Monthly Archives: February 2013

Ben Franklin Gets a Charge Out of an Invention and Coins a Phrase

My poor battered brain must have been suffering from CDS (caffeine deficiency slump). In pondering the origins of the word “battery,” I short-circuited the discussion, completely skipping over the electric battery. So what does a cell that stores chemical energy … Continue reading

Posted in English language, etymology, French language, Italian language, Spanish language | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Battling Etymologists

By now there were two dozen kids, each in possession of a cell phone with a distinct cry. The place buzzed, rumbled and hiccupped like an earthquake in a cuckoo clock factory. But I was still intently batting around words … Continue reading

Posted in English language, etymology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Extra Lex: 11 Words That Don’t Mean What They Sound Like

From crapulous to callipygian, Lexie’s alter ego defines 11 words that don’t mean what they sound like at MentalFloss.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Battery Got Battered

Suddenly the joint swelled with patter, chatter and, jabber. The high school kids had arrived and were swilling their coffee-tinged white foam beverages. I was still ensconced in my office, long after consulting with “Batman,” burrowing in the bat etymologies. … Continue reading

Posted in English language, etymology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Chaucer, the First to Twitter

Before getting back to bats, I was curious about some other verbs ending in the frequentative –er. I grabbed a turkey sandwich and a decaf tea. I like my caffeine, but I know my limits. Bite, sip, click. My thumbnails … Continue reading

Posted in English language, etymology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment