qms has adopted , looked up 12799 words, created 10 lists, listed 412 words, written 1899 comments, added 2 tags, and loved 80 words.

Comments by qms

  • As youths they were doubtless robustious

    But proved to be smart and industrious.

    The twig's not ill bent

    By youthful ferment;

    The pack are become quite illustrious.

    April 27, 2017

  • When Ernest is off on word chases

    His appetite's often voracious.

    For convenience' sake

    He'll blend up a shake

    And suck down his suppers pultaceous.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    April 26, 2017

  • What a great name for a plant! I saw “crybaby tree” on the Recently Loved Words list and had to check it out. The most succinct explanation I found is;

    The plant you are asking about is Erythrina crista-galli. A native of Brazil, it will actually grow into a tree during periods of mild winters. Otherwise, it does tend to be more shrubby (though large) when frozen back to the ground regularly. The common name "crybaby" comes from the formation of drops of nectar which drip from the flowers like tear drops. This is a great hummingbird plant, as the tiny, nectar feeding birds find the red flowers irresistible.

    To be found at:


    I want one.

    April 25, 2017

  • The master must make his objective

    Instruction that's clear and effective.

    The best way to train

    Is with a quick cane

    For young'uns are quite nociceptive.

    April 25, 2017

  • The kings that the Nile gods anoint

    Had tombs that were flat-topped but quaint

    Long gone now, mastaba,

    Near far-off Aqaba

    As pyramids made more a point.

    April 24, 2017

  • The addict is wrapped in the dire hug

    Of mania felt as a higher tug.

    For twitchers it's birds,

    For others it's words

    Or smoke and bright flame for the firebug.

    April 23, 2017

  • This leaves me scratching my head. An "engineer hoist with his own petard" (from Hamlet) is a bomb-layer blown up by his own device. How is this without foundation? It seems to me a fruitful metaphor. In fact, the “See also” list at the end of this expression’s Wikipedia entry is full of possibilities:

    Own goal

    Poetic justice


    List of inventors killed by their own inventions


    April 22, 2017

  • The Polish eat more than just ham.

    They breakfast on pancakes and jam.

    They garnish with sea moss

    Their big bowls of bigos,

    But mostly their kitchens make spam.

    April 22, 2017

  • The Scot has his kilts and his pipes

    And names for the scorn-worthy types:

    The treacherous skellums

    And obnoxious blellums,

    Ungainly and foolhardy gypes.

    April 21, 2017

  • A jazz magazine seeks a tool

    To edit without being cruel.

    I think that the diple,

    Deployed rather hiply,

    Is both copacetic and cool.

    April 20, 2017

  • Isn't all hair "pre-owned?" Who knows what shocking things have been done to it.

    April 20, 2017

  • In attempting to dissect "stompclacker" (Using thick gloves and very long tools. He's a wily one, that bilby.) I came across the following document which purports to be a glossary of informal medical terms current in Yorkshire. It's good for some chuckles.


    April 20, 2017

  • See examples at whupass.

    April 19, 2017

  • See comments at tin of hooraybum.

    April 19, 2017

  • I think our resident marsupial misconstrues the meaning of "whoop" in the countrified American expression "open a can of whupass.". It is not a celebratory cry but rather means a whipping or beating. So, one trash-talking basketball player might say to his adversary, "I'm gonna whup your ass!" To open a can of whupass is to invite calamity. It is a more local and limited version of opening Pandora's box.

    I find the key syllables spelled as an unhyphenated "whoopass," hyphenated as "whoop-ass," and as two words - "whoop ass." The first syllable may be whoop, woop, wup, or whup. The most common version I find is "whupass."

    A more exact British version might be, "open a tin of thrashbottom." The trouble with this formulation, however, is that the threat may not be received as entirely unwelcome. We colonials hear stories of the widespread plying of the cane on tender young bottoms in the "public" schools and of a fondness for such "correction" that persists into adulthood. Would an English cricketer intimidate his opponent by pledging to thrash his bottom or would he make a new friend?

    Perhaps bilby could lay a long ear to the ground and provide us with an Australian equivalent.

    April 19, 2017

  • Though bobbleheads children may call us

    Our wrynecks do bring us some solace.

    The world's all askew

    But not in our view:

    It's righted by our torticollis.

    April 19, 2017

  • All sages I'm sure will concur

    On need for a good porte-bonheur,

    A charm to protect

    And maybe deflect

    Capricious storms of force majeure.

    April 18, 2017

  • The sites that take celebrity pulse

    Compete to make voyeurs convulse

    By plying the fools

    With gossipy jewels,

    But big lovely lies are a bulse.

    April 17, 2017

  • I've heard that some "hunt" for big game

    Where imported beasts are near tame.

    No need for safari

    Or wise old shikari.

    They'll come if you call them by name.

    April 16, 2017

  • Preparing the food for a sloop

    Or any adventurous troop,

    You cook down your bouilli

    Until it gets gooey

    Then dry it to portable soup.

    April 15, 2017

  • There once was a filly in Taunton

    Whose ways were unruly and wanton.

    A fellow beguiled her

    And rendered her milder,

    A wrangler who knew how to daunton.

    April 14, 2017

  • The alleys in Yorkshire are dim

    With hazards to life and to limb.

    There's many a gin mill

    Down a dark ginnel

    Where drinking's determined and grim.

    April 13, 2017

  • The cave-salesman pitched how to delve

    With flint that surmounted a helve:

    "Save knuckles and nails

    And move dirt in bales,

    Why, one man can work as though twelve!"

    April 12, 2017

  • You've busted the boffin's barometer!

    You're too hot for one nerd's thermometer!

    The charms that he's treasured

    Can only be measured

    By means of a a pyrheliometer.

    April 11, 2017

  • André wore a sneer on his bouche

    Intended to mark him farouche.

    But his faux mystery

    Was mostly gaucherie;

    The poor guy appeared only louche.

    April 10, 2017

  • In Lagos when taking a taxi

    The old hands are wary and savvy.

    They close their eyes tight

    To limit the fright,

    And cling to their favorite saphie.

    April 9, 2017

  • The print roller, Eve, is the matrix,

    But note the paternalist basics:

    The pattern's true source,

    Its "Adam," of course,

    Is naturally thought of as patrix.

    April 8, 2017

  • With duty and greed in collision

    What think you the Goblin's decision?

    His honor's a pittance

    That's sent in remittance

    For grand enough deeds of misprision.

    April 7, 2017

  • He seemed long ago a mere hellion;

    His victims then limned a rapscallion,

    And footsie with Vlad

    Is more than just bad.

    It's making a case for perduellion.

    April 6, 2017

  • The Goblin-in-chief in his pride

    Thinks science is safely defied.

    Grotesque though his stance is

    Still warming advances,

    Foreshadowing brute omnicide.

    April 5, 2017

  • Aka a mutt?

    April 4, 2017

  • Our cat does not deign to condemn,

    But gives a sharp feline, "Ahem!"

    Attention once won

    We know then to shun

    That thing that Herself would contemn.

    April 4, 2017

  • My jacket I know has a vent

    But too little time have I spent

    In learning the lesson

    Of clothes that I dress in

    To praise the ubiquitous fent.

    April 3, 2017

  • The player piano and rest be gone,

    Obsessives are on a quest beyond

    To catch every part

    Of symphonic art

    In gears of a wondrous orchestrion.

    April 2, 2017

  • Court jester was never a simple gig

    Though tired you danced a nimble jig

    Since courtiers were fond

    At times to be conned

    You had to have mastered the thimblerig.

    April 1, 2017

  • He rises to urgently micturate

    But, tending to totter and titubate,

    He's slow to the door -

    Can hold it no more -

    Arriving, alas, just a bit too late.

    March 31, 2017

  • Write down this in bold and italics!

    Watch out for the bilby called Alex,

    Using various masks

    For nefarious tasks

    But known by his want of a hallux.

    March 30, 2017

  • A fellow by name of Abe Chisolm

    Could jive to the Trumpian rhythm,

    And the pleasure he got

    Was better than thought.

    It's sweeter to swing to simplism.

    March 30, 2017

  • Hmm: bilby, macrotis, pinkie? I think this particular bandicoot carries too many passports to be trusted.

    March 30, 2017

  • For all of the famed Aussie vaunting

    Ennobling this creature is daunting.

    A macrotis will still be

    No more than a bilby,

    And always that hallux is wanting.

    March 29, 2017

  • In labs that the old movies offer us

    The science is mad and preposterous:

    Alembics that bubble

    As foretastes of trouble

    And ominous electrophorous

    March 29, 2017

  • The word means a cheese like a turd

    And sounding in French is preferred:

    "..Un peu de crottin

    Pour les oeufs au gratin.."

    To rhyme it in English's absurd.

    But Ernest, when he is besotten,

    All lexical niceness forgotten,

    Is apt to command,

    "The Froggies be damned!

    I'll order a portion of crottin."

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    March 28, 2017

  • Consider their lives of travail:

    Contentment so brief and so frail,

    Of offspring bereft

    And little time left,

    Should poultry yet suffer a squail?

    March 27, 2017

  • That beady-eyed bloke's microphthalmia

    Provokes less than general neuralgia.

    The pain is terrific

    In a place most specific:

    His gaze causes instant proctalgia.

    March 26, 2017

  • The voice, your dull pol will insist,

    Is his and not his ventriloquist.

    He'll grasp at renown

    As contortionist clown,

    Or fame as an agile equilibrist.

    March 25, 2017

  • Consultants who line the Potomac

    Like sadhus all-knowing and gnomic,

    Must sense any drift

    As paying tides shift

    And never be caught antidromic.

    March 24, 2017

  • Boiled scraps and leftover slaws get

    Decanted with herbs through a gauze net.

    That filtering cloth

    Produces a broth

    You're proud to serve up in your posnet.

    March 23, 2017

  • Vote counting has turned for the bad —

    The fraud claims and strange hanging chad,

    The mystery trove of note

    Or mischievous overvote,

    Now Russians come hacking us. Sad!

    March 22, 2017

  • The legions who civilized Gaul

    At Scotland were forced to a stall.

    'Twas best to corral 'em

    Beyond a strong vallum,

    So Hadrian built him a wall.

    March 21, 2017

  • When riled at the start he will mutter.

    More outrage will bring on a stutter,

    Then, gone all forbearance,

    Comes full incoherence

    Till, limply, a lisp and a thutter.

    March 20, 2017

  • It's funny: "urinal" is one of those persistent little buggers who seem to hop from foot to foot squealing, "Rhyme me! Rhyme me!" It tried to intrude on "diuturnal" on the twelfth of this month and it did hitch a ride on "supernal" about a year ago. Given the amount of time spent in earnest intercourse with the appliance by the urbanized male of our species this cocky familiarity (to coin a phrase) should probably not surprise.

    March 20, 2017

  • Democracy! What was there grander

    Till slain by the sly gerrymander?

    The game's uninominal,

    But cheating's phenomenal,

    As witness our new chief commander.

    March 19, 2017

  • The omens support no disguise

    So prophets and scholars surmise:

    The dark data boom

    Will bring on our doom.

    Technography spells our demise.

    For this use of "dark data" see:


    March 18, 2017

  • The Auld Sod is blessed with a hat trick

    In Columbkille, Brigid and Patrick

    And, so the monks tell us,

    They're none of them jealous,

    Their patronage sweetly sympatric.

    March 17, 2017

  • Post-dinner I'm always quite keen

    My crystal should boast a bright sheen

    If rubbing's assiduous

    The pantry is stridulous,

    To tell me they're all squeaky clean.

    March 16, 2017

  • The oenophile's tightly knit group

    Has formed its own musical troupe.

    The bibulous chums,

    Indifferent to drums,

    Will march to the beat of the cloop.

    March 15, 2017

  • Though yeast bread is higher in status

    It's likely to bring on some flatus,

    But nothing will squelch

    The renegade belch

    Like scones or a bread saleratus.

    March 14, 2017

  • Though once a dainty ankle viewed

    Was thought unspeakably lewd,

    Now limbs can go bare

    And no one will stare

    It's all the effect of consuetude.

    March 13, 2017

  • The wise man will write in his journal

    And capture the day while it's vernal,

    For time, we know, flies

    And memory lies,

    But truth written down's diuturnal.

    March 12, 2017

  • A good judge's solemn obligation

    Is blindness to erstwhile association.

    No matter how close he be

    To his former socii

    He rules indifferent to affiliation.

    March 11, 2017

  • Carême from the pillared Vendôme

    And Beeton in her homely tome

    Found a tsunami

    Of meaty umami

    In the mythical juice, osmazome

    March 10, 2017

  • The birds in dawn chorus confirm

    The early bird captures the worm.

    The cries of the winners

    And slugabed sinners

    Produce a cacophonous chirm.

    March 9, 2017

  • A fine word for drum is the tympanum

    I'm glad steel alloys with molybdenum.

    I like frankincense

    But scent's more intense

    If I call it a cloud of olibanum.

    March 8, 2017

  • Go contract yourself a consultant

    And read the report that's resultant,

    Or save yourself time

    By heeding this rhyme

    And know that our product's* demulcent.

    *Insert favorite snake oil.

    March 7, 2017

  • The Donald's frail feelings will bruise

    If journos do aught but enthuse

    His best embrocation

    For such irritation

    Is persistent cries of "fake news!"

    March 6, 2017

  • A brewery to Angus has charm;

    He feels there he's safe from all harm:

    The vats and the kegs,

    The browst and the dregs,

    Enfold like a comforting barm.

    March 5, 2017

  • A Solanaceae Family Reunion

    The family still tries to keep touch:

    While Spuds don't socialize much

    The Peppers will gab

    At any confab.

    (Tomatoes will weep and then clutch.)

    The happy throng fills the bright glades,

    But Aubergine quails as light fades.

    A shadow fell upon her

    Of deadly Belladonna,

    The lunatic aunt of Nightshades.

    The laughter dies down if she stays

    But rises again when she strays

    From nervous relief!

    Their season's so brief

    They'll not be denied salad days.

    March 4, 2017

  • There once was a sycophant, Eric,

    Obligingly calm or hysteric.

    He'd quickly adapt

    To whatever was apt.

    His nature was quite amphoteric.

    He'd mime, if need be, courtly grace,

    But gossip in ways truly base.

    His manner was placid

    Or dripping with acid

    As suited his welfare's best case.

    March 4, 2017

  • Thank you, ruzuzu, for your kind words and for informing me that tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc, are all nightshade cousins. It is a small world, isn’t it? Food for thought, so to speak. I will henceforth view my tomatoes askance.

    March 3, 2017

  • A doab, which often is beautiful,

    Is not just some land interfluvial:

    Its two rivers merge

    In a nuptial surge

    And writhe in a torrent connubial.

    See comments at doab.

    March 3, 2017

  • Tomato's no veg, as you may know,

    And maybe it's true if you say so,

    But the brute is a fruit

    And the spud is a root

    So how'd they beget a pomato?

    March 2, 2017

  • Fear not! Ernest is harmless to all but himself.

    March 1, 2017

  • OED

    Irish. A peasant, churl; also (Sc.) a spectre.

    March 1, 2017

  • When Ernest pursues a young maid

    He uses the tools of his trade.

    He spreads sugared glazes

    And strews honeyed phrases-

    A blizzard of sweet cassonade.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    March 1, 2017

  • Sweet flora is apt to astonish us,

    As nature is pleased to admonish us,

    For sardony's breath

    Makes mock of our death:

    Her last laugh is risis sardonicus.

    February 28, 2017

  • Laquearia is a genus of fungi in the Rhytismatales order. The relationship of this taxon to other taxa within the order is unknown (incertae sedis), and it has not yet been placed with certainty into any family.1

    It also can mean a paneled ceiling. This is used in literary works such as The Waste Land, and Aeneid.


    February 28, 2017

  • A bullock at work that barrow-tram

    Was otherwise only a callow lamb.

    He met a faux gypsy

    Who helped him get tipsy

    Then took all his cash with a tarot scam.

    February 28, 2017

  • See rawboned.

    February 28, 2017

  • Do tenants or sharecroppers ofter

    Lay claim as to whose bed is softer?

    The mezzadro is freer

    In his mezzeria,

    But none is so quaint as the crofter.

    February 27, 2017

  • If a heart has a feeble or slow tick

    There's a tried and a true medico trick.

    They virtually seize it

    And rhythmically squeeze it

    With drugs that are called inotropic.

    February 26, 2017

  • The Word of the Day, if you will,

    Is only the grist for the mill

    The rhymes in their dread pace

    Cascade down the headrace

    So the rumble of verse is not still.

    February 25, 2017

  • Rob Burns wrote some verse on a louse -

    Apostrophized once a wee mouse.

    Was I out of school when

    We studied his fool-hen

    Or has he not honored the grouse?

    February 24, 2017

  • I take a great pleasure in knowing

    That aftermath follows on mowing.

    This naming of eddish

    Has turned to my fetish

    And foggage foretells the next sowing.

    February 23, 2017

  • Like words that hide in ellipsis

    Or planets obscured by eclipses,

    Some peace-seeking prey

    Have mastered a way

    To thrive under threat using crypsis.

    February 22, 2017

  • See comments at cheese dream.

    February 21, 2017

  • n. An especially vivid and/or bizarre dream.

    n. An open-faced sandwich of grilled or broiled cheese on bread.

    I came across this term in a Guardian interview with Lorraine Bracco:

    The famous fill Bracco’s conversation. Somehow, though, it feels less like namedropping than her just being one of those people for whom life ended up like an ongoing cheese dream, random faces drifting by. Madonna turns up here, Christopher Walken there.


    It seems to be a British expression and may be founded in a study of British cheeses published by the British Cheese Board in 2005 claiming to have determined that eating cheese just before going to bed can affect your dreams. It further claimed that the type of cheese you ate controlled what sort of dream you had: Stilton for bizarre effects, cheddar for dreams of celebrities, etc.


    I have seen it used as two words and as a hyphenated word. The definition I provide above is my best guess at the application of this term. Can anyone add more to this?

    (For the sake of completeness I include the sandwich definition but I am in no way curious about that. It has a Wikipedia entry.)

    February 21, 2017

  • A sailor should be a good knotter

    And know how to rig his lines tauter:

    So master the riches

    Of bowline and hitches

    And humble but mem'rable snotter.

    February 21, 2017

  • My tea, made of herbs and holistic,

    Has a health-giving characteristic:

    It soothes and it tames

    Intestines in flames

    Because it is antiphlogistic.

    February 20, 2017

  • The egg can be coy and just float;

    Her suitor though must locomote.

    An ambitious sperm

    Must earnestly squirm

    If ever he'll be a zygote.

    February 19, 2017

  • No doubt a precursor to the zigzagabout, which will bring traffic to a complete stop.

    February 19, 2017

  • If pretty miss mammoth should happen upon

    A masculine hunk of a mastodon

    Like trumpets his bellows,

    Her sighing like cellos,

    Will swell a primeval diapason.

    February 18, 2017

  • Thank you, ruzuzu.

    February 17, 2017

  • The dilettante's blossom is bright

    But withers in weather and light.

    The deep-rooted scholar,

    Though paler and smaller,

    Persists like a phreatophyte.

    February 17, 2017

  • That's going to be one big test tube!

    February 16, 2017

  • A true but a somewhat obscure fact

    Is wombats make cubes out of pure scat.

    This isn't a trick;

    They do shit a brick.

    I'll swear it and sign with a jurat.

    See also comments at scat.

    February 16, 2017

  • Also known as onychoschisis or lamellar dystrophy.

    See also onychorrhexis.

    February 15, 2017

  • onychoschizia n. The term onychoschizia includes splitting, brittle, soft or thin nails. (fingernails and toenails)


    February 15, 2017

  • With nukes that fly across the sea

    We strive to balance bellicosity.

    The nations assume

    Their mutual doom,

    So peace is preserved by isostasy.

    February 15, 2017

  • When love's first mad exhilaration

    Gives way to a plan for affiliation

    Wise lovers adjust

    And temper their lust

    To tend to their domiciliation.

    February 14, 2017

  • You are kind, ruzuzu.

    February 13, 2017

  • In post-prison con convocation

    Alumni convene for confabulation.

    The ex-cons confer

    And try to concur

    On concepts of consociation.

    February 13, 2017

  • The insight of Barnum was pure -

    There's one born per minute for sure.

    That worm has not turned

    And nothing is learned

    So bunkum and folly perdure.

    February 12, 2017

  • From the model of gamomania I think gamophobia would be a better candidate.

    February 11, 2017

  • Old Ernest's odd look is brand new:

    He sports now a grand Fu Manchu

    And thinks it is chic

    To foster mystique

    By wearing a flowing kanzu.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    February 11, 2017

  • All together now: "Hello, msrose88!

    February 10, 2017

  • A peasant had only his farm

    To furnish the stuff for his arm,

    So faced armored horsemen

    And bloodthirsty Norsemen

    With only an axe called guisarme.

    February 10, 2017

  • Well, shake off the snow and have a cup of hot chocolate!

    February 9, 2017

  • If grace notes you'd have conferred upon

    The featureless drone of your wordathon,

    Keep reader alert!

    Your language invert

    By liberal use of hyperbaton

    February 9, 2017

  • The righteous who dress to defeat

    The slings and the arrows they meet

    Each morning will strap on

    A stout mental plastron

    And brace for the next crazy tweet.

    February 8, 2017

  • I knew that bilby was venerable, but I had no idea! This must be from before he was transported.

    February 7, 2017

  • The rhythms of verse should be fluent

    And rhymes come quick and congruent.

    It's often suggested

    A poet congested

    Use sleep as a sure deobstruent.

    February 7, 2017

  • By bioregionalism's grace

    Our maps will display a new face.

    The borders it draws

    Scorn language and laws.

    It's nature that outlines a place.

    February 6, 2017

  • The self-conscious cowpoke makes clear

    His chaps are not fellows but gear,

    His high heels and spurs

    Are what he prefers

    And mark him a bold pistoleer.

    February 5, 2017

  • Miss Gurney is fallen and anchored

    After one too many a tankard.

    Is it fitter to fetch her

    By litter or stretcher

    Or summon an elegant brancard?

    February 4, 2017

  • Consider the bees' looted hives

    And kine in their bucolic lives,

    Kept safe in their lairages

    From natural ravages

    En route to the abbatoir's knives.

    February 3, 2017

  • A city gives refuge at cost:

    Imperial favor is lost.

    Czar Donald the Great

    Will not hesitate

    To punish a rebel volost.

    February 2, 2017

  • The sybarite does as he pleases,

    No shame or regret ever teases,

    And each night he knows

    The sweet deep repose

    Of living without synteresis.

    February 1, 2017

  • The alchemist, bubbling with lust,

    Cried, "Love me, my lovely! You must!

    I'll brew in my matrass,

    A philter that's matchless

    Else surely my heart will combust."

    January 31, 2017

  • It's gospel to haughtier folks

    That puns are inferior jokes.

    While quibbles evince

    A groan and a wince

    They're witty if called equivoques.

    January 30, 2017

  • Note a typo in the second GNU definition where a "g" is printed instead of the correct "q." The word is quibble. Also see comments at quibble for Sam Johnson's eloquent and funny take on Shakespeare's fondness for quibbles (puns).

    January 30, 2017

  • EAMHarris, go to edify for edification. This is, among other things, a dictionary.

    January 29, 2017

  • I see clearly how it's gonna be:

    While Donald's a mastermind wannabe

    There's more that's astute in

    Sly Vladimir Putin.

    Prepare for a harsh heteronomy.

    January 29, 2017

  • Some fail at the truth, though they try.

    Some fear climate change, so deny,

    But the true eco-terrorist's

    The cold-blooded errorist

    Who knowingly sells the big lie.

    January 28, 2017

  • Thank you, zuzu. That one was a challenge and I appreciate your noticing.

    January 27, 2017

  • The marriage did once in bliss persist

    Until she discovered he'd kissed her sis

    With passion so awful

    'Twas sister-unlawful

    And ruptured forever their systasis.

    January 27, 2017

  • When systasis was selected as Word of the Day, June 24, 2015, I wrote a limerick based on a mistaken notion of its pronunciation. This is embarrassing, especially as it follows on the discovery of my quaff gaff. I could try the eye rhyme dodge, but that would be unpersuasive in a limerick. Now that systasis is once again the Word of the Day I could delete and replace the old limerick, but that feels rather dishonest. I will let the old limerick remain. Like the corpses (or corpses in the making) of criminals that were once hung from gibbets to admonish some and gratify others, I will leave it in place:

    The wages of sin were exhibited

    As pirates at Tyburn were gibbeted

    To serve as a warning,

    That crimes still a-borning

    And errors in train be inhibited.

    January 27, 2017

  • Maybe because it's a list of words ending in "-trix."

    January 27, 2017

  • You are too kind, bilby. If you only knew the things I have been compared to! And the superlatives are worse.

    January 26, 2017

  • See also comments at birling.

    January 26, 2017

  • A lumberjack proves he is sterling

    By showing he's skillful at birling.

    This so fills with thrills

    The sweet lumberjills

    They queue up in lines for a twirling.

    See also comments at birl.

    January 26, 2017

  • See suggestions at inpeccinate.

    January 25, 2017

  • In response to the following query from AnnePern;

    Hi All,

    A friend is looking for a word that means to make something a sin, akin to "medicalize."

    Any suggestions?



    If I understand correctly you are not looking for an equivalent to “commit a sin” but for something to mean “to designate or to classify as a sin.”

    anathematize is one possibility.

    v. To cause to be, or to declare as, an anathema or evil.

    But that may be more subjective and context-dependent than you want – closer to condemn (which is also a possibility).

    incriminate might come close, but that applies more to the actor than the act.

    impeccable comes to mind as describing a condition nearly opposite of what you are looking for.

    adj. Incapable of sin or wrongdoing.

    After some reflection on the roots of both incriminate and impeccable (which entries see) I suggest:

    inpeccinate; v. transitive To designate, classify, or declare a specified action to be sinful.

    January 25, 2017

  • The victims surviving the wreck

    Begin the quadrennial trek,

    In Winter begun

    But South to the sun

    And end to a life as a zek.

    January 25, 2017

  • He relishes fanfare and tubthump

    But tepid reactions will bug Trump,

    So fragile his pride

    He cannot abide

    The quiet and wavering mugwump.

    January 24, 2017

  • Mankind in its imperfect wisdom

    Builds many a governing system,

    But powers entropic

    Inhere in this topic

    So tending them all toward bossism.

    January 23, 2017

  • For too long this circus has lacked

    A memorable signature act.

    Ms Conway provides it,

    Sits boldly astride it:

    The untamed alternative fact.

    January 22, 2017

  • Thank you, bilby.

    January 22, 2017

  • Like moles in the darkness we grope

    To unearth a rhyme or a trope.

    For means to compare

    Our sense of despair

    We dig in the mine of wanhope.

    January 22, 2017

  • Electoral purists learn new tricks,

    Like playing with poems or Poohsticks,

    To cope with the trial

    Of internal exile

    And abide for a while as refuseniks.

    January 21, 2017

  • I have just listened to a half dozen audio clips that all pronounce it to rhyme with off or cough. This is bad news for my limericks.

    In my native dialect, the fast disappearing one of eastern New England, laugh and half might have the vowel that pterodactyl hears in quaff.

    January 21, 2017

  • I am glad you like it, zuzu. I have a hunch there are lots more out there.

    January 21, 2017

  • For rhymes with quaff see comments at sclaff and bibliotaph.

    January 21, 2017

  • Addicted to money and sex he

    Induces in some apoplexy.

    Oh, what's gone amiss

    That one such as this

    Today is anointed our prexy?

    January 20, 2017

  • A trump to the limit is trumpsimus,

    If trumpier outright presumptuous.

    But Trump in the rough

    Is trumpy enough

    For chumps and their comforting mumpsimus.

    January 19, 2017

  • Forget all your fussy statistics

    For wealth is a game of heuristics.

    Getting more than your neighbor

    With minimum labor

    Is practicing good chrematistics.

    January 18, 2017

  • While athletes may swear by athletics

    As central to bioenergetics.

    We aesthetes still know

    An energy flow

    Is felt when we practice aesthetics.

    January 17, 2017

  • Oh, wonder not that he yammers on;

    He was to the bullshit manner born.

    His loftiest notion

    Is crude self-promotion

    It lives in the genes of the fanfaron.

    January 16, 2017

  • For an interesting discussion of "to the manner born" and its illegitimate spawn "to the manor born" see


    January 16, 2017

  • What better a haven could please us

    When orage and outrage besiege us

    Than a place that's pacific,

    Albeit quite mythic,

    The safe and unchanging East Jesus.

    January 15, 2017

  • I reckon the teacher respects me

    'Cuz he's all smart and intellecky

    And don't call me no fool

    For lovin' my mule

    But sez that we share a entelechy.

    January 15, 2017

  • His manner's a comical bastardism,

    A union of unction and braggardism,

    But soon comes the hour

    The clown will take power

    And shtick become serious blackguardism.

    January 14, 2017

  • I believe Brendan Behan coined this.

    See https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/East_Jesus

    January 14, 2017

  • I believe Brendan Behan coined this.

    See https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/East_Jesus

    January 14, 2017

  • Podunk. Also podunk. An interesting history. Lots of places claim to be the original Podunk.


    January 13, 2017

  • witch's comment addresses the past tense of the verb to dog, which see. Among the many definitions there is:

    idiom dog it Slang To fail to expend the effort needed to do or accomplish something.

    January 13, 2017

  • Affluence is happiness' mimicry.

    To highlight the hidden asymmetry

    They've coined a new word

    You might not have heard:

    The useful but awkward ophelimity.

    January 13, 2017

  • The Church of Indifference's teaching

    Holds holiness not worth the reaching.

    Its superfluous clergy are

    Sunk deep in anergia

    And cannot be bothered with preaching.

    January 12, 2017

  • Since improv is extemporaneous

    The best are the quickest and zaniest.

    The slow and dull-witted

    Are wholly unfitted

    And they find the challenge frustraneous.

    January 11, 2017

  • I should think bowfarts are very unkind to those amidships.

    January 11, 2017

  • Yo, fozilla! I hope you will find the company congenial.

    January 10, 2017

  • The venue in vogue was the stage

    And plays about plague were the rage.

    His ague a blague yet

    Still vaguely on target

    Gave tongue to the fears of the age.

    January 10, 2017

  • Young people who crave now to know

    What fortune may some day bestow

    Will assuage this fancy

    With selenomancy

    And dance 'neath the pearly moonbow.

    January 9, 2017

  • Intentions are good, outcomes are not,

    We end twixt a rock and a hard spot.

    While bossy and silly

    She means well, this Milly,

    But Millicent's merely a marplot.

    January 8, 2017

  • A very versatile word which can be, among other things, a verb describing a kind of complementary blending -

    All muslims amicably fadge

    While mingling in making the hajj

    And, hajis returned,

    A title they've earned,

    And ever will wear like a badge.

    or it can be noun naming a kind of rustic loaf of bread -

    A clever bezonian bloke

    Has many a trick in his poke.

    He's able to cadge

    A freshly baked fadge

    With a jig, or a rhyme, or a joke.

    Or a short fat person -

    Poor Margaret's a dreamy pretender
    Who wants to be lithesome and slender.

    Alas! Pudgy Madge

    Is ever a fadge

    And exercise cannot amend her.

    It can mean a lot of other things but I have run out of rhymes.

    January 7, 2017

  • When traveling how sorely I miss her,

    My cat, the beguiling Clarissa!

    How sad 'tis to slumber

    Where she'll not encumber

    Nor wake to a tickling vibrissa.

    January 6, 2017

  • Said Bella, "I know how to swing.

    When boys say they'll pay for a fling

    I tell the bambini,

    'Then bring a mankini,

    'Cause I'll put your balls in a sling.'"

    January 5, 2017

  • No mapmaker serves his own whim;

    The naming’s not left up to him.

    Our heroes account

    For each soaring mount,

    But Indian words for a hydronym.

    January 4, 2017

  • The ploughman endures a cruel fate:

    Obliged as he is to hew straight.

    All day thus he walks

    In the shit of his ox

    To furrow the whole corucate.

    January 3, 2017

  • To sail waters peloponnesian

    Attend to the winds of the season,

    And haste to adjust

    To Meltemi's gust

    And go with the flow that's etesian.

    January 2, 2017

  • See also comments at Meltemi.

    January 2, 2017

  • Meltemi is the Greek and Turkish name for the well known etesian wind blowing from north to northwest across the Aegean Sea.


    See also comments at meltemi.

    January 2, 2017

  • The Century definition addresses the origin of the term manzai but does not explain its contemporary application:

    Manzai (漫才?) is a traditional style of stand-up comedy in Japanese culture.

    Manzai usually involves two performers (manzaishi)—a straight man (tsukkomi) and a funny man (boke)—trading jokes at great speed. Most of the jokes revolve around mutual misunderstandings, double-talk, puns and other verbal gags.


    We gaijin in our way can try:

    Remember that hoary standby

    And be not averse

    To "Who is on First"

    As an instance of Yankee manzai.

    January 1, 2017

  • trumple - v. To figuratively crush underfoot. To damage or destroy by actions or words employed with callous indifference to truth or consequences.

    Collected by Dr. W.G. Marx from a CBS News report on "mall brawls," Dec. 27, 2016.

    Civility's surface, though rumpled,

    Had never before wholly crumpled

    Till electoral games

    In this year of shames

    Saw standards of decency trumpled.

    December 31, 2016

  • The wondering world is aghast

    At change that has happened so fast

    And quivers with dread

    That what we've been fed

    Is only a foul antepast.

    December 31, 2016

  • Note a typo in the Century definition: "light" should be "fight."

    December 30, 2016

  • There's nothing will Angus abash

    Once fed with the juice of the mash.

    Then, reft of all shame,

    Indifferent to blame,

    A ceilidh he'll make a stramash.

    December 30, 2016

  • It's Angus's dream to be doused

    In the finest distillery's browst,

    To float and submerge

    In gluttonous splurge,

    Emerging quite perfectly soused.

    December 29, 2016

  • The breadth of the new moon's girth might

    Be darkest when viewed on the first night,

    But the sun's growing blaze

    On successive days

    Will outline the glow of the earthlight.

    December 28, 2016

  • For more on the wretched Eugenia's woes see comments at neomenia and psychasthenia.

    December 27, 2016

  • For more on the wretched Eugenia's woes see comments at psychasthenia and xenia.

    December 27, 2016

  • We visit again poor Eugenia,

    An anchoress now in Armenia,
    Unable to stir
    From helpless longueur
    And locked in a deep psychasthenia.

    For more on the wretched Eugenia's woes see comments at neomenia and xenia.

    December 27, 2016

  • Engage only with great trepidation

    Those debts that proceed in rotation.

    The risk is substantial

    In matters financial

    That trap you in endless novation.

    December 26, 2016

  • He's downed milk and cookies aplenty

    So after a weary descent he

    Is pleased with the treat

    Of hot milk and wheat,

    For Santa is fond of frumenty.

    December 25, 2016

  • She offers a glance of shy surmise

    That hints a hope of sweet surprise.

    Her gaze is expressive

    But never excessive;

    Her looks speak volumes but subtilize.

    December 24, 2016

  • Beware of high fashion's appeals

    And perils that lurk in high heels.

    The danger that's grossest

    Is dread exostosis

    That marketers' cunning conceals.

    December 23, 2016

  • A chronogram for a desolate scene,

    A twelvemonth both wretched and mean:

    Though MeMory's vexed

    There's hope that the neXt

    ImproVes on vIle twenty-sIxteen.

    December 22, 2016

  • A sailboat's a thicket of slang:

    A salt links the gaff to the vang

    Or he may connect it

    By means of a becket

    That hooks up a shroud to a tang.

    December 22, 2016

  • "With wood spars, the conventional method used to attach the shroud and forestay is to use TANGS. Tangs are short metal straps usually with a crimp or bend to splay them out from the mast when in position."


    December 22, 2016

  • Evade an importunate Claus

    Who rings for some nebulous cause

    With a scowl so emphatic

    It's aposematic.

    Escape in his stunned silent pause.

    December 20, 2016

  • It's common to many a prelate;

    Their age and their gender compel it.

    This rampant nocturia

    Afflicts the whole curia,

    As Vatican leakers will tell it.

    December 19, 2016

  • They've tried since Jimmy Hoffa died

    To honor him with proper pride,

    To answer the urge

    To play him a dirge

    With glockenspiel and ophicleide.

    December 18, 2016

  • The Highlands are treeless and boggy,

    The winters there chilly and foggy.

    Wise crofters repair

    To a fireside chair

    For talk and a comforting coggie.

    December 17, 2016

  • When daylight is short and branches bare
    My yearnings turn to Mexican fare.
    Some chicken in mole
    Or bowl of atole
    Can help me pretend that I'm there.

    December 16, 2016

  • The sun sends at times an epistle

    Through water condensed into crystal.

    A solar hello

    To creatures below

    In an arc called circumzenithal.

    December 15, 2016

  • I find no dictionary that defines "alities." All of the usage examples on this page are instances of the string's occurrence as part of a longer word. The presumed singular, ality, is defined in some places (including Wordnik and the OED) as a suffix. In the quote attributed to Dierdre Shaw "alities" is almost certainly a typo.

    December 15, 2016

  • John Clayton, a truly bizarre man,

    Is set among Hollywood's stars and

    We've only known him

    By this, his mononym -

    That swinger, the ape-man, our Tarzan.

    December 14, 2016

  • A lady in waiting mistook

    A page for the unabridged book.

    When damsel and donzel

    Entangled some tonsil

    The lady her waiting forsook.

    December 13, 2016

  • My dog drinks his brew without fail,

    Reviewing each batch with his tail.

    I know that he'll wag it

    For a big bowl of bragget.

    He does like his honey and ale.

    December 12, 2016

  • Did Ernest mislead by design?

    The preacher, not bright but benign,

    Assembles his homily

    By means of stichomancy

    Because he was told it's divine.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    December 11, 2016

  • The peacock prefers the boldly erotic

    And butterflies go for coyly exotic

    For dumb creatures must

    Thus signify lust

    By means that are biosemiotic.

    December 10, 2016

Comments for qms

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  • Thank you, ruzuzu. Verse is not neccessary but your good wishes are much appreciated. I only wanted to acknowledge Erin's gesture and to prepare my excuses in advance in case I miss a day here and there.

    June 3, 2015

  • Dear qms,

    I'm sorry I haven't written a get-well verse for you yet. Everything I try to rhyme betrays my dislike of cars and drivers--and since most of the people I know happen to be drivers, I thought maybe I'd cool off for a bit.

    Get well soon,


    June 3, 2015

  • Did your vault parse the arc of a diver?

    Or a ballerina's poise: didst thou outstrive her?

    But forgive me this jest,

    I wish you and elbows my best,

    *shakes fist at said stupid driver*

    June 1, 2015

  • Kind Wordniks: In her generous verse of yesterday erinmckean referenced my injury, which could interfere with submissions to Wordnik. On my last bike ride, May 22 (alas, my last for some time I'm afraid) an inattentive driver cut in front of me, so

    My dismount was the handlebar vault - 
    A gracefully arcing somersault.
    An elbow twice broken
    And concussion betoken
    The boldness of that asphalt halt.

    Two days ago I had surgery to nail my funny bone back into place. Fortunately (or not - there are opinions) I have been able to continue limericizing. This is a tribute to Erin's helpfulness and the power of OCD.

    May 31, 2015

  • At Wordnik we are truly blessed

    To have, as lyricist, qms.

    Although a recent awkward injury

    may make his typing a bit gingery

    we still daily receive of his best.

    May 30, 2015

  • The annum revolves from last to next

    But yields no daily tempting text.

    Is there some curse

    On good-natured verse

    Or will 2015 be lexically hexed?

    January 1, 2015

  • Dear Wordniks my aim is to woo you
    To visit "community" if you choose to.
    Let not this hiatus
    Depress or abate us,
    Let's flock to the beckoning ruzuzu.

    December 25, 2014

  • Thanks, qms! I was thinking that in the meantime maybe we should just congregate on one of the word pages--community makes as much sense as any. See you there?

    December 24, 2014

  • I especially admire your last few limericks. Keep up the good work!

    December 15, 2014

  • By rights this should be posted on the account of the user lozonbeatty, but that account will soon be squished to wriggling flatness by the almighty thumb of erinmckean, if it has not already been so reduced. I post my comment here so that it will not be collateral damage.

    I was struck by the last few sentences of lozonbeatty’s message, that is, three or four sentences, depending on one’s inclination to generosity:

    I experience scorching soon after using the tablet. and that i sweat quite a bit .they explain to me it is because the tablet si performing for me. I m seriously pleased with this particular outcome.

    There is something of poetry and of perversion in these words. I had hoped that bilby might address this, but he is probably out snowshoeing, or whatever it is they do in the Australian Winter. I have not his gift for mock Spammish so I must resort to my native idiom to give lozonbeatty some advice:

    Anent your fiery fat pill story

    More testimony is obligatory.

    You should be testing

    Other ways of ingesting.

    Suppose you try suppository?

    July 3, 2014

  • On any page, scroll down to the bottom, then click on the Community link under News. That will take you to what we used to call 'the front page' of the site where you can see all the latest user comments (and some other stuff). Sometimes you'll see that a 'conversation' between frequent users is developing on a particular word.
    Doorbelling is also fine, we do that too.
    p.s. There should also be a Community link on the black bar at the top.

    January 1, 2014

  • You can comment on any word except the Word of the Day in the WotD section.

    Your double bracket theory is correct, you can make a clickable link to any word's page by doing that. Then just scroll down till you find the comment box.

    December 19, 2013

  • I seem to have managed to make everything a comment FOR qms ABOUT qms. What I would like to do is offer comment FROM qms about a word. I wonder if double brackets on a word such as hebetude would land me in a useful place.

    December 19, 2013

  • From 11/27/2013, hebetude

           Thanksgiving, 2013
    We dine this day on heaps of food,
    Then slump in sleepy lassitude.
    Sad bales of clothes
    Near comatose –
    Though conscious, sunk in hebetude.

    December 19, 2013

  • WotD for 12/06/2013, subnivean

                Snow Fleas
    To Winter they're not giving in
    To slumber in chilly oblivion.
    They cheerfully go
    Underneath the snow
    And, happy there, hop subnivean.

    December 19, 2013

  • I have encountered enough success at posting a comment to look back a bit for other Word of the Day offerings that I have limericized. My skills as an archivist are weak, but I have found a couple.

    From 12/11/2013, cete

    "Coitus" supplies a word for "mate;"

    A batch of badgers it names "cete."

    It could be fun to view

    What those badgers do

    If, like words from roots, they proliferate.

    December 19, 2013

  • From 12/05/2013, morosoph

    The lit'ry world may haughtily scoff

    And judge the writer in some way "off,"

    But a limericist's tools

    Are the insights of fools.

    The form is the art of the morosoph.

    December 19, 2013

  • You can comment on the word cacchinate, though not on the Word Of The Day entry which is in a different part of the site.

    December 18, 2013

  • the meter is funky - a bit to the left of the limerick
    I like it!

    December 18, 2013