Thursday, April 7, 2011

Geek's Corner (1)

Welcome to the inagural post in what I hope will become a recurring feature of this new blog. Though I realise its appeal is unlikely to be as broad as that of, say, Operation Baked Goods, I am confident that it will appeal to at least some small fraction of my readers. You know who you are.

Vocabulary lesson

Croque-monsieur: a toasted ham and cheese sandwich.
Croque-madame: a toasted ham and cheese sandwich topped by a fried or poached egg.

Croque-à-cheval: the name for a croque-madame in certain parts of Normandy.
Croque-mort: an undertaker.

Given that one sees the first items on the list above regularly abbreviated as "crocs", it is hard not to conjure up an image of an undertaker as the crocodile of death.

Yesterday I finally figured out that "le Marais" means "the marsh". As a Corkman, I am ashamed not to have figured this out sooner. (The Irish name for Cork, "Corcaigh", also means "marshy place".)

Finally, you may be interested to know that the character Tom Marvolo Riddle from the Harry Potter books is known in French as Tom Elvis Jedusor. This is, of course, to preserve the anagram:

I am Lord Voldemort = Je suis Voldemort

Jedusor is also a phonetical play of words on the French "jeu du sort", a game of chance.


  1. The Plain People of Ireland (excitedly): And didja know that yer man Dumbledore was gay as a three-dollar bill. It's all in the name, see.

    Whipping Cats management: I do know that "dumbledore" is an old word meaning "bumblebee". And that JKR did "out" him as being gay after the series was finished. But what does the one have to do with the other?

    PPoI: Well, Mister Smartzenpantz, it's another of them annygrams, see.

    WC management: That's Doctor Smartzenpantz to ye, wretches! But pray continue, you have piqued my interest.

    (raucous cackling)

    WC management: Quiet, rabble!

  2. Well! Glad to see the wily Professor von Schmartzenpanz has finally graced us with his presence.

    If anyone needs me, I'll be chillin' in my secret lair.