Flower names are etymologically fascinating. Did you know that daffodils and the Greek myth of Narcissus are connected?
Spring itself wasn’t always called “spring.” In fact, the earliest inhabitants of Britain didn’t recognize this season.
I never got a whatnot growing up, even though I always wanted one. But what exactly is a whatnot? This week I decided to find out once and for all.
Terms that at first simply denote status come to acquire moral connotations – low-status words gain negative meanings and high-status words pick up positive ones.
Tiger Woods reacts as he wins the Masters golf tournament April 14, 2019, in Augusta, Ga.
Linguists speculate that the base-10 number system developed independently around the world because it was inspired by the most obvious tools we have to count with – our fingers.
I have been struck by how precisely Japanese encodes the base-10 number system used by most cultures around the world.
Social media commentary was focused on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's use of complexifier, which came up when he explained, “My ownership of the Washington Post is a complexifier for me.” The question echoed through cyberspace: “Is complexifier even a word?”
What does modern suburban shopping have to do with medieval armor? A lot, at least etymologically speaking.
Rebracketing occurs when an utterance is broken down and reassembled along the wrong lines, and has produced a number of English words, such as “mall.”
Naked itself is a very old word, deriving from a common Germanic form even before Old English evolved into a separate language.
These phrases mean the same thing. Are they both correct, or are the newspapers getting it wrong about half the time?
There’s a whole industry that focuses on naming things in ways that will set up positive associations for consumers.
Though somewhat undistinguished as a bird, snipe has developed a surprisingly diverse set of meanings as an English word.
I was hearing “witch hunt” so often that a few weeks ago I experienced semantic satiation, in which repetition causes a phrase to lose meaning and be perceived as nothing but empty sounds.