Author Archives: lexiekahn

Decoding British Pub Menus

Photo  Source Fancy a pudding wine? How about jugged hare and a side of rocket and baps? Bit of a muddle? No worries, luv. This glossary will set you right: http://mentalfloss.com/article/58701/28-keys-decoding-british-pub-menus Advertisements

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

Some Occupations You’ve Never Heard of Revealed in English Surnames

It’s easy to guess what an ancestor of someone named Cook, Carpenter, or Smith did for a living. With other occupational surnames, though, either the word or the trade has become obsolete, so the meaning is hidden. Can you guess … Continue reading

Posted in English language, etymology, Names, Occupations, Surnames | Leave a comment

Is This Trio of Words the Longest English Homonym?

These word pairs (and one trio) are identical, but not twins or triplets. Like the mythical doppelgangers, they were born at different times and places. Continue reading“Periwinkle 3” by Mokkie http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Periwinkle_3.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Periwinkle_3.jpg “Littorina littorea 02” by H. Zell – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Littorina_littorea_02.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Littorina_littorea_02.JPG Rosalba … Continue reading

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

An Example That Defines “Humblebrag”

UrbanDictionary.com defines “humblebrag” as: Subtly letting others now about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or “woe is me” gloss. Here’s a prime example, which I overhead last week at the Aspen … Continue reading

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

Extra Lex: 14 Food and Beverage Words with Arabic Origins

An  alcoholic’s first nip of the morning may be called an “eye opener,” but who would have thought that the word “alcohol” derived from a term related to eyeliner?  Get the scoop here: http://shar.es/N9myH

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

Extra Lex: A Three-Letter Word That Defies Definition

It’s a common word with only three letters. But can you define “art”? To Plato, art was imitation of nature, but in the 19th century, photography took over that function, and in the 20th, abstract art overturned the whole notion … Continue reading

Posted in art, English language, words | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Extra Lex: Treacherous Look-Alike Words in Spanish and English

According to an old ditty, “Spanish is a funny language where ropa isn’t rope, sopa isn’t soap and the butter is meant t’ kill ya.” Here are 48 more examples of Spanish-English “false friends”: http://mentalfloss.com/article/57195/50-spanish-english-false-friend-words   Incidentally, mantequilla, butter, is the diminutive of manteca, lard.

Posted in English language, false cognates, false friends, Spanish language | Tagged , , | Leave a comment