Issue 175, page 4

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From Rob Conger:

[Re. last week's discussion of birds and poppinjay:] There's a bird-like figure in Mozart's Magic Flute called Papageno... probably of similar origin.

And there's Spanish papagayo (or papagallo, literally "Father rooster", perhaps a product of Spanish folk etymology), too.

From Dee D. Schneiderman:

[Re last week's Laughing Stock image] Seals are used on the doors of cargo containers before they are loaded onto a container ship. When a container arrives at its destination, customs and the receiver both must check to be sure the seal is intact. If it is broken, there must be a claim.

High security seals are used to prevent tampering with very valuable or dangerous cargo during transport. Heavy-duty bolt cutters would be necessary to remove the high-security seal when the container is to be unloaded. It makes sense, therefore, to picture them together in the ad. It probably helps with the sale of both products.

But for those who are not familiar with the specialized use of such items, it remains an amusing image!

From Mark Lutton:

Concerning the advertisement of the high-security seal next to the bolt cutter cutting the high-security seal - well, yes, that's how you get the high-security seal off when the cargo reaches its destination. The seal doesn't just unscrew; you can't get it off without destroying it. Otherwise someone en route could undo the seal, steal something and put the seal back on.

You can't completely prevent theft of cargo - someone could hijack the truck and smash it up to get at the goods. The point of the seal is that nothing can be stolen without your noticing that something's amiss.

Couldn't someone cut the seal, remove things from the container, and then apply a new seal?

From Steve Parkes:

Since the security bolt has a diameter of 3/4" and the bolt cutters only cut up to 3/8", the bolt is secure against the cutters. Unless you had TWO cutters of course! 

P.S. And you'd save $4!


From Richard Pardoe:

Read with interest the story of bogey. Reading the account, it is clear that bogey refers to the ground score of each hole. As this is the "scratch value" of each hole, isn't this what we now call par

If so, how did bogey switch from "par" to "1 over par"? According to my source (see note below), it was the invention of the Haskell ball that caused the change in meaning. The Haskell ball (a gutta percha cover over a wound rubber core) traveled further and faster than the 100% gutta percha ball (called a gutty). Since the Haskell ball made it possible to reach the hole in fewer strokes, the bogey score came to represent a score of 1 over par for each hole.

My idea is that the score on holes were known as Bogey-4, Bogey-5, etc. (This is analogous to calling a hole a Par-3, Par-4, etc.) When the ground score was reduced with the use of the new ball, the hole was still known as a Bogey-4 which perhaps generalized to Bogey = 1 stroke over par.

The source of this information - Golf for Dummies 2nd Edition by Gary McCord. Granted not a typical etymology book, but I hope I am not the dummy for believing it. Since the story you told has the same basic information (bogey = ground score = "par"), I can believe that equipment improvement reduced the average while the term bogey remained.  Just my thoughts and ideas.

Bogey means "one over par" only in the U.S.  In Britain it still means "par" (except perhaps for recent contamination from the U.S.).  The change in meaning here occurred around 1918.  Robert K. Barnhart (see our bibliography) suggests that the change from "par" to "one over par" occurred "from the idea of losing holes to Bogey (par) in playing".  Robert Hendrickson, on the other hand, feels that "American golfers, satisfied with par to express the British meaning of bogey, made the Bogey something of a duffer".

All of these explanations, including Mr. McCord's, are nothing but good guesses unless more evidence is provided.

From Dan Schechner:

In your discussion of cole slaw, you noted the Latin root caulis (stalk, cabbage). To most of your readers, the link to cauliflower (literally, cabbage flower) should be obvious. The French equivalent (chou-fleur) is even more apparent: chou (cabbage) + fleur (flower). 

There are, in fact, two other members of this family whose names are related to caulis in slightly more subtle ways. First, look at kale, which my dictionary cites as a Scottish variation of cole. Then, consider collard greens: collard is a contraction of colewort, according to the same dictionary. 

A third example may seem to be found in the name of another green stalk, broccoli, but this is specious. Of Italian origin, this word is the plural form of broccolo, the diminutive of brocco (spike), from Latin broccus (with projecting teeth). Although it's tempting to point to the second half of broccoli as a potential relative of cole, such a connection is about as implausible as a link between cole and the bacterium known as E. coli, which actually refers to one's colon

I just stumbled upon yet another cabbage relative with a name derived from the Latin caulis - it's kohlrabi. The German root, kohl, comes from the Italian cavolo, meaning cole. The link between caulis and cavolo is even clearer when one considers that u and v were the same letter in Latin.

So, to combine my last e-mail with this one, we have cauliflower (and its French counterpart, chou-fleur); kale; collard greens; and kohlrabi. Too bad broccoli doesn't belong, etymologically speaking.

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Last Updated 10/28/02 09:37 PM