Q: Pupil of the eye as the most expansive male organ
Mark A. Mandel
mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jun 25 17:53:39 UTC 2006
"Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> reasonably challenges:
> I heard Number 2 in, I believe, the spring of 1965. It was
> rumored in my high school that the well-known frenetic host of a
> local TV "kid's show" (much watched by teens of the day for its
> absurd humor) had been fined or taken off the air for asking,
> "Kids, what's the shortest word there is that starts with F and
> ends with CK ?" The answer, of course, was "firetruck." (Check
> your 1965 dictionary !)
This puzzled me the first time I saw it here, but I let it pass. No
mas! Aren't flack/fleck/flick/flock as well as frock shorter than
But JL observes:
I'll bet the stipulation was "ends in -UCK."
That would make "firetruck" the only possible answer - assuming the
"other" F-word is "not a word."
In sooth, as I heard it -- in the same time period, in the same rumor -- it
was indeed "What begins with F and ends with U-C-K?". JL would win his bet
> And firetruck is not in OED2!
All right, but we weren't exactly looking in OED2 for our vocabulary in high
school in the sixties.
And Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> contributes
an anonymous bit of deniable-ribaldry from the 18th century:
I'm a hole, though too narrow
When first I am tried.
Yet the thing I was made for
Can stretch me out wide.
Though at the first entrance
Perhaps I may tease ye,
Soon after I commonly
Prove for to please ye.
I'm long in shape,
And my depth can't be found,
And when I'm stretched open,
My form is more round.
Though I'm nothing but mouth,
Yet no teeth can you find.
I am chiefly before
Though I'm sometimes behind.
The answer, the answer, please!!
m a m
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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