Thursday, November 2, 2023

Apple-knocker ~ WordWayzzz™ November 2023

Knock-knock … why Thank You!  

Perhaps to make up for Christmas squeezing Thanksgiving out into the chilly fall air, it seems more people are giving the whole month of November to their gratitude attitude.

Gratitude doesn’t need to be an extravagant show of effusive warmth or a pile of money (although the latter always helps!). A few simple words and your kind gesture of appreciation or offer of assistance, works wonders to build, mend, and attract the same from others, toward you.

The good in gratitude far outweighs those who still sink to duplicity … especially at this time of year. Through the centuries, Thanksgiving has represented the best of us, from Colonial America to the 21st century. With that in mind, enjoy the spirit of Thanksgiving emanating from a traditional word that carries its warmth …    

apple-knocker (-,nä-kǝr; 1919) n. – rustic. [WW #335] 

Yep, that’s it. The whole definition, according to the Eleventh Edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. A simple, one-word definition belies this old-fashioned word’s historic meaning , especially when you define “rustic.”

Even that word, though a little more expansive, doesn’t pick up the character of apple-knocker that inextricably transports you back to colonial America. Rustic’s dictionary reference: “… of, relating to, or suitable for the country (rural; 15c).” But it still doesn’t offer a why in its allusion to “apple” or “knocker.”  

Does it suggest the rural home of an Early American settler who knocked apples from trees at harvest time? Some references seem to think so. Today, apple-knocker is just as likely to denote something found on a trip with the American Pickers, scavenging in rural barns and attics. 

It reminds me of “apple-bobbing.” Most Boomers, especially those rurally raised, remember bobbing for apples as a favorite party pastime and feast festivity—like at Halloween and Thanksgiving.

For writers, the word is a gift of nostalgia and November is a perfect month for apple-knocker to re-enter or garnish your vocabulary, with Thanksgiving the ultimate personification of Early American style.

Some say, like Columbus Day, we should abandon celebrating “Americans” (European Colonists) who settled North America and displaced Indigenous peoples. But invasions and colonization is how countries—including America—became countries, since the beginning of so-called civilization.

Any one of many other nations could have become “America,” but the people who settled here chose to establish a whole new country. Better, worse, or indifferent, it’s still OUR country to enjoy words like apple-knocker … and freedom.

Rather than tearing it apart, as so many think should be done today, why aren’t we working together as the “United States of America” to make it better—not more violent or divided. During this month of Thanksgiving, we should be THANKING our forefathers for even trying to establish a civil country—amidst all social and governmental flaws that plague humankind.

Monthly Song of Note  
On a lighter note, the American South has no exclusive claim on apple-knockers. Our November Song of Note leads us from Washington State to New Mexico in Joe Walsh’sRocky Mountain Way.”  

As the largest mountain system in North America, it’s no stretch to consider the mighty Rocky Mountains’ historical part played in our country. Rustic and apple-knockers abound.

For Walsh and his songwriting band, Barnstorm, at the time, “Rocky Mountain Way” was as much a state of mind as a place. According to the song’s origins, it’s evidence that inspiration can come from a happenstance glance upward. Rocky Mountain Way | it's better than the way we had      

Walsh landed at #30 November 3rd on WCFL/Chicago’s music chart. It was starting down the ladder after a short run up to #22 in October ... see more tuneful tidbits to manifest your memories or enjoy the ambience of 1973 and keep the Rock Rockin’ from 50 Years Ago this Month! 

Word Challenge: APPLE-KNOCKER. Although it works for any genre, apple-knocker simply evokes rustic memorabilia or creates a vintage scene in fiction, as you focus on your nostalgic month of writings, and casual conversations, to start the Holidays.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

Happy Thanksgiving Readers and Writers!

Cheers to learning or creating a new word today! 

*WordWayzzzTM is currently created for your literary pleasure every first Wednesday of each month. Thank you for stopping by! However, December 2023’s post will be the final monthly WordWayzzz article. There may be occasional posts after and the site will remain as a viable educational tool. Always remember, learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t harmful to your health! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and WordWayzzz comments.

[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

LR Notes: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – Eleventh Edition, unless otherwise noted. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) a] Recent dictionary additions to definitions include a date of first use, if known; b] words in small caps indicate “see also.” 3) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.      
       And please note, I do not receive compensation from any company or person for commercial or commodity links I may include in my posts.



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