Out on a dike

Out on a dike phr. [mid 19-C] (US) going out in one's best clothes. [DIKED DOWN] I'm out as a dyke, occasionally out with a dyke. What I do when I'm out on a dike can become your business once I write about it here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Word of the day

I discovered a possible new word today, inadvertently created within someone's out-of-office auto-reply email. In fact I had an amusing half hour reading out-of-office replies following a bulk e-mailing at work. It's fascinating how much detail some people are willing to give to explain why they can't read or reply to a message immediately.

The new word is Mondnesday - as in, "I am away until Mondnesday 30 January". You what? It's possible to get into all kinds of scrapes when re-hashing a previous auto-reply message in Outlook's Out of Office Assistant. The Assistant provides no assistance at all sometimes. You type; we'll all laugh.

I immediately came up with a definition:

Mondnesday n. [early 21C] Any day you're not actually sure what day it is. Any day will do. A mindless day; my mind's gone numb type of day.

The challenge now is to get this into the Oxford English Dictionary. Do you think it will catch on? Given the challenges laid down by Balderdash and Piffle currently, there's got to be a chance - and perhaps this entry in Out on a dike will prove to be the first written evidence in years to come.

I've thought of a few more.

Tuthuday n. [early 21C] A painful day, when stress is often experienced in the jaw area. A deadline is approaching and there are 'too few' days remaining.

Friturday n. [early 21C] A waste. Sometimes experienced as boredom. You wait all week for the weekend and when it arrives you just don't know what to do or how to spend those 'non-school' nights.

Sunfriday n. [early 21C] A holiday. Everyone deserves at least one week topping up their tan in the sun (sensibly, of course).

While you're thinking about words, surely someone can help Balderdash and Piffle prove that gay was used in the queer/homosexual sense before 1935 [current OED entry]. In the first programme of the series Victoria Coren tried hard to get the OED panel to listen to the earlier evidence in a Gertrude Stein short story and a Noel Coward song. Unfortunately they turned her down on both counts.

What do you reckon?
They were regular in being gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, they learned many little things that are things in being gay, they were gay every day, they were regular, they were gay, they were gay the same length of time every day, they were gay, they were quite regularly gay.
"Miss Furr and Miss Skeene", Geography and Plays (1922)

This story about two lesbians, written in 1911, and published in Vanity Fair magazine in July 1923, is considered to be the ultimate origin of the use of the term "gay" for "homosexual" (though it was not used in this sense in the story).




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