Review of Unusual Words That I Learned From My Father, Part Two, By Johnathan

Today's Word: Squam.

The tale: So my Dad has two sons, a bad memory, and a fondness for nicknames. While the first two traits when combined lead to myself being referred to as 'Nick' half the time, a liberal addition of the third to our lives somehow solved everything. Fully a third of the time my brother and I are referred to not by our names but by a revolving selection of nicknames such as Worm, Toad, Tadpole, Weasel, Spook, Unscrupulous Creature, etc.* These names were not exclusive to either one of us, although I believe that Nick was/is referred to as Tadpole more frequently, while I am most often Weasel (Indeed, a perhaps-apocryphal family story holds that for a time in my extreme youth I thought that Weasel was my proper name). As well, I, by dint of my greater age, am sometimes given the prefix 'Super', as in Super Toad.

One word always stood out, however. Amongst this veritable zoo of nicknames stood one that basically made no sense: Squam. Though I have been referred to by this title (or it's Super variant) for much of my natural life, I have no idea what it means. I can't bring myself to ask at this late date, though, so I can only hope that my Dad read a lot of HP Lovecraft in his youth, and has simply abbreviated squamous.

Anyway... it has a nice ring to it.


*Upon reading this list I feel compelled to note that this was not a Boy Called It kind of situation - these were somehow very affectionate nicknames.

Review of Unusual Words That I Learned From My Father, Part One, by Johnathan

Today's word: Jillyprog.

Some history - This is a logging word, but I'm not too sure whether it's widely used, or confined to Nova Scotia, or peculiar to my family, though my Grandfather did work in a logging camp, so I suspect that someone, somewhere, at some point, has used it before.
In any case, my family burns wood, and all of that wood has to be cut, and so I spent many of my winter weekends throughout high school in the forest, lifting heavy things whilst my father wielded a chainsaw. Now, the normal means by which one cuts down a tree of any size is to cut a notch out of the trunk on the side of the tree that you want to hit the ground, then saw completely through and let gravity do the rest. Occasionally, though, this tried and true method fails, and one is left with a huge piece of wood balancing unsupported on a tree stump, which is not the most ideal situation. To solve this problem, my learned elders would cut a long stick and we would place one end high on the offending trunk, then push mightily on the other, thus bringing low another mighty forest giant. That stick, my friends, is known as a jillyprog.