Joined: Nov 21, 2012
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.
We know the umlaut as that heavy metal pair of scary looking Gothic-Viking-Teutonic dots, but it is so much more. Here is the story of the umlaut.
Germany. Deutschland, Allemagne, Niemcy, Saksa, Vokietija...
Sometimes the etymology of a word is right in front of us, and we don't even see it.
We say happy for every other occasion. Why merry just for Christmas?
A rooster sounds like a rooster wherever it lives. A cow sounds like a cow in every country. So shouldn't we all use the same words for animal sounds no matter what our language?
They both used to mean terror-inducing. How did they end up meaning such different things?
What does Sunday have to do with the sun? What's a Satur or Tues?
Here's what we know about the origin of language.
Square, circle, triangle—how boring!
Dudes have been around since the 1880s, but they've changed a lot since then.
There are many stories of its origin, but here's the one that's lexicographer-approved.
It's possible you never wondered about these tricky words from common expressions. That's because they aren't the words you think they are.