Posts by Rachel Bradley

  1. Why Do We Use Symbols To Censor Swearwords?

    When the force of a swearword is too extreme (but some form of cuss must be used) symbolic stand-ins have long been used for lewdness. Suffice it to say, any emotional keyboard-striker can blurt out something that people perceive as a sub for swears. Whether it’s to diminish the force of swear, to get around censorship rules, or maybe just because symbols are @#$%ing cool to look at, …

  2. What Are The Differences Between “Nerds,” “Geeks,” And “Dorks”?

    These names used to be roughly interchangeable when distinguishing the social outcasts from the in-crowd in school. Yet, those so-called social rejects were destined to rule the world in the form of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, et al. “The geek shall inherit the earth,” indeed. Oh yeah, and billions of dollars.  There’s a lot of overlap in the meanings of nerd, geek, and …

  3. Getty

    Why Do We Use Euphemisms For Certain Body Parts?

    by Rachel Bradley Ah, childhood, those halcyon days when you chewed on a stuffed Mr. Snuffleupagus and cruised the driveway in your foot-pedaled convertible.  Childhood was also the time when, hopefully, you learned how to peepee—with your wee wee, weenie, peenie, winkey, giney, or jay-jay.  Ring any bells? Those goofy names remind us that childhood is also when our private parts are often given cutesy …

  4. Do You Know The Most Famous Words From Our Favorite Movies?

    Movies are remembered for their soundtracks, cinematography, costume design, and special effects. But most of all, it’s the dialogue that people love (and love to quote). Sometimes, even one- or two-word quotes become emblematic of the whole movie—plus they’re, like, the easiest to remember. Or, are they? Read these iconic words, then see if you can correctly pick the flick that they come from! If …

  5. English Expressions From India That We Should All Be Using

    English is a major lingua franca, but that doesn’t mean native speakers of other languages around the world don’t put their own spin on English. Generally, if English has been introduced into a community (through colonization, missionary work, what have you), that community will find completely unique ways to use and reinterpret it, to make it “local.”  India is a top contender for using English …

  6. Which Words Did English Take From Other Languages?

    English is a more varied (and delicious) melting pot than you think … English—is one of the most incredible, flavorfully-complex melting pots of linguistic ingredients from other countries that’s been left to simmer for (in some cases) centuries. These linguistic ingredients are called loanwords that have been borrowed and incorporated into English. The loanwords are oftentimes so common now, the foreign flavor has been completely …

  7. https://www.thoughtco.com/great-scrooge-quotes-2831834

    Literature’s Most Lovable Grumps

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! That cheer-boosting adage works for some people, but others are perfectly happy sucking sour lemons. Literature is full of chipper lemonade-makers, but there’s something about those lemon-sucking grumps that draws readers in. Is it their angsty sarcasm? Their jaded world-weariness? Their stubborn dedication to doom-and-gloom even when everything else is giggles and rainbows? Are Negative Nancys somehow more …

  8. English Words From The Pharaohs

    Most people recognize Ancient Greek and Latin as the primary donors to the English language. However, some of the most ancient words in English actually trace back to Ancient Egypt.  Distinct from the contemporary Egyptian Arabic spoken today, Ancient Egyptian is a unique Afro-Asiatic language that doesn’t really share similarities with other languages in the family (like Arabic, Hebrew, or Berber).   Its 5,000 year-old …

  9. Foxy, Catty, Fishy: Are These Traits For Animals Or Humans?

    Catty It seems horribly unfair to adorable cats that catty is a human descriptor meaning “devious or spiteful” (and usually in reference to female behavior). What gives? The word cat has been around since the year 700. But then, in the Middle Ages, cat became one of the many offensive terms against women and was slang for “prostitute.” The association might have been made because …

  10. The Most Adorable Ways To Avoid Cursing

    Sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than belting out a four-letter taboo—or a string of them. When little G-rated ears are present, however, cussing isn’t an option (“flipping freaking frothy fudgecicle!”). Whether overhearing ears are young and tiny or old and sensitive, inoffensive swearword stand-ins are often needed. To help ease the burden of sanitizing your swearing (it’s tough, we know), we’re delving into the origins …