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Take Our WOrd For It Issue 188  Melanie Crowley
 Jul 15, 2003 22:23 PDT 

Take Our Word For It Issue 188

For Mac users who have trouble with our regular homepage:


We're back to our regular schedule and our regular content.

**This Week's Issue**

NOTE: The links in this newsletter are good for July 15-August 5 only
(as the next issue will be delayed).

In Spotlight, we present "California Placenames"

In Words to the Wise, we bring you the following words/phrases:

step- (as in stepmother, stepsister, etc.)


cold (illness)

twiddle your thumbs


In Curmudgeons' Corner Guestmudgeon Sally may show her might

In Sez You... we hear more about beech and book, goggle, refried beans,
crocodiles, more on ganders, daddy, Greek fish, more palls (and Palls),
polite uses of the conditional tense, Russian and French, and The

In Laughing Stock puzzle with us over how to get a ticket:

**Newsletter-Only Etymology**

Since we discussed California placenames in this week's Spotlight, we'll
give a brief rundown of some of the suggested derivations of the name
"California" itself.

Our favorite California placenames guru, William Bright, a professor of
linguistics at the Univesity of Colorado, Boulder, notes that the name
California first turns up in a Spanish novel about the Amazons (those
warrior women). California was the name of their homeland. The title
of the novel is "Las sergas de Esplandian" (The Exploits of Esplandian)
written by Garci Rodgriguez Ordonez de Montalvo in about 1500. It is
thought that his name for the land of the Amazons was borrowed in naming
the new and wondrous land that became California.

The other popular, yet unsubstantiated, claim is that "California"
derives from something like "caliente fornalla" meaning "hot
furnace" and alluding to the hot temperatures encountered in parts of

**Laughing Stock**

Please send us funny clippings or photos (text is fine, too) for use in
Laughing Stock and if we use yours, you'll get an Amazon.com gift
certificate for $10! Eric D. Zimmerman wins this week's gift
certificate. (We're STILL catching up on getting winners' gift
certificates e-mailed to them, by the way.)


There are still four copies of the word game Derivation left. They will
go to the next four donors who give $75 or more.

**Curmudgeons' Corner**

Don't stop being curmudgeonly! Send in your complaints!

**Next Issue**

We'll be back next week with a NOE, but the following week we'll be on a
short vacation, so the next new issue of TOWFI is tentatively scheduled
to be published on August 5.

Until next time,
Take Our Word For It!
Melanie and Mike

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