Tag Archives: etymology

Party Politics and Etymology

“Getting back to our wedding reception…” Pat started. “You guys had a party and we weren’t invited?” Lee fumed. Guys, I thought. Had Lee revealed something? No. “You guys” doesn’t indicate gender. “Of course not,” Chris said. “The party is … Continue reading

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Should “Husband” Be Banned?

While I was getting us all another round of java, I tried to scope out the two couples for clues. No hairy hands. Just how big was Pat’s Adam’s apple? I turned to take the cardboard tray from the barista … Continue reading

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Extra Lex: Lonely Negatives in Mental Floss

  We interrupt Lexie’s adventures for another Mental Flossing (which is entirely different from brainwashing). Disgruntled, disgusted and disheveled: Negative words that have lost their positive partners: Mental Floss

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Batsh*t Crazy

“What about [ahem] …guano,” Batman wanted to know. “Well, as Steven Pinker points out in The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, the number of Eskimo words for ‘snow’ is small potatoes compared to the range … Continue reading

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Batting About “Debate” and “Combat”

As I hopped on the Dash bus down Franklin toward home I couldn’t get that Batman character out of my mind. He was batty, all right, but he certainly isn’t the only one in this burg. That’s part of the … Continue reading

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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

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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

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