a cap, or box, let down at the end of a long string.
- APPLE DUMPLIN SHOP. A woman’s bosom.
- BACK GAMMON PLAYER. A sodomite.
- DUCK F-CK-R. The man who has the care of the poultry on board a ship of war.
- GREEN GOWN. To give a girl a green gown; to tumble her on the grass.
- HEMPEN WIDOW. One whose husband was hanged.
- HISTORY OF THE FOUR KINGS, or CHILD’S BEST GUIDE TO THE GALLOWS. A pack of cards.
- MANOEUVRING THE APOSTLES. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, i.e. borrowing of one man to pay another.
- PISS PROPHET. A physician who judges of the diseases of his patients solely by the inspection of their urine.
- SON OF PRATTLEMENT. A lawyer.
And a THOROUGH-GOOD-NATURED WENCH is “one who being asked to sit down, will lie down.”