Language Humor

On these pages, you'll find what I hope are funny bits about language, some things about Baltimore and Maryland, a bit on naming our new tools based on other tools, how to stop the language from degrading, a thought on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (does language shape the mind?), whether the words for nine and new are related, words that are their own antonyms, and newly discovered languages.


Allanic - an ocean
Anna Runnel - Glen Burnie's canny
Architexture - building styles
Arlin - Ireland
Arn - what you do on an arnin board
Arnjuice - from the sunshine tree
Arouwn in all directions - norf, souf, ees, and wess
Arsh - people from Arlin
Aspern - what you take for headaches
Authoritis - arthritis
Awl - goes into the crankcase

Bald - some people like their eggs this way
Bawler - what the plumber calls your furnace
Beeno - a famous railroad
Bethlum - a steel mill
Bleef - what you bleev in, your faith

Calf Lick - bleevers are Protestant, Jewish, and ...
Canny - a state gubmit division, such as Anna Rundel or Prince George's
Cammer - used for taking photographs
Cole Race Beef - a favorite sandwhich; you could have Hot Race Beef with Gravy

Dest - where you set at to pay the bills
Dint - did not
Dolltone - what you hear when you pick up the receiver
Downey Ayshen - whre everyone goes in the summer
Draff - the animal with the longest neck
Droodle Park - where you find the draffs and other zoo animals (Druid Hill)
Drooslem - city in the Holy Land
Druckstewer - you can buy your asperns here
Duck - a passageway for conducting hot air
Duddeney - yes, he does, duddeney?

Elfin - animal with the longest nose
Error - a time measurement of 60 minutes
Eu - nickname of the local ball team: "Hae bout dem Eu's?"

Far place - andarns are kept here
Fard - area between the eyes and the hairline
Farmin - the people who fight fars
Farn Gin - used for taking farmin to fars
Flar - grows in the garden
Ford - opposite of backward

Granite - something you don't want to be taken for
Gubmit - government Gubner - governor

Habberdy Grace - Havre de Grace
Har and Far - what the boss does
Hollandtayon - Highlandtown

Idnit - it is, idnit?
Iggle - our national bird
Ignernt - ignorant

Klumya - Rouse's new city (Columbia)

Lobble - responsible for

Meer - what you look at in the morning
Merlin - the Free State
Mirrow - another word for meer"
Monament - Bawlamer has the first one to George Washington
Morality - the race for mayor
Munlaw - married to your fodlaw

Naplis - state capital of Merlin
Norf Abnew - North Avenue
Numb - a conjunctive 1st person pronoun: "Aw've bin workin six errors numb tarred."

Oltno - I don't know

Paramour - what your neighbor uses at 8 a.m.
Patapsico - a well-known river
Payment - a paved surface
Phane - what you answer when it rings
Pixture - photo or painting
Pleece - the people who uphold the law
Plooshin - let's get it out of the Cheaspeake
Po-leece - a single pleece officer

Sarn - what a pleece car or Farn Gin makes noise with
Screems - you put them in your windows in summer
Slong - "good-bye"
Slop Machine - a one-armed bandit
Snoo Few? - "what's new with you?"
Sore - drainage under the street
Sorge - plooted material from sores
Spearmint - experiment
Stalls - the hairdresser does this to your hair
Starfame - a synthetic packing material
Sympathy - the Bawlamer Sympathy Orchestra

Race - a method of cooking meat; "Awl have a race beef sanrich."

Tarred - sleepy
Torst - a visitor from another state or country

Unnersteand - understand

Vollince - what we see too much of in the movies

Wald - the opposite of tame
Warshnin - our nation's capital
Wooder - what you wrench your hands with
Wrench - to wash off

Yerp - Europe

Zinc - where you wrench your hands or wash your dishes

The Merlin Dialect

The Merlin Dialect is spoken by a mixed population which inhabits a triangular area on the western littoral of the Chesapeake Bay, bounded roughly by a line commencing at Towson's Toyota, then westward to Frederick Mall, thence following the western border of the cable TV franchise and the string of MacDonalds along Route 50 to the Bay. All of these lands and the natives thereof are know as the Land of Merlin. They divide it further into semi-tribal areas called Cannies (e.g., Ballmer Canny, PeeJee Canny, etc.). The dialect area is centered on a market center called Glimburny, where the people come on weekends to trande their goods.

Because of the numerous words and phrases common to both Merlin Dialect and modern English, linguists have long postulated that there is some kinship between the two . The dispute in academic circles at the present time is whether Merlin dialect actually derives from English, or whether both are descended from some common ancestor, possible spoken on the Island of Atlantis.

Speakers of Merlin Dialect are all able to understand standard English from babyhood, chiefly because of the their voracious appetite for television. However, they invariably, and absolutely, refuse to speak standard English, even with outsiders who obviously are not understanding a word they are saying.

Lesson 1. Pronounciation Drill. Listen and Repeat:

Merlin: Ah herd sarns at sod the hass a bat hunnert toms lass not. Itsem Ann Earl Canny farn gins.

She raider boskie from Droodle Pork to dantan Ballmer wither oz glazed. The Hard Canny Toms sayz the canny cancel pace pained bon ambalances. Pitcher bane seat owen. Weer goon danny ayshun. Ah sawn ambalance good dan Rosters Tan Raid a bat a huunert molls air, nit was porn dan rain. It spaced a snaid mora. Better pitcher snay tars owen. Ah got me somefar stain snay tars at the Tee Goz bay the Glimburny bopass.

Life Imitates Technology

What To Do When You Need Paper!

Actually, you can assemble an effective file-analog storage system by taking inspiration from the Windows operating system. It is possible, or was recently, to go to supply and get "file folder"-like devices (I think they even call them "folders", they look like real big icons), and physically place several sheets of paper in each one. There's a small area on top, sort of a cut-out slot, where you can physically apply a "file name." When you have a number of these, you can put them in a "file drawer" inside a "File Manager"-looking sort of thing called a "file cabinet." Because there can be several variations on this system, a plain, no-frills filing system is said to use "vanilla" folders.

I think training offers classes in "alphabetic sorting," some sort of technique for arranging the folders so you can find them again, but that's far beyond my experience....

thanks to an anonymous colleague for this handy tip!

Newly Discovered Languages

Our researchers are back from the field and after exhausting months in every corner of the globe have brought back a list of previously unrecorded dialects:

Darkest Afrikaans, No One Ainu, Mortal Annamese, Briar Apache, Dirty Attic, Lobster Basque, Ding Bats, Berber of Seville, Hill Bhili, Alley Catalan, Strawberry Cham, Double Chin, Checkered Chinese, Blue Chippewa, Traffic Coptic, Pop Cornish, Dernier Cree, Cree Sus, Upper Creek, Shrimp Creole, Rubber Czech, Prune Danish, Cellar Doric, Going Dutch, Gottingen Dutch, Protestant Efik, Body English, Reverse English, Wetten Erse, Gall Estonian, Rolling Estonian, Itch Etruscan, Rotary Fan, Photo Finnish, Nasal Flemish, Fox Fur, Best French, Deep Frisian, Brim Fula, Howling Gaelic, Extrava Ganza, Fee Garo, Natural Gascon, Gorgeous Georgian, Wheat German, Cousin German, Indira Gondi, Fenu Greek, Sea Gullah, Full Hausa, Milwauk Hebrew, Cornish Hindi, Westward Ho, Bunny Hopi, Gnawing Hungarian, Taket Izi, Rikki Tikki Kavi, Overhead Kam, Swift Kickapoo, Proto Kol, Terpsi Korean, Over Kota, A Kpelle, Flight Kru, Chocolate Kuki, Standup Kumyk, National Lampong, Last Lapp, Ge Latin, Iceberg Lettisch, Stove Lydian, Anti Makasser, Chocolate Maltese, Gentle Mandarin, Vigin Maori, Coal Mayan, Night Norse, Euph Oriya, Bosom Paili, Shoo-fly Paiute, Stand Patois, Another Man's Persian, Love Phocian, Pidgin Toda, Nail Polish, Fools Russian, Shifting Sanskrit, Canna Sardinian, Alto Saxon, Hop Scottish, Yo Semitic, Original Seneca, George Bernard Shawnee, Worcester Sherpa, Hot Somali, Cree Sus, Dying Svan, Sickeningly Swedish, Dotted Swiss, Dromedary Tamil, White Thai, Hot Tumali, Thanskgiving Turkic, Christmas Twi, Whooping Ukrainian, Electric Ute, Resounding Walapai, Wishing Welsh, Cry Wolof, Super Yuman, Bronx Zulu
some of these are easier to figure out than others... when you give up, look here for the translation.

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