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Etymological word lists

Etymological word lists, such as origins of names, legal etymology, professional etymology, Greco-Latin etymology, veterinary etymology, dinosaur etymology, archives of etymologies, and more.

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Category Archives: Words

December 21, 2016 by Allan Metcalf

Hashtag Christmas and Emoji New Year!

emojiBack in 1990, the internet was young, and print still ruled, as it had since the days of Johannes Gutenberg. It followed then that the American Dialect Society, introducing the notion of a Word of the Year, looked to print for candidates. The winner was the sarcastic political term bushlips, referring to President Bush’s failure to keep his promise of “Read my lips — no new taxes.”

Fast forward a quarter century to 2016, and the digital revolution has had its effect on our language. Not only ha…

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December 18, 2016 by Geoffrey Pullum

Where Are the Happiness Boys?

Professor with bubbles coming out of pipeExactly 58 years ago today (I write on December 17, 2016), E.B. White wrote a letter of protest to his editor, J.G. Case, who had been trying to get him to take some grammar advice and modify some of the proscriptive ukases in a usage book that White was revising. White wouldn’t yield an inch to what he called “the Happiness Boys, or, as you call them, the descriptivists”:

I cannot, and will-shall not, attempt to adjust … to the modern liberal of the English Department, the anything-goes fellow….

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December 14, 2016 by William Germano


doll-s_house_posterHow many psychoanalysts does it take to transform a lightbulb? One — but the lightbulb really has to want to transform.

What’s happened to the verb transform? Has it undergone some transformation when I was looking away?

Here’s a typical sentence in what I think is the most up-to-date campus usage:

“The character of Nora transforms in the last act of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.”

Nora does not transform some thing into something else. There’s no thing here that is being subjected to Nora’s powers…

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December 12, 2016 by Allan Metcalf

‘Bigly’ Is Huge

maxresdefaultYes, it didn’t take long for a reader of my Friday post to recognize what I meant when I hinted about my favorite word of the year 2016: ”It’s big.” Betsy Smith, retired from Cape Cod Community College, correctly deduced that my choice, for now at least, is bigly.

Why bigly? Because it contains so much in so little. It has a long history, yet until now was nearly obsolete. Its etymology is disputed. And most important, it expresses the state of mind of the winning candidate for the U.S. presiden…

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December 8, 2016 by Lucy Ferriss

A Radical Contranym

webradishI’ve been studying Italian, a language that gets me thinking about etymology even more than I usually do. The other day I learned that the word for root is radice. “Funny,” I said to my husband as we were fixing dinner that night. “It’s like a cross between radish and radical.” I was — I swear to you — chopping salad as I said this. I held up a radish to examine. “Well, duh,” I said. “It’s a root.”

Linking radical to radice felt more complicated. In mathematics, it makes sense as the root, say,…

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December 7, 2016 by Allan Metcalf

Words for a Year of Fear

WOTYwordThis week Time magazine announced its Person of the Year, the person who made the most news in 2016. To nobody’s surprise, that was Donald Trump.

But what about the Word of the Year 2016? That’s a little harder.

Trump certainly inspired neologisms. Witness, for example, David Barnhart’s “Trumptionary” that I have excerpted in previous posts.

March 7:

“The Trumptionary”

March 17:

“The Trumptionary, Part 2?

October 31:

“Trumptionary 3: Barnhart’s Never-Finished Dictionary of Politics”

Barnhart’s N…

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December 5, 2016 by Anne Curzan

Researching ‘Research’

research program 1Some pronunciation shifts are squarely on my radar. For example, I feel like I am hearing more and more people pronounce the noun program with a schwa in the second syllable. For me, the second syllable sounds like “gram”; for these other speakers, it sounds like “grum.” Both the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and the online American Heritage Dictionary provide the schwa-ful “grum” pronunciation as a second variant for the word program, but the Oxford English Dictionary online has yet to incl…

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December 4, 2016 by Ben Yagoda

Who You Calling ‘Snowflake’?

After the presidential election, a Montclair, N.J., store owner invited some like-minded souls to paint a mural on the boarded-up windows of her shop: a multicolored heart and, under a rainbow, the words “Make America Love Again.” The next morning she found that some changes had been made:

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 3.02.13 PM

In a November 14 article, The Des Moines Register reported:

One Iowa lawmaker has a message for any state university that spends taxpayer dollars on grief counseling for …

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December 1, 2016 by Lucy Ferriss

Post-Truth and Chaos

latitude-north-star-5-degrees-above-horizon_8d32bb0c6f9cb1e2I don’t know when prefixes stopped meaning what we think they mean, but it was a long time ago. I’m just wrapping up a course in recent American prose, for instance, where the term postmodernism keeps coming up. The students initially thought, quite logically, that postmodernism was a movement that came after modernism — even though, since they look around at a world they consider to be modern, they had a hard time wrapping their minds around its post- period’s being in the recent past. We wor…

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November 30, 2016 by Ben Yagoda

Travails With My ‘Aunt’

Scott Simon says "ahnt"

I’ve written before about a trend I first noticed in my students, then observed in the wider world: eschewing the common or standard spelling, pronunciation, or version of a word in favor of one that is or seems fancier or more British. Examples include amongst (instead of the traditional among); whomever instead of whoever in the subjective case (“I’ll give a ticket to whomever wants one”); the British spelling grey (gray) and the faux-British spelling advisor; and pronouncing…

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Erstellt: 2016-12

WarrenAllen's Curious Words Page
Word List

Strange words and/or words with good stories behind them.

die Sammlung vom 20.10.2002:
Anaheim | Bell, book and candle | boogie | carking | chickenhead | defenestration | dudgeon | epicene | euonym | frisson | funky | gallimaufry | Generation X | hipster | iridescence | juke | | kipple | le dernier cri | lumpen | meatspace | mojo | pentimenti | pieces of eight / bits | roman à clef | skunk works | tchotchke / tchatchke / tsatske | trepanation | warren

English Language Trivia
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Trivia about the English language and word origins

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Lexical Investigations: Balaclava
A motley combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Germanic dialects, the English language (more or less as we know it) coalesced between the 9th and 13th centuries. Since then, it has continued to import and borrow words and expressions from around the world, and the meanings have mutated. (Awesome and awful once meant nearly the same thing.) CONTINUE READING »

When the language of life meets the language of literature: encoding Shakespeare into DNA
From the birth of the sign to the development of new words, we’ve investigated many facets of our living language here at the Hot Word, but rarely do we have the opportunity to look at the language of life itself—DNA. As you might remember from 7th-grade science, DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, the molecular structure that stores the genetic code for all life forms. CONTINUE READING »

Lexical Investigations: Mazel Tov
A motley combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Germanic dialects, the English language (more or less as we know it) coalesced between the 9th and 13th centuries. Since then, it has continued to import and borrow words and expressions from around the world, and the meanings have mutated. (Awesome and awful once meant nearly the same thing.) CONTINUE READING »

How do you say “basketball” in Latin? And what does it have to do with the retiring pope?
News of Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement has brought the Latin language to the front and center of minds worldwide. For one thing, the Pope announced his retirement in Latin. Giovanna Chirri, an Italian journalist assigned to the Vatican beat, was able to break the story before her peers thanks to her knowledge of the dead language. CONTINUE READING »

Lexical Investigations: Holistic
A motley combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Germanic dialects, the English language (more or less as we know it) coalesced between the 9th and 13th centuries. Since then, it has continued to import and borrow words and expressions from around the world, and the meanings have mutated. CONTINUE READING »

The Value of Signs: Saussure’s rebuttal
We’ve reached the final installment of our series on Ferdinand de Saussure and the scintillating study of semiology. In our last post we left our friend Saussure in a rather unflattering light, when we explored the first scientific evidence against his hypothesis: that the relationship between the sign (a word) and the signified (the concept a word represents) might not be as arbitrary as Saussure posited. CONTINUE READING »

Are Scrabble tile values in need of an overhaul?
Invented by out-of-work architect Alfred Butts during the Great Depression, Scrabble is a staple of word lovers’ lives. The popularity of this beloved game took off in the mid-1950s and has been an essential part of the canon of classic board games ever since.

Lexical Investigations: Art
A motley combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Germanic dialects, the English language (more or less as we know it) coalesced between the 9th and 13th centuries. Since then, it has continued to import and borrow words and expressions from around the world, and the meanings have mutated. (Awesome and awful once meant nearly the same thing.)CONTINUE READING »

When dictionaries are a matter of life or death…
Two recent events have raised the complicated question of whether or not dictionaries belong in courtrooms. A murder trial in Virginia was disrupted because the jurors illicitly consulted two dictionaries and a thesaurus. (The defense is currently seeking a mistrial.) And even on the Supreme Court it seems dictionaries are being misused. CONTINUE READING »

Baltimore Ravens: The only football team named after a poem!
A lot of football teams are named after birds (e.g., the Philadelphia Eagles, the Atlanta Falcons), but of all our feathered mascots only one comes from a poem: The Baltimore Ravens.


Why is the San Francisco football team called the 49ers?
When the California Gold Rush began in 1848, American football didn’t exist. But those aggressive gold miners would give their nickname to a football team one hundred years later.
Gold was first found in Northern California in January 1848, and it took about a year for the news to travel and inspire thousands of fortune seekers to head west. CONTINUE READING »

Lexical Investigations: Appendix
A motley combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Germanic dialects, the English language (more or less as we know it) coalesced between the 9th and 13th centuries. Since then, it has continued to import and borrow words and expressions from around the world, and the meanings have mutated. (Awesome and awful once meant nearly the same thing.) CONTINUE READING »

Was Saussure wrong?
Welcome to the second installment in our series on Ferdinand de Saussure and the linguistic science of semiology. Now where were we?
In the last post we discussed Saussure’s theory of the “sign” as a combination of the “signified” (the concept represented by a word) and the “signifier” (the spoken or written word doing the representing). CONTINUE READING »

Where do words come from? Do they really mean anything?
How do we use language? We use it to express ourselves through speech, to record our experiences or to invent and tell stories in writing. But before all that begins, before a word leaves our lips or a pen hits the page, we use language in our heads. This code we share is more than a “simple naming process.” It’s the means by which we form our thoughts and interpret the world around us. CONTINUE READING »

The words you want to banish in 2013
Last week, we discussed the Worst Words of 2012. We were originally inspired by past lists from Lake Superior State University in Michigan. Every year they compile words that were misused, overused, and abused, and this week they released their list for 2013, which included some choice words that we had overlooked: CONTINUE READING »















Erstellt: 2011-12
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“Spring Forward, Fall Back” And Other Popular Mnemonics








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Individual Words Etymology


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On Words, Phrases, Grammar, Rhetoric and Prose



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Martha Barnette's Favorite Words and their Origins


A few hundred of my favorite words and their origins. (18.08.2007)

Martha Barnette is author of "Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies" and "A Garden of Words".
The Dirty Etymology of 9 Everyday Words


Within our lexicon lives a library of forgotten stories, developed over centuries and tucked away in words. Thanks to the dirty impulses of our forefathers, quite a few of them also contain filthy chapters, making us the unwittingly foul-mouthed butt of their humor. Here are some of our language’s naughtier practical jokes.

1. Orchid - Oops, you just said: Testicles

Take a look at certain orchids’ roots, and you’ll probably notice that they look like testicles. If not, you’ve set yourself apart from multiple generations of language-makers that simply couldn’t help but name the whole plant family after this snicker-worthy observation. Our contemporary word for the flower, introduced in 1845, comes from the Greek orchis, which literally translates as “testicle.” Speakers of Middle English in the 1300s came up with a phonologically different word—inspired by the same exact dirty thought. They called the flower ballockwort from ballocks, or testicles, which itself evolved from beallucas, the Old English word for balls.

2. Porcelain - Oops, you just said: Pig’s vagina

The word “porcelain” comes from the material’s Italian name, porcellana, which literally translates as a “cowrie shell” and refers to porcelain’s similarly smooth surface. But the Italian cowrie shell in turn takes its name from porcella, a young sow, because the shell’s shape is reminiscent of a small, female pig’s vulva.

3. Vanilla - Oops, you just said: Vagina

During Hernando Cortes’ conquest of the Aztec empire, his men discovered the vanilla plant and dubbed it vainilla, literally “little pod” or “little sheath,” from the Latin vagina, “sheath.” The conquistadors drew the name from the shape of the plants’ bodies, which need to be split open in order to extract the beans they enclose—still a bit of a stretch as they more closely resemble tough, dark string beans. Funny enough, the ‘70s slang sense of vanilla as “conventional” or “of ordinary sexual preferences” has nothing to do with its original etymology; instead, it refers to the unadventurous choice of vanilla ice cream and the blandness of the color white.

4. Seminar - Oops, you just said: Semen

"Seminar” comes from the Latin seminarium, meaning “breeding ground” or “plant nursery,” which itself comes from the Latin seminarius, meaning “of seed.” Given the words’ phonological likeness, it's pretty obvious that they all come down to the Latin semen, “seed.”

5. Fundamental - Oops, you just said: Buttocks

The 15th-century word “fundamental” is derived from the Late Latin fundamentalis, meaning “of the foundation,” which itself is from the earlier Latin fundamentum. While taking another step back won’t lead you to the buttocks, a small, crooked step forward will take you to fundamentum’s more immediate descendent, fundament, which has meant “anus” or “buttocks” since the 13th century.

6. Avocado - Oops, you just said: Testicle

Yet another generation that looked at plants and saw balls, 18th-century Spaniards took the vegetable fruit’s name from an earlier Spanish version, aquacate, which evolved from the region’s pre-conquest Nahuatl ahuakati, meaning “testicle.”

7. Pencil - Oops, you just said: Penis

In the 14th century, “pencil” took on the meaning “an artist’s fine brush of camel hair” from the French pincel, meaning the same thing minus the camel part. Pincel came from the Latin penicillus, which means “paintbrush” or “pencil” but literally translates as “little tail,” the diminutive of the Latin penis, “tail.”

8. Musk - Oops, you just said: Scrotum

Again we return to the testicles. “Musk,” the substance secreted from a male deer’s glandular sac, traces back to the Sanskrit muska-s, meaning “testicle,” because of its origin’s resemblance to a scrotum. For more evidence of our forefathers’ far-fetched visual association games, one need only trace muska-s back to its origin, mus, meaning “mouse,” which allegedly also looks like a scrotum. But why stop there when the same root gives us “muscle” from the Latin musculus, literally “little mouse.” How, you ask? Well, muscles, too, allegedly look like mice... which look like scrotums, which look like deer glands.

9. Amazon - Oops, you just said: Breastless woman

In the late 1300s, the Greek spoke of the Amazones, a Scythian race of female warriors that, according to popular folk etymology, had an interesting custom of cutting or burning off one breast in order to draw bowstrings more easily. They stood out quite starkly as a- mazos, “without breasts.”

Erstellt: 2015-02
13 Fascinating Word Origin Stories (That Are Completely Untrue)


Sometimes when the true origin of a word isn’t known (and sometimes even when it is), entirely fictitious theories and tall tales emerge to try to fill in the gap. These so-called folk etymologies often provide neater, cleverer, and wittier explanations than any genuine etymology ever could, all of which fuels their popularity and makes them all the more likely to be passed around — but sadly, there’s just no escaping the fact that they’re not true. Thirteen of these etymological tall-tales, taken from word origins guide Haggard Hawks and Paltry Poltroons, are explained and debunked here.

1. BUG

According to the story, back in the days when computers were vast room-filling machines containing hundreds of moving parts, one of the earliest recorded malfunctions was caused by an insect making its home on one of the delicate mechanisms inside—and hence, all computer malfunctions since have been known as bugs.

This well-known tale apparently has its roots in an incident recorded in London’s Pall Mall Gazette in 1889, which described how Thomas Edison spent two consecutive nights trying to identify "a bug in his phonograph"—"an expression," the article explained, "for solving a difficulty, and implying that some imaginary insect has secreted itself inside and is causing all the trouble." All in all, it appears the original computer bug was sadly a metaphorical one.


Golf doesn’t stand for "gentlemen only ladies forbidden," nor for "gentlemen only, ladies fly-away-home," and nor, for that matter, for any other means of telling someone to go away that begins with the letter F. Instead, it’s thought to be a derivative of an old Scots word for a cudgel or a blow to the head, gouf, which in turn is probably derived from Dutch. The earliest known reference to golf in English? An Act of the Scottish Parliament, passed on March 6, 1457, that demanded that "football and golf should be utterly condemned and stopped," because they interfered with the military’s archery practice.


A popular story claims that when the English explorer Captain Cook first arrived in Australia in the late 18th century, he spotted a peculiar-looking animal bounding about in the distance and asked a native Aborigine what it was called. The Aborigine, having no idea what Cook had just said, replied, "I don’t understand"—which, in his native language, apparently sounded something like "kangaroo." Cook then returned to his ship and wrote in his journal on 4 August 1770 that, "the animals which I have before mentioned [are] called by the Natives kangooroo." The fact that Cook’s journals give us the earliest written reference to the word kangaroo is true, but sadly the story of the oblivious Aborigine is not.


When Mary I of Scotland fell ill while on a trip to France in the mid-1500s, she was served a sweet jelly-like concoction made from stewed fruit. At the same time, she overheard the French maids and nurses who were caring for her muttering that "Madame est malade," ("ma’am is unwell"), and in her confusion she muddled the two things up—and marmalade as we know it today gained its name. As neat a story as this is, it’s unsurprisingly completely untrue—not least because the earliest reference to marmalade in English dates from 60 years before Mary was even born.


Thomas Nast was a 19th century artist and caricaturist probably best known today for creating the Republican Party’s elephant logo. In the mid-1800s, however, Nast was America’s foremost satirical cartoonist, known across the country for his cutting and derisive caricatures of political figures. Anything described as nasty was ultimately said to be as scathing or as cruel as his drawings. Nast eventually became known as the "Father of the American Cartoon," but he certainly wasn’t the father of the word nasty—although its true origins are unknown, its earliest record dates from as far back as the 14th century.


In the early 1900s, the wealthiest passengers on cruise ships and liners could afford to pay for a port-side cabin on the outward journey and a starboard cabin on the homeward journey, thereby ensuring that they either had the best uninterrupted views of the passing coastlines, or else had a cabin that avoided the most intense heat of the sun. These "port out starboard home" passengers are often claimed to have been the first posh people—but a far more likely explanation is that posh was originally simply a slang name for cash.


The bogus story behind pumpernickel is that it comes from the French phrase pain pour Nicol, a quote attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte that essentially means "bread only good enough for horses." In fact, the true origin of pumpernickel is even more peculiar: pumper is the German equivalent of "fart" and nickel is an old nickname for a devil or imp, literally making pumpernickel something along the lines of "fart-goblin." Why? Well, no one is really sure—but one theory states that the bread might have originally been, shall we say, hard to digest.

9. SH*T

Back when horse manure (and everything else, for that matter) used to be transported by ship, the methane gas it gives off tended to collect in the lowest parts of the vessel—until a passing crewman carrying a lantern had the misfortune to walk by and blow the ship to pieces. Did this ever happen? Who knows. But one thing we do know is that sh*t is certainly not an acronym of "ship high in transit," a motto often mistakenly said to have been printed on crates of manure to ensure that they were stored high and dry while being moved from port to port. In fact, sh*t—like most of our best cursewords—is an ancient Anglo-Saxon word dating from at least 1000 years ago.


Sincere is derived from the Latin sincerus, meaning "pure" or "genuine." Despite this relatively straightforward history, however, a myth has since emerged that claims sincere is actually a derivative of the Latin sine cera, meaning "without wax," and supposed to refer to cracks or chips in sculptures being filled in with wax; to Ancient Greeks giving statues made of wax rather than stone to their enemies; or to documents or wine bottles without wax seals being potentially tampered or tainted. None of these stories, of course, is true.


Sirloin steak takes its name from sur, the French word for "above" (as in surname), and so literally refers to the fact that it is the cut of meat found "above the loin" of a cow. When sur- began to be spelled sir- in English in the early 1600s, however, a popular etymology emerged claiming that this cut of meat was so delicious that it had been knighted by King Charles II.

12. SNOB

Different theories claim that on lists of ferry passengers, lists of university students, and even on lists of guests at royal weddings, the word snob would once have been written beside the names of all those individuals who had been born sine nobilitate, or "without nobility." The Oxford English Dictionary rightly calls this theory "ingenious but highly unlikely," and instead suggests that snob was probably originally a slang nickname for a shoemaker’s apprentice, then a general word for someone of poor background, and finally a nickname for a pretentious or snobbish social climber.


In the New Testament, "the word of God" is described as "sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12 . This quote is apparently the origin of a popular misconception that sword is derived from a corruption of "God’s word." Admittedly, this kind of formation is not without precedent (the old exclamations gadzooks! and zounds! are corruptions of "God’s hooks" and "God’s wounds," respectively) but sword is actually a straightforward Anglo-Saxon word, sweord, which is probably ultimately derived from an even earlier Germanic word meaning "cut" or "pierce."

Erstellt: 2014-07

Words of unknown origin
Word List

Where do words come from? Most words are variations or combinations of words we knew already. This makes them easy to recognize and remember (and makes it easy to figure out where they came from). Some words created from scratch are coined by writers, which aids their popularization (and likewise makes it easier to determine the etymology). But most words of unknown origin have managed to make it into our vocabulary without either of these advantages.

What kind of word can make it against such odds? As you'll see in the list below, many have the advantage of onomatopoeia. But more than that, these are words that you love to know, love to hear, love to say.
I've given the dates of these words -- some from the Oxford English Dictionary, and some from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary (which is where you go if you click the "definition" button); these two sources don't always agree. Some of the dates are obvious, for example, that moola, pizzazz, snazzy, jazz and tizzy are all from the early 20th century.
But there are some surprises. Who'd've guessed that things were nifty as early as 1868? Or that nobody had zits before 1966? Or that you could have taken a brief jaunt as long ago as 1570?
Or that people were nincompoops back in 1676? Actually, I can kind of believe that one ... some things never change ...
---Stephen Malinowski

Folgende Begriffe waren am 04.02.2004 zu finden:

askance (1530) | ballyhoo (1914) | bamboozle (1703) | banter (1702) | bash (1790) | bet (1460) | blight (1669) | bloke (1851) | bludgeon (1868) | bozo (1920) | buggy (1773) | burlap (1695) | cagey (1893) | chad (1947) | clobber (1879) | codswallop (1963) | condom (1706) | conniption (1833) | conundrum (1596) | copacetic (1919) | cub (1530) | cuddle (1520) | culvert (1773) | curmudgeon (1577) | dandle (1530) | dildo (1610) | dippy (1922) | dodge (1575) | dogie (1903) | dowse (1691) | dude (1883) | dweeb (1983) | dyke (1942) | euchre (1846) | fink (1928) | fipple (1626) | flabbergast (1772) | flare (1814) | | flivver (1915) | floozy (1911) | flub (1904) | flubdub (1888) | flue (1582) | freak (1563) | fribble (1664) | frowzy (1681) | fuddle (1588) | fuddy-duddy (1904) | fuss (1701) | | galoot (1812) | gandy dancer (1923) | garish (1545) | gink (1911) | gizmo (1943) | gopher (1812) | gorp (1968) | grungy (1965) | G-string (1878) | guzzle (1583) | hazy (1625) | higgledy-piggledy (1598) | hobbledehoy (1540) | hobo (1891) | hooey (1924) | hootenanny (1929) | hornswoggle (1829) | hugger-mugger (1529) | hunch (1598) | jake (1924) | jalopy (1928) | jam (1806) | jamboree (1872) | jaunt (1570) | jazz (1918) | jeer (1625) | jerkin (1519) | jib (1661) | jiffy (1785) | jimmies (1947) | jink (1786) | jitney (1915) | jive (1928) | joey (1839) | josh (1891) | jumble (1529) | kibble (1790) | kilter (1643) | lollapalooza (?) | lollygag (1868) | lummox (1825) | malarkey (1929) | moola (1939) | mosey (1838) | mound (1551) | nifty (1868) | nincompoop (1676) - | noggin (1630) | oodles (1869) | palooka (1924) | palter (1538) | pang (1526) | pernickety (1818) | peter (1812) | piddle (1545) | pimp (1607) | pixie (1630) | pizzazz (1937) | placket (1626) | pod (1688) | pokey (1919) | pother (1627) | privet (1542) | prod (1535) | punk (1596) | puzzle (1607) | quaff (1529) | qualm (1530) | quandary (1579) | quirk (1565) | quiz (1782) | raunchy (1939) | rickets (1645) | rinky-dink (1913) | rogue (1561) | roil (1693) | rollick (1826) | rumpus (1764) | runt (1549) | scad (1856) | scag (1874) | scalawag (1848) | scam (1963) | schooner (1716) | scoundrel (1589) | scrim (1792) | scrimshander (1851) | shebang (1867) | shenanigan (1871) | shim (1723) | shoddy (1832) | shrivel (1612) | shuck (1674) | simoleon (1903) | skedaddle (1861) | skit (1572) | slang (1756) | slather (1818) | sleazy (1644) | slouch (1515) | slum (1812) | snazzy (1932) | snide (1862) | snit (1939) | snitch (1785) | snooker (1889) | snooze (1789) | spline (1756) | sprain (1601) | sprocket (1536) | squander (1596) | squelch (1620) | squid (1613) | squirm (1839) | stash (1811) | stooge (1913) | surf (1685) | swatch (1512) | swig (1548) | swizzle (1813) | taffy (1817) | tantrum (1748) | tiff (1727) | tizzy (1935) | toddle (1825) | toggle (1769) | tootsie (1905) | tot (1725) | transmogrify (1656) | trinket (1536) | trounce (1551) | trudge (1547) | turmoil (1526) | twerp (1923) | wheedle (1668) | willies (1900) | williwaw (1842) | wingding (1944) | wonk (1918) | yank (1818) | zit (1966)


Origin of Words

Here are some new Phrase Origins. How many do you know!


Write about a Word


Simple. You’ll see one word at the top of the following screen.

You have sixty seconds to write about it.

Don’t think. Just write.

Rather than defining words or talking about words, oneword™ is about being inspired by words.

The words chosen are usually very simple words — some profound, others mundane. It is our belief that even the most mundane word can inspire profound writing. That is not to say the we are expecting profundity—we are only expecting you to be inspired.

There are plenty of other sites dedicated to learning new words and improving your vocabulary. oneword™ is dedicated to helping writers learn to flow.

Flow on.

Erstellt: 2016-06
Wordster, wordmonger, and other words about words


Trying to write the introduction to this post without overusing the word "word" is going to be difficult. It may become something of a tongue-twister. But, essentially, we’ve looked at words beginning with "word" in the Oxford English Dictionary, knowing that wordsmiths like you will want more word words to add to your vocabulary… got it?

Many of these words are now not common in English. We’ve arranged them in order of earliest known use, from most recent to oldest.

Wordster, n.

Definition: a person who uses words, especially skilfully or (in early use, depreciatively) in place of action. Also: a student of words and their meanings. First recorded use: 1904, Love Triumphant by F. L. Knowles: ‘Your dainty wordsters may cry, ‘Uncouth!’ As they shrink from his bellows’ glow.’

Wordable, adj.

Definition: capable of being expressed in words. First recorded use: 1890, Bismarck (N. Dakota) Daily Tribune: ‘The “gossip” is obliged to wait quite a little while before said gossip can form any wordable thing out of the jumble of syllables muttered rapidly by the first gossip.’

Wordie, n.

Definition: a word, especially a little or slight one. (Scottish) First recorded use: 1718, Christ’s-kirk on Green by A. Ramsay: ‘She her Man, like a Lamy led Hame, wi a well wail’d Wordy.’

Wordiness, n.

Definition: the quality of being wordy; excess or multiplicity of words; verbosity. First recorded use: 1680, The True Way and Only Way of Concord of all the Christian Churches by Richard Baxter: ‘And indeed, notwithstanding the tedious wordiness of it, it hath little in it..fully answered by Voetius.’

Word-bound, adj.

Definition: constrained or limited in respect of words; especially unable to use words freely or fluently. First recorded use: 1644, Fall of Man by William Newport: ‘For a Christian to be absolutely word-bound, to be tied so to anothers forme or his own, that he hath no liberty to vary in any expression, is a great bondage.’

Worder, n.

Definition: a person who uses (many) words; a chatterer. Also a person who puts something into words. First recorded use: 1606, Schelomonocham by J. Carpenter: ‘They were neither worders, or giuen to high laughter.’

Wordmonger, n.

Definition: originally a person who deals in strange, pedantic, or empty words; now also a person skilled in the use of words. First recorded use: 1590, Tarltons Newes out of Purgatorie ‘The word-mongers of malice, that like the Vipers grew odious to their own kinde.’

Wordish, adj.

Definition: consisting in or concerned with (mere) words, or using an excess of words. First recorded use: a1586, An Apologie for Poetrie by Philip Sidney: ‘A perfect picture I say, for hee yeeldeth to the powers of the minde, an image of that whereof the Philosopher bestoweth but a woordish description.’

Wordhoard, n.

Definition: a store of words; the vocabulary of a person, group, or language. First recorded use: Old English, Metres of Boethius: ‘Ða se wisdom eft wordhord onleac, sang soðcwidas.’

Erstellt: 2015-07

On Interesting Words


But music isn't the only interest that a lot of top nerds have: I think a lot of us are word nerds too.
I blogged earlier about "feague". Glenn Vanderburg recognized Mrs Byrne's and came back with one of his favourites:

"groak", which is the definition I remember word-for-word: "to stand watching someone eat, in the hopes they will ask you to join them."

I know Damian and Tom are classics nuts, as capable of emitting Latin as English. Damian even ported "Perl" to Latin. My favourite Tim O'Reilly story involves the day, many years ago, the dumb terminals got stuck on the Greek character set. Tim was the only one not to throw up his hands in disgust. He was quite happy putting his classics degree to good use by editing a computer book in "vi" with every letter transliterated into the Greek character set.
"feck" (FEK) n.
We often use negative words, quite common ones, without stopping to think that they are based on positive words that are uncommon and unfamiliar. Everyday examples are words like "impeccable", "untoward", "ruthless", "uncouth", and "disgruntled". We almost never give a thought to the positive terms in the senses that form the basis of the familiar negatives: "peccable" ("liable to error"), "toward" ("propitious"), "ruthful" ("compassionate"). So it is with "feckless", meaning "ineffective", "incompetent", "feeble", "helpless".

It must be obvious that there would be no such word unless there were also the word "feck", and there is such a word, as unfamiliar or obscure as it may be. "Feck", a mainly Scottish term that is also heard in the north of England, has a number of meanings, including "efficacy", "efficiency", and by extension, "energy", "vigor". It is deemed to be an aphetic form of "effect" ("aphetic" being the adjective from "aphesis", the linguistic phenomenon of the loss of an unstressed initial vowel or syllable). "Feck" gives rise to the adjective "feckful", meaning "vigorous", "efficient", "powerful".

In Robert Willan's List of Ancient Words at Present Used in the Mountainous District of the West Riding of Yorkshire (1811), "feckful" is defined as "strong and brawny". Hence our word "feckless"; and it all goes back to "feck". This is a different term from the slang "feck" (origin unknown) used by James Joyce in the sense of "swipe" or "pinch". In Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) he describes persons who "... fecked cash out of the rector's room," and in Ulysses (1922) he writes of "fecking matches from counters." Nothing to do with the "feck" we've been discussing.

A word about "aphesis" (AF uh sis) and "aphetic" (uh FET ik):
"Aphesis" comes from the Greek, meaning "letting go", based on the verb "aphienai" ("to set free"), built of the preposition "ap-", a variant of "apo-" ("away") plus "hienai" ("to send"); cf. "aph(a)eresis" in my 1000 Most Challenging Words.

And from The Meaning of Liff: As you might have guessed, there's no etymology in "Meaning of Liff" because they've taken all those things we needed names for (like the baked-on dishwasher nastiness) and applied them to placenames (which, after all, were just sitting around not doing much).


English Word Lists and Language Resources

Forthright, aka Steve Chrisomalis, runs this site devoted to the enjoyment of English words and wordplay.

"phrontistery" FRON-tis-te-ri, n a "thinking-place" [Gr "phrontisterion" from "phrontistes" a "thinker", from "phroneein" "to think"; applied by Aristophanes to the school of Socrates

(griech. "phronein" = "denken", "empfinden")


Welcome to the Phrontistery! I'm your host, Forthright. Since 1996, I have compiled word lists in order to spread the joy of the English language. Here, you will find the International House of Logorrhea (an online dictionary of obscure and rare words), the Compendium of Lost Words (a compilation of ultra-rare forgotten words), and many other glossaries, word lists, essays, and other language and etymology resources. If you have a question, comment, addition, or suggestion, feel free to e-mail me. Happy word-hunting!

Language Resources Numerals Glossaries Bookstore Other

Erstellt: 2010-02


English Words and Their Background


Contributors: George H. McKnight - author. Publisher: D. Appleton. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1923.
449 Seiten online.

Zu jedem Kapitel gibt es kleine Appetithäppchen.

Questia offers free access to the first page of every chapter in a book and the first paragraph of each article for your review.
Unter "This Week's FREE Books - Click below to read the entire book" findet man jede Woche ein Werk, zum kostenlosen Zugriff.

Click on a chapter to start reading.

The Wonder of Words


An Introduction to Language for Everyman
Contributors: Isaac Goldberg - author. Publisher: D. Appleton & Company. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1938.
485 Seiten online.

Zu jedem Kapitel gibt es kleine Appetithäppchen.

Questia offers free access to the first page of every chapter in a book and the first paragraph of each article for your review.
Unter "This Week's FREE Books - Click below to read the entire book" findet man jede Woche ein Werk, zum kostenlosen Zugriff.

Click on a chapter to start reading.

Unusual Words and How They Came About


Contributors: Edwin Radford - author. Publisher: Philosophical Library. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1946. Page Number: *.
318 Seiten online. - Allerdings sind zu allen Wörtern Hinweise zur Herkunft zu finden.

Zu jedem Kapitel gibt es kleine Appetithäppchen.

Questia offers free access to the first page of every chapter in a book and the first paragraph of each article for your review.
Unter "This Week's FREE Books - Click below to read the entire book" findet man jede Woche ein Werk, zum kostenlosen Zugriff.

Click on a chapter to start reading.

Word Origins


Your search on word origins has brought you to Questia, the world's largest online academic library. The Questia online library offers reliable books, journals, and articles that you can trust on word origins. With Questia you can quickly research, cite, and quote with complete confidence.

Zu jedem Kapitel gibt es kleine Appetithäppchen.

Questia offers free access to the first page of every chapter in a book and the first paragraph of each article for your review.
Unter "This Week's FREE Books - Click below to read the entire book" findet man jede Woche ein Werk, zum kostenlosen Zugriff.

Find rhymes, synonyms, adjectives, and more
The Rhyming Dictionary and Thesaurus and related tools
Multifunctional Dictionary
Semantic rhyming dictionary


More from RhymeZone

Rhymezone was developed by Doug Beeferman at Carnegie Mellon University. It uses WordNet to help sort the output based on how near in meaning a word is to a certain target meaning. He has recently added "synonym" and "semantic sibling" queries to the interface.



Erstellt: 2018-03

Snappy Words
Free Visual Online Dictionary


What is Snappy Words visual English dictionary?

It’s an online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that helps you find the meanings of words and draw connections to associated words. You can easily see the meaning of each by simply placing the mouse cursor over it.

Why use Snappy Words visual dictionary?


Free Visual Dictionary and Thesaurus

Enter a word here

Erstellt: 2013-11


takeourword (tak)
Take Our Word for It
Word List

Am 03.09.2005 war die Site (nach längerer Unterbrechung) gediehen bis zur Ausgabe 197:

Außerdem gibt es eine Bibliographie, einige theoretische Hinweise zur Etymologie und eine Mailingliste.

  • Issue 190 Spotlight Life in the 1500s Revisited
  • Words to the Wise fraught, jimmy, you have your work cut out for you, boss
  • 9/11/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Guestmudgeon
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Good Eating

  • Issue 189 Spotlight
  • Words to the Wise pit, Totley, no holds barred, Moor
  • 8/12/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner This Guestmudgeon is a potentially dangerous pedant
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Mating on the House Floor?

  • Issue 188 Spotlight California Placenames
  • Words to the Wise step-, Beijing, cold (illness), twiddle (your thumbs), worrywart
  • 7/15/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner A Guestmudgeon may show her might
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock How to get a ticket

  • Issue 187 Spotlight Animal groups
  • Words to the Wise pup tent, poop deck, goggles, itch, pallbearer
  • 7/2/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner A Jeopardy Fan?
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Fun with Excision!

  • Issue 186 Spotlight book
  • Words to the Wise the penny dropped, grabbling, thin as a rail, take a gander, quarter horse
  • 6/17/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Frying beans twice?
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock The Perfect Computer and Software

  • Issue 185 Spotlight swell words
  • Words to the Wise: spider, corny, sham, ceremony, blonde
  • 6/3/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Everyday Usage
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock The Cowboy's Ten Commandments

  • Issue 184 Spotlight opera and manure, the facts at last
  • Words to the Wise: cracket, bazooka, ornery, ticked off, digs
  • 5/20/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Validation
  • Letters to the Editors various

  • Issue 183 Spotlight vets
  • Words to the Wise: ass, widdershins, jacuzzi, jar, hoar-frost, hear a pin drop
  • 5/6/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Loose usage
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock The First Time's Always the Worst

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 182 Spotlight consonant shifts
  • Words to the Wise: separate/apart
  • 4/22/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Barb Dwyer is a friend of mine
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock The First Time's Always the Worst

  • Issue 181 Spotlight cups, coops, hoops and heaps
  • Words to the Wise: mullet (hairdo), Alabama, sorrow, villain, Parthian/parting shot
  • 4/8/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Guestmudgeon Jake Cuttler isn't notorious - yet
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Comments on Iraq by Late Nighters

  • Issue 180 Spotlight shocking, awful use of words
  • Words to the Wise: harbinger, tea towel, doc, frog
  • 3/24/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Guestmudgeon Roland Bogush got out of the wrong side of the bed today
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Slow Children at Play

  • Issue 179 Spotlight charge
  • Words to the Wise: forgive, hail, propaganda, fly by night
  • 3/10/03
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Barb wants to serve herself better
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Hu's on First

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 178 Spotlight plural diseases
  • Words to the Wise: belay, gazebo, bedraggled
  • 12/9/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner between Scylla to Charybdis
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock The Thermondynamics of Hell revisited

  • Issue 177 Spotlight going out of our gourds
  • Words to the Wise: casus belli, gone/fallen by the wayside, rendezvous, fire (sack)
  • 11/17/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner the I's don't have it
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock The Thermondynamics of Hell

  • Issue 176 Spotlight
  • Words to the Wise: shareware, where have all the _____ gone?, sweetbreads, shark
  • 11/10/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Suicide bombers
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock What happens when National Lampoon gets a hold of Desiderata

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 175 Spotlight Halloween
  • Words to the Wise: desire
  • 10/20/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Redundancy and repetition (and redundancy)
  • Letters to the Editors various

  • Issue 174 Spotlight More Bird Words
  • Words to the Wise: sniper, crab apple, cole slaw, bogey,
  • 10/13/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Our guestmudgeon just thinks
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Which is better?

  • Issue 173 Spotlight Bird Words
  • Words to the Wise: undead, murder of crows, moratorium, keep your eyes peeled, squiz, marquis, fishy/suspicious
  • 10/13/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Shirt and shoes required
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Perhaps these people should not be telling us about problems!

  • Issue 172 Spotlight intestinal fortitude
  • Words to the Wise: stream of consciousness, in/out of the loop, turmeric, asparagus, scissors
  • 10/6/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner "French" bread
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock A few silly (or scary) signs

  • Issue 171 Spotlight complexions and beauty
  • Words to the Wise: grits, jaded, business
  • 9/29/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner I wonder
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock If this were a real emergency...

  • Issue 170 Spotlight ants
  • Words to the Wise: liberal arts, browbeat, Mecca, cyclone
  • 9/14/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner who that?
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock a bunch of groaners

  • Issue 169 Spotlight plates
  • Words to the Wise: Brooklyn, land of nod, slum, née
  • 9/9/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner a suit in a suite
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Bigger Martini

  • Issue 168 Spotlight pipes
  • Words to the Wise: godown, adventure, flapjack, Phillips screw/screwdriver, by George
  • 9/2/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner a tack
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock I am called a Princess

  • Issue 167 Spotlight a mouthful
  • Words to the Wise: arrow, pirate, to boot, go ape/apesh*t, brickle, scrutinize
  • 8/24/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner disconcertion
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock the "Wisdom" of George Carlin

  • Issue 166 Spotlight brightness
  • Words to the Wise: togs, rummage sale, say uncle, I should cocoa, the jig is up
  • 8/16/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner up to one complaint or more!
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock fear of flying

  • Issue 165 Spotlight very little
  • Words to the Wise: the powers that be, skoal, trench coat, costs an arm and a leg, folderol, seaboard
  • 8/9/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner not available in all areas
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock smoked beef rectum

  • Issue 164 Spotlight carrying on
  • Words to the Wise: yikes, the birds and the bees, aficionado, daylight robbery, Malay/malaise
  • 8/2/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner quite literally
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Stoopid Peeple

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 163 Spotlight singletons
  • Words to the Wise: riled up, worry, hogwash, stick in the mud, agonist, gentleman
  • 7/26/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner critique
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock Slippery sheep!

  • Issue 162 Spotlight heat
  • Words to the Wise: gumshoe, syphilis, swan song, zit, nugget
  • 7/11/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner laxadaisical [sic]
  • Letters to the Editors various
  • Laughing Stock They've got a funny accent!

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 161 Spotlight muses
  • Words to the Wise: pshaw, pot shots, garage, lagniappe
  • 6/28/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner longing for shorter words
  • Letters to the Editors Old Dart, qualifying absolutes, Latin plurals, dreckly (directly), to no end?, man words, alittle alot, ESL (and other) errors, Jewish haikus source, more quarters, more aggravation, more lambaste
  • Laughing Stock Decisions, decisions!

  • Issue 160 Spotlight quarters
  • Words to the Wise: on the lam, quarters, [death] throes, men in female terms, indigenous
  • 6/20/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner disembarking
  • Letters to the Editors curses, oaths, etc., dosh again, presently, irregardless and unique, more enfeebled verbs, America from the Templars?, different from, than or to?
  • Laughing Stock Striking faces (ouch!)

  • Issue 159 Spotlight swinging in the hammock
  • Words to the Wise: cult and occult, inventory and invent, Jesus Christ, fiddle sticks
  • 6/13/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner available to avail
  • Letters to the Editors TOWFI serendipity, fond memories, cockney, more doughnuts, actually about actually, unmentionables, terminology
  • Laughing Stock Jewish mothers' haiku

  • Issue 158 Spotlight getting lost in the dictionary
  • Words to the Wise: choad and qif, diaspora, brown nose, doughnut
  • 5/16/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner restaurant-speak
  • Letters to the Editors impacted, push-back, highway-speak, actually, Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway, fan mail
  • Laughing Stock More news

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 157 Spotlight now
  • Words to the Wise: anal retentive, bangs, diaper, jackdaw, best thing since sliced bread
  • 5/9/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner what was your name?
  • Letters to the Editors , back to boxty, yet more on highways and definite articles, Normans, nouns to verbs, Old English in the Bible, a link
  • Laughing Stock The News

  • Issue 156 Spotlight damn foreigners
  • Words to the Wise: reckless/wreck, English history, boxty, [what in] Sam Hill
  • 5/2/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner nouns as verbs
  • Letters to the Editors much more on definite articles and highway names, sign language, six ways from Sunday, we asked for it

  • Issue 155 Spotlight Where the wild things are
  • Words to the Wise: buck/butt naked, purlieu, dogsbody,
  • 4/25/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner ten years ago...
  • Letters to the Editors Germans on "Berliner", hell bent for leather revisited, classical plurals again, to input or not, vending one's spleen, definite articles and highway names
  • Laughing Stock A hostile hostel?

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 154 Spotlight h-e-double-hocky-sticks
  • Words to the Wise: hell bent for leather, philanderer, rathskeller
  • 4/18/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner input/inputted
  • Letters to the Editors love apples, tomatoes, garlic, road apples, lobscouse, blind scouse, alumni, classical plurals, more berliner, irony, the last words on eggplant
  • Laughing Stock Venting [one's] spleen

  • Issue 153 Spotlight apples
  • Words to the Wise: take to task, peruse, celestial, kiln
  • 4/11/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner the state of Classical education
  • Letters to the Editors New Zealand slang; more "shorten and add y"; speccy; poor Margaret,, pommy, more terms for "u-turn", congradulations, more congradulations, yet more congradulations, Berliner, more inhabitant terms, scouse, Teeries, Ramsbottom
  • Laughing Stock A serious health hazard

  • Issue 152 Spotlight inhabitants
  • Words to the Wise: awhile,, pom/pommy
  • 4/4/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner congradulate the gratuates
  • Letters to the Editors censorship and other stuff; Australian vernacular; Laughing Stock; clichés, dashboard, curmudgeon merge
  • Laughing Stock Another groaner

  • Issue 151 Spotlight Personal matters (oh me, oh my!)
  • Words to the Wise: renaissance, Virgin Islands
  • 3/29/02
  • Letters to the Editors might could; shorten and add y; fubar revisited; boogers again, dashboard, phrase coinage, *skep-
  • Laughing Stock Aaaaack!

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 150 Spotlight cutting, hacking and scraping
  • Words to the Wise: charleyhorse, cloth, coined the phrase, spats, dashboard
  • 3/22/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner coining phrases
  • Letters to the Editors the N word; the N word again; orris root; more on The Women's Dictionary
  • Laughing Stock More groaners (puns)

  • Issue 149 Spotlight Middle Earth
  • Words to the Wise: hymen/hymn, booger/bogy, alewife, happy hour, snafu
  • 3/15/02
  • Letters to the Editors puns continue; enjoying TOWFI; thank you
  • Laughing Stock A woman's dictionary

  • Issue 148 Spotlight The fundamentals
  • Words to the Wise: America, shamus, radical, logphile/philologist, synecdoche
  • 3/7/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner What he said
  • Letters to the Editors crossing fingers; ID id; eurology; altar horns; corners; perch pun; punctuation, more IDs , words, in connection with
  • Laughing Stock very punny again!

  • Issue 147 Spotlight horns, corns and corners
  • Words to the Wise: Mrs., cross your fingers, divide and conquer, silkie
  • 1/23/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner those that
  • Letters to the Editors the; more au jus; various topics; Cretan/cretin; spicy; euronating, definitions
  • Laughing Stock very punny!

  • Issue 146 Spotlight Dwellings
  • Words to the Wise: bitch, pizza
  • 1/16/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner coulda been a contender
  • Letters to the Editors daemon's evolution; more au jus; more on rabbits; more misacronyms; golf again; more on peppers; huh?
  • Laughing Stock sounds increditable to us

  • Issue 145 Spotlight More Hot stuff
  • Words to the Wise: take the Mickey, whipping boy, Welsh rarebit/rabbit, seven seas
  • 1/9/02
  • Curmudgeons' Corner on a
  • Letters to the Editors hot words, giddy up; Gilbert and Sullivan; several points; misunderstood clichés; Aunty Curmudgeon; he's disorientated; golf again
  • Laughing Stock Where excellence is not an option

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 144 Spotlight Hot stuff
  • Words to the Wise: trauma
  • 1/2/02
  • Letters to the Editors intensive purposes, jigs; yogh; more on church; article abuse
  • Laughing Stock Camping in water

  • Holiday Issue Spotlight Holiday Words (from a previous issue)
  • Words to the Wise: rain check, pray/prayer, pagan, church, caribou
  • 12/19/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner for all intensive purposes?
  • Letters to the Editors Tagalog, Tagalog two; Tagalog three; an old octopus revisited; Richardsnary; Wynn

  • Issue 143 Spotlight cant
  • Words to the Wise: investment, consonant and vowel, -ber, get the hell out of Dodge
  • 12/12/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner flaunt vs. flount
  • Letters to the Editors corundum, Tagalog plurals; lost letters and Gaul; French/Welsh; more on Gaul; double laugh; Icelandic license plate; Websense makes sense; Russian in number
  • Laughing Stock Are they slow, or should we slow?

  • Issue 142 Spotlight lost letters
  • Words to the Wise: pornography, Gaul, aa, quenelle
  • 11/28/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner lay and lie
  • Letters to the Editors Websense, Apostrophe Protection Society, Tagalog plurals; animated curmudgeon, red and mimimum?, bad syntax, Mother Goose in French (sort of), human and earth in Hebrew
  • Laughing Stock large women and manual automatic doors

  • Issue 141 Spotlight gemstones again
  • Words to the Wise: called on the carpet, odds, sport, human
  • 11/14/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner who's at work
  • Letters to the Editors collective vs. plural nouns, please, keeping up with the back issues
  • Laughing Stock how is that supposed to work?

  • Issue 140 Spotlight gemstones
  • Words to the Wise: red letter day, Farsi, wave, pickle
  • 11/8/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner more better
  • Letters to the Editors collective nouns, more on mondegreens, death and the sickle, "better" dictionary, they're just wrong
  • Laughing Stock but how could he fit in there?

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 139 Spotlight evil
  • Words to the Wise: goblin, cemetery, zombie, ectoplasm
  • 10/31/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner sentence adverbs
  • Letters to the Editors very punny, waffling about wlaffe, wl- pronunciantion, no, not more fonts!, spooling Miss Steaks, go slow and read it slowly, Arabic anthrax
  • Laughing Stock How does one close a waterfall?

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 138 Spotlight wl...
  • Words to the Wise: anthrax, afghan, midnight oil
  • 10/24/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Losing -ly
  • Letters to the Editors German bonza, curmudgeonly pride, renege spelling, bad or missing links, spell check verse, wl- words
  • Laughing Stock Well, which is it?

  • Issue 137 Spotlight Topical Items
  • Words to the Wise: renege/renegue, discombobulate, bonzer/bonza, midwife
  • 10/17/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Jive for jibe, tact for tack, etc.
  • Letters to the Editors Notarikon in Hebrew, language links, problems with page two, cats and dogs, Hebrew and Persian, Aunty Curmudgeon, hats and cattle, Ali quotation, how to fix font problems, browser environment and back issue snags, wl- words, quadratic help, mnemonics and a joke
  • Laughing Stock Must've been a very long tendon

  • Issue 136 Spotlight Arabs, Afghans, Muslims and Islan
  • Words to the Wise: muggles, notarikon, roster, all fur, no nickers
  • 10/3/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner A regime of regimens
  • Letters to the Editors Peachy and more, more peaches, possessives, more data, Richard Lederer sez..., spelling stumpers, more on font problems, infamous Isabella, metonym?, mistakes, curmudgeons and anti-curmudgeons, we're ok
  • Laughing Stock How to give a pill to a cat

  • (E?)(L?)
  • Issue 135 Spotlight Dukes, and Eponyms
  • Words to the Wise: bank holiday, contractions, idiot

  • (E?)(L?)
  • 8/28/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner The data are in
  • Letters to the Editors It's not genitive, ginger peachy keen, tera, zetta and yotta, TOWFI display fonts, tough ones to spell, I/me usage
  • Laughing Stock Now how many doughnuts is that?

  • Issue 134 Spotlight Our Garden (again)
  • Words to the Wise: stock still, mortgage, minutes, wrong side of the tracks
  • 8/15/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Me me me or I I I?
  • Letters to the Editors A rhetorical question, a font of fonts, refreshing the site, Lucy, Utah's seagulls, Soylent Green/Soilent Green, difficult to spell
  • Laughing Stock See water. See water run!

  • (E1)(L1)

  • Issue 133 Spotlight Notes from our garden
  • Words to the Wise: deep six, consulate/embassy, teenager, biscuit/bisquit
  • 8/8/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Insured assurance
  • Letters to the Editors Back issue issue, logic vs. evidence, hell in a handbasket I, hell in a handbasket II, gruntle
  • Laughing Stock Sweeney Todd redux

  • Issue 132 Spotlight On the Money
  • Words to the Wise: earshot/hark/hearken, midget/dwarf, Suffolk Punch, monk, meander
  • 8/1/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Looking forward
  • Letters to the Editors begging rhetoric, our search engine, Dutch correction
  • Laughing Stock Proofreed your ads

  • Issue 131 Spotlight Bad Etymologist! No Biscuit!
  • Words to the Wise: double dog dare, steward, g-string, (run) amok
  • 7/25/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Beg the question
  • Letters to the Editors Redundant redundancy, thanks, so punny, apostrophemania, Palm OS dictionaries
  • Laughing Stock Nobody cares about Mom?

  • (E?)(L?)
  • Issue 130 Spotlight
  • Words to the Wise: throw one's hat into the ring, mistletoe, Hip hip! Hurray!, hold (down) the fort
  • 7/18/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Irritatingly redundant
  • Letters to the Editors Meanings vs. etymology, several comments, Kilkenny cats, Old Testament child-rearing, jazz revisited
  • Laughing Stock The true meaning of words (?!)
  • Issue 129 Spotlight Animation
  • Words to the Wise: rebel, daemon, cardinal
  • 7/10/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Digitally recorded error
  • Letters to the Editors New mailing list, southern hemisphere readers unite!, Peter Pan an etymologist?, all monds, ah-monds, Anglo-centric views?, cats is cats, jewfish no more, Persian in Hebrew
  • Laughing Stock A w(h)ine joke

  • Issue 128 Spotlight Cats
  • Words to the Wise: caught red-handed, factotum, scrod, crayon, on tenterhooks
  • 6/26/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner An L of a time
  • Letters to the Editors: more flies, Persian influence, uptalk, ichthyetymology, more eggs and plants
  • Laughing Stock The birth of a word

  • Issue 127 Spotlight Nightmares, death and monsters
  • Words to the Wise: jewfish, scoop, natty, fly (zipper), gestalt
  • 6/19/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner heighth?
  • Letters to the Editors eggplant in Hindi and German, more would, Texan for W, more for Macs, more on merkin, old oxenfree
  • Laughing Stock what happens when you use an online translator

  • Issue 126 Spotlight Merkins, grimalkins, and Maid Marians
  • Words to the Wise: attorney, joy, vice-/vise, aubergine, Mexico
  • 6/12/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Guess what?
  • Letters to the Editors fahrt, Getafix, dogleg, petard
  • Laughing Stock Ball removal

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 125 Spotlight Saturday
  • Words to the Wise: glamour, warlock, hysteria, yonder/iterations/reiterate, gams
  • 6/5/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Holded up?
  • Letters to the Editors Crisis in Language, fart, he found us!, Polish help, Wells Fargo
  • Laughing Stock Dumfart

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 124 Spotlight Frequentatives
  • Words to the Wise: Dough, fart, hiccup, moot, piggyback
  • 5/29/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Vegetarian chickens
  • Letters to the Editors Poetry for Cats, French knee cognates, trunks and boots, Wells Fargo, not exactly macaronic, false friends , fletcher flowers
  • Laughing Stock All Your Base Are Belong to Us

  • Issue 123 Spotlight Flow and fly
  • Words to the Wise: Trunk, smarmy, pay attention/ heed/ a visit, remote, knee
  • 5/22/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Free for $19.95
  • Letters to the Editors Loser, Latin poems, more Latin poems, yet more Latin poems, back issue format, Hindi and English

  • Issue 122 Spotlight Skirt, shirt, skit and shinola
  • Words to the Wise: pedigree, butter, green room, haywire, doula
  • 5/15/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Nuptual?
  • Letters to the Editors Latin poetry, more w, county, peppers and wolves, curmudgeoning in German
  • Laughing Stock Mary Jane in Idaho

  • Issue 121 Spotlight rank
  • Words to the Wise: cash, titanic, the letter y, the letter w
  • 5/8/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner if I would have been
  • Letters to the Editors, UFO a ufo?, Dubyonics, Huxley and Darwin
  • Laughing Stock A true story (though not etymological)

  • Issue 120 Spotlight dictionaryisms
  • Words to the Wise: agnostic, loophole, best man, tantalize, several
  • 5/1/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Whatever and whenever
  • Letters to the Editors humdinger, a French home, censorship, translations, other others, George III
  • Laughing Stock Slow service?

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 119 Spotlight the following...
  • Words to the Wise: humdinger, dumbbell, scut, bulletin board, bend over backwards
  • 4/24/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Who's ever
  • Letters to the Editors gild the lily, I tell ye, f*ck and fight?, a TOWFI fix, more about nine yards, back issue format, anatomy of a barrel
  • Laughing Stock Secrets Revealed

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 118 Spotlight Another one of those e-mails
  • Words to the Wise: lock, stock and barrel, high jinks, bun/hot cross bun
  • 4/17/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Ironic isn't ironic anymore
  • Letters to the Editors Ishtar, French gender, more Latin plurals, spurious etymology, pepperpot, Spanish, and New Amsterdam
  • Laughing Stock Yes + Yes = No?

  • Issue 117 Spotlight Compost
  • Words to the Wise: peter out, Buffalo, imp, sooterkin/zooterkins, lorry
  • 3/13/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Where have all the female words gone?
  • Letters to the Editors Monday in Japanese, crocs of saffron, I'll give you 40 does for that saddle, Colombian gestures, two cents for a stadia rod, Spanish linguist to the rescue, going to the circus with Kate, more cat skinning
  • Laughing Stock Don't call, it'll be gone by now

  • Issue 116 Spotlight
  • Words to the Wise: kudos, cobweb, conjugate, spring, more than one way to skin a cat
  • 3/6/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner He's an-al and an-noyed
  • Letters to the Editors Arabic Spanish, Honday in Mungarian, god words, dropping d's, broads, and broads again, evil apple pancakes, time travel, co-curmudgeons, battle-axitude, troopers and e-mail, Latin rules?, Christianity and Chinese
  • Laughing Stock what a shocker

  • Issue 115 Spotlight days of the week...Tuesday
  • Words to the Wise: in the doldrums, Adam's apple, trooper/trouper, battle-axe, broad
  • 2/27/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner It's a phenomena to myself
  • Letters to the Editors Hungarian Mondays, more Albuquerque, what about the dunce cap?, more on couln'nt and prescriptivism
  • Laughing Stock time travel

  • Issue 114 Spotlight days of the week...Monday
  • Words to the Wise: thalweg, Albuquerque, randy, josh, entree
  • 2/20/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner couln'nt
  • Letters to the Editors p's and q's, on curmudgeonry, whet your whistle?
  • Laughing Stock lethal rolling pins

  • Issue 113 Spotlight netymology
  • Words to the Wise: easy as pie, crud, handle, yum/yummy, geoduck
  • 2/13/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner a coal forecast
  • Letters to the Editors brass monkey skeptics, monkeys on cruise liners, Finnish, morning star deities
  • Laughing Stock Husbands and varmints

  • Issue 112 Spotlight table manners
  • Words to the Wise: cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, bring home the bacon/chew the fat, catapult, Russia, lame duck
  • 2/6/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner piquing one's curiosity
  • Letters to the Editors we helped, Hebrew for "morning star", git, spell checkers, more gender vs. sex, the -orama craze, scab revisited
  • Laughing Stock What language does your dog speak?

  • Issue 111 Spotlight sticks and stones
  • Words to the Wise: quark, git, arrogant, alien, steal one's thunder
  • 1/30/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner taking a peek at pique
  • Letters to the Editors vegetarian derivation?, vegetarian joke, apt names, lingua franca, more eggnogs, Lucifer returns?, we can help, we can help Mac users, too
  • Laughing Stock What language does your dog speak?

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 110 Spotlight whales
  • Words to the Wise: migraine, universe, eggnog, vegetarian, Torpenhow (hillhillhill)
  • 1/23/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner this or next weekend?
  • Letters to the Editors posh, this/next weekend, more on obfuscation, naked what?, welcome back, error policy

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 109 Spotlight hogmanay
  • Words to the Wise: ghetto, winter, wuss, gymnast
  • 1/16/01
  • Curmudgeons' Corner obfuscation
  • Letters to the Editors correction, betel and beetle, more on this/next weekend, chads again, the nature of our curmudgeons

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 108 Spotlight absolutely fabulous animals
  • Words to the Wise: beetling, manhandle, oyez oyez, horror
  • 12/18/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner this or next weekend?
  • Letters to the Editors chad, the OED, additions to our bibliography, dangling prepositions and British math
  • Laughing Stock Discretion Advised When Upgrading

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 107 Spotlight elections (or, from chads to ... in one letter)
  • Words to the Wise: spree, craven, dastardly, pusillanimous, o'clock, county, lickety-split
  • 11/21/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner more whining from Malcolm Tent
  • Letters to the Editors more second person plural and "W'all" - a double plural, a gracious apology, French etymology, final prepositions.
  • Laughing Stock a notice of revocation...

  • Issue 106 Spotlight the days of the week: Sunday
  • Words to the Wise: fob, quadratic, Gordon Bennett, mess, davenport, chaise longue/lounge
  • 11/14/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Suzanne Carpenter says it alls
  • Letters to the Editors more third person plural pronoun slang, Norse or Teutonic?, our letters policy, dingbat again, Italian divas
  • Laughing Stock Phunny photos

  • Issue 105 Spotlight the days of the week continued
  • Words to the Wise: housewarming, tongue in cheek, hero, diva, frig
  • 10/31/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Suzanne Carpenter attempts to sway us with her y'all pitch
  • Letters to the Editors Encyclopedia Britannica, avian literacy, drownded, dingbat, nor' by nor'west, you-uns
  • Laughing Stock Laws Concerning Food and Drink [by Ian Frazier]

  • Issue 104 Spotlight the days of the week
  • Words to the Wise: hunting pink, stool, foot, bereaved, cancer/Cancer
  • 10/9/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner hyperhyphenation
  • Letters to the Editors Issue 103's letters repeated [due to Mike being ill]
  • Laughing Stock How I Met My Wife [by Jack Winter]

  • Issue 103 Spotlight the in- words
  • Words to the Wise: dingbat, inning, wine, on the wagon, rock and roll, hip hop
  • 10/2/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner nemesis abuse
  • Letters to the Editors Gore-y details, en-compass-ed, drownded, letter order, second-person plural
  • Laughing Stock A Rhose By Any Other Name [by Matthew Sutherland]

  • Issue 102 Spotlight
  • Words to the Wise: letter order, loofah, dweomer, cobweb, pissant
  • 9/25/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner bureaucratese
  • Letters to the Editors youse, drownded, anyways
  • Laughing Stock a parking restriction we can live with

  • Issue 101 Spotlight English words from Romany
  • Words to the Wise: trivia, be there with bells on, France, profession
  • 9/18/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner anyways
  • Letters to the Editors Ks, Chicago Tribune, more on hokey-pokey, tumped, quibbles and compliments
  • Laughing Stock the doctor is in

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 100 Spotlight wee weighs of weight
  • Words to the Wise: hanky-panky and hokey-pokey, trot line, post haste, pompous, three sheets to the wind
  • 9/11/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner US spelling
  • Letters to the Editors More children's rhymes, hosey, Agent 99, braziers, sphagnum moss, heraldry,
  • Laughing Stock "No Man is an Ireland" - political boners

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 99 Spotlight swamp things
  • Words to the Wise: crony, bumbershoot, spank, bimbo, English from Basque
  • 8/28/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Nutritious vs. nutritional and others
  • Letters to the Editors Sexual slang in music, punny readers, sailing details, more dibs synonyms, commas revisited
  • Laughing Stock Dining in style

  • Issue 98 Spotlight the word-of-all-trades part II
  • Words to the Wise: dosh, creole, fair to middlin', squid, c*nt
  • 8/21/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Growing a minimum horn
  • Letters to the Editors 1500s is 16th century, commas, bagging, meddlin' in middlin', jackets are old, jacks, and eight a's!
  • Laughing Stock Spam from Russia with Love

  • Issue 97 Spotlight the word-of-all-trades
  • Words to the Wise: humongous, soda, dibbs, fugue, bees' knees
  • 8/14/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner from between
  • Letters to the Editors, fuzzy wuzzy,
  • Laughing Stock Re-re-re-translations

  • Issue 96 Spotlight Mother of all tongues
  • Words to the Wise: library, colony, sorcerer, ex
  • 8/7/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner wherefore
  • Letters to the Editors English pronuciation,
  • Laughing Stock Spam from Russia with Love

  • Issue 95 Spotlight Edible words
  • Words to the Wise: curmudgeon, fix, hootenanny, soul, milquetoast
  • 7/31/00
  • Letters to the Editors virgin, plurals, high tea, Lithuanian, injuries, Pali
  • Laughing Stock English as she are spoke

  • Issue 94 Spotlight The crippled creep
  • Words to the Wise: surgery/chirurgery, supper/dinner, dog days, washer, mischievous
  • 7/24/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner prepositions
  • Letters to the Editors virgin, more strange English, sexual slang, plurals
  • Laughing Stock Children's books

  • Issue 93 Spotlight
  • Words to the Wise: fork, pew, screaming meemies, preterist, troilism
  • 7/17/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner depluralization
  • Letters to the Editors honky, poont*ng, noise words, virgin
  • Laughing Stock English is a stupid language

  • Issue 92 Spotlight
  • Words to the Wise: siege, fell swoop, star (person), virgin, right track, poont*ng
  • 7/10/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner noise words
  • Letters to the Editors more Dutch, long lost friends, clapping, honky
  • Laughing Stock steamed children

  • Issue 91 Spotlight veg-edibles part II
  • Words to the Wise: loagy, sublime, clap, honky, crestfallen
  • 6/19/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner plural mispronunciation
  • Letters to the Editors more on product labels, belladonna returns, laughed so hard he flooded!
  • Laughing Stock George W. Bush, in his own words

  • (E1)(L1)

  • Issue 90 Spotlight veg-edibles
  • Words to the Wise: thumb, eclipse, vitamin, to rare, scouse
  • 6/19/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner convincing and persuasive
  • Letters to the Editors more on product labels, to know you is to know you, Persian, not Arabic!, more on Azazel, it's a piece of cake, a name for the unnamed
  • Laughing Stock Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn

  • Issue 89 Spotlight wise acres
  • Words to the Wise: nadir, intact, piece of cake
  • 6/5/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner the unnamed pet peeve
  • Letters to the Editors ollie ollie oxen free, Egypt, sending TOWFI to a friend
  • Laughing Stock Instruction (or is that DEstruction?) labels

  • Issue 88 Spotlight a little knowledge
  • Words to the Wise: chat, slavery
  • 5/30/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner role models
  • Letters to the Editors goats (Azazel), oxen (ollie ollie oxen free), mornings, Japanese, a fool's cap

  • Issue 87 Spotlight minced oaths
  • Words to the Wise: get one's goat, moonshine, naked as a jaybird, nihilism, ollie ollie oxen free, foolscap, Krishna, in the black/red
  • 5/22/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner hopefully it will not be momentarily
  • Letters to the Editors plural and not so plural possessive, back issues formula, reaching Indians, a suggested link

  • Issue 86 Spotlight Japanese words in English
  • Words to the Wise: Aryan, noodle (food), doozy
  • 5/15/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner feral insurance companies
  • Letters to the Editors sesquipedalianism, it's in the roasting, so is one Jones a Jone?, Surdez you jest

  • Issue 85 Spotlight beer
  • Words to the Wise: nag, (bill of) lading, cobbler, nit, jingoism
  • 5/8/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner epicentrism
  • Letters to the Editors brine whine, a bitter taste, a German churl, lemoned water, in-store free-for-all, quanta, reusing absent items, corponyms, language anarchy

  • Issue 84 Spotlight blood-sucking parasites
  • Words to the Wise: ectoplasm, quay, heinous, quirk, churlish
  • 5/1/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner bitter words
  • Letters to the Editors more bunnies, more quantum leaps, whither the sticky wicket?, Indiastan, an edible noggin, it's Odin Tew you

  • Issue 83 Spotlight promotional materials
  • Words to the Wise: Indian, deadbeat, noodle, destiny
  • 4/24/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner close to the edge
  • Letters to the Editors A disgruntled anti-commercialite, write about Dutch wife and get chastised re gender!, voilà - a viola, down on the Welsh

  • Issue 82 Spotlight Holy Spirit
  • Words to the Wise: due south, sticky wicket, wet nurse, fantastic, podzol and chernozem
  • 4/17/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Realty is reality
  • Letters to the Editors British pronunciation, more rabbits, French letters and cor anglaise, we're almost always right, and double Dutch alumni

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 81 Spotlight the Easter Bunny
  • Words to the Wise: asymptote, first/ third, [dog] pound, shepherd, poverty
  • 4/10/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner American as apple pie
  • Letters to the Editors Dutch terms, grim, and foundering citizens

  • Issue 80 Spotlight those darned foreigners
  • Words to the Wise: fusion and fission, nigh/near/next, along and belong, feudal, jewelry
  • 4/3/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner light years away
  • Letters to the Editors grim reaper returns, the etymology of Sahara, and comments on city words

  • Issue 79 Spotlight city words
  • Words to the Wise: brawl, puce, butt (heads), virtually
  • 3/27/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner associate
  • Letters to the Editors alfa?, more dudes, more African words, don't knock La Brea Tar Pits, a NASAism, redundancies return, the grim truth about the Grim Reaper, gorilla girls

  • Issue 78 Spotlight African words, part 2
  • Words to the Wise: agent, hearse and rehearse, Patagonia, ruthless, Grim Reaper
  • 3/20/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner literally
  • Letters to the Editors Tenses, phonetic alphabet, desert islands, more redundancies

  • Issue 77 Spotlight African words, part 1
  • Words to the Wise: stroke, a bone to pick, roger and wilco, cold feet, Teutonic
  • 3/13/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner can vs. may
  • Letters to the Editors Cowboy slang, more redundancies, dories, Thruber, and an old issue

  • Issue 76 Spotlight some phrases
  • Words to the Wise: ream (of paper), blue chip (stocks), dude, cowlick, hunky dory
  • 3/6/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner rice paddies
  • Letters to the Editors British hospitality; African roots; Diego clarification; spurious dago origin; thanks from Korea; more on waxy derivations

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 75 Spotlight metathesis
  • Words to the Wise: redneck, polecat, -ica, hospitality
  • 2/28/00
  • Letters to the Editors The path of kwent- to "path-"; snobbish vs. style; a glutinous definition; dago revisited;

  • Issue 74 Spotlight animals as food
  • Words to the Wise: agglutinate, tarnation, dago, -path/path-
  • 2/21/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner nuclear errors
  • Letters to the Editors a week of praise

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 73 Spotlight eros
  • Words to the Wise: page, ardent, nemesis, money grubber
  • 2/14/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner early
  • Letters to the Editors more on fishmongers, Life in the 1500s, barristers, and refutation

  • Issue 72 Spotlight fishmonger
  • Words to the Wise: know all men by these presents, bar, history, prize and price, signature
  • 2/7/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner refute
  • Letters to the Editors kind words; metheglin; urband legends and burials in England; a fortnight of critical thinking

  • Issue 71 Spotlight honeymoon
  • Words to the Wise: you're welcome, grapefruit, how come, Spam, hypocrite
  • 1/31/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner supposably
  • Letters to the Editors phonemes; wala is a Tagalog word

  • Issue 70 Spotlight peacock
  • Words to the Wise: duck, metaphysics, limehouse, down the pike, turn over a new leaf
  • 1/24/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner wa-LA
  • Letters to the Editors Lots of "is, is that"; dream or mirth?

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 69 Spotlight dances
  • Words to the Wise: dream, smart, shy, debt, on the ball
  • 1/17/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner the reason is, is that...
  • Letters to the Editors Eve length, Hebrew names, more maniacs

  • Issue 68 Spotlight Jesus
  • Words to the Wise: maniac, glitch, taxi cab, guy, autumn
  • 1/10/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner happy New Year's
  • Letters to the Editors revisionist history

  • Issue 67 Spotlight English words from Arabic
  • Words to the Wise: Limey, widow's peak, sallyport, cahoots, hobnob
  • 1/03/00
  • Curmudgeons' Corner definitely not definately
  • Letters to the Editors skinny-dipping of the century; brogue shoes and brogue speech

  • (E1)(L1)
  • Issue 66 Spotlight handicap
  • Words to the Wise: spiffy, prostitute, sheriff, skinny, black
  • 12/27/99
  • Curmudgeons' Corner a very special century
  • Letters to the Editors more Welsh stuff; the longest place name in Britain; Greek chi

  • Issue 65 Spotlight holiday words
  • Words to the Wise: chuckwagon and chuckhole, castle and chaste, deer, Jew
  • 12/20/99
  • Curmudgeons' Corner Imput and spayded
  • Letters to the Editors; a D.C. perspective; niger and the EEOC; Icelandic surnames; Welsh names; it's not the end of the millennium-yet

  • Issue 64 Spotlight fatidencies
  • Words to the Wise: grape; aisle, isle and island; tautology; snake oil, word
  • 12/13/99
  • Curmudgeons' Corner various examples of misuse/abuse
  • Letters to the Editors words on televisi