Tag Archives: words

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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A Night For Contemplation. . . And Fireworks

Well, we seem to have made it through another one.

Despite warnings of an immanent apocalypse, much more serious than the last such apocraphlypse and we really do mean it now so you’d better watch out, we’re still around here at the end of another year.

So long 2012, let’s all welcome in 2013.

I still, whenever I write those words, get a little tingle. I still remember growing up and thinking about life in the year 2000, and feeling like that was going to never happen. And, if it did, it would be vastly different from what we had back then.

Of course, with the exception of computers and smartphones and the ilk, not much has changed. We still don’t have flying cars or jet packs, but, even without them, the future is a pretty neat place in which to live.

I’ve never been one to try and come up with serious year-end resolutions and I’m not going to break that streak here.

Self improvement should come all during the year and not have to wait for the end of December before you get serious about trying to make yourself a better you.

Still. . .

Still. . .

Maybe the end of another year is a good time to take a look around. If we can use the rolling over of the Gregorian calendar year as a prod, sort of like how we use the beginning and end of daylight savings time to change batteries in smoke detectors, and take a look around to see if there’s anything we can do to make the world a better place.

Not that I’m suggesting you take the woes of the world onto your shoulders, not that I’m suggesting that it’s up to you to take care of our national obsession with owning and using guns, not that I’m suggesting that it’s up to you to find a way to curb the number of people drinking to excess and then trying to drive, not that I’m suggesting that it’s up to you to put an end to our government’s ruinous war on drugs. Or whatever else you see when you look around at the world.

But, maybe. . . Just maybe. . .

If we take it one person at a time, making the world around them a better place, we might actually start to accomplish something worthwhile.

It’s worth thinking about as we close the old calendar and prepare to open the new.

See you next year, dudes.

Let’s make it a better year than this one.

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On Thanks, And Why They Should Be Given

by Richard

Go, Richard. It’s your birthday. It’s your birthday.

You dudes are just going to have to imagine the horrible dancing and chanting that goes along with that. No way I’m filming that and posting it to the inter-weebs on my birthday to be mocked and derised about for years to come.

I already get enough of that at home.

Before I go any further, a quick birthday shout-out to Jill and Heidi, birthday buddies from high school, and, saving the best for last, a huge shout-out to my favorite Birthday Buddy, and the original, my nephew Crusher. He’s not having a lot of fun, the poor little dude.

Instead of celebrating by playing football with his Pop Warner football team, which just keeps winning and winning, he’s out in Texas having to attend a wedding celebration. We drew straws and Crusher drew the short one, so he has to go and represent all the Turkeys at the wedding. Sorry, dude. Better luck next year.

Eh. He’s awesome. He’ll get over it.

So. Back to the reason you’re probably celebrating today. Although I do appreciate that you’re at least pretending it’s because of my birthday.

For years, when my family would gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving. The adults would all make us tell the group what we, personally, were thankful for. Of course, me being me, I’d try to be funny and say something like, “Oxygen.”

Well, in my own defense, I did say try to be funny.

Not this year, though.

For some reason, as I approach this latest birthday, I’ve been thinking back on something else momentous that happened to me on a dreary November day. On Nov. 5, 2004, I suffered a heart attack out of nowhere.

A bit scary, but I did manage to live through it. At least so far.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot, lately. And I’ve found I’m rather thankful for a lot of things.

I’m thankful I had just enough more sense than pride so I could call the ambulance when something went wrong.

I’m thankful there are people who know what they’re doing and actually do great work on those ambulances, and in the hospitals.

I’m thankful for my family, who helped me back to health and still make living worthwhile.

I’m thankful for the world, that manages to be so wonderful and engaging. Although there are some non-dudes in the world who make it difficult to keep this sort of optimism going on a regular basis.

I’m thankful for my health, although I should certainly be doing more to help it out.

I’m thankful there are people to love and who love me, that I still can meet more and new people, that there still are things in this world and beyond that can thrill me, chill me, fulfill me.

I’m thankful that, even though they’re not around any more, I had my grandmother and mom around for as long as they could stay and that they taught me about love, and leaving, and how to do both gracefully.

I’m thankful for (as cheesy as it sounds) for you, dear dude readers, who actually keep coming back to listen to me blather and who are going to go out on April 15, along with all of your friends, and purchase my bookA Dude’s Guide to Babies. (What, you expected this to happen without a plug for the book? Where have you been for the last little while, dude?)

Mostly, I’m thankful to be here and be able to still appreciate all the wonder and joy and irritation and grandeur of the world around us. It’s a strange place. I like that.

I think I’ll stick around for another year and enjoy it for a while longer.

Meet you there?

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