Test your wordpower against Oxford’s experts.
Ammon reflects on note-taking.
The podictionary word of the day is “mildew”.
Several times a year I speak on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), a guest of Kerri Miller’s program “Midmorning News.” We usually advertise some general topic in advance, but, while I am in the studio, listeners are requested to ask any questions they like about word origins, regardless of the overarching theme. Sometimes I […]
Ammon Shea looks at Merriam’s madman.
It seems strange that in English we call W ‘double-U’ while in French its ‘double-V’. It’s usually written to resemble two Vs, rather than two Us. At Urbandictionary, the entry for W contains plenty of slurs against George Bush, and those who decided to have 3-Ws as the start of a web address.
Anatoly looks at the word “Buckeye”.
Several months ago, John McGrath of Wordie interviewed me for this blog. He asked me about my favorite words that I had come across in reading the OED and I gave him a list of what they were at the time. But words can be capricious things, and the ones of which I am fondest are constantly changing.
The OED refers to two men; Pliny and Nicander—in its etymology for the word magnet. Pliny was a Roman who lived in the 1st century and wrote the ‘Natural History’. Nicander was a Greek, who lived 300 years earlier. It’s very useful in figuring out how past peoples thought of the world around them.
Anatoly celebrates a word pioneer.
An excerpt from Ammon Shea’s Reading The OED.
The podictionary word of the week is “truffle”.
In celebration of the latest edition of The Concise Oxford English Dictionary, we reveal the origins of some everyday words and phrases.
Ammon Shea ponders the word “bailout”.
A teenager I know was recently at a weekend party up at a lake. Two of the girls there had an altercation and one pushed the other off the wharf and into the water. This was reported to me in the following terms: “Suzie and Nancy really had beef.” This was a new one on me. Did they share a steak?
Anatoly answers questions.