Tag Archives: interest-origins

  1. “Sir” And “Madam” Are Shorter Versions Of What Words?

    Let’s say you want to get the attention of a male clerk in the produce section of the grocery store. Would you say, “Excuse me, sire, but could you please explain the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?” (For the answer to that question, read this.) Addressing a stranger as “sire” might raise an eyebrow. But if you said it, you wouldn’t necessarily be …

  2. 12 Words To Say Instead Of “Starting Over”

  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. Is “Silly” A Positive Or Negative Word?

    Silly means "weak-minded or lacking good sense; stupid or foolish: a silly writer," or "absurd; ridiculous; irrational: a silly idea," or "stunned; dazed." But, did it always mean these things? Why does everyone think it's such an endearing word?
  7. Why Do We Use Uppercase And Lowercase Letters?

    Learning to write is a major milestone, and your little one will inevitably have some questions about why we do things the way we do during the process. We’re here to help you answer them. For example, a beginning writer might want to know how the letter W developed (why is it called double-U?) and why Q so often needs U. Another question sure to pop up …

  8. How To Know If A Term Is One Words Or Two Words

    English loves to take existing words and smash them together so they act as one unit. This is called compounding. But how do you know if a word is one word or two?
  9. 10 Songs You Had No Idea Were Inspired By Literature

    Sometimes it’s hard not to hum that song that’s stuck in your head. It’s also incredibly satisfying when you’re able to hum it all the way through. What you may not realize, however, is that sometimes as you hum your favorite earworm, you might be humming about a piece of literature, motifs and all. Take a look at the rock songs below, and see which …

  10. No One Pronounces These 10 Words The Same

    Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong famously sang about the controversial pronunciations of words like tomato (to-mah-to?), potato (po-tah-to?), either, neither, pajamas, and others in the song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” They settled nothing, and people have been debating the right way to say these words ever since.  And those aren’t the only words that send people to opposing corners, either. There are a host …