Obscure word doodle #5

This week’s obscure word is old and has fallen out of use, but I think we should bring it back, if only for the sake of our dogs. Their talent, as it turns out, has a name!


And, bonus! Here is the recipe for my favorite vegetarian burger, which I make all the time. It is totally grokable.


In case you missed it, I designed a line of hand-lettered birthday cards featuring famous people’s words on aging. I’ve got Virginia Woolf, Bob Dylan, C.S. Lewis, George Bernard Shaw, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Isley Brothers (who were not singing about aging, but it still works, promise). Each has a message inside; click to see!







p.s. You can save a little money by ordering four birthday cards at once.


  1. sophylou on January 17, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Have you ever read any of the Moomin children’s books by Tove Jansson? They are charming and poignant, and feature a character named the Groke who freezes everything she touches and who is portrayed as menacing and scary. One of the last books in the series focuses on her a bit more (“Moominpappa at Sea” in a way that goes interestingly with this definition of her name.

    • j on January 17, 2014 at 11:19 am

      I’m not familiar with the series, but when I Googled the word, I saw the creature, so I went to Images and it was clear there was a series. I made a note to myself to check out if the illustrated groke had any link to the original meaning of the word. “Charming and poignant” is good; I’ll definitely check them out!

      • sophylou on January 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm

        I found they made a little more sense if you read them in order– only just read them myself in the last year. I have the feeling that you’ll enjoy them. 🙂

        • j on January 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm

          I read the post you linked to on Twitter. I’m very curious now.

  2. leah77 on January 17, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Those cards are amazing! I absolutely love them J. You’re expression is so beautiful. I particularly love your pooch, groking all over the table…drooling;) LOL! I’ve pinned your veggie burger recipe (thank you for that) and I can’t wait to try it.
    Happy Beautiful New Year!

    • j on January 17, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Thank you, Leah! I loved making them (although at times I wanted to pull my hair out making them…. which is how every creative project I ever embark on goes). Yes, do try the veggie burger. I looked for a long time before I finally found this recipe, which even my meat-eating friends like.

      Happy new year to you too, my friend!

  3. Estrella Azul on January 17, 2014 at 9:56 am

    What an awesome obscure word doodle card, and I just love the birthday cards as well! <3

    The groking doggie made me think of how funny it is when our pets must think to themselves "Oh, that looks yummy! I want some, I want some, I waaant some!" but then after sniffing a piece of it realize they really could've used that half an hour for sleeping as it's not remotely within their liking.
    Which reminds me of a night when a cat we used to have was all over me as I prepared myself dinner and just to prove a point, I gave her a green olive I was adding to my salad. I figured she'd play with it and leave me alone. To my surprise however, she ate it! And the next one. And the third one. It's as close as any of our kitties came to being a vegetarian 😉

  4. j on January 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Ha! Lexi would never think she could have spent that half hour sleeping – she loves everything we eat. Except lettuce. She won’t eat lettuce.

    Love your green olive story! Smart cat; I love them too!

  5. Karin on January 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I love the doodle word! My dog is definitely a master of the Stare. You know she’s especially interested when she rests her head on your knee and maybe wags her tail.

    And the only thing she doesn’t groke over is a lemon. She’s learned that lesson. 😉

    The cards are beautiful! I can read them and think of a different person each one would be perfect for!

    • j on January 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you! I actually think Lexi might pass on a lemon too. I’ll have to check. Stay tuned. 🙂

  6. Clare Flourish on January 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    So Ah thocht tae masel, Ah dinnae ken that word, so Ah checked and it isnae in the dictionary. Dinnae tak this as an owergan, its a braw word richt enough.

  7. j on January 17, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    That made me laugh! Well done!

    I couldn’t find it either, but I’m trusting Mark Forsyth that it used to exist, and asserting with great confidence that it should exist again.

    And I love “owergan,” just to be clear.

  8. j on January 18, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I didn’t know that about you. My grandfather was Scots-Irish, so maybe that explains why I love the poem. 😉

  9. Nina Badzin on January 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I LOVE those cards of course!

  10. j on January 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you, Nina!

  11. Annie Neugebauer (@AnnieNeugebauer) on January 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    You’re just so wonderfully creative, j! The aging cards are a great idea. And I didn’t know groke, so I learned something new too. 🙂

    • j on January 23, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks, Annie! I guess maybe cats don’t groke as diligently as dogs do.

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