Origins

  1. Speak The Season: 7 Essential Words Of Fall

  2. Fall Once Had A Different Name

    We may call it fall, but once upon a time the season that comes after summer but before winter was referred to simply as “harvest.” The old name for fall At the time, the name was used to reflect the time when farmers gathered their crops for winter storage, roughly between August and November. Astronomically, the season lasts from the end of September until December, …

  3. What’s So Wrong With “Nice”?

    Why does the word "nice" rub us the wrong way? Why don't people want to date the nice guy? What's so wrong with nice? Doesn't every mom wish you would meet a nice guy?
  4. How Shut Up Became So Mean

  5. Is Friday Named After a Goddess With a Chariot Pulled by Cats? Well . . .

    In a world that knows too many details about unimportant matters, one would think that our collective expertise could be certain about something as essential as the days of the week. There is, however, a scholarly (and let’s face it, Marvel fan) debate regarding which goddess of love in Norse mythology is the namesake of “Friday.” Who is Friday named for? To complicate matters, it …

  6. This Is Why You Should Not Judge A Word By How It Sounds

    In the 1700s, Cassia of Rome warned that maybe we should judge a word by how it sounds. Sit back, it's story time.
  7. This Is Why You Should Not Judge A Word By How It Sounds

    In the 1700s, Cassia of Rome warned that maybe we should judge a word by how it sounds. Sit back, it’s story time. One night, Cassia was walking home when a charming man approached with an invite to a mysterious drama called “The Vomitorium.” Cassia followed him to an ancient amphitheater. As he led her through the passageway next to the seats, she was confused …

  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 history generally …

  9. The United States of Diversity: Fargo And Its NCVS Don’tcha Know

    by Taneesh Khera Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity You’ve stumbled onto our United States of Diversity series, welcome! If you don’t already know, here we explore a minority language or dialect in the country, and this episode’s no different. Does your keeat sit an the meeat? Or, maybe you wait for the boss down the black? Do you cal your mam an Sundays? If you …

  10. Are New Idioms Ever Created?

    Many idioms—expressions that are not taken literally—are so old and so familiar that we don’t think twice about using them. We say, for example, “it’s raining cats and dogs” to indicate that it’s pouring outside, and “comfortable as an old shoe” to explain an easy and familiar relationship. We can trace the etymology of some idioms to books and sayings that were first used hundreds …

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