History

  1. What Do “Numpire” and “Ewt” Have in Common?

    These funny-looking words may not be recognizable, but they were the ancestors of our modern-day umpire and newt. So, how did they evolve into their current forms? Because of the pesky letter n, the indefinite article a/an, and the fact that a bunch of English-speakers hundreds of years ago had hearing problems. The bouncing n and rebracketing Words like numpire and ewt underwent a process we’re playfully calling the …

  2. Clickbait Isn’t New

    Clickbait existed before clicking did “When you find out what these kids are jumping into, your jaw will drop!” “Baby ducks see water for the first time—can you BELIEVE what they do?” Confronted with such emotionally charged lines, it’s almost impossible not to click. Do the tykes tumble into a vat of chocolate syrup? Are ducklings reaching for toothpaste to brush their beaks? Can you …

  3. 22 Insults We Should Bring Back

  4. Words (and Phrases) that Will Show Your Age

  5. Quacks and Other People Not To Be Trusted

  6. Far Out! Freaky 60s Slang Explained

  7. Famous Names That Inspired Common Words

  8. From the Trenches: Words of World War I

  9. Words That Are Older Than You Think

  10. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in the Dictionary