Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017--Rhyming Reduplication CONTEST WINNERS

Before announcing the Rhyming Reduplication contest winners, a brief review--

The most classic Reduplication is a rhyming two-phrased compound where each of the two parts are not actual words. For example, there is no meaning associated with either heebie or jeebies. Only when they are joined as heebie-jeebies is there a meaning.

And if they are disaggregated, divided, neither part has anything to do with the meaning of the expression. There is only meaning when they are paired. Thus, heebie-jeebies together means a state of nervous fear or anxiety.

Then there is the semi-classic version where just one of the components has no separate meaning--dilly-dally is an example, were dally is an actual word. And finally there is the open definition type, where both parts can be stand-alone words but when fused together sound as if they should be a Rhyming Reduplication.

From the winners listed below we have newly made-up examples, neologisms of the three types. All wonderfully silly-nilly--extra silly.

Got it?

The contest was to create entirely new ones.

I received a number of clever submissions and a neat note from a 20-something very literate niece. She wrote--
I loved today's posting! It's so funny because just last night I was talking with friends about where the phrase "bee's-knees" comes from. We found a few varying answers on line. 
It's either an abridged version of "be all/end all" or a fun way of saying "the business." We did find a few more amusing ones that no one uses anymore, or ever--"the flea's eyebrows" or "the canaries tusks." 
OH, the English language. How lucky we are to have it as our native tongue.
These are not strictly speaking Rhyming Reduplications since bees and knees have meanings of their own. But close enough via the open-definition exception.

Bee's knees appears to have first appeared in the 1920s along with other nonsense phrases that include incongruous parings of animal names with words that pertain to humans. One of my favorites of this kind is cat's pajamas. Nothing elicits the Jazz Age better than this!

I received so many fun Rhyming Reduplications that I could not limit myself to just one winner. So . . .

Honorable Mention

These two submitted by Guest-Blogger Sharon are quite clever and deserve honorable mention--


Sharon says it means "to lie--to wink while you do a pinky-swear."

She notes there is a type of Hydrangea called Pinky-Winky. I think Rona may have at least one in her garden. I also love pinky-swear. We used to lock pinkies all the time to designate that a promise had been made in my old Brooklyn neighborhood.

Asking if one in Spanish is acceptable, I eagerly said yes and so Sharon submitted--


She says it means "Spanish coffee with a lid." 

Honorable mention also goes to Kathy Donovan who submitted Nutsy-Wutzy and the Gala Girl, Hedy Roma who wrote--

Frumpy-Lumpy: state of unfashionableness characterized by ill fitting, stretched-out "so what not to wear" clothes, as in, "As soon as Lucinda left the house she felt so frumpy-dumpy in that mauve t-shirt dress with rhinestones that accentuate her body in all the wrong places."

Late Night Submission

Past the deadline, Rona got into the game, writing--

I awoke at midnight with the pair of Rhyming Reduplications swirling in my head:

Comment to a nicely tanned person--Wowie Maui.

Comment to a badly sunburned person--Owie Maui.

I especially like Owie, but a deadline is a deadline.

And So the Winner Is . . .

John Allan from Bristol Maine!

His submission, though not a classic version because the two phrases are both actual words, is--

Queue-zoo. The meaning he assigned to it is Incomprehensible checkout lines at busy supermarkets. And to show its use in a sentence wrote--"Took me an hour to get out of Publix. It was a real queue-zoo."

John said that since "word games imply books" he asked me to donate $100 in his name to the Bristol Area Library. Which I will do.

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