Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A BIT of word play

witches' knickers n.pl. plastic bags that have caught in trees and bushes.

We here at BIT are well-travelled, discerning, enlightened, intellectually aware, and cultured enough to know that bags in trees are far from being a solely Baltimore-based enterprise (although we'd surely like to think so). No, bags in trees have been spotted around the globe and on several continents. Here's a sampling of some of the colorful names that the objects of our affection have garnered worldwide:
Snagged in treetops in Ireland, they become “witches’ knickers." Alaskans call them “tundra ghosts” and “landfill snowbirds.” In China, they’re “white pollution.” South Africans have sarcastically dubbed them their “national flower.”
Now that's something worth writing to the mayor about!

[Via the Double-Tongued Word Wrester Dictionary]

5 Comments:

At 12:32 AM, Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

The residents of Baltimore, however, preferring not to waste pretty phrases on what are bags in trees, prefer the plain, descriptive, and wonderful, "Bags in Trees."

I don't understand the appeal of this site. WHY IS IT SO ADDICTIVE? I think I saw a fried bird on a wire the other day, and I thought about sending it in, but since it wasn't a bag, and since it was on a wire and not a tree, I didn't. Plus, I didn't have my camera. Bah.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger verity said...

National flower. Ha!

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger Brian Sacawa said...

I'm going to "sarcastically dub" the bag in a tree one of the symbols of Baltimore, on par with the crab, the orioles, the inner harbor, and the dope fiend.

 
At 6:34 PM, Blogger verity said...

...don't forget the strategically placed pink plastic flamingo. ;)

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Brian Sacawa said...

To answer Snay: yes, Baltimoreans don't need any fancy schmancy names for our bags in trees. "Bags In Trees" will do just fine for our working-class, dockworker-type town. Come to think of it, Bags In Trees might just be the last refuge of the city's true character. Like, all the stevedores were pushed out of Locust Point a few years ago to make way for gentrification and "harbor views." Next thing you know, people are going to be gentrifying the tree-tops, pushing out the bags, and building tree houses. Where will this madness stop?

 

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