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Why Meeting Notes are Called “Minutes”

Why Meeting Notes are Called “Minutes”

Eddie Deezen November 5, 2012 1

Jesse asks: Why are the notes taken at a meeting called the “minutes”? Was this because the note taker records the notes along with the time? Not quite.  In fact, the “minutes” here have

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“Ye” in Names Like “Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe” Should Be Pronounced “The”, Not “Yee”

“Ye” in Names Like “Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe” Should Be Pronounced “The”, Not “Yee”

Daven Hiskey November 3, 2012 7

Today I found out the “ye” as in “Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe” should be pronounced “the”. The “Ye” here is not the “ye” as in “Judge not, that ye (you) be not judged”, but

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Origin of the Phrase “Blonde Bombshell”

Origin of the Phrase “Blonde Bombshell”

Eddie Deezen September 25, 2012 4

Today I found out the origin of the phrase “blonde bombshell”. “Blonde bombshell” is often used to describe an exciting, dynamic, sexy woman with blonde hair, particularly blonde celebrity sex symbols.  The expression seems

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Where Did the Phrase “Take a Gander” Come From?

Where Did the Phrase “Take a Gander” Come From?

Eddie Deezen September 22, 2012 1

S.Belsky asks: Where did the phrase “take a gander” come from? What the hell is a “gander” and why would I want to take it? As you are no doubt aware, but for those

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What is the Origin of the Word “Tip”, as in Leaving a Tip

What is the Origin of the Word “Tip”, as in Leaving a Tip

Daven Hiskey September 14, 2012 1

Frank Hintz: What is the origin of the word “tip” (as in leaving a tip)? You may have heard that the few hundred year old definition of “tip”, as referring to gratuity, comes from

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Why Do They Call Grandfather Clocks by That Name?

Why Do They Call Grandfather Clocks by That Name?

Eddie Deezen September 12, 2012 8

J.Kaus asks: Why are Grandfather clocks called Grandfather clocks? At first glance, the answer seems obvious. Think about it- when was the last time you saw a grandfather clock in the house of anyone

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A Man Once Tried to Raise His Son as a Native Speaker in Klingon

A Man Once Tried to Raise His Son as a Native Speaker in Klingon

Daven Hiskey August 25, 2012 6

Today I found out a man once tried to raise his son as a native speaker in Klingon. The man is computational linguist Dr. d’Armond Speers.  Speers is actually not a huge Start Trek

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Origin of the Word Lukewarm

Origin of the Word Lukewarm

Daven Hiskey August 17, 2012 6

Today I found out the origin of the word “lukewarm”. You’ve probably wondered why we have the word “lukewarm” for describing something that is only slightly warm.  Why not “stevewarm” or “beckywarm”?  Well if

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Why are the Oscars Called the Oscars?

Why are the Oscars Called the Oscars?

Daven Hiskey July 23, 2012 2

Jesse L. asks: Why are the Oscars called the Oscars? No one is 100% sure, though the popular theory is that the nickname for the “The Academy Award of Merit”, as it is actually

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The Difference Between Farther and Further

The Difference Between Farther and Further

Daven Hiskey July 18, 2012 2

You should know the difference between “farther” and “further”. Many people use “further” and “farther” interchangeable, but, in fact, they mean slightly different things.  “Farther” refers to a physical distance, while “further” refers to

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Origin of the Term Jaywalking

Origin of the Term Jaywalking

Daven Hiskey July 9, 2012 4

Today I found out where the word “jaywalking” came from. For those not familiar with this term (i.e. many people outside of the United States), jaywalking is when, “A pedestrian… crosses a street without

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The Phrase “Bring Home the Bacon” Originated When Bacon was a Staple Meat for the Working Class

The Phrase “Bring Home the Bacon” Originated When Bacon was a Staple Meat for the Working Class

Daven Hiskey June 28, 2012 0

Reference

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Maine is the Only U.S. State Whose Name Has Only One Syllable

Maine is the Only U.S. State Whose Name Has Only One Syllable

Daven Hiskey June 25, 2012 1

Maine is the only state in the United States whose name has only one syllable.  There is one U.S. territory that also has only one syllable, the island nation of Guam

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Where the Word “Latrine” Comes From

Where the Word “Latrine” Comes From

Daven Hiskey June 19, 2012 0

The term “latrine” comes from the Latin “lavare”, which means “to wash”.  The earliest references to this word being used in English goes all the way back to the mid-17th century. As an aside,

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Why are Potatoes Called “Spuds”?

Why are Potatoes Called “Spuds”?

Daven Hiskey June 12, 2012 4

Chelsea asks: Why are potatoes called “spuds”? Among other definitions, a “spud” is a “sharp, narrow spade” used to dig up large rooted plants.  Around the mid-19th century (first documented reference in 1845 in

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Words that Change Their Meaning Depending on Whether the First Letter is Capitalized are “Capitonyms”

Words that Change Their Meaning Depending on Whether the First Letter is Capitalized are “Capitonyms”

Daven Hiskey June 12, 2012 2

There are some words that change their meaning based on whether the first letter is capitalized or not.  These words are collectively known as “capitonyms”.  These capitonyms are particularly troublesome when they appear at

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The Difference Between Bacon and Salted Pork

The Difference Between Bacon and Salted Pork

Daven Hiskey June 12, 2012 1

The difference between bacon and salted pork or ham is primarily just the composition of the brine that is used to cure it.  Brine for bacon often includes sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, and saltpeter

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George Washington was Taphephobic (A Person Terrified of Accidentally Being Buried Alive)

George Washington was Taphephobic (A Person Terrified of Accidentally Being Buried Alive)

Daven Hiskey May 29, 2012 0

The first president of the United States, George Washington, upon his death bed told his attendants “I am just going.  Have me decently buried and do not let my body be put into the

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