History

  1. Famous Sayings That Became Catalysts For Social Change

    Phrases like sit-in or bra-burning might not currently mean much to you. But, these phrases (or calls to action), and the movements that coined them, are the reasons why we continue to fight for social justice today. A catalyst is “a person or thing that precipitates an event or change” (and that’s just one of the definitions of the word).  But back to these early calls to …

  2. The Surprisingly Religious Background Of “Golly,” “Gosh,” And “Gee”

    Gosh, golly, and gee casually express surprise or excitement, right? Well, yes, but when they were first introduced to the English language, these short words had a much more serious origin and purpose. Where did golly, gosh, and gee come from? While this folksy trio are informal interjections, they are also euphemistic alterations of the word God or, in the case of gee, Jesus. The use of gosh predates golly …

  3. Old School Latin Phrases We’re Still Using In Everyday English

  4. Learn The History Of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle

    There are plenty of crossword puzzles in publications across the country, but when we think of the pinnacle of puzzledom (Not officially a word, but, perhaps, it should be?), the purveyors of the most preeminent puzzles, we bow to The New York Times (NYT). For more than 75 years, the NYT crossword puzzle has been stumping readers with its clever clues and then sending them …

  5. Which Came First: Turkey The Bird, Or Turkey The 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 1300s and …

  6. What’s The Difference Between Socialism vs. Communism?

    Socialism has three main meanings: 1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. 2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory. 3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by …

  7. Made-up Words Said By The People In Charge

  8. The Most Notorious Nicknames In History

    Nicknames are usually cute endearments we give to friends or loved ones. But sometimes, we attribute nicknames to infamous figures of notoriety. Think "Ivan the Terrible" or "The Butcher of Bosnia" or Vlad the Impaler." Here are the most notorious nicknames in history.

  9. Why Do We Say “Trick or Treat”?

    It’s many kids’ favorite part of Halloween. There’s no feeling quite like waiting for a stranger to open their door so you can scream the words “Trick or treat!” But, why do we say it? What does it actually mean? Where does the phrase trick-or-treat come from? While some identify precursors to trick-or-treating in ancient Celtic customs, modern trick-or-treating is thought to be a custom borrowed …

  10. Where Does The “Een” In “Halloween” Come From?

    Halloween is primarily marked by putting on a disguise and asking for candy, but Halloween draws on two historic celebrations: the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day. The spooky festival’s name, however, comes from only one. Why is it called Halloween? Samhain is an Celtic word that some scholars think means “summer’s end,” and it marks the beginning of …

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