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That must be a family idiom, or a regionalism. Here in my family in California, the "shamer" makes a fist, extends and points the index finger at the shamee, and shakes the finger up and down near the shamee's nose.

(I have seen the "shaving" gesture done in fun elsewhere).

liz May 1, 2004, 9:37pm

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This is an example of where the language is lagging behind the mercantile world

I am a native speaker of American, which is not at all the same as a native speaker of English, British or any of those other things like Australian.

When I was a child in the 1950s, there were no large chain pharmacies or drug stores, such as RiteAid. The drug store was owned by a licensed pharmacist. There were some national brands of remedies (such as Exedrin). These were kept behind the pharmacist's counter, and you asked for them, as opposed to the other goods such as toothpaste which were on the shelf.

Drug language can get to be confusing. There are "controlled substances" (such as morphine which has both a legitimate medicinal use and a recreation, or illegitimate use). There are "proprietary drugs" and "generic drugs". Proprietary means a specific formulation; generic means the same drug without the brand name, and possibly some other features that make it work better.

I wouldn't use "off the shelf" to talk about drugs; I would use it to talk about a generic solution to a specific problem.

And contrary to what Jay Frankenberger thought, the role of the pharmacist in health care has plummetted in esteem and status.

liz May 1, 2004, 9:35pm

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trouble is a troubling word.

It is a word common in the African American vernacular (as so deftly captured by anonymous).

the "done" verb form seems to be an African-Americanism, or perhaps from the American south: it is an intensifier, or a signifier of permanence

My woman done left me

(my woman left, and she's not visiting her mother, she is not coming back EVER and dammit, it hurts.)

liz May 1, 2004, 9:21pm

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Gimp is also a long plastic lace or thread, flat elliptical in cross section, that comes in many colors that can be used to weave or braid in hand crafts (related to guimpe but completely different.)

To make a lanyard.

liz May 1, 2004, 9:13pm

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I am thinking that every language has a specialized farm and agricultural vocabulary, that isn't in common use. "jackass" has become metaphorical for a stupid, stubborn fellow (it isn't really idiomatic to say "she is such a jackass".

liz May 1, 2004, 9:06pm

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Common names for equids. Well. Horses (equus caballus); asses or donkeys (same species different name) (equus asinus). Ass (the correct term) donkeys (English usage) or burro (Spanish colloquial) or asses come in various breeds or landraces (example: baudet de poitou, mammoth jack). Then there is the hybrids: horses crossed with donkeys.

You have your horse. Neonates are foals (both genders). About the time they are weaned, they are colts and fillies. Most colts are neutered around 24 months; they become geldings. A colt allowed to mature without neutering is a stallion or in some horsey circles, an entire. (Always with accent on the second syllable, best said in a strangled English accent.) Fillies mature into mares. Mares are rarely neutered and there does not seem to be a special word for them.

Asses, donkeys and burros: males are called jacks, females are properly known as jennets: pronounced JEN-et. The more commonly used term is jenny, which is considered correct in non-technical use.

Horse-ass hybrids can be produced two ways: a male horse on a female donkey producess a hinny, which tends to resemble the mother and is regarded as inferior to a the other: a male ass on a female horse, producing the mule. Both hinnies and mules are sterile (for the most part).

Male mules may be called johns, and females, mollies. Male mules are always castrated.

Hmmn. Let us see. A female bovine that has not yet given birth is called a heifer. A maiden pig is a gilt. There is no word for a female horse that has not yet given birth.

liz May 1, 2004, 8:54pm

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