POPSICKLE – The Wednesday Wordapod
So, what would YOU call a Russian farm implement passed down from father to son? Let the games and fun word plays begin.
If you like “Popsickle”, you really need to pick up a copy of Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words, where you will find more than 250 creative, fun Wordapods.
Popsickle (n) – short for “Pop’s sickle,” an implement reserved for the family patriarch, and used for cutting grain or tall grass
Please Note: This word comes to us from Russia, where people have always had a great reverence for their semi-circular bladed tools, as well as for their fathers. No, there’s no pophammer.
Mikhail Jordan, Professor of Field Clearing at Odessa (Russia) A&M, is the author of a dynamic new book entitled Watching My Father’s Tools: A Memoir. It was an honor to interview him, even if I couldn’t tell whether his sense of humor was very poor, or very advanced.
Matt: Professor Jordan, has Russian culture always been so reverential about farm implements, and the protocol of who should use them?
Professor Jordan: Relentlessly so. For many centuries, Mother Russia has always been a very patriarchal society that also places great emphasis, and even reverence, over these implements. The father has always been accorded the honor of leading the way in the wheat fields, and he wields the most ornate and sharpest sickle, which has come to be known as the popsickle. The first son inherits his Dad’s tool; if no male sons are born, the sickle is buried with the old man.
Matt: Isn’t it ironic that Mother Russia is so patriarchal?
Professor Jordan: No, I don’t see the irony.
Matt: Mother Russia. (pause) Still nothing? My mistake. But, tell me, sir, where are the daughters in all this? Do they ever get to use their father’s prized tools?
Professor Jordan: In very rare cases, yes. For instance, a farm girl from outside Vladivostok named Katya inherited Anatoly Pasternacky’s tool in 1983.
Matt: Did this event shatter the glass ceiling for Russian farm girls?
Professor Jordan: Apparently not, but I’m sure that it helped young Katya harvest some wheat.
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