Word Facts

  1. What Is The Origin Of The Term “Nymphomaniac”

    The term nymphomaniac may sound dirty or risque today. But back in Ancient Greece -- well, it also was dirty and risque. Take a look at the origin story of this word!
  2. “Hispanic” vs. “Latino”: When To Use Each Term

    From boxes on census forms to drop-down menus on job applications, we often see Hispanic and Latino positioned side by side, seemingly as interchangeable terms to describe the race and heritage of a population that makes up nearly 20% of the United States. It’s easy to see why these two words are so often conflated and frequently confused. But Hispanic and Latino are properly used …

  3. Can You Correct These Idioms?

    Have you ever heard the idiom it’s a doggie-dog world? Well that’s not the correct phrase. It’s actually dog-eat-dog world. Can you correct these other common idioms?
  4. When Do You Use “Whom” vs. “Who”?

    Over the last 200 years, the pronoun whom has been on a steady decline. Despite its waning use in speech and ongoing speculation about its imminent extinction, whom still holds a spot in the English language, particularly in formal writing. Understanding when and how to use this pronoun can set your writing apart. If whom is on the decline, then who must be growing in popularity. The two—as …

  5. What Is The Difference Between “Boarder” vs. “Border”?

    Boarder and border are homophones of each other. But how do you use each word correctly?
  6. Absentee Ballot vs. Mail-In Ballot: Is There A Difference?

    As if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t already challenging enough, the US will be holding a general election in the midst of it. Many people are rightfully concerned that traditional, in-person voting could spread COVID-19, and so some states are changing (or considering changing) their voting rules to make it easier for eligible people to vote by mail. Voting by mail can be done by what’s …

  7. Which Overachiever Is August Named For?

    If you’re in Europe, it’s likely you’re taking an extended holiday during the month of August. If you’re anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, you might just be trying to stay cool. August, a word that means “inspiring reverence or admiration,” is the name of the eighth month of the year in our Gregorian calendar. It’s the sixth month of the ancient Roman calendar used by the Roman kingdom …

  8. “Then” vs. “Than”: See If You Know The Difference Between Them

    Then and than are among the 100 most frequently used words in the English language. The fact that they’re so common means that they’re also commonly misused! Do you say I will call you no later than 7 pm or then 7 pm? Would you say the company needs a good accountant more than (or then) ever? Some examples are trickier than others, but you can learn to distinguish …

  9. What Is The Origin Of The Word “Bamboozle”?

    Bamboozle is one of those words that has been confounding etymologists for centuries. No one knows for sure what its origins are.
  10. What Does It Mean To Be Clairvoyant?

    In the 19th century, the term clairvoyant was widely used in a medical context. So when did it change?