Wednesday, June 1, 2011


For a person who loves words, I sure do have trouble with them as I get older. Today I’m going to mention three specific words that have been dancing around in my head awaiting a blog.

TRIBUTE: When our son and his wife needed to replace their Mazda Tribute, they offered it to us and we accepted it very gratefully. It’s a nifty car. But I can’t seem to remember its style. The “Tr” sticks in my mind….and then I have a meltdown. I consider the possibilities: trombone, trolley, Trojan, troika, trustee, tremor, triumph, trooper, Trotsky, trumpet, truffle, trinity, treasure, treble, transfer, tripod, triton, trigon, treacle, trestle, triage, tribal, tribune, trellis, trauma, tranquil, traitor, trachea – ad infinitum. How can I remember which one of these it is? I just can’t!

The word “Tribute” is SO insignificant in among these other words. If the car company had designated it as a Mazda Trombone, I’d never have forgotten. I’m tempted to give up on trying to keep “Tribute” on the tip of my tongue (I have to keep asking Jerry what it is again) and just go with trombone, or maybe trachea. If I could laugh about the name, I might remember!

FASCINATOR: When I knit this cap, there were separate instructions on knitting the “Rosette.” I sent a copy of this picture to my friend Nancy in San Francisco, and she said it could be called a “fascinator.” Having never heard of a “fascinator," I googled it and sure enough, I can see why she said that.

I was delighted to learn a new word and I found these photos of people modeling fascinators to be really intriguing. In fact, I wish I were the type of person who could pull off wearing one, but with my standard attire of levis and t-shirts, I hardly think a fascinator would be appropriate anywhere on my body.

The big problem here is that I cannot remember the word “Fascinator.” Most often the word that comes to mind is “Facilitator” – which of course make me laugh, but it seems to be about as close as I can come in pulling up the word. After the third time of having to ask Nancy about the word again, I wrote it on a card and taped the card to my printer. I now can keep my eye on it and MAYBE have it finally lodge in my brain for good. At least I won’t have to ask her again what it was

MERKIN: And finally, the last word that I cannot remember is “Merkin.” Oh I can sure remember what it is, but its actual name just doesn’t stick. The easy definition of it is “Pubic Wig.” (I kid you not). But in trying to remember the name, I went to Google and attempted to enter enough words for Google to say, “Yikes. This poor lady really needs some help here” and give me the word quickly. Frankly, I was afraid the little bots or whatever it is that roam the internet sensing people’s interest so they can give out screen-names to advertisers were going to start sending me pornographic e-mails. Well, thankfully that didn’t happen, but I am using the least offensive photo I could find to illustrate what it is I can’t remember the name of!

What is a merkin? Wikipedia says,

Few speakers of the English language know the meaning of the word. Dictionaries vary on the definition however most agree that a merkin is a pubic wig. The authoritative Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "an artificial covering of hair for the female pubic region; a pubic wig for women."

A merkin (first use 1617) is a pubic wig. Merkins were originally worn by prostitutes after shaving their genitalia, and are nowadays used as decorative items or in film making. In Hollywood film-making, merkins are used in films where they are worn by actors and actresses to prevent inadvertent exposure of the genitalia during nude or semi-nude scenes. If a merkin was not worn, it would be necessary to restrict the shot to exclude the genital area; with the merkin in place brief flashes of the crotch can be used if necessary. The presence of the merkin protects the actor from inadvertently performing 'full-frontal' nudity – some contracts specifically require that nipples and genitals be covered in some way – which can help ensure that the film achieves a less restrictive MPAA rating.

I really don’t feel a need to keep the word “Merkin” in my brain, as I can’t conceive of any way that I might have need of it. I did want to save it for a blog, but now having used it, I’ll just let it go. I do have to tell you, however, that my son was the one who sent me the information on a merkin in the first place; he’s a good idea-contributor to my blog and something like this is right up his alley. What surprises me is that I just never had heard of this word in my whole life. Such a surprise!

So those are my trouble-words today. If I lose them again, all I have to do now is consult today’s entry and they’ll be there waiting for me.

1 comment:

marciamayo said...

thank you Bobbie for teaching me a new word. I can't wait to try to bring up merkin the next time I want to impress someone, only I won't be able to remember the word either so I'll probably call in a merlin or a marlin.
There are lots of words I can't remember but I can't remember what they are.