A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I started a cold air balloon business, but I’m having trouble getting it off the ground” (9/25)
“Bricks are domesticated rocks” (9/25)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/25)
“Depression is the toothpaste to the sweet orange juice that is life” (9/25)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/25)
More new entries...

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Entry from February 04, 2008
Frankenfence (border wall nickname)

"Frankenfence” is a nickname for the border wall (actual and proposed) between the United States and Mexico. The nickname was popularized in 2007-2008 articles in the Austin (TX) Chronicle.
The “Frankenfence” nickname borrows from the novel Frankenstein, with perhaps a hint of “frankincense” as well. Many “franken-” words (such as “frankenfood") suggest that mankind creates a new monster that it cannot control.

“Great Wall of Texas” is another nickname for the same border wall.


Wikipedia: Frankenstein
Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by the British author Mary Shelley. Shelley wrote the novel when she was 19 years old. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley’s name appears on the revised third edition, published in 1831. The title of the novel refers to a scientist who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man, but larger than average and more powerful. In modern popular culture, people have tended to refer to the Creature as “Frankenstein” (especially in films since 1931).

Frankenstein is a novel infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. It was also a warning against the “over-reaching” of modern man and the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel’s subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. The novel raises many issues that can be linked to today’s culture.

Wikipedia: Frankincense
Frankincense or olibanum (Arabic,لبٌان , Lubban) is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra (syn. B. carteri, B. thurifera) (Burseraceae). It is used in incense as well as in perfumes.

Austin (TX) Chronicle (October 19, 2007)
Cross-Border Craziness
No ‘no match’ for now, LAPD owns up, Senate approves Frankenfence construction
BY CHERYL SMITH
(...)
Finally, on Sept. 28, the U.S. Senate approved 80-19 a bill that authorizes construction of a large chunk of the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, which people on Capitol Hill apparently think will stop immigrants from entering the country illegally. “The Republican-written bill authorizing construction of about 700 miles of fence was one of the last bills to clear Congress as lawmakers prepared to leave Washington to campaign for the congressional elections,” Reuters reports. On Oct. 3, the Senate passed another bill authorizing funding for the Frankenfence. Hmmm, wonder who’s going to build it.

Austin (TX) Chronicle (January 25, 2008)
Cross-Border Craziness
Frankenfence, pollution, and racists, oh my!
BY CHERYL SMITH
The federal government has won the latest round in the U.S.-Mexico border’s Frankenfence battle. On Monday, Jan. 14, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludlum ordered the city of Eagle Pass, Texas, “to ‘surrender’ 233 acres of city-owned land” to Uncle Sam for fence construction, according to the Associ­ated Press.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, February 04, 2008 • Permalink