Suggestive Names hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Tue Jun 13 13:44:21 UTC 2006

The other day while on a bird walk we saw a couple of woodpeckers, and I told the naturalist in charge that while I didn't know one woodpecker from another, having grown up in southern Illinois and worked in Arkansas I was an expert on peckerwoods.

The story about Dorothy Parker I heard was that she was working for The New Yorker and late with her copy so Harold Ross sent someone over to get it and she told him, "Tell Mr. Ross that I am too fucking busy and vice versa." which of courrse brings up the story about the time W.C. Fields was on strike so the studio head sent someone over to demand that he come in. Fields being in no mood to deal with the studio refused to come out to even meet the guy told his butler, "Give him an evasive answer. Tell him to go fuck himself."

Page Stephens
----- Original Message -----
From: Geoff Nathan
Sent: 6/13/2006 6:16:16 AM
Subject: [ADS-L] Suggestive Names

Automatic digest processor wrote:

Subject: Re: suggestive names
From: Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2006 17:28:19 -0400

On 6/10/06, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:

>Another good example is the chain of bars "Fuddpuckers".

cf. "You ain't so muckin' fuch."  I guess metathesis is a common form
of disingenuous taboo avoidance...

Wikipedia's list of spoonerisms includes many more:

Although it's not strictly on track I can't resist adding a piece of Linguistic folklore from back when I (and several others on this list) were young 'uns.  Back in Generative Semantics days there was much to-do about 'vice versa', and wandering around orally (I don't think it was ever published) was the perfect 'vice versa' sentence (attributed to someone many folks on this list know, but I'll omit her name as a gesture towards the fact that we were all wilder then.)

    I'm too fucking busy, and vice versa.


Geoffrey S. Nathan
Department of English/Computing and Information Technology
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI, 48202
<geoffnathan at>
Phones:  C&IT (313) 577-1259/English (313) 577-8621
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