Fembots and Maybot

fembot

A fembot is the type of female robot made famous in the Austin Powers movies for being sufficiently seductive to lure men and then kill them.  Firing poisonous gas from their boobs was one of their cute tricks.

The other day I was reading about the Maybot.  This is the nickname at least one (John Crace in The Guardian) or more British journalists have given to their Prime Minister Theresa May.  maybot

Apparently she is being very slow to make a move on the plan for Britain leaving the European Union (Brexit) and quick to fall back on old platitudes and vague generalisations.  So much so that she seems like a robot repeating a recorded message. And so the term Maybot is born.

Of course, her surname says exactly the opposite of the determined, sure pair of hands her party claimed when they voted for her to replace David Cameron. She MAY or MAY NOT be that but it is not a name like WILLS or ACTON (Think about it!) which suggest more proactivity.

With Theresa we might end up with a fair amount of dithering and fence-sitting, though to tell the truth her job is not an enviable one.

 

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Infidel

fidel

Fidel Castro has finally exited stage right, after an extraordinarily long stint influencing the destiny of his country, Cuba. I was never the greatest fan, despite the good press he received for developing health and education in the country. My visit there in 2002 confirmed that however good your living standards are (which of course they were not for most people), nothing has the same value without at least the majority of freedoms. His rule definitely became an ego-trip and a cling to power in recent decades. Sad.

I don’t expect that in English speaking countries these days there are many children being named Fidel, though maybe there were one or two during the cold war. And the word fidel does not exist as a noun or adjective.

But we do have infidel. I see that this is labelled as offensive in several dictionaries and refers to an insult traded between Christians and Muslims. Didn’t realise it was still so strong!

And we have fidelity and infidelity which relate to marriage and relationships; a more formal way of saying whether you are faithful or not.

There is one further use of the term which relates to an exact copy of something. Like a copy of a work of art or a document. That leads us in turn to hi-fi which stands for high-fidelity and describes sound systems and the like which reproduce the original music, etc to a very precise degree or high level of quality.

So, not many Fidels in English but there is Fido, a popular name for dogs and name of dog food in some places. I bet you couldn’t buy that in Cuba.

fido2

Trump

trump

I am of the belief that the universe sends us messages through names and what seems amusing or coincidental may have other readings.  That’s why we can get top sportsmen called Champion. Or De Gaulle as the President of France, formerly known as Gaul.  

So, the name on everyone’s lips is the winner of the US election this year: Donald Trump. Did you know the word trump is not just a surname but a word used in card games?

In an English deck of cards we have four suits, hearts and diamonds (the red ones) and clubs and spades (the black).  In many games, we have to choose one of these suits to be the leading suit. We then say that this suit is trumps.  In this round or until the rules of the game bring about a change, this suit has more power. Players who have cards in these suits can use them to beat higher cards of another suit. For example,  if diamonds are the trump cards, even if my opponents play kings and queens of other suits, my 4 of diamonds, let’s say, will defeat those cards.

I have tried to keep it simple, believe me!

What does this make me think of in relation to Donald Trump?

Well, firstly, he is like a trump card.  Maybe without the same political history of other candidates, he is coming in and winning because he is the card of the moment.   People want a change in the game and he is advocating that.  Such cards are very powerful and can alter the whole pattern of play.  Donald Trump (DT) is doing that.

There is a connection to the term wild card as well.  These can be like the joker and are substitute cards which can sometimes have a much bigger effect on the game than their real value. Again, DT is shaking up the traditional parties and policies a lot!

Trump cards also play out with luck and DT has undoubtedly been very lucky in his campaign.  With virtually no political background, he stormed to the Republican nomination with great ease, a combination of luck and knowing how to tell people what they want to hear.  And then he won the election against many predictions.

My final observation is the choice of his running mate, Mike Pence.  Not a common surname and as you will know pence is the plural of pennies.  The English once had two pence or tuppence, six pennies or sixpence and so on.  Words that we seldom here these days.

The combination Trump and Pence has a very Dickensian ring to it, it sounds like a law firm, with Trump being the noise (abbreviation of trumpet) and Pence looking after the money.  Let’s see if these aspects come out once they are inaugurated!