Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick: Cuya-who-ga? (for the Week of April 27, 2008)

April 27, 2008

Q. Dear Twig: "Cuyahoggily"? I don't get it.

A. "Cuyahoggily"? Last week? Eh? Eh? OK, it's a made-up word. But I sure do like it anyway. Say it 20 times in a row and see, just see, if you don't start to laugh. Or spray spittle. Or your dad kindly asks you to stop. All three.

"Cuyahoggily." It stems adverbally from a river in northern Ohio: The Cuyahoga, which runs, rolls, winds and wends through a national park that bears its name (but no bears). Through a county that bears its name, as well (also no bears, but more people than any other county in Ohio). Through Cleveland. And into Lake Erie. (Note: Some people say "ki-uh-HAW-guh." And some say "ki-uh-HO-guh.") Me, I metamorphosed ("met-uh-MOR-fozed") near it. I lived as a nymph in that county.

Remember our contest! Pick your favorite funny noun (such as bream, lug nut or urohydrosis). Write a haiku on it. Send them to me at ct-oardc@osu.edu. You might win my book, Hairy Blenny! I'll share the best here!

Monangaheely,

Twig

P.S. Amazingly, the following haven't been entered yet: Wawa, guano, endoplasmic reticulum.

Notes:

Read more about the Cuyahoga River and, specifically, about the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at http://www.nps.gov/cuva/.

Read more about the ostensible contest prize, Hairy Blenny and the Monkeyface Prickleback, at http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~news/story.php?id=4346.

"Early Native Americans used the (Cuyahoga) river as a trading route, and named it ‘ka-ih-ogh-ha,' or crooked, for it twists like an old lazy snake for 100 miles," says a National Park Service Web site.

Other sources say the Indian word means "winding stream."

You might remember that last week's word/topic, Susquehanna, came from an Indian word, too, and means something similar: "Long, crooked river."

About This:

"Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick," published by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences — specifically, by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Ohio State University Extension, the research and outreach arms, respectively, of the College — is a weekly feature for children about science, nature, farming and the environment. It's written at, to and for a 4th-grade reading level.

For details, to ask Twig a question, and/or to receive the column free by mail or e-mail, contact Kurt Knebusch, CommTech, OSU/OARDC,1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691, knebusch.1@osu.edu, (330) 263-3776.

Online at http://extension.osu.edu/~news/archive.php?series=science.

Author(s): 
Kurt Knebusch