In this week’s blog post, the Oxford Etymologist dives deeper into the competing origin theories for the verb “bless”—with “curse” as an added bonus.
Clara Zetkin was instrumental in establishing International Women’s Day. It did not take long to catch on. The following year the International Women’s Day was marked by over a million people taking to the streets.
Inky thumbprints: what common women can tell us about reading, relationships, and resisting anti-intellectualism
In communities and state legislatures across the United States, there is a concerted movement underway to limit the kinds of ideas to which students are exposed. Often hidden behind claims to parental rights, balanced treatment, and a desire to avoid division, these efforts target students’ ability to think freely, to ask probing questions, and to […]
With a history spanning back over 2,000 years, coins are much more than just money. They are also a means of storing and communicating information, resembling tiny discs of information technology that convey images and text across vast swatches of time and territory. Coins are the first world wide web linking us together. While they […]
I was reading a column in a chess magazine when I came across the description of a game’s finish as a bygone conclusion. “That’s really weird,” I thought, “It should have said foregone conclusion.”
Since 1987, Women’s History Month has been observed in the US annually each March as an opportunity to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. This month, we’re sharing some of the latest history titles covering a range of eras and regions but all charting the lives of women and the impact they made, whether noticed at the time or from the shadows.
In the mid 1820s, New York had three theaters:, the Park, the Chatham, and the Lafayette. Some citizens felt there should be more, and in October 1825, the New York Association started work on a new house. They chose a site between the Bowery and Elizabeth Street just south of Canal Street, and Mayor Philip Hone officiated at the laying of the cornerstone. “This spot which a few years since was surrounded by cultivated fields,” he told the gathered, “where the husbandman was employed in reaping the generous harvest, and cattle grazed for the use of the city, then afar off, has now become the centre of a compact population.”
From God (or rather, god) to bless. But before turning to the history of the word “bless”, I would like to respond to the questions asked in connection with the “good”/”God” dilemma.
Every day thousands of people have conversations with healthcare providers (HCPs) about their medical condition. Such meetings can be profoundly comforting or extremely distressing to the patient and caregiver.
Recent health and environmental crises have taught us that our lives are increasingly connected. Many of us now appreciate pursuing health and climate justice requires pursuing social and economic justice too. And in the same kind of way, I believe, pursuing justice for humans requires pursuing justice for animals too.
In the 1830s, New York was a small city. While the island of Manhattan had a prosperous community at its southern end, its northern area contained farms, villages, streams, and woods. Then on the evening of 16 December 1835, a fire broke out near Wall Street.
In this blog post, the Oxford Etymologist details the etymology of the adjective “good”. If it is not related to “god”, then what is its origin?
A few days ago, I received a letter from a well-educated reader, who asked me whether the English words “god” and “good” are related.
François Truffaut is among the few French directors whose work can be labeled as “pure fiction.” He always professed that films should not become vehicles for social, political, religious, or philosophical messages.
Having chosen “entanglement” as the best word to describe religious and secular cultures interacting, I noted with interest the oral arguments in Carson v. Makin, heard 8 December 2021.
“Understand” is a teaser: each of the two elements of this compound is clear, but why does it mean what it does?