or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Get Back

I don't know about you, but we figured the swine flu shot was worth getting--that the benefits outweighed the risks--so last night we went to get it. My arm is kind of sore at the injection site, but it's no different from the other, regular flu shot I got last month (my first one ever), so I figure everything is working as it should. It takes 10 days or so to properly kick-start the immune system, apparently, so we figure if we can stay healthy for the next couple of weeks we're in gravy.

When you first saw the nomenclature "H1N1 flu", did you immediately start calling it the heinie flu, at least in your head? Because that's the first thing I thought of. How juvenile, I know.

"Heinie" means, in parts of North America, "buttocks" or "bum" or whatever else you want to call it. (Bette Midler used to refer to Queen Elizabeth II as "her heinie the queen", which may not mean anything to the British but is irresistibly funny to the eight-year-old in every non-monarchist North American.)

It shouldn't take more than a couple of seconds for you to accurately deduce that "heinie" is an infantilized version of "hinder"--the long-i version, not the short-i version that means "to hamper or delay"--or "hindquarters" or "hind end" or whatever other euphemism for arse you would like to employ.

It should not take you more than a few seconds more to once again correctly surmise that the two versions of "hinder" are from the same source, since if you hinder someone, you hold them back, so there's that sense of back-ness.

H1N1, by the way, stands for "Hemagglutanin-1 Neurominadase-1": the words refer to the antigens involved and the numbers refer to the subtypes, so there are other related mutated viruses with names such as H2N1 and H1n4 and so on.


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