Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Let them eat cake"

According to today's Word of the Day, "cake eater," residents of Edina don't need a special occasion to enjoy cake. Apparently, they're cake eaters because of their affluence. According to the definition (by epmn) the reference is to Marie Antoinette's legendary phrase of "let them eat cake," which demonstrated her ignorance toward the plight of those without bread. (I remember my history professor once telling me that there's no evidence of her actually saying that.)

Good stuff. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae?

Today's Word of the Day could spark some controversy between the two rival cities of Ithaca, New York and Two Rivers, Wisconsin. (Say what?) Apparently, both claim to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. I am no authority on the matter, so I'll just let our users duke it out to see if they can shine some light on this issue.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Will the last person leaving Seattle please turn out the lights?

According to the author of today's Word of the Day, this message appeared on a billboard decades back to signal a perceived exodus from Seattle after a string of layoffs at Boeing. This seems quite timely, as layoffs are occurring all over the country. Even the tech behemoth Microsoft has recently laid off thousands of employees. I wonder if this expression is becoming more common in the Seattle area as a result.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Word of the Day - Drinking City with a Football Problem

Apparently Buffalo is a drinking city with a football problem. While the sole definition for today's Word of the Day disparages the Buffalo Bills, it's not our official policy at City Dictionary to weigh in on subjective issues in sports. However, we do appreciate the self-deprecating humor and the insight the expression gives us. Not that it says anything definitively, but it might prompt us to delve deeper into Buffalo's unique language and culture. Before City Dictionary users got a hold of the Buffalo Dictionary, I didn't know about the city's Irish and Catholic heritage, or about the multicultural Upper West Side. Oh, and neither did I know that a single name (Tonawanda) could used for so many different adjacent towns, cities, and natural features.

This is all great stuff.

Related to today's Word of the Day: A quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem

Monday, May 18, 2009

Word of the Day - Annual Strike: New York, New York

Today's Word of the Day features a cultural phenomenon that appears to be quite common in New York: strike. OK, it's not just New Yorkers who strike, but only in a city of New York's size and economic importance are the implications of shutting down public services so grave.

Apparently, the strikes in New York are so frequent that they are considered annual.

Most people outside of New York can remember fights between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Transport Workers Union, but apparently the strikes are not limited to the New York subway system. According to the author of today's Word of the Day, waste disposal services also shut down on a regular annual basis. The best time to do it: the middle of the summer when the politicians and the laypeople get to know the true value of their services. Yuck...

All this talk about New York reminds me of one of my favorite entries for the New York Dictionary. Apparently, there is a high positive correlation between the price of a slice of pizza and the price of a subway ticket in New York. I can't verify the merits of this "pizza-subway price correlation," but it sounds like a fascinating concept.