Tag Archives: Pigs

The Dog Says Waf Waf

Arf. Meow. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

We all know that is exactly what the dog says, what the cat says and what the rooster crows.* It’s obvious.

It’s basic onomatopoeia (A word that is spelled the same way it sounds.  For instance, boom or bing or fwoosh or, say, meow.), yeah? The animal makes a sound and that sound is as clear as a bell.

Listen to a dog bark (there’s onomatopoeia for you) and you’ll hear the arf arf arf. It’s just basic. Something that is the same no matter where you go in the world.

Except that it’s not.

Different cultures and different languages, it turns out, have different words for the same sounds animals make.

Where we hear dogs go “arf arf,” the Dutch hear them say, “waf waf.” Yes, really.

Being a wordnerd, I’m always looking for stuff like this. I always love this kind of stuff and, since I’m the one behind the keyboard, you get to hear about it as well.**

wsmbannerI was at the website of Derek Abbot, a dude from Australia, and he has this tremendous chart listing different animal sounds, what word is used to describe their sound in Australian English and the word for that sound in different languages.

Here’s how different languages write down a small dog’s arf arf:
Finnish — hau hau
French — ouah ouah (in a high voice)
German — wau wau (in a high voice)
Turkish — hev hev

A big dog’s bark also has some different interpretations:
Danish — vov-vov (in a low voice)
Russian — gav-gav
Spanish — guf guf

In English, pigs oink. In Hungarian, pigs röf-röf (pron: reuf-reuf).

There’s much, much more at Derek’s website. I seriously urge you dudes go head over there and browse a bit. You’ll definitely leave with a much better appreciation of the words you use every day.

Footnotes & Errata

* If anyone says one word — one word! — about the fox saying something, I will hunt you down and do something appalling to the thing you love most in this world. Do not assume this is a joke.
** Provided you’re unable to actually click the mouse and go to another site. I’m going to assume you’re here for more than that reason. Of course, I like to kid myself so I might be doing that here.

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Ook, Ook To The Monkey Boy

by Richard

Look out, world. Today is the day Zippy the Monkey Boy turns 18.

It’s the day he’s been looking forward to for a long, long time. He likes to think that, just because the law considers him an adult now, that he’ll be treated like an adult here at Casa de Dude.

His mom and I don’t like to disillusion him* about stuff like this, but he’s really not going to be treated as if he’s a house guest. Okay, we’ll probably not cut up his food and wipe his mouth for him, but he’s still a kid in our hearts.

At least until he’s the one who pays for dinner when we go out, but that’s a separate thing entirely.

Today, we come to praise Zippy the Monkey Boy, not to bury him.

With a name like Zippy the Monkey Boy, you’d think he was the one who was always running around, knocking things over and flinging poop all over the walls. He was. But that wasn’t why he got the name. He got the name because he took to climbing like greased-up pigs take to sliding.

He never did learn to crawl. Instead, he kept low crawling until he could stand up and walk. He wanted the extra height, you see.

Once he got up on two feet, it was only a matter of time until he started seeing the fences and stuff we’d put up around the play area, not as a thing blocking his way so he’d better turn around, but as another toy, something we put there so he could have fun climbing and dropping.

That was what we listened to when he was a baby. That thump. We’d hear it and know he’d found his way over another obstacle and we should be expecting his arrival any moment. Diapers were a wonderful thing for Zippy the Monkey Boy. Great cushion. Of course, if it were already a full diaper before he climbed and dropped, we got to clean a lot of flung stuff after.

He’s kept it up. One of my favorite pictures of him shows him high up in a tree, screaming out his triumph for having climbed that high. He was 15 when we took that picture. He likes to climb is what I’m saying.

His other most distinguishing feature through the years has been his love of animals. This is a little dude that has wanted to be a zoologist since he knew someone could actually tell people he was going to study animals all his life and people would be okay with it. Now he’s going off to one of the best marine science schools in the country so he can make the study of sharks his life work. If nothing else, it shows he’s able to find a goal and stick with it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is getting ready to head off to Wilmington to try his act out down there, along the beaches, among the co-eds and out on his (metaphorical) own. Sure I’m worried.

But only a little. I have the feeling Zippy the Monkey Boy is going to keep on climbing, always reaching for something just out of his reach and finding a way to get it and then seeing the next thing just a little higher up.

It’s been an adventurous 18 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 18 bring.

Ook, Ook, Zip.

*no, that’s a lie. We love disillusioning him. It’s such fun.

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I Read It In The Cupcakes

by Richard

So, why would the delightful owners of Divine Cupcake and Yogurt Cafe be off their gourds enough to actually want to invite this dude to their newly opened establishment? Who knows?

The point remains that they did it and I, for one, loved it. You see, not only does Divine Cupcake and Yogurt Cafe offer delicious cupcakes and sweet, sweet soft-serve frozen yogurt, they also offer — every weekday — a fairy tale reading time for the younger set of little dudes and dudettes.

Just below the front window there’s a cupcake making station and a small library chock full o’ good books for the younger set: The Fairy Tale Corner. And every weekday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., either Mechele, Jody or the other principals in the cafe (or some sucker they rope in) will sit down and read a great book to the little dudes.

Last week, I got myself numbered among those lucky suckers. I’d been talking to Michele about the Cafe and she mentioned the Fairy Tale time. Of course, being an incurable ham, I immediately volunteered to do a reading for them. I had just the book.

I’m speaking, of course, about The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszka and Lane Smith. I don’t know if I’ve talked about this before, but The True Story of the Three Little Pigs is one of my absolute favorite books of all time, ranking right up there with the best of Dr. Seuss. It’s the real story of the pig incident, as told by Alexander T. Wolfe, the so-called Big Bad Wolf. Which he’s not.

It’s a fantastic book, almost perfect for reading aloud, especially if the person doing the reading isn’t averse to making a fool of himself. Which I’m not.

It was a wonderful time. I had a whole bunch of pre-schoolers sitting at my feet, all smiling, all laughing at the jokes (because they’re too young to know how old those jokes really are) and all of us having a good — no — great time. And there were free mini cupcakes for the little dudes, too! How could you go wrong? Answer: You couldn’t.

If you’ve got a little dude or dudette and you’re free on a weekday afternoon, you’d do yourself a favor to head out to the Divine Cupcake and Yogurt Cafe for a little reading and some great taste treats. Who knows? You might just run into me there again, if that thought doesn’t drive you screaming into the night.

Go! Check it out! You’ll have a great time.

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