Archives

  1. Where Did The Phrase “March Madness” Come From?

    If it’s spring, it must be time for our fancy to turn to thoughts of basketball and, of course, March Madness—an interesting term, if we’ve ever heard one. Would you be surprised to find out the term March Madness didn’t originate with basketball? The phrase seems to date back to the 1800s and is thought to be connected to the much older expression mad as a March hare. But …

  2. From Suffrage To Sisterhood: What Does Feminism Actually Mean?

    Held on March 8, 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 the …

  3. The Forgotten Verses Of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

    Do you know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Many people have difficulty memorizing the lyrics of the first verse of the US anthem, which is commonly performed at sports events and other public gatherings. But did you know that there are three additional verses that we almost never hear? As if one verse weren’t hard enough to learn … Why is the “Star-Spangled …

  4. Pisces People: These Words Are All About You 

    Just after the last of the Valentine’s Day chocolates have been consumed and the season of Aquarius comes to an end, it’s time for the season of Pisces. Those born between February 19–March 20 are fortunate enough to call themselves Pisces, which is the 12th and final sign of the zodiac. In 2021, the 40 days of Lent start on February 17, just two days …

  5. What Does It Mean To Ask Someone To Be Your “Valentine”?

    The first records of the word valentine in its modern sense come from the 1400s. Valentines and Valentine’s Day get their name from feast day of Saint Valentine, but there are at least two saints named Valentine, one of whom became a martyr around the year 270 CE. The name Valentine comes from a Latin word meaning “strength.” There are many legends about it, but …

  6. Valentine’s Day emoji

    There’s no single emoji called Valentine’s Day emoji, but there are several that are used on the holiday and are known as Valentine's Day emoji, including ones depicting hearts (such as ❤️), flowers (💐), gestures like…
  7. How Did The Color Pink Become Associated With Valentine’s Day?

    You’re minding your own business in the grocery store when—wham! There they are … those pink hearts and candies placed at eye level by merchants reminding you that once again, Valentine’s Day is here. Why pink? How did pink become so strongly associated with February 14, roses, and romance? Where does the word pink come from? The origin of the word pink is notoriously uncertain. The word …

  8. Wild Weather Words You Need To Know

  9. Is There An Actual Definition For The Term “Word Nerd”?

    If you’re anything like us, you collect words the same way that other people collect coins or Pokémon cards. You think about words while you’re dreaming, and you’re constantly on the hunt for new words during the day. You underline new vocabulary in books, you keep a note in your smartphone of new words you heard on a podcast, and your friends are afraid to …

  10. Does “Bimonthly” Mean Twice A Month Or Every Two Months?

    Both!  Bimonthly can refer to something happening “every two months” or “twice a month.” Yep, bimonthly has, fittingly enough, two meanings. What does bi– mean? The prefix bi- means “two,” from the Latin bis, “twice.” The suffix -ly, which usually forms adverbs, is used in bimonthly to mean “every.” It’s used in the same way in several other units of time, including hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly. What does bimonthly …

  11. “Warranty” vs. “Guarantee”: What’s The Difference?

    When it comes to the big purchases in life, it’s important to master the fine print and understand words like loan, credit, interest, and … maybe also yikes and help (if that new refrigerator gives you a bit of sticker shock). There’s also another pair of words that comes in handy: warranty and guarantee. Because a major purchase is usually going to involve these two terms, you …

  12. “Dementia” vs. “Alzheimer’s”: What’s The Difference?

    You’ve likely heard of them before. Their most distinctive feature is a severe and progressive decline in memory, reasoning, and other primary cognitive abilities. Their diagnoses get easily mistaken for one another, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. Are dementia and Alzheimer’s the same thing? The short answer is no, they are not. Although tightly intertwined, they are remarkably different. How so? Well, this may come as …