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. Words (and Phrases) that Will Show Your Age

  4. Quacks and Other People Not To Be Trusted

  5. Words of the 60s: Far Out!

  6. Famous Names That Inspired Common Words

  7. From the Trenches: Words of World War I

  8. Words That Are Older Than You Think

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

  10. Take a Knee, Burn a Bra

    Famous Calls to Action Phrases like “sit-in” or “bra burning” might not currently mean much to you. But, we’re here to help you sort out the top 10 most famous calls to action, so you don’t accidentally find yourself taking out your nemesis’s knee. Or igniting your frontside. 1. Taking a Knee “Taking a knee” has become a buzz phrase capable of stirring heated conversation. …

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