History

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Love_New_York

    What Was New York’s Original Name?

    Gotham, the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps: New York City is virtually an emblem of America. But, how did it get its name, and where is “Old” York? What was the original name for New York? Before New York was New York, it was a small island inhabited by a tribe of the Lenape peoples. One early English rendering of the native placename …

  2. Getty

    How Did The Month Of June Get Its Name?

    June is a great month. School’s out. The days are long. The weather’s warm. Perhaps the Anglo-Saxons—who spoke that linguistic ancestor of English known as Old English—were onto something when they collectively called June and July Liða. That’s pronounced like [lee–thuh], with the character ð having the voiced th-, like this. Liða itself may mean “calm” or “mild.” On its own, June was sometimes also referred to as Ærra-Liða, which is like …

  3. Words Popularized By Shakespeare That We Still Use

    William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 and was baptized on April 26, 1564. His exact birthdate remains unknown, though it is conventionally taken to be the same as the day his “bones were interred.” In his honor, we wanted to share some words popularized by the man himself. Did Shakespeare coin the following terms? Probably not. These words may have already been in conversational …

  4. www.geocaching.com

    These Made-Up Languages Aren’t Just For Kids

    It seems like a rite of passage for most kids: your first made-up language. Whether you devised it with a sibling or wrote in a diary only you could translate, there was an allure in concealing your communication in code. The appeal doesn’t dissipate as we grow older, either. Take Igpay Atinlay. Pig Latin, that is. Plenty of parents still use it to speak about things they don’t …

  5. Getty

    What Is A “Ban”?

    The word ban gets bandied about a lot these days, from vegan brides wanting to ban meat-eaters from their weddings to plastic straws getting banned from coffee drinks. On an individual level, banning things we don’t like or agree with can be an easy way to rid them from our life. But, zoom out to a governmental and societal level, and bans become much more complex. What …

  6. Getty

    How Did April 1 Become “April Fools’ Day”?

    For pranksters and mischievous older siblings all around the world, April Fools’ Day, or All Fools’ Day, is as eagerly anticipated as Christmas. What other holiday encourages you to think up elaborate hoaxes, swap your spouse’s keys, or trick your friend into thinking their car got towed? But how did this odd, prank-centric holiday come to be celebrated in the first place, and why is …

  7. www.spicejungle.com

    Why Is The Word “Root” In “Root Beer”?

    Is root beer the world’s most oddly named carbonated beverage … we don’t know, that award might go to 7-up, but we’re going to explore the naming of this soft drink regardless. What, after all, is the root  in root beer? The roots of root in root beer The ingredient in root beer that primarily gives the beverage its distinctive flavor is sassafras , which is …

  8. The Story Behind Saint Patrick’s Name

    March 17th marks the annual celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day, or Lá Fhéile Pádraig in Irish. The holiday honors its fifth-century namesake, Saint Patrick, Ireland’s shamrock-loving patron saint, who died on this date in 461 A.D. These days, the holiday is observed all over the world to celebrate Irish cultural heritage, which is ironic considering Patrick himself wasn’t Irish. Nor was Patrick his real name. …

  9. Getty

    Why Do We Say “Beware The Ides Of March”?

    The Ides of March, better known as March 15th, marks an inauspicious anniversary associated with treachery and ill fortune. But, how did a day that was once celebrated by the Romans become so heavily steeped in superstition? Where did the phrase Ides of March come from? First, let’s talk calendars. Unlike today, the ancient Romans didn’t number their calendar days chronologically from the first of the …

  10. Getty

    From Suffrage To Sisterhood: What Does Feminism Actually Mean?

    Falling annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day celebrates the progress women have made over the last century, and the inspiring women who helped make that progress happen. From the suffragist movement of the 1800s to the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, women have used the power of language and oration to inspire countless people. Early inspiration: the Enlightenment Early feminism was heavily influenced by …

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