Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Word Nerd Wonders: What did you just call that?

So I'm driving down the freeway this weekend, admiring the fall foliage and feeling grateful I only have to deal with Sunday morning traffic, when I see a sign:


Hmm, I think. Sounds like a sports bar, maybe; it's attached to a hotel, so they're trying to get a manly crowd in to eat hot wings and drink beer, increase their customer base outside of hotel guests. "Outrigger" certainly sounds manly, and outdoorsy. I mean, it's OUTside of something, that's manly. And all those Gs: outriGGGrrrrs, GGrrrill, that sure sounds manly, doesn't it?

Wait a minute, my word nerd lobe interjects. Isn't an "outrigger" one of those stabilizing thingies you find on certain kind of boats? I ask TSU, who's my expert on all things naval, and he says yes, you find them on those old Hawaiian/Samoan canoes that traveled the Pacific in olden times. Great. Now I have a mental picture:

So now I'm wondering, how do you grill on that? I mean, it's not big enough for a real manly grill; I don't even think you could fit a hibachi. (TSU replies: those boats were designed for the long haul, they had to cook the food somehow. I countered that even if there was room in the canoe, I didn't think you could manage a grill with all that pitching and rolling on the ocean.)

So I'm getting a totally mixed message from this bar's name.* It's manly, outdoors, and full of GRRRR! It's tough enough to sail the ocean alone in a small canoe! It's too small to cook a really good side of ribs! Oh well. I should have learned by now not to expect businesses to use words that actually make sense.

*To be fair, I actually looked up the place, and if I were 20 years younger and inclined to go out to bars, I might check them out for their live music.


  1. Will true men grill on anything, even if it threatens instability beneath them? Perhaps Outriggers Grill suggests they will. Perhaps it challenges them. Suggests only real men will step on up and try it!

    Or the owners just played paper rock scissors over a few names, and this is the winner :)

  2. I think the picture is a catamaran....