Today is an unusual day for Wacky Wednesday. I say this because the words and holidays are unusual. Our first word is Gabelle. A noun referring to an unpopular tax on salt in France. It began in the mid-14th century lasting until 1790 in the midst of the French Revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated this tax in 1806. It was terminated then reinstated again and finally abolished in 1945. Salt was used for cooking, preserving food, making cheese, and raising livestock making the salt tax the most hated tax in France.
Our next word is Halfpace. This noun has a few meanings. It can be another name for footpace. It can be a small stage on which something stands; like a throne or an altar. It can also be a landing at the top of a flight of stairs before the stairs turn and ascend in the opposite direction. With the stairs definition, one can think of it as a floor between floors.
For our holidays this week, we only have one that’s related to food. Today is National Julienne Fries Day. Julienne Fries are sometimes called shoestring fries and they refer to a specific type of cut for the skinny sliced potatoes. The look like matchsticks. This was also a method for cutting different vegetables for soups. Today is also National Vinyl Record Day, National Middle Child Day, and Congressional Startup Day (changes annually). Startup Day celebrates small business startups and helps entrepreneurs connect with their lawmakers. So, are you a middle child? Do you still have vinyl records? Today is the day to buy more.
It’s the first Wacky Wednesday for August and I feel this is the wackiest set of holidays so far. And our wacky words are not the kind used in everyday speech. Our first world Erinaceous is an adjective. It refers to the genius of a species of animals, specifically the hedgehog. They come from the family Erinaceidae and there are four main species of Erinaceous. Our next word is a noun. Firman refers to a Near Eastern sovereign’s edict; a grant or permit. The term dates back to the 17th Century but its origins come from Persian and Sanskrit.
As I said the holidays are extra wacky today. We have our token food celebration with National Oyster Day. We also have National Underwear Day and National Work Like a Dog Day. National Underwear Day began in 2003 and was started by the company Freshpair. National Work Like a Dog Day honors people who put in the extra work. The day was inspired by the strong work ethic of canines, especially service dogs. I think I’d prefer to celebrate service dogs today. I don’t think they get enough praise in the public eye. Now go buy some new underwear. You know you want to.
For the final Wacky Wednesday of July, we have not two but three words. Well, one is more a phrase as it has two words. Anyway, our first word is a verb. Bibble means to eat and/or drink noisily. Many fictional characters have used this as their name including Sio Bibble from the Star Wars franchise. Our next word, Cabotage, is a noun. It refers to the right to operate sea, air, or other transport services within a particular territory. It’s pronounced like sabotage. Finally, we have Doodle Sack. This noun is another name for bagpipes. Simple but fun to say. Do you play the Doodle Sack?
Once again most of our national holidays today involve food. National Lasagna Day and National Chicken Wing Daymay not sound appealing together, but you can eat one for lunch and one for dinner. Chicken wings are commonly referred to as buffalo wings, hot wings, or just wings. Chickens have two wings per bird, but the wings can be broken down into a wingette, drumette, and a tip. Today is also National Lipstick Day. Lipstick was banned in British Parliament in 1770. It was called a devilish attempt to trick men into marriage. It has even been associated with witchcraft. Whatever your gender, try a little lipstick to feel empowered today.