30 Comments

  1. In 1964, when the “monokini” was introduced, who would have thought that the (badly constructed!) term would survive to the next century, and that the swimsuit so designated would still be made (though not in the original design).

    … And that it would license “-kini” as a mildly productive “raspberry morph” combining form, as attested in “unikini” and “pubikini”.
    And now this.

  2. So “-kini” joins “-gate” and “-tini” and how many other suffixes that are used to make up words that have little or nothing to do with the original atoll, building or brand name.

  3. I thought the “trikini” idea has been around for years, especially if the top is comprised of two parts.

    Now, related to the “-kini” end of things, I recall in a book by wacky artist Philip (now known as Pippa) Garner, there was a “zoo-kini” which was a bikini made of animal hide patterned fabric, with a tail attached to the bottom.

  4. CIDU Bill, at least the (whatever)burger is sort of like a burger. It may be ground up stuff (pork, chicken, vegetables) formed in a patty and served on a hamburger bun. Even something that isn’t ground but might use the “burger” appellation, like a “chicken burger” that is a breast fillet is like a burger in form and presentation. A “chocoholic”, however, is really not like an alcoholic at all.

    And, therefore, “-oholic” as something you slap on the end of an activity to mean that somebody does something too much is the most egregious of these formations, even more so that “-gate”. Interestingly, real addicts are perhaps the only group who don’t get it. There are no crackoholics, methoholics, heroinoholics, cocainoholics, or oxycodonoholics.

  5. “CIDU Bill, at least the (whatever)burger is sort of like a burger”

    The citizens of Hamburg would beg to differ…

  6. I happened to hear a snippet of bio sketch on Brahms, which mentioned he was born in Hamburg. With our CIDU discussion in my head, I of course thought he could be designated our biggest musical Hamburger.

  7. SingaporeBill, what would you call a patty made of chopped ham? And, yes, larK has the correct etymology.

  8. I’m speaking English. The meaning of a similar word in another language is completely irrelevant. The meaning of a word is what the speakers of a language agree it is. It even happens with dialects that there are similar (or identical) words used for quite different things, like UK and US use of “fanny” or “pants” or “daddy longlegs”. This is not quite as irrelevant, as the mutual intelligibility of the language can cause confusion, as more than one English lady with a US suitor can probably attest to.

    And it would be a ham burger, of course.

  9. But, @Singa, the point was not that there happens to be a construction in German that results in the same word. The history of “hamburger” in English (and “burger” shortened from it) was derived from the place-name of Hamburg.

    Now I’m worrying about why Vienna and Frankfurt-am-Main seem to have given us the same kind of sausage (the hot dog).

  10. I think that decades ago there was a store which sold equipment for amateur radio enthusiasts and it was named Ham Burger.

  11. Once we accept that in Britain “pants” are what Americans call panties, we can say that the difference between an American woman’s fanny and a British woman’s fanny is that they’re on opposite sides of her pants.

  12. I know about the variant British and American meanings for “fanny”, “pants” (and a number of other words, such as “jumper”), but I’m not aware of a variant British meaning for “daddy longlegs”. What is it, if not a spider?

  13. For the UKers, a “daddy longlegs” is a crane fly. This caused some confusion when I had several UK colleagues in Japan who kept talking about seeing daddy longlegs flying. I was “Huh? They can’t fly!”

  14. Kilby, in the States, a daddy longlegs isn’t a spider either. Yes, it has eight legs and no wings, but it has only one body part.

  15. @ Arthur – There are several different creatures that all get the same nickname“. One is SBill’s “crane fly”(*); the other two are both arachnids, but I didn’t want to differentiate between the two and decided to use the more familiar word “spider”, even though it was only partially correct.(**)
    P.S. (*) @ SBill – The only reason I knew the term “crane fly” is because I had to look them up to explain them to my kids here in Germany. Growing up in the eastern US, we always called them “mosquito hawks”, in the vain and forelorn hope that they might take care of their smaller, and much more bothersome cousins.
    P.P.S. (**) – To be honest, I knew that it was not right for the “daddy longlegs” that we had around our house when I was a kid, but back then, we called them spiders anyway. The ones that we see here in Germany are the other kind (real spiders, with a small, but segmented body), however, my kids don’t get close enough to make the distinction. To them, anything creepy and crawly and with more than six legs counts as “SPIDER!“.

  16. This is the cranefly

    This is the non-spider arachnid kind. Do NOT click the video if you have a serious spider fear as the technicality that they are not spiders will not save you. You will die.

    Apparently some people also call the cellar spider a “daddy longlegs” and this is a true spider. I could not find any videos that didn’t have a picture of the spider in the thumbnail, so I’ll just put a link here. Do not click if you are one of those ones scared of spiders.

  17. Uh oh! I didn’t mean for that thumbnail to come in and scare people. CIDU Bill, can you please delete it?

  18. Spider Identification Cellar Spiders and Harvestman.

    The freeze-frame has an eight-legged creature in it and I didn’t want to spring that on anyone who is sensitive.

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