Wacky Wednesday: March 24

Welcome to another Wacky Wednesday where we explore some wacky words along with some wacky holidays. We will continue our exploration into slang words from the 1920s. Some of these are still used today. Our first word, Baby, refers to any person and can be used for any gender. Folks in Hollywood still talk this way. Maybe you’ve heard your grandparents say something’s a lot of Baloney. They mean it’s nonsense or something not to be believed. The phrase Be on the nut means to be broke. I want to bring that phrase back. It’s fun to say. And finally, a Bean-shooter is another name for a firearm.

We have two token food holidays today. Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day and National Cheesesteak Day. They both are delicious. Cheesesteaks are sandwiches first developed in South Philadelphia. Today is also National Equal Pay Day. This day changes annually and occurs in March or April to represent how far into the year a woman works to earn as much as a man for the same work. Currently, women make about $0.82 to $0.85 for every $1 earned by men. It’s time to close the wage gap. This holiday was started in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity.

Coffee and Contemplation: Saint Nicholas Day

Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated worldwide on December 6, the anniversary of the death of a third-century saint known as Saint Nicholas. He is the inspiration of the modern-day Santa Claus but don’t confuse this celebration with Christmas. Though they have similarities, the tradition of leaving gifts in stockings or shoes is believed to have been started by Saint Nicholas and later incorporated into Christmas. St. Nicholas is known for selling all his possessions and giving his money to the poor. Raised as a devout Christian, St. Nicholas dedicated his whole life to serving the sick and suffering. 

Sailors, travelers, clergy, school children, and thieves, to name a few, all claim Saint Nicholas as their patron saint. He was born in what is now modern-day Turkey. This holiday is sometimes called the Feast of Saint Nicholas. This is the day to offer small, meaningful gifts. These could be candy, chocolate, or even a note to someone special. It need not be something elaborate. Start the holidays early with little mini gifts tonight. I’m down for this idea of a feast. Thanksgiving was recent but I’m hungry again. Perhaps that’s what I’ll start calling Thanksgiving from now on. The US celebrates the Feast of Saint Nicholas a couple weeks early. That sounds like an easy way to explain to foreigners what Thanksgiving is all about.

Wacky Wednesday: October 28

Today is a bit of a slow day for wackiness. We only have a couple holidays today. First our new funs words. Bespawler is a noun for someone who spits when they speak. I think we’ve all met someone like this before. It comes from the transitive verb bespawl meaning to spatter with. Next we have Bobolyne, a noun and old Tudor English word for a fool. It was coined by the 15th-16th century poet John Skelton who was one of Henry VIII’s schoolteachers. 

The first of two holidays we are celebrating today is National Internal Medicine Day. This holiday recognizes doctors who specialize in internal medicine. They are sometimes called internists or the “doctor’s doctor” because they are often called in for consultation. The holiday was established and recognized in 2019. Our next special day, which might be more important with Halloween just around the corner, is National Chocolate Day. This is the day to celebrate all things chocolate; unsweetened baking chocolate, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Research has found that chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. That’s means don’t eat too much chocolate this weekend.