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Sunday, September 25, 2005


I'm really such an idiot sometimes.

For at least 30 years I have been wearing the same brand/style of dress shoes.  They are cordovan classic penny loafers from LL Bean... hand-sewn in the great state of Maine. 

I have a couple of pairs that have been resoled six or seven times, and just keep getting more comfortable with age!

Even on the rare occasions that I have had to settle with another company's penny loafer, one feature that I have always insisted upon is the 'beefroll'.

For those of you not familiar with this feature, here is a picture of my old standby, with a handy red circle drawn around the 'beefroll':

Here's the problem:  For as long as I can remember, I have been mentally pronouncing this as 'Bee-Froll'. 

Maybe I had bees on the brain even as a pre-teen.  But for whatever reason, I somehow managed to work out that this particular feature had earned it's name because it looked like the striped abdomen of a bee... y'know... because everyone know that the striped part of a bee is called the 'froll', right?

It wasn't until I started reading up on beekeeping that I noticed with growing horror that this term was mysteriously absent from all discussion of Apis Mellifera's anatomy.

Then I started thinking back on all the times I'd called LL Bean's wonderfully friendly customer service department to order a new pair, and began mentally replaying tape to figure out if I had ever asked for shoes 'with a froll'.

"No ma'am... if you look further down the page... all the way in the lower right hand corner of page 167 in the fall catalog, there is a pair... yeah, that's right... the ones with the 'froll'.

During the course of over three decades how could I not have realized that the feature was named for it's resemblance to a 'BEEF ROLL'?!

They must have had quite a laugh up there in Freeport, ME every  time I called:

"Pssst... hey everyone, it's that 'froll' guy again...  get over here and listen to this!"

I'm such an idiot sometimes I can't even believe it.


Posted by David Bogner on September 25, 2005 | Permalink


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That's really funny! Here are two other changes in accent to make funny words like "froll:" bedridden, pronounced "be-dridden" (makes it sound like a yiddish word) and molesters, pronounced with two syllables instead of three: "mole-sters" (like "monsters").

Posted by: savtadotty | Sep 25, 2005 5:03:17 PM

And here I thought there was some conncetion with your beehive! Ok dave it's time for a change..how about wing tips? Perhaps a cap toe?

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | Sep 25, 2005 5:08:29 PM

You might have created new lingo at the company.Instead of laughing at you they might all assume that you used the correct name, or maybe they just think that you are a froll.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 25, 2005 6:24:01 PM

i guess I must be really ignorant... i didn't even know that there was a term for that portion of the shoe!
Thanks for the info.

Posted by: val | Sep 25, 2005 6:39:31 PM

I just went to check them out online after reading your entry, and they have exactly NONE for women! I'm starting to feel old and useless...

Posted by: Patti | Sep 25, 2005 6:59:41 PM

Hey, this is the stuff that linguistic evolution is made of!

How do you think a norange became an orange, and on the other side, an ickname became a nickname?

My personal favorite word mistakes, that i continue to use even though i know now that they're "wrong":
half-hazard (haphazard)
for all intensive purposes (for all intents and purposes)

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Sep 25, 2005 8:07:02 PM

Savtadotty... If you're going to bring up English words that sound like Yiddish, I think 'Far fetched' takes the prize (especially if you shift the accent slightly to the second syllable). :-)

Jewish Blogmiester... I may have played 'shiny shoe music', but I never wore the footwear! No thanks!

Jack... Nice try, but I doubt I convinced anyone of anything (other than the fact that I'm an idiot!). :-)

Val... How is it that you and I grew up under the same roof and you are like the anti-preppy? :-)

Patti... Weird. I distinctly remember there being women's penny loafers at Bean! This must be a new development. At least Sebago still makes them!

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg)... There is a great web site called kissthisguy.com that has a pretty comprehensive list of all the misheard lyrics. The title of the site comes from that famously misheard Hendrix lyric "... 'scuse me while I kiss this guy!" :-)

Posted by: David | Sep 25, 2005 9:38:22 PM

Overthinking doesn't mean you're an idiot. It just means you're a geek after all. Maybe the first bee geek ever.

[lmao @ "wing tips."]

Posted by: Tanya | Sep 26, 2005 12:44:36 AM

now you're getting it! that's almost like eating a bowl of gravy for lunch. call LL Bean back just to make sure they know you're a Mensa member!

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Sep 26, 2005 3:11:22 AM

Thanks for the laugh. I'm guessing you never cooked flank steak. That's the only steak I know of where you tie it up like that. But then, I'm no gourmet. (That's "gore may" -- from bull fighting. Because after they kill the bull, they call some really good cooks up to cook and serve the steaks.)

Posted by: mirty | Sep 26, 2005 3:37:40 AM


Posted by: bobdchikmagnet | Sep 26, 2005 4:49:57 AM

And to think, the first bee froll i ever had was made by you!!!

Posted by: mgreen | Sep 26, 2005 6:33:24 AM

I used to live in those shoes - my pair, that is (not much room for more than feet, though, as you would imagine)!!! I had no idea they were even still made, much less that the side things had a name, and even much less than that that they were called bee-froll or beef-roll. This is turning out to be a very educational blog...

Posted by: mcaryeh | Sep 26, 2005 8:58:42 AM

Bee-froll versus beef-roll, huh?

Of course Version 2 makes more sense. They're loafers, right? And everybody's heard of meat loaf.

Meat loafers have gotta have beef rolls, honey.

Posted by: Elisson | Sep 26, 2005 1:23:52 PM

On the same line... If you've never visited KissThisGuy.com, you might want to take a look... A collection of song lyrics that people have mistaken.

Posted by: Ocean Guy | Sep 26, 2005 2:28:17 PM

on the same line... If you've never visited KissThisGuy.com, yoiu might want to go take a look. It's a collection of mistaken song lyrics... you might even have one or two to add.

Posted by: Ocean Guy | Sep 26, 2005 2:30:12 PM

So, "mocasines" are penny loafers. Go figure. This is an educational blog indeed :)

Posted by: Sandra | Sep 26, 2005 2:48:39 PM

I didn't even know that part of the shoe had a name!

Even though it's always a little embarresing to find out something you'd been thinking "forever" is way off base this "disillusionment" really means that now you are seeing things more clearly and that's not a bad thing...q

Posted by: Shifra | Sep 26, 2005 4:19:04 PM

Tanya... Sadly, I think most beekeepers are a bit geeky. Sure, as hobbies go it's out-doorsy... but in a badminton kinda way. :-) BTW, you and the Blogmiester reminded me of a good lawyer joke: Q: What is the difference between a vulture and a lawyer? A: A vulture doesn't take of his/her wingtips at night.

Doctor Bean... Knowing what you know now... would you believe it?

Mirty... There are actually several cuts of meat you truss up that way, not the least of which is my favorite; Chateaubriand.

mgreen... Hopefully not the last! :-)

Mcaryeh... Yeah, it's educational all right... in a cautionary tale sorta way. :-)

Elisson... Y'know, between Pearl and Jack we're pretty much all set for puns over here. Maybe you could do sarcasm or aloof... I'll bet you could do aloof real good. ;-)

Oceanguy... Great minds think alike (but fools never differ). I gave the same advice to Steg in an earlier comment. :-)

Sandra... It must be a regional thing. The 'penny' in penny loafer comes from the old tradition of slipping a copper penny n the little slot between the two beefrolls.

Shifra... It's not that I know the name of every part of the shoes I wear. It's just that some loafers (especially the fussy ones with tassels) come with a smooth flap of leather over the two sides rather than the beefroll, and IMHO that just looks dumb. To each his/her own.

Posted by: David | Sep 26, 2005 5:04:56 PM

i'm laughing so hard reading this

Posted by: mata hari | Sep 26, 2005 11:18:06 PM

I am ROFLMAO! Please tell me you are kidding. You...really...thought...it was a bee-froll? NO WAY!! Way???

Posted by: Stacey | Sep 28, 2005 12:04:16 AM

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