Tag Archives: word origins

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 Advertisements

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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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The Origins of Batter, Patter, Stutter, Flutter and more

That batty Batman was long gone but I was still pondering. What about the verb batter, meaning ‘to strike with repeated blows of an instrument or weapon, or with frequent missiles; to beat continuously and violently so as to bruise … Continue reading

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Lexie Kahn and the Origin of Concern and Discern

I had finished my java but not my papers. As I got up to order a Frappuccino I passed four women laughing and gossiping in Spanish, oblivious to the blond toddlers who chased each other around and under their table. … Continue reading

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Secrets and Discretion

Later that morning as I sipped my java (the “tall,” small size) in the shadowy booth I call my office, I mulled over Ms. Khan’s words: “I hope we can count on your discretion.” Sure. I my lips were sealed. … Continue reading

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Lexie Kahn, Secret Agent

After a late night watching election returns, pundits poking red and blue puzzle pieces on glowing screens invaded my dreams. A clanging phone woke me. It was Amira Khan, Ms. Big’s assistant, speaking in a near whisper. “I’m sorry; what … Continue reading

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