Gourmandise in French means "a fondness for food"
peur bleue


Sicily (c) Kristin Espinasse
These purple Sicilian cauliflowers were mentioned in the previous story, about a gluttonous gal...

anagramme (ana gram) noun, masculine

 : an anagram is "a reversing [a reordering, rearrangement, or transposition] of letters of a word or a group of words in order to extract a meaning or a new word." (French definition follows...) 

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Un anagramme c'est un "renversement de lettres" d'un mot ou d'un groupe de mots pour en extraire un sens ou un mot nouveau. -Wikipedia


 police - picole  (to "picoler" is to booze)

aube - beau

soigneur - guérison

imaginer - migraine

Did you notice how, for certain words, the new meaning is not so disconnected from the original? The aube, or "dawn" is indeed beau! To soigner, or treat, would indeed lead to la guérison, or "recovery". And to imaginer too much may lead to a migraine! Some wordsmiths swear by the wisdom in anagrams and did you know that writers and artists often use anagrams to come up with a nom de plume, or pseudo (thus Jim Morrison is "Mr Mojo Risin" in the song "L.A. Woman"....)

But the fun really kicks in when you put your own name on the line.... as I do in the following example (it'll be your turn next, so stop snickering!)

Using an internet anagram server created by wordsmith Anu Garg, I typed in the following 13 letters: "kristin ingham" (my maiden name)  

... next, I waited for the wisdom, or sagesse, that would certainly be inherent in the rearrangement of all 13 letters. Here's what I learned about myself:

Hang Miniskirt

Looking at the above words, I can hardly make out the letters of my name, but there, indeed, are all 13 of them! As for the "wise message".... well, let's just say that miniskirts no longer hang the same way these 43-year-old days--or that it's high time to "hang miniskirt".

A Sinking Mirth

(Do you see my name in the above letters? Oh well, "A Sinking Mirth" must equal "when 'happy laughter' drowns", which would explain why I still find it hard to tell a joke in French. 

Rash Timing Kin : this clearly refers to my tendency to precipitate toward the family buffet.   

Mash Irking Nit: this was, in fact, a childhood pastime while walking home from baseball practice: mashing all those irking nits. Yipes, I meant gnats!!! It was gnats--and not nits!--that I mashed!

Nevertheless, continuing on this theme, two other anagrams are proposed, incredible all the letters in my name are found here:

Harm Skiing Nit: whether they fly or ski... makes no difference! 

Ah Smirking Nit: (the one's that got away)

Moving on, the thirteen letters in "Kristin Ingham" also spell:

Gamin Hits Rink

This would refer to my 9th year, when I won a blue ribbon in ice skating! (Winning entailed the letting go of the guard rail... and knocking over my two pint-size competitors in the process.) 

Margins Hit Ink : Yes! (the writer in me likes it). 

And, conversely, all 13 letters, rearranged again, spell:

Harm Siting Ink : agreed: ink should move across the page... or else!

Ranting. Him Ski!

For how many years did I suck my thumb in self pity whilst my husband soared down the slopes in Serre Chevalier? Sucking one's thumb is still proving to be easier than learning to skier.

Iran Might Sink

Gosh! No wonder those cute Persian boyfriends fled from me! 


Well, you learned more about me than you may ever have wanted to know! And now it is your turn to feed the letters of your name into the Internet Anagram Server... and to let us know a few truths about your own nitpicky self.

Share your results, or your feedback, in the comments box!

 Wisdom from Smokey, photos, and French homonyms! at the end of this edition...

"Propre / Pas Propre"  ("Clean / Not Clean") SmokeyDoll, 8-months-old in this picture, demonstrates the French concept of "squeaky clean and fluffy".

Smokey, comparing his sweet scent to that of the "snapper" dragon's. On second thought, one must never compare oneself to a flower... or a weed for that matter! Therein lies the secret of a sound mind.

Can't get enough French? Here's a very short & quick read, written by my dear Francophone friend, Barbara, on French homonyms!

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety