Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« Joy To The World | Main | JA Needs Your Help! »

December 26, 2006



"just down the hill from my Paw-Paw's house"

How in the world am I supposed to know what a "Paw-Paw" is?

I cannot STAND it when people write strange words or phrases, expecting their readers magically to know what they mean.

It is the mark of a good writer to EXPLAIN himself clearly. He DEFINES unfamiliar words, expressions, abbreviations -- or, better yet, avoids them.


You know? You can really learn alot on this blog! Before this post I always thought that "Barnacle" was the helper of St. Paul? ...somehow? Maybe I'm confused.. though? Isn't Barnabus LATIN for Barnacle?

Oh, and everyone knows that paw-paw is American Indian for "Dad"....or was that Pow-pow??


A good reader learns to understand the meaning of words from the context! (Maybe you just need more sleep.)

"just down the hill from my Paw-Paw's house"

OK, Paw-Paw is clearly human, as he owns a house. He is clearly someone related to Jimmy as the 'my' indicates. He is someone whom Jimmy visited as a child, to whom he was related, and for whom he had a pet name. Children often give pet names to grandparents when they are learning to talk and "grandfather" is too difficult to manage. While it is hard to imagine Jimmy having difficutly with any word, it is easy to imagine a little boy from Texas having a name like 'Paw-Paw' for his grandfather. Of course, it's possible that it is short for 'Grandma Polly' or Uncle Paul, but that doesn't matter for the clever reader who understands that at some point in Jimmy's childhood he had the exposure to and was fond of barnicles.


Those are gnarly barnicles, btw.

Mary Kay

So John, not enough sleep, fight with your girlfriend, or just incredibly reading challenged? Or judging by your email addy, maybe just a troll.

Jimmy, thanks for the picture, pretty neat indeed. You reminded me of walking along the beach of Lake Ontario and finding various reminders of sea life that had washed ashore. Not anything as neat looking as those barnacles though.


Having lived almost my entire life here on the front beach of a South Carolina barrier island I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Barnacles, hermit crabs and fiddler crabs are a dime a dozen within feet of where I sit. It always gave me great pleasure to show fiddlers and hermit crabs to our upstate visitors. As children my friends and I used to stand at the edge of one of the large marshy areas inhabited by fiddler crabs and watch them for a moment as they did their daily chores. Then pretending we were giants we would slowly head into their city and watch them scatter for their holes in the ground. Talk about a sense of power! BTW, fiddlers (what we call ‘em around here and also the name of my Little League team) make great bait for fishing for sheepshead, a real delicacy in these parts. Actually, fiddlers and a cane pole are the way to catch this fish.


yours is the meanest, most unappreciative comment I have ever read here. Jimmy writes freely, out of generosity, for all to enjoy. Please refrain from ever commenting again.

Marty Helgesen

"Be sure to note the piece of Catholic trivia regarding the Barnacle Goose." Some anti-Catholic polemicists, both fundamentalist and atheist, would use the piece of trivia, "Since barnacles are seafood, the Barnacle Goose was counted as a fish, and could be eaten by Catholics on Fridays, when meat used to be forbidden," to prove that the Catholic taught as a matter of doctrine that barnacles are fish. I've encountered a similar claim that the Pope said the capybara is a fish. Apparently what really happened is that in response from questions from missionaries in South America the Church said that the capybara could be eaten on Fridays. Treating something on the same basis as fish is not the same as saying it is a fish. I am reminded of the famous, and maybe even authentic, quotation:
"Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of one pound. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat."
-- Rule 46, Oxford Union Society, London


"Paw-paw" is what Louisiana French Cajun children call their grandfathers!

Jimmy, do you have Cajun heritage? :)


"Maw-maw" is what we call our grandmas, by the way :)

Tim J.

"Barnacles" is a mild swear word in Bikini Bottom.

As in, "Barnacles! I dropped my Krabby Patty".

Mary Kay

Tim, Bikini Bottom was new to me, but I'm now more educated about the world of SpongeBob SquarePants. Proving once again that you never know what you'll learn here.

Dr. Eric

Tim J,


When I was in high school in the 90s I was in the Illinois River Project. The big problem where I used to live are the Zebra Mussels. They move in, won't leave, and damage the local ecosystem just like the barnacles.

Tilapia do the same thing in Florida.

P.S. My son got Spongebob legos for Christmas!


Hey, any country fan should know the words "Paw-Paw" and "Ma-Ma" from "Indian Outlaw"-- refering to the wrong generation in this case, but come on, is he gonna call his Uncle Jack "Paw-Paw"? And is it relivant?

First reaction to the picture.... "OOoooh! Pink!" (It must be earlier than I thought.....)

I just like watching animals. They're neat.


Marty, LOVE the quote!


Please come back to Texas Mr. Akin!

My Cat's Name Is Lily

Actually, I thought the bit about the barnacle goose was kind of cool, because I have read about them, that there was a big controversy among Jewish rabbis as to whether the barnacle goose was kosher or not...
If it was a fish, it wasn't kosher (no scales or fins), whereas if it was a bird, it counted as a kosher meat.
Thirdly, if the barnacle goose grew on trees (another bit of legend from the Middle Ages), it was a fruit, & could therefore be eaten with flesh foods under the kosher laws.
(All this, I found in a Jewish cookbook many years ago).

So I had to smile over the fact that the barnacle goose apparently had the whole of Europe bemused at some point in history.


Paw Paw is word to meaning somebody at house, son, father to older man of generations.


John, I don't know why you are so upset at Jimmy's diction. To me, it@dosent.matter.

William, I never hear of fishing for sheep. Normally you can catch them by hand ^_^


I know what a "Paw-Paw" is in the sense that Jimmy used it (duh!), but here in Missouri we have a fruit tree called a Paw-Paw - although it may be spelled differently?

The fruit have a thin green skin and are kind of lumpy. The flesh of the fruit is kind of peach-like, but a little firmer. They have a taste all of their own - some people love 'em, but I've never been wild about them myself. They grow all over the place here - especially in wet areas by streams and such.

Ain't trivia fun?


A lot of people who call Dad "Dad" and Mom "Mom", ended up calling Grandpa and Grandma what Dad and Mom call their parents -- "Papa" and "Mama", with the emphasis on various syllables. Pretty soon, Papa and Mama become the names of grandparents instead of parents.

Pop-Pop is what my cousins called their grandpa.

Tim J.

Here in the South some people have a "Mee-Maw and Pee-Paw".


I admit to being creeped out by the barnacles. Where I live, invasive species like Zebra Mussels (in the water) and European mustard have harmed the environment. Now the big scary thing is a type of Asian catfish which leaps WAY out of the water and has been known to injure boaters, skiiers, etc. Everyone is trying to keep them out of the Great Lakes, but it's too early to tell if they're already there.

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31