Misnamed or not, it got the job done
As you do, I was contemplating my navel while in the shower yesterday, and, as random thoughts popped into my head, I decided to take a look at the wonderful world of misnomers.
Things that are, more than likely innocently, misnamed.
Australia has a few. The koala bear isn’t a bear at all; it’s a marsupial. And when Captain Cook asked, of course in English, what that large strange animal with a big tail, short front legs, and hopped like a rabbit was, the native, equally naturally not understanding a word of it, replied “kangaroo.” Evidently that actually meant in that particular tribal language “I don’t know”.
There’s no lead in a pencil, Chinese checkers were invented in Germany, as was the French horn. Poland came up with the English horn, which more closely resembles an oboe rather than a horn.
Arabic numbers were actually Indian, and Bombay duck is indeed a fish.
The Thousand Islands in reality is made up of 1,864 islands, but I guess that’d be a pain in the rear to put on a menu, now, wouldn’t it? “Salad, with eighteen sixty-four dressing, Sir?”
The white rhino isn’t white. The Boers in South African named it the “white rhino” – but, in their native Dutch, it was pronounced “vide” and meant “wide," as that is the shape of the animal’s mouth.
Speaking of humor, pardoning the pun, the funny bone isn’t at all funny, especially if you’ve belted it. That sickening pain is the result of your hitting your ulnar nerve.
And laughing gas? Nitrous oxide to be perfectly correct, does not, as its nickname suggests, produce hearty guffaws.
I had to have a tooth pulled. Just before my procedure the other week which will not be named, nor will it be repeated, I broke a crown, which took part of the tooth with it. Shall we say, it was never to be seen again, unless the procedural doctor found it in his excavations and failed to mention it. Not that I would have taken it back, I might add.
So, the fang had to go. As you will know if you’ve followed me through the years, the dentist is not my favorite person to visit, but as my grin was now somewhat gapped, vanity had me succumbing to the profession.
Knowing it was going to be a 90-minute procedure, and despite knowing I would be benumbed admirably, I asked the nurse if nitrous oxide was an option. Happily, for an additional $65 it was. I wouldn’t have cared if it was ten times the price.
The only other time I’d had laughing gas was when I was determinedly trying to give birth to an apartment building – otherwise known as my darling daughter, Madam. I must say my memory of the gas didn’t remotely make me feel like a chuckle; it just made me feel that I was outside of myself looking in. I didn’t care for it.
But dentistry made me reconsider – and I’m delighted to tell you, I’m deliriously happy I did.
But laughing gas? No, no – a more apt description would be “I don’t give a rat's” gas. And I won’t go without it again.
Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at email@example.com.