December 12, 2011


I bought a semi-boneless ham the other day. Isn’t semi-boneless an odd term? My ham does have a very conspicuous bone through its center. According to RecipeTips.Com, a semi-boneless ham is
A whole or half ham from the leg primal cut that has only the leg bone remaining. The hip or shank bone has been removed, making it easier to carve.
So a semi-boneless ham is boned, in the sense of having a bone and, at the same time, boned, in the sense of having at least one bone removed. A semi-boneless ham is not a boneless ham at all!

In the case of ham, the use of semi- has come to have a very specific, if curious meaning. Just think of the opportunities for using semi- to qualify otherwise definitive-sounding terms: semi-fat-free, semi-smoke-free, semi-salt-free, semi-gluten-free, semi-guileless, semi-fearless, semi-pointless, semi-moonless, and so forth. The possibilities are endless (or, perhaps, only semi-endless).


  1. Might those who claim to be Christian yet ignore the message about serving, feeding, sheltering, etc. be considered semi-Christian?

  2. I’m not sure I want to be in the business of figuring out what it means to be fully Christian.


Anonymous comments are not allowed. All comments are moderated by the author. Gratuitous profanity, libelous statements, and commercial messages will be not be posted.