Arika Okrent

Writes about: language

Linguist, author of In the Land of Invented Languages, living in Chicago, doing her part to fight off the cot-caught merger and keep "gym shoes" alive.

Grammar Lessons Hidden in Christmas Songs
Gift vs Present: What Is the Difference?
8 Great Arguments from the Latke-Hamentash Debate
How Many Words Do "Eskimos" Really Have for Snow?
7 Things You Should Know About Sign Language
11 Classy Insults With Classical Greek and Latin Roots
The Curious Origins of 16 Common Phrases
15 Common Expressions Younger Generations Won't Understand
14 Awesome 19th Century Street Gang Names
35 Classy Slang Terms for Naughty Bits from the Past 600 Years
9 Words Created by Spelling Other Words Backwards
21 Wonderful Words for Wind
4 Changes to English So Subtle We Hardly Notice They're Happening
18 Fancy Words for Specific Shapes
12 Common Words That Were Once Considered Jargon
How to Tell Whether You've Got Angst, Ennui, or Weltschmerz
10 Old-Fashioned Swears to Spice up Your Cussin'
31 Adorable Slang Terms for Sex From the Last 600 Years
14 Abstract Nouns We Need to Bring Back
Punctuation Marks Hated by Famous Authors
The Pig Latins of 11 Other Languages
7 Overlooked Thanksgiving Rituals, According to Sociologists
The Best Shots Fired in the Oxford Comma Wars
A Deaf Football Team Invented the Huddle
Unofficial Rules Native English Speakers Don't Realize They Know
Words With Difficult-to-Remember Meanings
The Correct Pronunciation of February
Words That Were Borrowed From A Language, Transformed, Then Borrowed Back
Death Slang From History
13 Words That Changed From Negative to Positive (or Vice Versa)
9 Common Terms That Come From Words for Heat
11 Versions of “Average Joe” From Other Countries
15 Pairs of Words That Surprisingly Come From the Same Source
12 Old Words That Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms
Find Your Birthday Word With the Oxford English Dictionary's Birthday Word Generator
11 Little-Known Words for Specific Family Members
15 Basic Words That Are Etymological Mysteries
15 Ripsniptious Faux-Educated Words of the 19th Century
15 Unique Illnesses You Can Only Come Down With in German
16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem
4 Fake Grammar Rules You Don't Need to Worry About
11 Words You Might Not Realize Come From “Love”
7 Words That Came About From People Getting Them Wrong
11 Totally Redundant Place Names
11 Nouns That Only Have a Plural Form
The Cupertino Effect: 11 Spell Check Errors That Made It to Press
The Most Expensive Properties in 11 Special Edition Monopoly Games
11 Suffixes That Gave Us New, Often Terrible Words
7 Common Words With Little-Known Relatives
5 Words That Are Spelled Weird Because Someone Got the Etymology Wrong


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