Friday, June 9, 2017

Four-letter Words: O and P

One of my favorite four-letter "o" words is oven.  Clearly that is because of the wonderful comestibles that exit the oven and wind up on my plate.

But surprises are good.  Sometimes.  And sometimes not so much.  So for the "o" word I have selected:

 Unfortunately I have occasion to use this word too often.  Oops is an interjection, the first such that we have picked for this series.  It is most often used to express dismay at a minor mistake or mishap.  It may serve as an introduction to an apology as in, "Oops.  I'm sorry I spilled the coffee on the carpet."  (Although that could be a bit more than an "oops" depending upon whose carpet is stained.  Well, at least in my case, it would not be wine.

Oops.  I'm late; gotta be running along!

Pick a peck of peag.  There we go.  The word is:


Of all the words from which to pick, why peag?  Have I jumped the shark?  Well, no; but perhaps have gathered some shells.  As a school child I learned that the medium of exchange among the East Coast Native Americans (whom we called "Indians" at that time) was "wampum."  Later in life I learned that both "wampum" and "peag" are short forms for the "money" called wampumpeag.  Since I am a descendant of some of those people as well as the early seventeenth century arrivals from Europe I find it amusing to insert peag into a conversation.  Glazed eyes.

peag (n.) A string of white beads made from shells of the quahog.



Secondary Roads said...

Wampum is the term with which I'm familiar. That and potlatch.

Vee said...

My vocabulary lesson for the day. I previously knew about wampum, but peag is a new word to me.

vanilla said...

Chuck, potlatch is a fascinating and puzzling practice. It seems to me that the giving and destruction of wealth in the instance was strictly for the aggrandizement of the giver, never for the benefit of a recipient. To be able to burn more valuables proves what? To give and expect at minimum equivalent gifts in return proves what?

During my sophomore year my roommate was a Tlingit. He could describe the practice but somehow the concept eluded me. I guess white men just don't get it. (Canada even outlawed the practice for a number of years--criminalized a Native American tradition. Well, it is one cultural phenomenon I don't plan to "appropriate.")

Vee, never hurts to add a new word to the personal lexicon. ;-)