Etymology

8 More Top-Shelf Drinking Words

<i>(Note: this is a sequel. A second round. Click here to read our first drinking list)</i>.<p><b>Definition</b> - partially inebriated<p>Sometimes you don’t want to say</i> …

Language

Definition of FAMISH

If you're truly <i>famished</i>, go for one of the all-day breakfasts.<p>British statesman John Montagu, who was the fourth Earl of Sandwich, was <i>famished</i> and …

Language

10 Words for 'Snow' : Onding

<b>Definition:</b> soft slushy mud or snow<p><i>Sposh</i> is thought to be a combination of the words <i>slush</i> and <i>posh</i>, but before you get overly excited about the new …

Language

The Languid Story of 'Lackadaisical'

When we look at the histories of certain words the English language appears to be the result of hundreds of years of well-thought deliberation. How …

Language

How Perceptive of You: Words About Perception : Pareidolia

<b>:</b> the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)<p><i>Apophenia</i> was borrowed …

Language

Trending: Kim And Kanye Hired A 'Surrogate Mother'

<b>Update:</b> The word trended again on January 16th, 2018 following the birth of Kardashian and West's child.<p><i>Surrogate mother</i> was among our top lookups on …

Language

Words We're Watching: 'Metal,' the Adjective

<i>Metal</i> is moving into new territory, as of late:<p>this scene was so metal he's like a 6'2 brick house and he's backing away like wounded animal from HER …

Language

The Sleepy History of 'Litter'

You've probably seen images of an Egyptian pharaoh, Chinese emperor, or Roman empress reclining in comfort on a curtained bed or couch mounted on …

Language

Can You Really 'Grow' the Economy?

Grammar and usage peeves, much like the meanings of words, shift and change in curious and unpredictable ways. Some, such as the notion that one …

Language

Where Did the Definition of Tact Come From?

It's best to use tact when dealing with touchy people, for reasons that are both etymological and practical. <i>Tact</i> comes from the Latin word that means …

Language

Is it medieval or mediaeval?

A quick Google search reveals that the word ‘<i>mediaeval</i>’ can be found over six million times on the Internet. This sounds impressive until you look up …

History

Definition of STANCH

Oregon's nearly 50 alternative high schools and online schools urgently require heightened scrutiny and better state oversight to <i>stanch</i> their flood …

Language

7 Uncommonly Doubled Letters

<i>E</i>'s and <i>o</i>'s get doubled in English regularly, but <i>a</i>'s typically do not. The words <i>aardvark</i> and <i>aardwolf</i> are two exceptions. Both come from early …

Language

Trending: Johnson: London Mayor A 'Popinjay'

<i>Popinjay</i> ruffled its feathers, cooed a few experimental notes of song, and then strutted its way to the top of our lookups on January 12th, 2018, on …

Language

'Crevice' and 'Crevasse': A Gap in Meaning

<i>Crevice</i> and <i>crevasse</i> are very similar words: they both derive from the Old French <i>crever</i>, a verb meaning "to break or burst," and both refer to an …

Language

Definition of REPREHENSIBLE

Really, they were fed up with how long a disgraced former Hollywood executive went unpunished for his <i>reprehensible</i> conduct.<p>Puerto Rico does not …

Language

Words With London Origins : Tweed

These gaslights are charming, to gaslight someone is not.<p>Photo: ClaudineVM<p>In 1938, a Victorian-era thriller titled <i>Gas Light</i> opened in London. The …

Language

'Free Rein' or 'Free Reign'?

Coming here was an opportunity to redevelop the marketplace. I have free reign to build the brand.<br>— Chris Townson, quoted in <i>Travel Weekly</i>, 15 Dec. …

Language

Mandarin neologism: "appointment to fire a cannon"

One constantly encounters new terms in Chinese. You may never have heard of an intriguing expression, then all of a sudden it is everywhere. One that …

7 Words That Are More Than Just Noise

<i>Buzz</i> means "a low continuous humming sound like that of a bee" or "speculative or excited talk or attention relating especially to a new or …

Language

The Appetizing Origins of 'Slush Fund'

There are many words in English which are borne of interesting food and drink etymologies. For the most part people like to hear these stories, so if …

Language

Trending: Trump: 'Libel' Laws A Disgrace

<i>Libel</i> booked its way to the top of our lookups on January 10, 2017, following assertions made by President Donald Trump that our nation’s libel laws …

Language

Definition of COHORT

Brisport forms part of the leading edge of a millennial <i>cohort</i> who, coming of age in an era of high rents, low wages, persistent discrimination, and …

Language

Standing Up for 'Stan'

In 2000, the rapper Eminem released <i>The Marshall Mathers LP</i>, which contained "Stan," a track spanning almost seven minutes in length and telling the …

Language

Definition of OFFICINAL

<i>officinal</i> was our Word of the Day on 01/09/2018. Hear the podcast!<p>Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP<p>Get Word of the Day …

Language

Devilish Words : Devil's food cake

Photo: Elisanth_<p><b>Definition:</b> a person who champions the less accepted cause for the sake of argument<p><i>Devil's advocate</i> has gone through a number of …

Language

Custom Etymology

This week’s prompt—which is blessedly devoid of mysterious birds—has to do with a particular passion of mine: etymology. That is, the history of how …

Language

'Complacent' vs. 'Complaisant'

Sometimes words look quite similar but have meanings which are quite distinct, as with <i>comprise</i> (“to be made up of”) and <i>compriest</i> (“a fellow priest”). …

Language

'Kitty-corner': A History

Though peaked ears and spanned whiskers may be suggested by every variant, whether what is diagonal or oblique to or from something else is …

Language

Definition of MUTATIS

<i>mutatis mutandis</i> was our Word of the Day on 01/08/2018. Hear the podcast!<p>Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP<p>Get Word of the …

Language