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Sweet repletes

By Debra Dobbins

Yes, history can repeat itself.

To make a pun out of this saying, the current creator of Frank & Earnest had to turn a perfectly good adjective into a verb. No wonder students have difficulty learning the eight parts of speech. It is a clever pun, though, so let’s forgive Tom Thaves, who has taken over the cartoon from his father, Bob Thaves.

Used as an adjective, replete means “well-filled or plentifully supplied,” according to Webster’s.

Webster’s also gives a noun form that means honey pot. I investigated that term on the Web and came up with a fascinating lesson on how some honeypot ants keep other ants called “repletes” stuffed with honey and then use them rather like vending machines whenever they cannot find honey in other ways. The repletes are poked until they upchuck some of their honey. Yum!

My source was a NASA blog; it’s worth checking out:

http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/whatonearth/posts/post_1286569125761.html

Obese honeypot ants cling to the roof of a nest
Photo courtesy of Greg Hume at en.wikipedia

 

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