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Yakety Axe

This child's ball is printed with letters of the alphabet and pictures of things that start with the letter. English Language & Usage Stack Exchange member gmauch asked what word could the image with the Y represent. It looks like an axe. Dozens of people are speculating on the answer, which leads down a rabbit hole of toy manufacturers, foreign languages, and counterfeiters. The Swedish word for axe is yxa, but connecting the ball to Sweden leads to a dead end. There are archaic terms that might work, but that makes no sense -but then, neither does using a submarine for the letter U, as in U-boat. One contributor wrote a "Who's on First"-style sequence about a Chinese knockoff company trying to design the ball. Maybe you can contribute, too. See the whole discussion here. Be aware that it is still growing.

-via Metafilter, where one commenter summed it up as "This is what the internet is for."


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It was an enjoyable read, with an impressive effort to track it down. I looked at the image right away and thought it was in Swedish, but then, I live in Sweden. BTW, the Swedish word for axe is "yxa" not "yza".
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