Non-cognate interlexical homographs text vote


Viz comic - 'a manger' homographs


A bit of seasonal silliness from the current issue of Viz comic (#221).

Image via @SpankTM.


16 Responses to Non-cognate interlexical homographs text vote

  1. Spank The Monkey says:

    Until I read that, I didn’t even know that non-cognate interlexical homographs were a thing. It’s amazing how educational Viz can be every so often (i.e. once in over thirty years).

  2. Stan says:

    Spank: As soon as I saw your tweet – well, after I stopped laughing – I ran a search. I knew the words separately but not as a string, and it reads like it could easily be parody jargon. It’s niche, but it’s there.

  3. alexmccrae1546 says:

    Away in a manger,
    No crib for a baguette* (groan)

    *No blasphemy intended. Just a silly thought, ’tis all.

    • limr says:

      Away in a manger,
      No food for a nosh.
      The little commuters,
      The poor and the posh…

      Sorry, I had to play, too :) Groan-worthy for sure, but funny nonetheless! I’m fond of alternative lyrics, especially for songs I don’t particularly like (I know it’s blasphemous, but I’m not partial to most Christmas music. Just call me Scrooge-ette.)

      And now the game is making me hungry. I vote for Pret!

      • alexmccrae1546 says:


        Clever come-backer. Três bien. ;)

        If you like playing with alternative lyrics, you are likely a fan of Weird Al Yankovic’s regular satirical fare. I’m particularly fond of his “Eat It” parody of Michael Jackson’s classic “Beat It”. The video performance was a hoot.

        Interestingly, most recorded Christmas music since the creative ’40s flourishing thereof during the World War II years and beyond, has been almost exclusively secular (non-religious) in nature, with folks of the more PC persuasion even referring to Xmas songs as winter season “Holiday” fare.

        Ironically, many of the familiar, now-viewed-by-most as standard Xmas tunes, were written and arranged by Am. Jewish composers.

        “White Christmas”, immortalized by Bing Crosby back in the ’40s, was penned by Irving Berlin. “The Christmas Song” (‘chestnuts roasting’, and all) was written by the team of Mel Tormé and Robert Wells, both of the Hebraic persuasion.

        The prolific tunesmith, John Marks, wrote such lasting Xmas chestnuts as “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”, “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Rockin’ Round the Christmas Tree”, and at least a dozen more seasonal tunes…. yet another son of Abraham’s tribe. (Hmm… I guess all Christians and Moslems are, as well, if we follow the narrative of Scripture. Oh well.)

        Michael Feinstein, the accomplished crooner of the American Songbook, and a proud Jewish- American, has written on several occasions about why there’s a preponderance of Jewish composers in the Christmas musical genre, and chalks it up to several possible factors, one being the notion that these writers were responding to a wide-ranging emotional need; seeing an opportunity to lift America’s holiday spirits during the War years when loss, terror, and material deprivation were rife. Yet keeping the content and message secular, with nary a mention of the Christ birth event.

        He also alludes to the fact that in mid-20th-century America, many Jewish immigrants to the U.S. from Europe had brought with them deep-rooted family music (and theater) traditions, enthusiasms, and skills, which coincided with the rising popularity of radio, popular music recording, and curiously, the affordability of pianos in the home of say the more well-off former immigrant families. So they naturally gravitated to music-related professions.

        He’s pointed out that there may have been a pecuniary motivation on the part of some of these Jewish songsters (and why not?). But Feinstein opined that that was a secondary motivation to their striving to bring good holiday cheer, a modicum of hope, warmth, sentimentality, and sheer entertainment value to families of all ethnicities and religious denominations through their catchy verses, and melodies.

        Oy to the World!

  4. stuartnz says:

    “Non-cognate interlexical homographs” – Wow, that makes it sound so flash! I do this all the time, I’m always looking for opportunities to do with Hindi & English, I think my record is 4, with those two Spanish and Maori. I only managed that once, but what I’ve always just called multilingual punning is one of my favourite past time. Now I can give it a proper, grown-up name. THanks!

  5. Frogman says:

    But the English noun ‘manger’ and the French verb ‘manger’ /are/ cognates! The English noun comes from the French verb.

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary says it comes from Anglo-French ‘mangure’, which comes from ‘manger’ : to eat, which comes from Latin ‘manducare’ : to chew, devour.

  6. Stan says:

    Alex: I like your baguette pun, and though I found your essay on the history of Christmas music interesting, I’m sorry you saw fit to put it here.

    Leonore: Thanks for voting!

    Stuart: It is a very fancy description. Kudos to Viz for the linguistic lesson, even if the “non-cognate” part is untrue, as Frogman says.

    Frogman: Thanks for pointing this out. My lazy blog post was even lazier than I thought.

    • alexmccrae1546 says:


      Mea culpa.

      I know when to take an obvious hint, and I duly apologize for my non-language-related Xmas offering.

      I guess I was just responding to Leonore’s personal take on most Xmas music, and clearly got carried away.

      Must have gotten all caught up in the Holiday spirit. (I was actually doing some early gift wrapping, yesterday.)

      But frankly, no excuses will suffice in defense of my “interesting”, but admittedly, misplaced post. Regrettably, bad habits die hard.

      • Stan says:

        It’s the getting carried part that’s a problem, Alex. You’re always welcome here, but starting off-topic paragraph no. 2 or 3 should be setting off alarm bells, let alone no. 7 or 8.

  7. alexmccrae1546 says:


    Your constructive and valid criticisms are duly noted. Should have stopped at my compliment to Leonore for her earlier fun bit of poesy… which would have sufficed, and was actually on-topic.

    Those “alarm bells” I should have been heeding clearly got drowned out by the jingle bells of the season. Again, no excuses.

  8. Cyranette says:

    Hi Stan, just wanted you to know that I have nominated your blog for Blog of the Year 2012 Award, You have a terrific blog that all wordies need to read.

  9. Stan says:

    Thanks very much, Cyranette.

  10. craftynail says:

    I heard that they wanted to use non cognate interlexical homographs as a category in the Wheel of Fortune…. but decided to go with Before and After instead. Its easier for Pat Sajak….

  11. Stan says:

    craftynail: Understandable, though it’s a pity non-cognate interlexical homographs didn’t have their WoF moment of fame.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.