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 email@example.com. You might win my book, Hairy Blenny! I'll share the best here!
P.S. Amazingly, the following haven't been entered yet: Wawa, guano, endoplasmic reticulum.
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."
"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.
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