GIZMO: unspecified item, a “thing”


More often than not, the use of the word gizmo is the result of having stumbled across something for which there is no name, or something whose name you have forgotten.  How often, in the middle of a presentation or class, has the teacher pointed to something which the student is supposed to touch, turn […]

PEDAL PUSHERS: a 1950’s term for what we call Capris

pedal pushers

There is a lot about the 1950’s that’s funny.  But one of the terms in common use back then was pedal pushers.  It is a phrase which means a calf-length, casual pant worn by women for everyday use.  In 1950 it was a more discreet way of wearing a comfortable sport clothing without having to […]

GUNG HO : wholeheartedly enthusiastic !

As you might imagine, the term gung ho has its origin in the military … the Marines to be specific. Most of us are not aware of it today, but the word gung ho has been in English only since 1942 and is one of the many words that entered the language as a result […]

KILROY WAS HERE: a piece of graffiti from World War II

Anything that brings a moment of humor to men and women in the military who are deployed to fierce battle areas is welcome.  Such was the case during World War II when a simple, easily-copied piece of graffiti began to appear on walls, sides of buildings, and even on bombs waiting to be dropped on […]

DECLARATION OF WAR: one country’s announcement of military action against another

Perhaps the most humbling and frightening thing the President of the United States can do is to sign the document declaring war against another country.   It is not an act which creates war, as much as it is an act declaring a state of war to be in effect.   Something has to have precipitated the […]

WAR BABY: a person who was born during World War II

You’ll have to forgive me for a personal posting, but this is my 71st birthday!   I know … to some of you that sounds like I should be driving to the cemetery and just lying down on the ground to save the expense.   But you’ve got it wrong.   In my youth the age of 70+ […]