Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday T

Miscellaneous Random Thoughts About Words Beginning with the Letter T

Turkeys. People raise them. Ben Franklin thought the turkey should be our national bird.


Tomcat. The word refers to a male cat, but is more often used to describe male behavior, especially as it pertains to sexual conquest. The slang definition is, "To be sexually active with more than one partner." Interestingly enough, it is the name of an F-14 fighter jet that was produced in 1972. According to Answers.com it was expensive to produce and a high maintenance item, though extremely effective as a heavy fighter. Our only export customer was Iran. (Kind of reminds me of the ending of Charlie Wilson's War.)


Totem. A totem can be the symbol of a tribe, clan, family or individual. According to "Native American Totems & Their Meanings," each individual is connect to nine different animals that will accompany each person through life, acting as guides along our journey through this world. Some have turkeys and others have tomcats... among other things.


Tradition. Who has not enjoyed the play (and subsequent film) Fiddler on the Roof, with its magnifying lens focused on the challenges to tradition in our modern world. The film is about a Jewish family, but it could easily be Native American or Persian. That is the modern world has eroded many of the traditional beliefs, customs and rituals which served as cohesive elements in the culture and in families. Some of these efforts to destroy traditions are deliberate, as some modern thinkers believe any effort to hold on to the past is a barrier to progress. Others believe that traditions serve as a foundation that gives stability as we build for the future.


Tacky. The word literally means sticky to the touch. But we also use it to mean "lacking style or good taste; tawdry." Along the same lines it is used to refer to something distasteful or tasteless. "A tacky remark." Its interesting how so many words can have multiple meanings. Is it tacky to call someone a turkey?


Touche. In fencing, touche is the French word for "touched"... Did you know that? It is used to acknowledge a hit, and is called out by the fencer who is hit. Usually I hear it when someone has made a clever point in an argument. Till this morning I had not connected it to the sport of fencing. Did you?


Other T words coming to mind that I do not have time to chatter on about include, Terminal, Tough, Territory, Tedious, Time, Taxes, Tease, Two, Trio, Triumph, Tickle, Token, Tank, Tinker, Tell, Tall, Tut, Toucan, Tepotzlan, Tarnish, Triple, Type and "Tag, you're it."

And no, I do not want to talk about Tea Parties today, unless it has something to do with the Mad Hatter.

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