History

  1. turkey

    Turkey: A Bird or a Nation?

    The republic of Turkey (look north of Egypt, east of Greece) isn’t exactly a breeding ground for the bird that Americans associate with Thanksgiving. In fact, the turkey is native to North America . . . so, why do they share the same name? Let’s get the word facts The word turkey has been used to refer to “land occupied by the Turks” since the …

  2. 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 …

  3. 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 …

  4. 22 Insults We Should Bring Back

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

  6. Quacks and Other People Not To Be Trusted

  7. Words of the 60s: Far Out!

  8. Famous Names That Inspired Common Words

  9. From the Trenches: Words of World War I

  10. Words That Are Older Than You Think

Sign up for our Newsletter!
Start your day with weird words, fun quizzes, and language stories.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.