It’s fall now up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the squirrels are busy squirreling away their nuts for the winter. Meanwhile, I’ve been eating a lot of nuts, and going a little nuts. And reading about nuts¹. It’s almost as if nuts have been falling out of the trees and bonking me on the head². So, grab your nutcracker³, because I’ve gathered up a few nuts to share with you for this week’s list o’ Things.
a selection of mixed nuts
- nuts. (adj.) An expression meaning “crazy.” As in “you are totally nuts.” There are also other nut-themed variations, such as the additional adjectives nutty and nutso, and nouns like nutjob and nutcase.
- Nuts (1987) A movie starring Richard Dreyfuss and Barbra Streisand.
- Nuts (2007) A short movie directed by Irvine Welsh. (You can actually watch it on IMDB.)
- nut: a piece of hardware: “a type of hardware fastener with a threaded hole.” Typically used with a bolt.
- wingnut: a kind of nut (the hardware kind) with the appearance of wings
- wingnut: someone with extremely right-wing political views. As in “please don’t let us have a wingnut for vice president!”
- nuts: a slang term for testicles.
- Mr. Peanut. The mascot for Planter’s nuts. An anthropomorphic peanut wearing a tophat.
- in a nutshell: an expression meaning “in summary” or “in brief,” evoking the compact size of a nutshell, and what can be stuffed in it.
- O’Reilly’s In a Nutshell series: technical reference books, such as Perl in a Nutshell and Java in a Nutshell
- The Nutshell Library: A box set collection of miniature books by Maurice Sendak. Not about technical topics.
- “Death in a Nut“: A folktale (in various versions) about a boy who tries to save his mother from death by stuffing Death into a nut shell.
- “Thumbelina“: a fairytale about a tiny girl. She had a cradle made of a walnut shell.
- Kate Crackernuts: an English fairytale about a girl who frees her stepsister from a curse that hides her beauty. The nuts are somewhat peripheral to the story. Kate collects them while going about her tasks and eats them for breakfast.
- Nutcracker: a device used to access nuts that are encased in a hard shell. Decorative ones sometimes are made to look like people.
- The Nutcracker: a ballet by Tchaikovsky, based on the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffmann featuring a decorative nutcracker toy.
- Harlan Pepper, played by Christopher Guest in Best in Show, likes to name nuts:
I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, “Harlan Pepper, if you don’t stop naming nuts,” and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that’s what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she’d just start yelling. I’d say, “Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut.” That was the one that would send her into going crazy. She’d say, “Would you stop naming nuts!” And Hubert used to be able to make the sound, he couldn’t talk, but he’d go “rrrawr rrawr” and that sounded like Macadamia nut. Pine nut, which is a nut, but it’s also the name of a town. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. Natural, all natural white pistachio nut.
¹ Two of my favorite bloggers coincidentally (or perhaps both sparked by the start of school) wrote about how they are dealing with nut restrictions in their schools. Emily wrote Nutty, and Denguy wrote Aw, Nuts, two thoughtful posts that raise awareness about nut allergies. (I’d like to add that neither of them has a child with a nut allergy, and in fact have kids who love peanut butter. But they are both concerned and considerate.)
² That happened to me once with a chestnut. It hurt.
³ …or your epipen…
Thumbelina image from Hans Christian Andersen, Fairy Tales (Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, ND).