Category Archives: Language

The Words “Blond” and “Blonde” are Not Wholly Synonymous

Blonde Hair

Today I found out the words “blond” and “blonde” are not wholly synonymous.  So what’s the difference between the words “blond” and “blonde”? (besides the obvious extra ‘e’) 😉 The difference is simply in what gender the word is referring.  When referring to a woman with yellow hair, you should use the feminine spelling “blonde”.  When referring to a male […]

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There is Nothing That Comes After Once, Twice, Thrice

English Sign

Today I found out there is nothing that comes after the sequence “once, twice, thrice”. Interestingly, even though these words are roughly equivalent, differing only in the numeric value they refer to, it is now considered poor English to use “thrice” instead of the equivalent “three times”.  At the same time, it is considered poor English to use “one time” […]

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Where the Word “Mouse” Comes From

Today I found out where the word “mouse” comes from. “Mouse” comes from the Sanskrit word for mouse, “musuka”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit “mus” meaning “thief” or “robber”, presumably referring to the fact that mice like to steal food from humans, particularly grains and fruits. The Ancient Romans then used the word “mus” to refer to rodents […]

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The Difference Between Discrete and Discreet

Today I found out the difference between discrete and discreet. Simply put, “discreet” describes showing “reserve, prudence, or cautiousness” in one’s behavior or speech.  “Discrete”, on the other hand, means “distinct, separate, or unrelated”.   A quick and easy mnemonic to remember the difference is to see that in “discrete”, unlike “discreet”, the “e’s” are separated and the definition itself is […]

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The Color Orange Was Named After the Fruit

cheating orange

Today I found out the color orange was named after the fruit, not the other way around.   Before then, the English speaking world referred to the orange color as geoluhread, which literally translates to “yellow-red”. The word orange itself was introduced to English through the Spanish word “naranja”, which came from the Sanskrit word nāraṅga, which literally means “orange tree”.  […]

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Where the Word “Algebra” Came From

Today I found out the origins of the word “Algebra”. It all started back around 825 AD when a man named Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, the “father” of Algebra, wrote a book called “Kitab al-jabr wa al-muqabalah”.  This roughly translates to “Rules of Reintegration and Reduction”.  This work was specifically covering the branch of mathematics we now know […]

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Where the Word “Amen” Came From

Hands

Today I found out where the word “amen” came from.  Specifically, “amen” comes from the Hebrew word… *wait for it*… “āmēn” (אָמֵן). More interestingly, amen is one of the rare examples where a word has survived thousands of years and been adopted into a few different languages without any real modification to its meaning across time and those languages, dating […]

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Where the Word “Witch” Came From

Witch On A Pumpkin

For more Halloween related information, be sure and check out: 15 Facts About Halloween [Infographic]. Today I found out where the word “witch” came from. The word “witch” derives from the Old English words “wicca” and “wicce” (masculine and feminine forms, respectively).  This later became “wicche”, in Middle English, which meant the same thing as “wicca” and “wicce”, but didn’t […]

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