Tag Archives: etymology

From Barbecue to Hammocks and Hurricanes: the New World’s First Gifts to English

Caguana Ceremonial Ball Courts Site – Utuado Puerto Rico – By Jbermudez at en.wikipedia from Wikimedia Commons When Columbus landed in the New World in 1492, the first humans he encountered were the Taino, an Arawak people, then the most numerous … Continue reading

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Fruitful Expressions or Why There Are No Plums in Plum Pudding

From sweet lemons to sour grapes, the fleshy, edible, seed-bearing parts of plants are a fruitful source of terms and phrases. “Fruit Dreams” by Judith B. Herman Pick a juicy crop here.

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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

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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

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Spring Bounces In

I didn’t see her slip in — the tall, wavy-haired figure silhouetted in front of me. “Afternoon, Ms. Kahn,” she said. “And to you, Ms. Khan.” It was Amira Khan, the anonymous Boss Lady’s go-fer. Things were looking up. “Mrs. … Continue reading

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A Novel That’s a Real Novelty

I was hunched in my windowless corner office nursing a double. I was dry as an unirrigated field in California’s 500-year drought. Maybe the last gully-washer knocked a few years off the rating, but I was in a dry state, … Continue reading

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Are Partners People Who Part?

“Okay, we’ve got party figured out.” Pat drained the dregs from the plastic glass. What do part and parcel and partial have to do with partner?” “Yeah,” Chris said. “We vowed to stay together ‘until death we do part.’” Pat … Continue reading

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