Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wow, That's Ripe ...

rare essence
[rair es-uhns]

n., a pervasive, pungent and unrepentantly flagrant body odor

I stopped at the video store to drop off some movies. As soon as I made my way through the door, a wall of the foulest, most dank rare essence greeted me. My mouth agape and my nostrils burning, I placed the DVDs on the counter and returned to my car with the utmost haste.

also may be used to converse with another person in the presence of a strong odor without the offending party's knowledge

Guy #1: Man, that guy has some rare essence going on
Guy #2: Yeah, it's heinous.

Medically speaking, body odor is also known as bromhidrosis and gets its pungent, vinegar-like smell from the presence of propionic acid.

Did you know it's possible to 'hallucinate' smells? This type of olfactory hallucination is known as phantosmia.

Drop that bit of knowledge at your cocktail parties later this evening ...

Until 2009,


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Need A Word for ...

this situation ...

in football, a skill position player on offense (especially a wide receiver) will often imitate a referee's flag-throwing motion following an especially contested play in order to persuade one of the nearby officials into throwing the flag himself; if successful, the duper is usually awarded a pass interference, holding or illegal contact penalty 

I feel like there should be a name for this athlete? Or the act itself?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quixotica in The South Magazine

For the last several months, the good people at The South Magazine have let me adapt my silly little blog for mass consumption in print. I try to make up words for each issue with a distinctive Savannah flavor.

We call it Savannah-ese, and it's featured in each issue.

Check out my recent work here --

Available in print at the following locations, you can also view the entire issue at The South Magazine's hip website here.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Radar Noon, Madam ...


n., a vice presidential candidate that roughly mirrors the same ideologies as her presidential running mate, except inverted (different gender, different state) and is largely powerless politically

Interesting pick by McCain. Not too many card-carrying NRA members, mothers of five, commercial fisherwomen, beauty pageant winners and former sportscasters in the typical VP pool.

Let's go to the videotape

Sunday, July 27, 2008

When You Really Got to Go ...

near destination anxiety
[neer des-tuh-ney-shuhn ang-zahy-i-tee]

n., the tendency to have a strong, and sometimes severe, urge to urinate the closer one gets to a predetermined stopping point; this phenomenon is often more acute the closer one gets to being near a place where one can relieve him or herself; in some cases, one might not have any bladder-related issues until getting close to an intended stopping point.

The first 600 miles of the trip home were quite relaxing. I read the new Harry Potter book, caught up on some e-mails, listened to some classical music on NPR and enjoyed a few Diet Cokes. The moment we passed the sign signifying our entering Fairfax County, all hell broke loose. I had to race like a pisshorse. Within 30 seconds, I was just a stiff upper lip away from tears. I looked out the window to distract myself from the bladder pangs. And immediately saw a forty-foot billboard for Poland Spring water. We were in traffic so I couldn't really pull over for an impromptu roadside pee break (ed. note, this also really needs a word). When we finally made it off the interstate, I was a wreck. Flailing, speaking in tongues, and occasionally letting a pee dribble out to relieve pressure, I could scarcelu contain the near destination anxiety that had gripped my body.

Telltale signs of NDA include shaking legs, labored breathing and grabbing one's own privates to in an effort to "plug" any potential pee geyser .

Near destination anxiety is expected to be a part of the next revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The last major revision was the DSM-IV published in 1994, although a "text revision" was produced in 2000. The DSM-V is currently in consultation, planning and preparation, due for publication in May 2012.

See also urgasm

Shameless Self-Promotion ...

Not to toot my own horn, but Quixotica has been spreading its wings a little bit lately.

Not quite taking over the world, or even the state of Virginia ... yet.

It's now a regular feature in two monthly magazines ...

  • Savannah's own, The South Magazine

  • Senior Class, a monthly magazine celebrating the maturing lifestyle based out of Long Beach, CA
And it's attracted another recent write-up in The Toronto Star, the daily newspaper for the Big Smoke.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Just My $.02

[too sent-er]
n., a person who regularly inserts unsolicited advice, anecdotes and opinions into a conversation, especially ones in which they are not directly involved.

A two-center often interrupts a conversation's flow to pepper the dialogue with tangentially related stories and phrases like "the thing about that ...," "the truth of the matter ...," and "well, actually ..."

Person A: What's the easiest way to get to the Clarendon Metro from here?
Person B: Take a left at the intersection and it'll be four blocks on your left.

Person A: Oh, okay. Great. That's what I'll do. Thanks for your help.
Person C, The Two-Center: Well, actually you could take a bus to Glebe Road, walk to Ballston Mall and then take a cab to the metro. It would take you a few minutes less
Person A: Ummm, OK. Thanks man.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Droppin' Bombs ...

Residual methane effect (RME)

[ri-zij-oo-uhl meth-eyn i-fekt]

n., sci., the lingering odor that persists in a confined public space after one has successfully moved one's bowels; This effect can be noted quantitatively and is measured in PPUs.

This often noxious odor may persist for several minutes after the offending party (the "pooper") has left a lavatory. In many cases, the resultant odor may deter future bathroom-goers from using the facilities until after the proverbial air has cleared. Mitigating factors may include proper ventilation, courtesy flushing and one's natural poop "flavor," or odor.

In other cases, the offending party is able to leave the restroom and new users incorrectly blame a fellow stall user who may happen to be in there at the same time.

Check out this fascinating website that touts itself as "your No. 1 source for your No. 2 business" to keep up with the fast-moving world of poop.

I can't believe I just wrote that sentence.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry ... And Drunk

n., a person who becomes extremely irritable, easily angered, belligerent or combative when under the influence of alcohol

Alcholeric is a portmanteau, blending the words "alcohol" and "choleric"

Alcohol reduces inhibitions and the more you drink, the more loose you get. If a person is naturally angry and aggressive before drinking, alcohol will make him more apt to act out and get mean when he is drinking.

Many refer to the inhibition-reducing effects of alcohol as "liquid courage," a surge of temporary eneregy that makes people feel like it's okay to do things they normally wouldn't--they think it's okay because they were drunk, or they "couldn't help themselves".

Check out these great moments in "alcholeric history," thanks to YouTube

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ziggy Bowdust ...

[boh duhst]
n., the white chalk-like detritus of dry and flaky skin that often covers the surface area of the elbow; the word "ashy" is often used colloquially to describe a state of uniform bowdust coverage.

"I was on the roof last weekend cleaning out the gutters, when the ladder slipped out from under me. Instead of falling straight back, my slow-motion sideways descent through me right into a thicket of thorn-covered bushes. I wasn't hurt too bad, but I had what seemed like 100,000 scrapes on my arms and forearms. I went upstairs to wash off and check out the damage. I lifted my arms and looked and washed off the cuts. I must not have looked at my elbows in several months, because there was a snow-white layer of bowdust covering my elbow"

In many ways, bowdust is an inevitable byproduct of the aging process. A number of factors conspire to turn your smooth, supple elbows into concentric circle-like wrinkles around a patch of ashy, flaky skin. As its elasticity drops over time, the skin around your elbows bunches up, and the tips of your elbows can become darker as layers of dead, dry skin start to accumulate.

Creams, exfoliation and lotion can help, but ultimately the bowdust wins out. Tyra Banks obsesses about her bowdust so much, that she'll use lip gloss or Chapstick for a quick fix

Odds and Ends:

Here are some tips on getting rid of "ashy elbow forever."

Check out this blog for a humorous Homeland Security-style elbow sandpaper ratings system.

Check out these barons of bowdust, Brooklyn-based hip hop band Ashy L Bowz. You can download their album "No Lotion" off of I-Tunes

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'll be ..

in text

[in tekst]

v.t., an idiom, signifying the act of communicating by text message; similar to "in touch" or "get in touch"

"I'm not sure what we're doing later this evening, but I'll be in text with you and let you know."

Random MySpace people who use the phrase:

A British solicitor will be in text with me too

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's In The ...

Hole. Yes Sir! Well almost ...

While watching the Masters today, I noticed that many professional golfers perform at such a high level that many truly expect to make nearly every putt they attempt. On the rare -- but to be expected -- occasions when they do not, the responses are quite similar

v. intr., to make assorted displays of surprise and mild indignation, especially when narrowly missing after striking a golf ball so as to make it roll along the putting green to its intended target, the hole

Examples of puttrification include
  • Bending at the knee to lament a putt's narrow miss
  • Visually scanning the crowd/caddies/fellow players for sympathetic facial expressions
  • Standing in place for several seconds with hands akimbo
  • Flipping the putter
  • Telekinetic use of body english
  • Exaggerated facial expressions (vary, stern and even sometimes sheepish)

After finally conceding that a putt is missed, it is customary for a puttrified golfer to grudgingly accept the gallery's congratulatory applause, tip his cap and resign himself to mere mortality.

"Tiger Woods walked around the 16th green and stalked the 30-foot putt from every conceivable direction. With the help of his caddie, Steve Williams, he read the contours of the green and charted the undulatation of the bentgrass with the precision of a land surveyor. Finally, after picking his line, approximating its speed and visualizing the ball's path toward the hole, Woods approached the ball and struck it firmly. The dimpled spheroid did not oblige, making its final revolution just inches short of the target. On bended knee, Woods looked puttrified at the unexpected -- and rare -- unsuccessful outcome. His feigned anger, however, was quickly sublimated by the fact that he has already accumulated nearly $4 million in Tour winnings this season."

Putting is golf's great equalizer. Many of us will never stripe 300-yard drives, master the flop shot, shape a high-arcing draw around a live oak or impart "on-a-string" backspin on an approach shot. And while physical limitations and a lack of talent may prevent us from ever experiencing these achievements, we all can putt. Even the most difficult putt could conceivably be made by an amateur, even a beginner.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Planned Pantyhood ...

Planned Pantyhood
[pland pan-tee-hood]
n., the deliberate act of matching one's outerwear in color, style and appearance with the straps of a deliberately exposed undergarment, usually a thong but sometimes a bra, or even both; this fashion decision is usually perpetrated by a precocious -- if not prepubescent -- child and usually by young women, though not exclusively

This interesting -- and mildly disturbing -- fashion trend has not gone unnoticed by the conservative law and order, puritanical crowd.

Some cities, like Atlanta and Hampton Roads, have even explored treating "planned pantyhood" as a public nuisance and fining its perpetrators. Opa Locka, a town in Florida with a notoriously high crime rate, have already banned baggy pants and exposed boxer shorts in an effort to curtail crime.
Planned pantyhood has not avoided the watchful eye of school administrators and athletics coaches.

Mark Base, a fellow blogger from Helsinborg, Sweden, made some humorous (and documented eyewitness) observations of this trend in a Feb 2007 blog post Pantspotting In Helsinborg.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Internet Trance ...

Internet Trance
[in-ter-net trahns]
n., a state of complete mental absorption or deep musing that occurs when a simple Internet-related task begins quite innocently (e.g., looking up a useless bit of trivia, checking a sports score, downloading a song, doing a wikipedia search) and then ends up taking much. much longer (sometimes a few hours) than you anticipated because you have allowed yourself to wander/surf/meander all over the internet; this is often due to the saturation of hyperlinks in most Internet content (blogs, news articles, effective ads, etc.); One is able to "trace" the path of an internet trance by looking in the "history" section of one's browser.

The trance can also be site-specific, as some sites have such vast content that one could kill hours of time without out ever leaving a domain name. Examples include a Wikipedia Trance, a MySpace Trance or a Facebook trance.

For example, this morning I was looking up something about CSI:Miami for an intro to a freelance article for another publication. From there I read about David Caruso, then NYPD Blue, then Mark Paul Gosselaar ("Zak" from Saved By the Bell), then Saved by the Bell ... and then I ended with reading about Dustin Diamond (screech from saved by the bell). I never ended up finding the information about CSI Miami that I was looking for ... and due to my internet trance, I killed about 30 minutes and filled my mind with more useless info.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Kindercare ...


n., an emotional response or state of mind relating to the objective (and perfectly normal, I might add) non-sexual appreciation of a younger person who may be precociously attractive; also reflects a belief that one can "tell" if an "admired" young person will grow up to become an exceedingly attractive or handsome adult.

I imagine this word could also describe someone like my mom going ga-ga over some young, male heartthrob on American Idol. Does she want to act on her cute little crush on Chris Daughtry? Of course not. Never in a million years. But the appreciation exists nonetheless, and it should have its own word for it.

I think men and women -- young and old -- know when they see someone who will likely turn out to be good-looking/knockout/ahunk/etc. when they mature. The same could probably said for the opposite feeling, ... a sense that a young person is precociously unattractive ... like a baby or toddler that you can tell from an early age has "ugly" potential

Oh yeah, and the word "kindercare" has nothing to do with the wholesome "preschool" corporation that shares the same name.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We Must Protect This House ...

I just saw an ad for FOX's post-Super Bowl programming teasing an "all new" episode of the critically acclaimed series "House." As a diehard "House" fan, I can't wait for the rest of the season.
For those of you not down with the one-hour network television drama, you're missing out. Do yourself a favor and tune in after the Super Bowl. Dr. Gregory House is one-of-a-kind, and if he were a real-live person, he would be on the Mount Rushmore of Quixotica. He'd probably be flicking Theodore Roosevelt's ear or putting rabbit ears behind George Washington's head. His uber-sarcasm, unorthodox treatment style and erratic bedside manner are all things I aspire to, ... even though I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv.

If you're lost, here's a primer:
Gregory House, M.D., is a maverick medical genius, who heads a team of young diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. Most episodes start with a cold open somewhere outside the hospital, showing the events leading to the onset of symptoms for that week's main patient. The episode follows the team in their attempts to diagnose and treat the patient's illness.

The team arrives at diagnoses using the
Socratic method and differential diagnosis, with House guiding the deliberations. House often discounts the information and opinions from his underlings, pointing out that their contributions have missed various relevant factors. The patient is usually misdiagnosed over the course of each episode and treated with medications appropriate to the misdiagnoses. This usually causes further complications in the patient, but in turn helps lead House and his team to the correct diagnosis by using the new symptoms.
God Bless you Wikipedia. You let me synopsize everything with all your Wiki goodness, even if it's not 100 % accurate.

Back to Quixotica ....
During the show's four season run, House has demonstrated a mastery of pop culture, music and history, ... and a little bit of medical intuition. Not only is he a Fort Knox of trivial knowledge, but his virtuoso command of slang, diction, semantics and language often leads to some very funny dialogue. In some cases, his clever one-liners serve a more important purpose in the show as the occasional "novel" House take on a situation leads a previously unthought-of differential diagnosis. In other cases, his acerbic witticisms are just an exalted form of smartassery and sarcasm.

So without further adieu, here's today's moment of sublime Quixotica ...

n., A comment, normally a one-liner, generally an offbeat response. Something Dr. Gregory House would say.

This is not an original piece of Quixotica from yours truly. I have to thank the good people at
Housisms for this neologism.
In fact, I am not going to give you any examples here. You'll have to go to their website to find out more. Or which an "all-new" episode of "House" following the Patriots' coronation on Sunday.
OK, OK, here's one from the very first episode of the series.
House: See that -- they all assume I'm a patient because of the cane.
Dr. Wilson: Then why don't you put on a white coat like the rest of us?
House: Then they think I'm a doctor.
In other news, please submit any Super Bowl-related slang to me directly at

Saturday, January 26, 2008

If I Had A Hammer ...

Today's moment of sublime quixotica was submitted by S.M., of Arlington, VA.
S., a legendary wordsmith in his own right, is fluent in French, can dunk a basketball (I think) and does a mean "worm." Spencer was an original member of The Awesomes, an epic rock supergroup that toured the greater Lake Ridge, VA area in the early 1980s. Other former members of the band include Chris "Iffy" Kreutzer (guitar/vocals), David "Hoover" Gignilliat (triangle/recorder/air guitar) and Craig "Zog" Milligan (not sure). Alas, The Awesomes' eclectic style was never fully appreciated in its own era, so now their legend and their music must live on through the written word.

But who could forget their live performance at the 1986 Governor's Court 4th of July Crab Feast, which included an impromptu breakdancing competition, a dirt-bike decorating contest and pointing illegal bottle rockets at neighbor's doorsteps.

I think some Vans shoes and Playboy logo socks were involved too.

Back to business. Thanks for the word, S. We hope to hear more Quixotica from you in the future ...


adj., literally, French for "hammer," it is a phrase used to describe a state of extraordinary intoxication due to heavy (and often rapid) consumption of alcohol, often to the degree that most mental and physical faculities are noticeably impaired. Common symptoms may include slurred speech, impaired balance, poor coordination, flushed face, reddened eyes, reduced inhibition, hiccuping, severe beer goggling, and other uncharacteristic behavior

Examples of marteau'd behavior could include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • making cats fight on the streets of Georgetown (Washington, DC)
  • stumbling out of a bar with hands in coat pockets,crossing the street with considerable momentum, andcrashing through a wooden fence (Charlottesville, VA)
  • casually flicking cigarette ashes on your friend’shead and then violently throwing up in his toilet (Blacksburg, VA) ... Done by

And for no reason whatsoever, here's a rare photo of Mr, Quixotica ( during his halcyon, formative years. Note his prescient sense of style -- the lavender Izod polo, black-and-white checkered vans and OP plaid shorts. And don't forget the "Mom, I forgot my bookbag face." Or is it the "why doesn't anyone want to play with me" face?

While the expression “marteau’d” did not catch on nationally (yet), it is still used by a small number of 30-somethings in and around the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Here's some more "marteau" time on the World Wide Web:

Did You Know:
The French are not the only ones who like to have a good time. The Brits like to call bar-hopping "going out on the tiles," ... though I think the "tiles" is where you end up after a long night of carousing. Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham inspired the song "Out on the Tiles" (LZ III) with his epic -- and ultimately fatal -- consumption.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Junkies Lingo ...

For those of you who don't live in the thriving metropolis of Northern Virginia, the Junkies are four regular dudes with a popular radio show on one of DC's most popular FM stations. If you had to fit it into a category, you'd call it sports talk radio. But a lot cooler. See for yourself ...

By popular demand, more tasty slang nuggets from WJFK's The Sports Junkies
(Excerpted from

Derived from a gambling and poker term, meaning to have little or no money. As used by the Junkies, it describes something that is undesirable or of low quality because of its small stature.

For example, Cakes had to park his rented pickup truck on the street because it was too large for his nubbins garage. A small mobile phone would not be considered a nubbins phone, however, because smallness is a desirable trait in mobile phones.

Nubbinsville, attending Nubbinsville State, and being on nubbins street refer to being poor.

a short fact or piece of information. Another variation is "nug-let".

The number of partners a women has had. See “Whore or Bore.” As with the "sportcenter" generation, the alternate Spanish interpretation of "nombre" is also socially acceptable.

Okey doke
Someone whose been tricked or duped

Beating someone really bad. "The Lakers pummeled the Jazz."

Put forth little effort, as in a segment, full show, interview, etc. Although the term is used by people all over and is not necessarily "Junkies lingo", the Junkies do often substitute the names of NFL kickers for the word ("I'm going to Hunter Smith the EP", referring to Indianapolis Colts punter Hunter Smith).

Ricky is actually a euphemism used sporadically in PG County some 20 years ago. It is the shortened version of Richard. While the obvious nickname would be Dick, Ricky serves as a witty device to go the long way and refer to someone as a "dick".

In years past you might hear Lurch refer to another as "Richard Cranium", that is translated to "Dick Head". Usually pronounced "Riiiickay". Alluding to former Miami Dolphins football player Ricky Williams, this Junkism refers to any person who makes poor decisions, such as Williams who has been repeatedly suspended and fined for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Biscuits and Gravy ...

Today's moment of sublime quixotica was submitted by a Mr. John Krauss. Mr. Krauss hails from historic Cheverly, MD and grew up on the mean streets of Prince George's County. In his spare time, John enjoys long walks on the beach, gangster rap, writing haikus about Star Trek and keeping it real.

He has been known to wear the occasional cloak, uses the phrase "BTW" religiously in everyday human-to-human conversation and claims some distant relation to bluegrass vixen (and hottie) Allison Krauss. An active gamer, John (or "Icey J" as his friends call him) maintains a challenging second life on Second Life, where he goes by the name of Grease Coakes.

Check him out at , he's sui generis (that's a real word actually)

biscuits and gravy
[bĭs'kĭtz and grey-vee]

n., an exclamation indicative of a state of quiet contentment, usually as a result of some fortuitous and unexpected turn of events; usually preceded in everyday speech by the "it's all ..." sentence fragment; for the purpose of brevity during conversation, the "it's all" component can also be eliminated while still retaining the same meaning

Synonyms include "it's all good," "all fruits ripe," and "sweet"

I guess there's just something special about the harmony that exists between a small cake of shortened bread leavened with baking powder or soda and the fat and juices that drip from cooking meat, often thickened, seasoned, flavored, etc., and used as a sauce

"But you were supposed to pick me up an hour ago at the Farragut West Metro. At first, I was kinda mad, but then I started talking to this chick who likes to play World of Warcraft. We exchanged screen names and I'm going to call her next week, ... so it's all biscuits and gravy."

Did You Know?:The phrase "it's all good" has a downright fascinating history, traced here with vim and verve by author Rebecca Mead in a 2001 magazine article. And be sure to check out Rebecca's other original work, especially her razor-sharp take on the business of weddings in One Perfect Day, available at The New York Times thinks she's the cat's meow. Or is it the ant's pants

Excerpted from RebeccaMead.Com

... This is, of course, arguable, but the adoption of "It's all good" does confirm that phrase's omnipresence in the contemporary lexicon. The expression got a big push into the mainstream this spring on "Survivor: The Australian Outback," when it was used by Alicia Calaway, the buff personal trainer, who informed twenty-eight and a half million Americans that, even though she had not won a million dollars, her experience had indeed been all good. And when Puffy Combs was asked by "Entertainment Tonight" about his painful breakup with Jennifer Lopez earlier this year, he resorted to the "It's all good" formula to explain how he would always have a place in his heart for J. Lo.

According to Weinstock, the meaning of "It's all good" is straightforward. "It means 'no worries,' " he said. "If Disney were to use it, they would say 'Hakuna Matata.' " Actually, "It's all good" is often more nuanced. The original popularizers of the expression were rap performers, including Hammer, who in 1994 released a song entitled "It's All Good." A year later, Tupac Shakur employed the phrase in his hit "California Love," on which Dr. Dre announced, "Diamonds shinin' lookin' like I robbed Liberace / It's all good from Diego to tha Bay." In such contexts, "It's all good" serves as a statement of defiance rather than complacency; things are clearly not all good, for example, if you happen to be Liberace.

The phrase continues to be reflexively used in the rap world, and it has now been adopted ironically by upper-middle-class white people, in whose parlance "It's all good" is usually a way of preëmptively closing a conversation--a discussion of the final episode of "The Sopranos," for example--and segueing to the next topic: where to find the best sushi in the East Village.

But the most widespread use of "It's all good" seems to be among people who have recently discovered yoga and meditation. For this demographic, "It's all good" has become a kind of New Age, neo-Buddhist mantra, one with a peculiarly American flavor of optimism. (As Mark Epstein, the author of "Going On Being: Buddhism and the Way of Change," points out, a truly Buddhist view would be "It's all suffering.") It means that every reversal--breaking up with your boyfriend, getting downsized from your dot-com--is also an opportunity for personal growth. Admittedly, this usage has greater appeal if you are a laid-off, newly single dot-commer than it might if you were, say, an Afghani refugee or a resident of southern Sudan.

Stephen Cope, the author of "Yoga and the Quest for the True Self," explained by telephone last week that he often hears the phrase in the halls of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he is the senior scholar-in-residence. Cope said that although he believes Americans often need a corrective to an embedded Puritan world view--which might be characterized as "It's all bad, especially you"--the phrase does, nonetheless, raise his hackles.

"There is a way in which that mantra can lead to a fatalistic view of life, and can leave out the incredible power of choice," he said. The first time Cope heard the expression was shortly after he arrived at Kripalu, twelve years ago.

"My car had broken down in the middle of a nor'easter, and I ended up having to walk home through the storm and got pneumonia," he said. "I remember someone proposed to me the notion that this was all good, and I definitely had a reaction to it: it is not good being sick, and it would have been good if I had had a cell phone. The only thing that is definitely all good all the time is anything that comes in a blue box from Tiffany."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Need A Word For ...

Getting sucked into to viewing an informercial at 3 in the morning. You're minding your own business channel-surfing and then some host in a contrived talk show set sucks you in. There's lots of smiling and clapping, ... and next thing you know, you've killed 30 minutes learning about how to get your Beach Body in just 90 days.

If you submit a word within the next five minutes, you'll receive a second copy of the as-of-yet unpublished Quixotica absolutely free. Yes, that's right.

I wish there were a channel of nothing but old infomercials, ... kinda like an ESPN Classic for cheesy advertisements. After all, who can deny the power of the Flowbee? Or the sharpness of a Ginsu knife? Don't you miss watching Jack LaLanne drinking carrot juice? He's still alive, BTW, and will turn 94 later this year.

Remember the one with a British guy in a bowtie that sets a car hood on fire, ... and then waxes the car's hood to a like-new shine? And I feel like I've grown up with Carleton Sheets and his no-money down system for buying real estate. And who could forget Don LaPre and his empire built on classified ads. My Rich Dad wouldn't.

But wait, there's more

Did You Know?:
The word infomercial is a portmanteau.

A portmanteau (IPA: /pɔrtˈmæntoʊ/), plural portmanteaux, is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. A folk usage of portmanteau refers to a word formed by combining both sounds and meanings from two or more words (e.g., spork from spoon and fork, animatronics from animated and electronics, guesstimate from guess and estimate, wikipedia from wiki and encyclopedia, or ginormous from gigantic and enormous). Typically, portmanteaux are nonce words or neologisms. Portmanteaux are commonly used in science fiction for a wide variety of technical words, such as cyborg from cybernetic and organism.

Thumbing through the Quixotic archives, I believe that urgasm, obloof and tryptophantasy would be considered portmanteaux.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Need a Word ...

For the ability of certain people to cry on command. To produce tears at the drop of a hat. To weep like a baby. To let loose the waterworks at a moment's notice.

A technique used successfully by Method actors and Broadway performance, this unique skill set has wept (I mean "crept") its way back into the national consciousness again.

On the precipice of an imploding presidential campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) parlayed a spontaneous tear explosion into a stunning win in New Hampshire's Democratic primary. Her insta-cry not only helped her in the polls but also added a bit of humanity and humility to an otherwise well-lubed, robotically orchestrated Manchurian candidacy.

Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you have to hand it to Hillary. It worked. Her numbers are trending upward in all the polls and she appears poised to be a major factor in one of the most compelling elections in decades. And all from a few well-timed tears.

Maybe it was a moment of unhinged honesty, a rare public display of genuine human emotion. Or maybe she borrowed some of her husband's legendary charisma and Everyman humanity. Who knows.

What I do know is this is a situation without a word, ... and I need your help.

Readers of Quixotica, unite!! Neologisms are the opiates of the masses! The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of word creation!!

Let's find a word for this home, my proletariat comrades!!!

And if you could help me get rid of this superfluous AdSense button at the bottom of my post, thay would be great too ...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Mom Made Me Do It ...

Ever the supportive parent, my mother (who will heretofore be referred to as Nancy) insisted that I include one of her clever neologisms on my "little blog."
As her prodigal, mercurial and occasionally loving son, I obliged. As long as she promised to pass out my Quixotica business cards to all her friends and complete strangers.

Thanks Nancy for your submission! You're an honorary FOQer now! Or is that mother-FOQer?

Oops, did I say that?

n., the process, often laborious and tediously slow, by which a senior citizen (like my parents, for example) navigates his/her way up a set of stairs; this is especially chronic among those who suffer for arthritis, joint pain, sciatica or any other similar degenerative medical condition.
This technique is often characterized by repetitive step-stop-break-reassessment pattern. It can be especially frustrating and time-consuming for non-seniors who happen to find themselves walking behind a waitlifter; Usually, out of respect for one's elders, those with high-functioning ambulatory skills do not usually complain or attempt a pass, ... and instead choose to walk patiently behind their more senior brethren.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Blacker The Berry, ...

The sweeter the juice. At least that's what the Isley Brothers say. Of course, I'm pretty sure they weren't singing lustily about the virtues of sleek handheld e-mail devices.

Anyhow, here's today's moment of sublime quixotica, submitted by daverd, a fellow wordsmith I stumbled upon at

A buzz of blackberries

N., A collective noun (e.g., like a flock of seagulls or a murder of crows) that refers to the distinctive vibrating, oscillating hum of a group of Blackberry hand-helds situated in close proximity to one another.

For non-users, the buzz and the subsequent Pavlovian response it triggers in its rabid followers (i.e., a rapid "inbox" check for new e-mails) can be profoundly annoying. This noisome "hum" often short-circuits real communication with actual human beings.

Did You Know?:

  • RIM, the company that manufactures the Blackberry, decided on the product's unique name after just a few weeks of research and development with Lexicon Branding, Inc., ... the same creative company that came up with winning product names for Apple's Powerbook and Intel's Pentium processor. Apparently, one of the Lexicon consultants felt that the device's mini-buttons resembled the tiny seeds in a strawberry. Some genius in marketing dropped the "straw" (felt to be too slow-sounding) and changed it to "black" (faster-sounding) . The rest, as they say, is history.
  • Here's a gaggle of links to a plurality of collective nouns

Gotta Love Those Aussies, They're the Ant's Pants ...

Ant's Pants: Australian for someone or something considered the ultimate in style, novelty or cleverness.

Just when we thought we could close the book on Word of the Year awards season, those friendly Aussies pull us back in

Reprinted from the BBC.Com ....

Australians vote on word of 2007

Are these Sydney beachgoers running the risk of tanorexia?Are you suffering from password fatigue? Ever considered manscaping? Do you know any tanorexics?

These phrases and more are contenders in an online vote organised by Australia's Macquarie Dictionary to select the Word of the Year 2007.

Seventeen categories contain a total of 85 words from which voters can choose.
Options include globesity - the problem of rising obesity around the globe - and floordrobe - the use of the floor as a substitute wardrobe.

Some words appear to be unique to Australia.

Salad dodger is included as a term for an overweight person, while a surfer under the age of 10 can now be called a microgrom.


  • Password fatigue: Frustration caused by having too many passwords and failing to remember them

  • Manscaping: Male grooming procedures involving the removal of body hair

  • Tanorexia: An obsessive desire to have tanned skin

  • Credit card tart: Someone who transfers loans to a new card when the interest-free period of the first card expires

Your comments: Word of 2007

But many of the new words seem to reflect global developments and trends.
Chindia is used as a noun to refer to China and India as a collective unit, in terms of economic power and strategic importance.

There are also five new words related to carbon emissions and how to deal with them, reflecting growing concern about climate change. Several of the new words relate to advances in technology. Pod slurping is described as the practice of downloading large quantities of data to an MP3 player or memory stick from a computer. Griefers, meanwhile, are players who deliberately sabotage online computer games instead of abiding by the rules.

Other words represent new definitions for old concepts. Kippers are adult children who fail to leave home - a contraction of Kids In Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings. Man flu, meanwhile, refers to a minor cold contracted by a man who then proceeds to exaggerate the symptoms, the dictionary said.

Voting closes on 31 January and Australia's Word of the Year 2007 will be announced in the first week of February.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Persona Non Gratuitata ...

Persona non gratuitata
[per-soh-nah nohn grah-too-i-tah-tuh]
N., the person at any food or drink-related group gathering that consistently feigns ignorance and under-contributes his/her portion of the overall group tab; examples include: forgetting to include taxes, tip, soft drinks and any shared entrees, appetizers or side dishes in the final bill reckoning

This is typically a regular occurrence for the offending party and therefore an extremely tough habit to break. For fellow group diners, it is especially awkward to broach the topic of underpayment with the perpetrator (for fear of seeming petty), ... an omission which unfortunately only seems to perpetuate this odious behavior

In many cases, the underpayment is often accompanied by a calculated diversion (an unexpected phone call, a trip to the restroom, spontaneous conversation or an early departure) to avoid detection.

See also tab averse and tab jumping

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Duke

The Duke noun, verb (duk-ing) also The Dook

n., the maneuver one must perform upon realizing that his/her (though usually his) lavatory is out of toilet paper. The Duke is an undoubtedly awkward, wide-stanced walk, resembling the cautious, purposeful gait of its namesake, John Wayne. This stride is used to either travel to another stall which may have paper (in the case of public restrooms) or to wander around anxiously in hopes of finding an alternative means detoxing one's rim.

"During Sunday service, I went to the can to take care of something evil, and next then I knew, I was doing The Duke halfway around the chapel until I found a facility with the proper supplies."
(Submitted by L'il Dom)

See also two-ply-ability

Quixotica is Growing ...

Quixotica is pleased to announce the addition of a new FOQ-er, or Friend of Quixotica, Miss Lindsey "Trill" Bledsoe.

Lindsey, a lover of words and a talented writer in her own right, will be contributing illustrations periodically to the website. In fact, she will be our lead illustrator, our VP of illustration, and our CEO of pictures all rolled into one. And whatever else she wants to call herself.

Bledsoe, who recently moved to the area from Arkansas, is a senior in high school in the vast suburban sprawl of Northern Virginia. She will be attending college shortly, though the exact destination of this talented artist is as of yet undetermined. Wherever she decides to ply her trade, Bledsoe's ambition and search for la dolce vita will surely carry her far.

"I aspire to be a traveler, to study Tango in Argentina, smell the fresh bread every morning in France, sail the Mediterranean, explore the Brazilian jungles, and live in a penthouse in Santa Fe.," reads Bledsoe's Facebook profile. "I'd like to either become a journalist/art columnist, Graphic Designer, Photographer, or a sort of jack-of-all trades mix. I'd also like to minor in Psychology, and flip houses on the side. Eventually, someday I'd love to own a gallery."

Lindsey will also be doing some undercover work for Quixotica, ... as the eyes and ears at ground zero of one of the most fertile incubators of modern invented slang -- high school.

And apparently she's pretty handy with this Internet thing that the kids are using these days. Maybe she could show this old dog a thing or two about how to run a blog. In fact, I bet she knows how I can repair my "submission" button at the top right of the page, so my dedicated readers can submit all their clever neologisms right from our site.

Lindsey is a fan of House and 24 (arguably the two best shows on network television) and knows the true meaning of Bauer-ing it. An accomplished blogger and artist, samples of Lindsey's work can be found by clicking on the following links:

Deviant Art -- Samples of Lindsey's portfolio

Trill Spots --This is Lindsey's personal blog, where she waxes poetic about Zen, World Lit class, office chair-itis and the art of blog maintenance

BrickFilms.Com -- Lindsey is an administrator for this website. That's all I know. I have not been cleared for any additional information at this point

Did You Know?

In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Trill are a species of symbiotic lifeforms native to the Alpha Quadrant. Their home world is also named Trill. Trill is a very sparsely populated planet with only a few million inhabitants. Its oceans are predominantly purple.

Now I know. God Bless You, Wikipedia.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Alt-Tabbing (-er)(-erry)


n., the act of navigating successfully (and quickly) back and forth between multiple open computer applications using the "alt" and "tab" keystroke shortcut; achieved by holding the "alt" key in a depressed position and pressing down the "tab" button a single time to toggle from one program to another.

Examples of this technique include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Switching between complementary applications for an editing-related purpose (cut-and-paste, copying, etc.)

  • For the purpose of dissimulation, i.e., to create the appearance that you are using one application while really using another. This is typically done to avoid detection by a colleague, friend, spouse, supervisor or similar authority figure. Examples include any prohibited non-work-related websites (MySpace, Facebook, Ebay, ESPN, GMail), game programs (solitaire, hearts, Yahoo Games) or an application that may be particularly embarrassing or revealing (chat rooms, pornography or any graphic NSFW site)

  • Showing off one's keyboard-related dexterity

  • To give the impression that one is working harden on a project/assignment than one really is

"In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea for Jake to his use his workstation PC to participate in his fantasy baseball draft and download songs to his Ipod. After all, it was his first week on the job and his first job out of college. Thankfully, his expert alt-tabbing left his boss and co-workers none the wiser. In fact, his uncanny ability to avoid detection only spurred him on to more frequent and reckless workstation personal use."

American Dialect Society Taps "Sub-Prime" As 2007 Word of the Year

As posted on the American Dialect Society website

In its 18th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted “subprime” as the word of the year. Subprime is an adjective used to describe a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment. Subprime was also winner of a brand-new 2007 category for real estate words, a category which reflects the preoccupation of the press and public for the past year with a deepening mortgage crisis.

Presiding at the Jan. 4 voting session were ADS Executive Secretary Allan Metcalf of McMurray College and Professor Wayne Glowka, Dean of Arts and Humanities of Reinhardt College, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society. Wayne edits the column “Among the New Words” in the society’s quarterly journal American Speech.

“When you have investment companies losing billions of dollars over something like bundled subprime loans, then you have to consider whether it’s important,” Professor Glowka said. “You probably also want to think about paying off that third mortgage.”

Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as “vocabulary item”—not just words but phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year, in the manner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
The vote is the longest-running such vote anywhere, the only one not tied to commercial interests, and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead. It is fully informed by the members’ expertise in the study of words, but it is far from a solemn occasion. Members in the 118-year-old organization include linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars. In conducting the vote, they act in fun and do not pretend to be officially inducting words into the English language. Instead they are highlighting that language change is normal, ongoing, and entertaining.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tourbillon ...

I'd like to thank Mr. Terry Allison Jr. at the Quixotic Watch Company for our most recent submission. Terry Allison Jr. is the president and CEO of Quixotic Watch Company. Mr. Allison has worked in the watch business for more than ten years with more than seven years of manufacturing and design experience. Mr. Allison has designed watches for many celebrities and has created beautiful one-of-a-kind creations for his clients. Celebrities like Steven Seagal, Ben Afleck, Celine Dion, Dennis Hopper, and Rob Lowe among others wear watches designed by Terry Allison Jr.

Based in Las Vegas, the Quixotic Watch Company makes precision-crafted, high-end watches that are available in a variety of case materials including copper, steel, 18k gold, and platinum.

Very cool website. Check it out.

"Quixotic Watch Company is currently considering sponsorship of athletes including golfers, race car drivers, and other top level athletes." (from the Quixotic Watch Company website)
Maybe they'd consider sponsoring my blog?

(Below is the original text of Terry's "tourbillon" post)


A device in some mechanical watches that eliminates timekeeping errors caused by slight variations due to shifts in gravity when a watch changes position during use. The round carriage or "cage" of the tourbillon holds the mechanisms that rotate the wheels, and thus the hands of the watch, in a continuous rate of once per minute.

The action of a tourbillon resembles that of a windmill.

Thus - the word "tourbillon" seems a perfect fit to by submitted by Quixotic Watch Company to the Quixotica blog.
Yes it does Terry. Yes it does.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Submit a Word Link

The First Word of 2008 Is ...

[ahy-dohnt-noh-nər], rhymes with "boner"
n., a penile erection of unknown origin and without provocation, usually occurring at an inappropriate time or in an awkward social setting (at church, at the blackboard in school, at grandma's house, etc.); see also MySpace Oddity

Check out these "I-don't-know-ner" Curb Your Enthusiasm clips:

And here's more from the mind of Larry David (from Curb, Season 4, "The Five Wood")