Word Smith: Clutch

Question: What do the worst animated kids TV cartoon show, a nest of birds, a conjunction of car parts, a small ladies handbag, a Maryland band, and a last second basketball shot have in common?

Answer: Aspects of Clutch!

TV Cartoon


 Clutch Cargo

The Saturday morning cartoons of my youth were pretty bad.  Yes, there were Popeye the Sailor Man, Tom & Jerry, and the Flintstones, but there was also a show called Clutch Cargo.  Characters did not really have lips that moved in animation as much as fuzzy masses of mouth tissue that blobbed on the screen, while the character spoke the lines.  Bad cartoon drawings with even worse written scripts!  The plot lines seemed to have lots of embezzling of items from other countries and the bad guys could be foiled from getting the items into the sea port by the hero: CLUTCH Cargo.  Pretty lame.

Nest of chicks


Many bird writers, when they are seeking a new and unusual word for the next of eggs that a bird (or snake) is sitting on to hatch will use the word CLUTCH. This is a great way to talk about the future generation, but brings to mind the other clutches out there, including the urban dictionary uses of the word, the band names, etc.

clutch drt

Clutch DRT

Car transmission part

Clutch 1

Car Transmission (1)

Our daughter said to us the other day, “What do you think if I were to sell Allen?”  Allen is the name our daughter had given the car we bought for her to navigate the roads in and around the Rockies.  The reason for the sale? She was moving to San Francisco. I had told her of my driving experiences (ruining one transmission), by learning to drive a stick shift on Nob and Russian Hill in that foggy city.  “I don’t want to ruin the clutch, Dad.” Sounded reasonable, until she said that the real reason to sell the car was to buy a boat to live on somewhere in the East Bay.  Not a CLUTCH move, I’m just saying.

Lady’s Clutch Purse

clutch purse

Coach, Fendi, Gucci, Kate Spade, you name it, they all have small, elegant ladies purses for sale.  The diminutive handbag is called a CLUTCH and it can be found on shelves at Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Walmart’s, Target and Overstock.com.  Large enough to hold a cell phone and a compact, there is rarely room for much more.  But then again it is all about style and fashion, portability and class, right?  Pearls and rhinestones are the latest rage, gloves are optional.

Basketball heroics

Damian Lillard, from the Portland Trailblazers, personified the word – CLUTCH – with his last second heroics in the playoff gave versus the Houston Rockets (5/2/14) at the Moda Center.  With less than one second left on the clock, he caught an inbound pass beyond the three point line, dribbled to a clearing, jumped into the air to position his body, and let fly a basketball in the direction of the basket.  The buzzer sounded as the ball was in mid-air and the crowd and Portland team went nuts when the shot hit nothing but net.  The definition of the word CLUTCH.(2)


Lillard and Batum

The Blazers moved on to the next round so see if the magic in overtime can continue.


(1) www.auto.howstuffworks.com

(2) http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24549483/video-damian-lillard-eliminates-the-rockets-at-the-buzzer

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