Mr. Know-It-All: What's that NASCAR racer's name?


Q: I was watching NASCAR Nationwide Series racing and was surprised to see a driver named J. Earnhardt. Is this any relationship to Dale and Dale Jr.? Also, J.J. Yeley was racing in this event; he's also a regular with NASCAR Spring Cup series. What do the initials stand for? -- B.E.S., Ames, Iowa

A: Jeffrey Earnhardt (born June 22, 1989) is the grandson of Dale Earnhardt, the son of former NASCAR driver Kerry Earnhardt and the nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Christopher Beltram Hernandez Yeley is nicknamed J.J. -- the letters stand for Jimmy and Jack, after his father and a close family friend.

Q: I know there is a name for standing with your feet slightly apart and your hands on your hips. What is it? -- E.N., Hartford, Conn.

A: The word is "akimbo" from late Middle English "kenebowe." "He stood impatiently in the doorway with arms "akimbo."

Q: What is a flannel cake? I read it in a novel, but there was no explanation. -- V.C., Walker, La.

A: My dictionary says it's the same as a pancake. However, I asked several people who insist a flannel cake is much thinner than a pancake and less tough.

I have also come across red flannel cakes as well as blue flannel cakes, made with food coloring.

I'm going to turn this over to the cooking experts and ask for your input.

Q: Is the 1962 movie "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" based on a real person or incident?

A: The Western, directed by John Ford, is purely fictional. The movie was adapted from a short story written by Dorothy M. Johnson. The supporting cast features Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Woody Strode, Strother Martin and Lee Van Cleef.

Q: I came across a word written on a piece of scrap paper -- "bimby." I looked it up in my pocket dictionary with no luck. Are you familiar with the word? -- C.K., Sacramento, Calif.

A: Well, C.K., I'll get to your question bimby, after I answer some notes from other readers. "Bimby" means "by-and-by, soon or in a short time."

It appears in a poem called "Sermon Time," from 1902's "Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse" by Joseph C. Lincoln:

"And bimeby I'll come home, bringin' loads of gold and di'mon' rings;

"My, won't all the boys be jealous when they see those kind of things!"

Q: What is the origin of the word "goodbye"?

A: A form of "goodbye" has been used since the 16th century. One of the original forms of the current-day goodbye was "godbwye," a contraction of "God be with ye." In time, "godbwye" became goodbye.

In Spanish, a common term when departing is "adios," which is a contraction of "to" and "God."

Q: Many years ago, I saw a movie called "The Mudlark." Is it available on DVD? Who starred in it? -- Roanoke, Virginia

A: In 1875 London, a young man known only as Wheeler finds a cameo of Queen Victoria. He develops a burning desire to see the Queen, who has been in seclusion for the last 13 years in mourning for her husband. He slips past the guards and enters the palace. At the same time, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is attempting to convince the queen to end her escape from the public.

The movie is available on DVD and stars Irene Dunne as Queen Victoria and Alec Guinness as Benjamin Disraeli.

By the way, mudlarks are street children who eke out a living along the banks of the River Thames.

Send your questions to or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.


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