Joined: Feb 8, 2013
Judith B. Herman is a Southern California writer with a thing for words and pictures. Her blog, WordSnooper.com, tells the adventures of Lexie Kahn, Private Etymologist. Thanks to Photoshop Judy uses her camera to document unreality.
40 Words and Phrases That Are Their Own Opposites
15 Retronyms for When You’re Talking Old School
10 Words and Phrases You Won’t Believe Are More Than 100 Years Old
50 Spanish-English False Friend Words
Sometimes words with the same origin take a separate path in each language, or words with different origins resemble each other by coincidence. That can mean trouble.
30 Family Secrets Hiding in English Surnames
It’s easy to guess what an ancestor of someone named Cook, Carpenter, or Smith did for a living. With other occupational surnames, though, either the word or the trade has become obsolete, so the meaning is hidden.
15 Writers Who Were Also Medical Doctors
Doctors are notorious for their illegible writing (ask any pharmacist), but these medicos gained more fame for their readable writing than for their skill with a scalpel.
11 Strange Movie Job Titles—Explained!
Here's what the key grip, best boy, and gaffer actually do, plus the origins of those titles.
The Delicious Origins of 11 Fruitful Expressions
The fleshy, edible, seed-bearing parts of plants are a fruitful source of terms and phrases. We’ve picked eleven for you.
The Origins of 8 Curious Body Part Names
Why does the back of your lower leg have the same name as a baby cow?
14 Common Food and Drink Words With Arabic Origins
A surprising number of common English food and beverage words have Arabic backgrounds.
11 Pairs of Unrelated Famous People Who Share a Name
How many conversations proceed blithely along before the participants realize they’re talking about two different people with sound-alike names?
28 Keys to Decoding British Pub Menus
Most of us know that American “fries” are British “chips.” Here’s a glossary to help you out of trickier menu muddles.