Q: Pupil of the eye as the most expansive male organ

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Jun 25 22:30:57 UTC 2006

At 6/25/2006 01:53 PM, Mark A. Mandel wrote:
>"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 !)

I apologize--the only dictionary I can check easily for the absence
of any other words is the OED.  Indeed my Third Collegiate Edition of
Webster's New World Dictionary of American English (Copyright 1991,
but "Fourth printing, with corrections, 1989") does contain "fire-truck".

>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

As I wrote earlier about shorter words than firetruck with these attributes:
>Or "starts with F and ends with -UCK"?  There are too many
>four-letter words just ending with -UCK.

>The only five-letter word is fluck.   The only six-letter word is
>flouck.  Seven-letter words are fee-buck, fen-duck, and
>funduck.  Eight-letter words are fly-stuck, fool-duck, and
>fore-luck.  (Lots of funny-sounding words.)  There are a few
>nine-letter compounds.

Well, I guess even I didn't know those words as a teenager.  I'll
concede to JL--although his restatement of the riddle left out the
condition for the initial letter.

>Joel complains
> > 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.

This was not a complaint about tittering teenagers with gutter minds,
but about the OED.


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