Lots of clothing, it turns out, wears its origins on its sleeves. The names of lots of common clothing items and materials actually come from their place (or person) of origin. 1. denim The hard-wearing cotton twill fabric, usually blue and often used for jeans, is pretty straightforward about its origins; denim comes from Nîmes, […]
Perhaps the wildest of all the parts of speech, the interjection accounts for a fun swath of the English language, including curse words, expressions of joy, greetings, and even pseudo-magical incantations. Some of them you’ve probably heard before, but others will probably be new. Before you know it – bada bing! – we might be hearing these terms everywhere.
Last week, a satirical petition appeared online that suggested Americans should start protesting the popular American chain restaurant Cracker Barrel, because the word ‘cracker’ is an offensive term for white people. However, what does the term ‘cracker-barrel’ actually refer to?
Has someone been pulling the wool over your eyes? Have they been ‘economical with the truth’? Told you ‘terminological inexactitudes’? You can do better than just ‘liar’. Why don’t you try calling them out with this curated list of synonyms? After all, what stings more: ‘liar’ or ‘teller of untruths’? You can decide: 1. Teller […]
The word seems to crop up every time you read a report on current cultural trends, especially in the US: millennial, referring to a ‘person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000’. But how did we end up with the term in the first place? And what about those other generation terms, like the Beat […]
Nothing is stranger than discovering that words or phrases we hear every day have offensive or problematic origins. And while there’s no need to cast aspersions on the language of bygone days, it’s helpful to check in on the words we use and what they mean (or used to mean). Some of the words here […]
Editorial note: we are not advocating that you use these alternate spellings in formal settings; in fact, these spellings are best avoided unless your style guide prefers them. The English language is famous for its many quirks and exceptions to the rule, which can make it a difficult language to learn. One of the areas […]
The world of cuisine is rich in language, often with borrowings from a wide array of cultures, names that follow recipes as they are exchanged across continents and oceans. But when food travels, sometimes the meanings are lost in translation; when you ask for apple pie à la mode in the US, you will get […]
Word of the Day: pyknic - denoting a stocky physique with a rounded body... oxford.ly/1KOxnyp