The title has three meanings:
- These are stories (tales) by students who have the mascot of the Grizzly. (literal)
- A grizzly bear has a tail. (homophone)
- Middle schoolers enjoy tales that are a little bit dark or crude. (pun)
Grizzly is a homophone of grisly.
grisly • \GRIZ-lee\ • adjective
- 1: inspiring horror or intense fear
- *2: inspiring disgust or distaste
“The crime scene revealed an especially brutal murder,” the detective reported, “but I will spare you the grisly details.”
Did you know?
An angry grizzly bear could certainly inspire fear, so “grizzly” must be a variant of “grisly,” right? Yes and no. The adjective “grisly” is indeed sometimes spelled “grizzly,” but the “grizzly” in “grizzly bear” is a different animal altogether. “Grisly” derives from an Old English predecessor, “grislic,” which is itself related to an Old English verb meaning “to fear.” “Grizzly” comes from the Middle English adjective “grisel,” meaning “gray.” Like its close relative “grizzled,” this “grizzly” means “sprinkled or streaked with gray.” In other words, the grizzly got its name because the hairs of its brownish to buff coat usually have silver or pale tips, creating a grizzled effect, not because it causes terror. The misperception that the bear’s name reflects its reputed fierceness probably contributed to the development of the “grizzly” variant of “grisly.”
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.