Friday, April 29, 2011


Definition: (from
1. also called dishcloth gourd, rag gourd
a. any of several tropical vines of the genus Luffa, of the gourd family, bearing large, elongated fruit
b. the fruit of such a vine
2. also called vegetable sponge. the dried, fibrous interior of this fruit, used as a sponge

"My favorite part of the bath and body section in the drugstore is all the colorful loofahs!"
"Natural loofahs come from the luffa plant. Some people eat it too so they are clean inside and out!"

Origin: (from
"1887, from Egyptian Arabic lufah, the name of the plant (Luffa Ʀgyptiaca) with fibrous pods from which flesh-brushes are made."

Awkwardness rating: 5

A small section of the loofah rainbow. (

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Suggested by Kristen P.

Definition: (from
1. any of various plants belonging to the genus Anemone, of the buttercup family, having petal like sepals and including several wild species with white flowers as well as others cultivated for their showy flowers in a variety of colors
2. sea anemone (any sedentary marine animal of the phylum Coelenterata, having a columnar body and one or more circles of tentacles surrounding the mouth)

Examples: (from Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo)
"...and the sea cucumber turns to the mollusk and says, 'With fronds like these, who needs anemones?'"
"All new explorers must answer a science question. You live in what kind of home?" "An anemonemone. Amnemonemomne." "That's okay kid, don't hurt yourself."

Origin: (from
"flowering plant genus, 1550s, from Middle French anemone (16c.) and directly from Latin anemone, from Greek anemone 'wind flower,' literally 'daughter of the wind,' from anemos 'wind' (cognate with Latin anima; see animus) + -one feminine patronymic suffix. According to Asa Gray, so called because it was thought to open only when the wind blows. Klein suggests the flower name perhaps originally is from Hebrew (cf. na'aman, in nit'e na'amanim, literally 'plants of pleasantness,' in Is. xvii:10, from na'em 'was pleasant'). Applied to a type of sea creature (sea anemone) from 1773."

Awkwardness rating: 3

Nemo and his "anemonemone." (

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Definition: (from
1. chiefly British informal. a fuss; commotion

"There was a big kerfuffle in school today!" "How did a bird get inside the school?"
"There was a keruffle in the grocery store over the last jar of pickles."

Origin: (from
"'row, disturbance,' c.1930, first in Canadian English, ultimately from Scot. curfuffle."

Awkwardness rating: 8

A kerfuffle sounds more like a bird's name than a commotion. (