Category Archives: Language

Origin of Lo and Behold

vision

Richard G. asks: What does the “lo” in lo and behold mean? Like a wordy exclamation point, the two defining words in “lo and behold” mean basically the same thing. Specifically, the word lo!, meaning “look!” first appeared in Middle English (1100-1500 AD) in the 1200s, and essentially was clipped from the early English imperative word for “look,” lok. An […]

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The Origin of the Word Bimbo

bimbo

Jillian A. asks: Who invented the word bimbo? Depending on whom you ask, bimbo can be an insult or just a description. Usually implying a lack of intelligence, and often combined with physical attractiveness and promiscuity, today bimbo is often used to describe someone who isn’t that bright, and gets by on her (or his) looks (or wealth). And this […]

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Ketchup or Catsup?

ketchup

Byron H. asks: Why is it sometimes catsup and other times ketchup? The two distinct spellings for what today is essentially the same condiment are simply the reflection of the evolution of nearly everyone’s favorite French fry topper. (Well, in certain regions of the world.) Today often disdained as low-brow, when it was first conceived, ketchup was revered for the […]

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