I became aware of what is happening to the lovely word icicle when I read a poem in which it was spelled “ice sickle.” There was nothing in the context to suggest that the poet intended a pun.
A web search showed me that there’s a comic book character called Ice Sickle.
Numerous clever photographers have posted pictures of icicles shaped like sickles and tagged them “ice sickle.”
Many of the thousands of hits on “ice sickle” certainly refer to the comic book character or are deliberate punnings. However, as is inevitable when pop culture gets hold of a pun, it’s not long before the original word falls into obscurity.
Hi. I installed gutter toppers on my eaves this summer….How should I hang my strands on ice sickle lights being that the toppers are now in the way? Thanks!
Reverse Ice Sickle – in my dog’s water bowl. I took this picture [this] morning. … It is shaped like a triangle at its base.
Pictures and albums about Icesickles published in outdoors
Black and white ice sickles on my front porch after all the snow started to melt and refreeze. (Note: The photo shows standard icicles.)
For those who may not be familiar with the standard meanings, here are some definitions from the OED:
sickle: a. An agricultural implement similar in form and use to a reaping-hook, but properly distinguished from this by having a serrated cutting-edge. Figuratively, something having the curved or crescent form of a sickle…
icicle: A pendent ice-formation resembling a rod tapering downward to a point, produced by the freezing of successive drops of water falling or trickling from the point of attachment, as from the eaves of a house or other overhanging point.