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World Association of International Studies

Post Tweedy Pweedy Tuesday! Letters I and J
Created by John Eipper on 05/19/15 6:16 PM

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Tweedy Pweedy Tuesday! Letters I and J (David Pike, France, 05/19/15 6:16 pm)

Herewith is the continuation of the WAIS-Pike Dictionary of Idioms (Pweedy), letters I J K. There are no entries for K.

I am presently in Cannes. Hope to complete the Dictionary by end of June.

All the best, David

JE comments:  Please send a Cannes report, David!

And we've met this Tweedy Pweedy Tuesday deadline, if barely. The PDF file can be accessed here . As always, the pecking order of languages is below. 

BONUS:  how many of us Americans know the verb "to skive"?  Brownie points go to the first response.

1. English
2. French
3. German
4. Italian
5. Spanish
6. Portuguese
7. Russian

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  • Friends, Let Us Skive (Randy Black, USA 05/20/15 4:59 AM)
    To answer John E's Tweedy Pweedy question, "skiving" is cutting out from work early. Skiving out of the office before closing time. A skive or skiver is someone who is not a hard worker.

    JE comments: This one didn't faze WAISers for a minute. David Pike's gloss includes slacking and goofing off. Remember the WPA (We Piddle Around)?

    Our Chicago David, Mr Duggan, gives us the literal meaning of "to skive": to thin leather.

    Skiving and Skyping: two activities to shorten your work day!

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    • Let Us Skive...and Sloyd (Mike Bonnie, USA 05/20/15 8:17 AM)
      When commenting on yesterday's installment of the Tweedy Pweedy, John E asked about "skiving." I don't expect this to be the first response; in any case, I had to look up the word to refresh my memory.

      But I recall my Boy Scout days and visiting Tandy leather company to pick up bits of leather for making belts and wallets as holiday gifts for family and friends. One of the tools in my tool box was a "skive" knife, used to thin the leather at the creases of wallets, so the edges would line up for lacing together flat pieces that needed to be folded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skiving_%28leathercraft%29

      Thinking of tools that once were commonly carried by boys and men, an entire education system was built in Sweden around the Sloyd knife, although Sloyd education began earlier in Finland. "Educational sloyd as practiced in Sweden started with the use of the knife. The knife was controversial when sloyd was first introduced in the UK. Educators in London and the other cities of the UK could hardly imagine putting knives in the hands of the juveniles." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloyd

      As a side note, until 2013 Finland ranked at or near the top of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The fall in 2013 could partly be attributed to other nations altering school curriculum to better respond to test questions, teaching to the test. http://www.businessinsider.com/why-finland-fell-in-the-pisa-rankings-2013-12

      JE comments:  So skiving can be thinning leather--as well as your work day!  I consider myself worldly, but 24 hours ago I had never heard of skiving or sloyding.  Therein lies the educational power of WAIS.

      Isn't the Sloyd system more or less what we used to call "Shop"?  My clearest memory from woodworking class:  sand, sand, and sand some more.

      How many in WAISworld carry that universal tool of yore--the Swiss Army knife?  I suspect far fewer than before, because of air travel.

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      • Carrying Knives (John Heelan, UK 05/20/15 10:11 AM)
        To answer John E's question, I have always carried a penknife since boyhood. My current one is a Swiss Army knife with multiple usual blades, scissors, corkscrew, tweezers etc. But then I don't travel by air much these days!

        A friend at uni was an ex-sailor. We were travelling on a bus once that had a door that kept opening letting icy blasts into the cabin. I jocularly said to him: "All sailors are supposed to carry a knife and a bit of string or rope with them at all times!" He smiled and then produced a length of string and a penknife and proceeded to secure the door!

        JE comments: Who remembers the joke about the Swiss Navy knife? Now that I think about it, is there such a joke?

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        • The Swiss--and Andorran--Navies (Paul Preston, UK 05/20/15 12:14 PM)

          John:  With your reference to Swiss Navy knives (see John Heelan, 20 May), are you sure you are not thinking about the joke concerning the Andorran navy?

          There were two anarchists talking in a Francoist concentration camp:

          "I hear that the Minister for the Navy in Andorra has been dismissed."

          "Don't be ridiculous; Andorra doesn't have a navy. It's landlocked."

          "What's that got to do with anything? In Spain, we have a Ministry of Justice!"

          JE comments: We discussed landlocked navies a year or two back, and I think this joke came up. But it merits an encore.

          Presenting the Victorinox Skipper, also known as the Swiss Navy knife.  Does that mean it floats?  Cameron Sawyer or Eugenio Battaglia, can either of you seafarers explain?

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        • It's Risky to Carry Knives; ISIL/Daesh Seizes Ancient Palmyra (Enrique Torner, USA 05/21/15 3:22 AM)
          I had been carrying a "heavily loaded" Swiss army knife in my pocket for quite some time, until I started having itching and numb feelings on the thigh where I was carrying it. When I visited my doctor about it, he told me to empty my pocket from all the stuff I was carrying in it. He said that I had irritated a superficial nerve that's on the thigh, and diagnosed me with "meralgia paresthetica." I'm still having some trouble with it. I wonder what the WAIS doctors think?

          On a different subject, I am now concerned with ISIL having seized the famous ancient city of Palmyra, in Syria, which UNESCO designated as a World Heritage Site. Luckily, they were able to save hundreds of sculptures and other small pieces, but what's going to happen to all their magnificent architecture? The New York Times includes a great slide show of the city in their article. Check it out:


          I am now finally on summer vacation! Now I'll be able to participate more on WAIS; this was a hard semester.

          JE comments: You need a man bag, Enrique!  I too am guilty of carrying too much junk in my pockets, although it was worse in the heydey of cargo pants.

          The IS presence in Palmyra puts our cultural patrimony in danger.  I fear we'll soon see dreadful videos of dynamiting, as Taliban did with the Buddhas of Bamiyan.

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  • Fiacca (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 05/20/15 5:12 AM)

    "Fiacca" in Italian and Fiaca in Argentina mean the same thing.

    Generally you have fiacca on a very hot and humid day when you are not in a good mood.

    JE comments: Argentines also use the diminutive: "¡Qué fiaquita!" means it's time for an afternoon nap.

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