Word of the day: Bivouac

This past week, I was having lunch with some brothers when I heard one share a quote from a recent class: "The bacteria biddlewhacked in your mouth." Thinking I had misheard him, I asked him what the heck he was talking about. He explained that one of his bacterial biology professors has a heavy Chinese accent, and during a class discussion about cottonmouth (you know, that stuffy feeling in your mouth when you first wake up), the professor explained that this cottonmouth was caused by the bacteria "biddlewhacking" in your mouth. Another brother asked what that meant, and the first brother admitted that he didn't know, but it didn't sound pleasant. (I got the impression he thought the bacteria were using his mouth for a toilet.)

As we continued trying to figure out what the professor had meant, the Army brat in me finally realized what the professor had said: that the bacteria bivouacked in your mouth. This isn't a common layman's term; instead, it's a word the military uses for setting up a camp. So I laughed a little, and explained the word to the students. While I hope they were impressed that I both knew the actual word and could even spell it, I have to admit that they were mostly relieved that all the bacteria were doing was camping out each night.

Who knew that all of that time around the military (including watching war movies) would be so practical?

Where I am: Home!


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