Funny Organs and Word Weirdness from Relatives and Students

You may have been wondering, “How funny are my internal organs?” Well, here they are, in descending order of humor:

  1. Spleen
  2. Testes
  3. Urethra
  4. Pancreas, which includes tissue called the Islets of Langerhans
  5. Gall Bladder
  6. Pituitary Gland
  7. Rectum

It’s hard to make a case that any other organ is funny. Liver? No, not really.

My 11-year-old daughter told me today that if you are feeling stressed, you should eat desserts because desserts is stressed backwards.

My cousin occasionally shares with me her lexical concerns. Her name is Judi, so I call them Judiisms:

  • Why is someone who picks pockets called a ‘pick pocket’ and not a pick pocketer?
  • Why are things black and white, and never white and black?
  • Why does it rain cats and dogs, but not dogs and cats?
  • Why salt and pepper, but never pepper and salt?
  • Here’s a weird one: You usually say, “put on your shoes and socks.” My son always points out to me that that is impossible.
  • If something is “needless to say,” why do people go ahead and say it?

Here’s a new word. I first heard it in my 7th grade classroom: Legitfully. It seems to mean something akin to “truthfully,” but with 10 times the cool factor.

That’s all for now. I’m trying to figure out a way to get to Madison, Wisconsin – Solidarity Forever!

Beneath this flower lie some more word weirdness, or wrod wiredness:


5 Responses to Funny Organs and Word Weirdness from Relatives and Students

  1. daisy's mom says:

    actually, it should probably be a “pocket picker.”


  2. Samir Hafza says:

    Also, why “herpes” not “hispes”? Why “histeria” (as hysteria is pronounced)not “herteria”?


  3. Why does it rain cats and dogs, but not dogs and cats?

    For the same reason that you can “spill the beans” but “drop the beans” and “spill the peas” do not have a similar meaning. You can let the “cat out of the bag” but you cannot let the “feline out of the sack”.
    And you can “count sheep” to go to sleep, but counting goats will not help.

    Some English idioms are foreign idioms translated into English. For example, (to escape) “by the skin of my teeth” is a translation of B’3or SHinai (using 3 for the letter aiyin) in the biblical book of Job 19:20. It means “barely, hardly, with difficulty” because the Hebrew phrase is a pun on the word B’QoSHi at a time when the aiyin had a G/K-sound, as in 3aZa = Gaza.

    Most idioms (defined narrowly as phrases whose meaning cannot be determined by analyzing the “words” in them) are transliterated (not translated) from a foreign language directly into common words of the target language. For example:

    The “beans” in “spill the beans” and “doesn’t know beans about …” is related to Hebrew BiNah = understanding, intelligence.

    The “bag” in “let the cat out of the bag” and “left holding the bag” is related to Hebrew BaGaD = to betray. The “cat out” is from Aramaic QiSHoT = truth, at a time when the shin had a dental D/T-sound. So, to let the cat out of the bag is to betray the truth, to tell the truth when no one would dream of doing so. If you were left holding the bag, everyone else got away. You got caught because you were betrayed.

    Sometimes both transliteration and translation are involved. For example, “count sheep !” (to help one go to sleep) seems to be the translation of a Hebrew transliteration pun, S’PoR KeVeS, on the Latin phrase sopor quies = sleep quietly, restfully (without moving). A soporific is a drug that makes you sleep. Quiescent means quiet, still or inactive. (U and V are the same letter in Latin.) This idiom has been borrowed back into Israeli Hebrew as LiSPoR K’VaSim, to count sheep (plural).

    Many other English idioms probably have a Semitic origin. Here are a few of them:

    — kick the bucket – 3aGav B’3aiDen = literally, make love in paradise
    — the Jolly Roger – DeGeLai Ra3a = flag of evil (via Arabic)
    — raining (pole)cats and dogs OE DoCGa = 4-legged dog
    — Welsh rabbit = cheese and ale on toast < [W]aLav = milk + SHachaR = ale + PaT lekhem = pita/toast (with an ancient W-sound for the het)

    Idioms that seem to have a Germanic origin include:
    "has an axe to grind," probably a transliteration of acht[ung] Grund, compare Beweggrund = motive
    "[does that] ring a bell?", probably a translation of Glock as a pun on Latin recollect(are)

    For more of these, do a Google search on


  4. Israel "izzy" Cohen says:

    Do a Google search on
    “izzy cohen” idioms Hebrew


  5. […] Here are some more word questions LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_text", "333333"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_link", "0066cc"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_border", "5581C0"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_url", "114477"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "family"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "bean-sprout"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "fun-with-words"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "language-conventions"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "lexography"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "pointless-observations"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "word-order"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "word-play"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "wordplay"); LD_AddSlot("LD_ROS_300-WEB"); LD_GetBids(); Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


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