WAIF : a child who has no home or friends; an undernourished child


When I think of the word waif I’m drawn to the writings of Charles Dickens, who seemed especially interested in the homeless, wandering children of the darker years in England.   There was seldom any reference in Dickens’ books to the origin of the children, such as Oliver Twist or The Artful Dodger.   They were just […]

DARK: no light, a subjective description of the amount of visibility, description of something that is troubling


Darkness gets a bad shake. Over the centuries a negative quality has been ascribed to dark or darkness.  It probably grows from the fact that many times bad things happen in the dark when the world sleeps for the most part, thereby removing a large quantity of spectators.  It is safer to commit a bad […]

RAISING CAIN: acts of violence, criminal activity, or any other mischievous acts.


Sometimes the origin of a word or term is as interesting as the item itself.   Such is the case for the term raising Cain.  It appears to be an old fashioned term used by people (parents mostly) to describe kids who are somewhat out of control.   Their fun has become loud, active, and irritating. There […]

FRIVOLOUS: unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose.


Why is it that when things get bad, we look for the simplest answers to correct the situation?   Right now the State of Rhode Island has the worst unemployment rate in the country.  The capitol  City of Providence is in the midst of a struggling recovery from a massive economic downturn.  Industry has left the […]

HITCH-HIKE: to ask for or get a ride

If you are over fifty and don’t get misty-eyed thinking about the word hitch-hike you didn’t have much of a youth.   In the 50’s it was listed as one of the most popular means of transportation.  There were bicycles, motorcycles,  cars, buses, trains, airplanes, and hitch-hiking.  Those of us who grew up in middle class […]

SHARIAH [shah-REE-ah]: a system of law deemed to be derived from the Koran

      A lot has been said and written about Islamic law over the past few years, some out of intelligence, some out of ignorance.  The fear of something “different” keeps some people from seeking the truth when it comes to things Islamic.  This is particularly true when dealing with the concept of Shariah, […]