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10 Everyday Words With Unexpected Origins

10 Everyday Words With Unexpected Origins
Books Etymology, or the study of the origin of words, is dry, dusty stuff that will give you allergies if you play with it too long. It also happens to be one of our favorite topics—because sometimes a word travels through such a twisted path to get to its modern meaning that all you can do is scratch your head and wonder how civilization manages to keep itself going. Read on to find out what word got its start with people biting the heads off chickens, how a peaceful word became an international symbol of hate, and how wooden shoes changed the world. What it means now: “Completely lacking in subtlety; very obvious.” What it used to mean: A thousand-tongued beast from hell. In the 1600s, British began using the word blatant as a way to describe people who were vulgar and noisy. “The Faerie Queen” was essentially a long, drawn out allegory for 16th century English religion, and each character symbolized either a person or ideal in the real world. What it means now: “A danger or risk.”

http://listverse.com/2013/06/10/10-everyday-words-with-unexpected-origins/

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13 Wonderful Old English Words We Should Still Be Using Today As the years pass, language evolves. Since the days of Chaucer and Shakespeare, we can all agree English has become less flowery. Some fantastic vocabulary just dropped out of everyday conversation. Author Mark Forsyth writes about the words we’ve lost. From his book “Horologicon” to his Tumblr and published articles, we compiled a list of the best words that need reviving. 45 ways to avoid using the word 'very' Three Telling Quotes About ‘Very’ Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain‘Very’ is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out.

Street signs in Cree in Regina proposed A linguist is calling for the city of Regina to have the Cree language written on street signs in a Regina neighbourhood, in an effort to raise awareness about preserving the First Nations language. Solomon Ratt, an associate professor at First Nations University of Canada, says Cree was one of Canada's first written languages, and he'd like to see it recognized for its historical importance. "It gives us pride in our language and our culture," he told CTV Regina, adding that it will stir discussion about preserving the language. Ratt wants the language to be added to street signs in Regina's North Central neighbourhood, which has a large indigenous population. The proposal has precedent in the city, with Chinese characters gracing street signs in Regina's Heritage neighbourhood. City officials say the process would require careful consultation.

Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain : Shots - Health News hide captionAlthough a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words. iStockphoto.com Although a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words. This is a story about a duck. More precisely, it's a story about what your brain just did when you read the word "duck." Chances are, your brain created an image of a web-footed waterfowl.

Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop!: 50 most beautiful English words. A few weeks ago I ran across a list, which I shared with you, of 33 Ways to Stay Creative. One suggestion was to read a page in the dictionary. That one stuck with me. It made me pause and think: When was the last time I even looked up a word in a real {not online} dictionary? A very long time ago is the answer to that query. I certainly do not fancy myself a wordsmith {an expert in the use of words}, but I am interested by words, especially unused or underused words.

Dictionary of dead language complete after 90 years A dictionary of the extinct language of ancient Mesopotamia has been completed after 90 years of work. Assyrian and Babylonian - dialects of the language collectively known as Akkadian - have not been spoken for almost 2,000 years. "This is a heroic and significant moment in history," beamed Dr Irving Finkel of the British Museum's Middle East department. 10 Words That Don't Mean What You May Think They Do by Mark Nichol As English evolves, word meanings shift and turn, sometimes reversing themselves altogether. These ten words have shifted their senses over the years. In some cases, we are wise to likewise be flexible; in others, we relax our vocabulary at the expense of useful distinctions: 1.

100 Whimsical Words by Mark Nichol The English language can be maddening to native speakers and learners alike, but is also delightfully rich, especially for those who seek to convey a lighthearted tone in their writing. Here are 100 words it’s difficult to employ without smiling. Though their meanings may be obscure, they each present a challenge — I mean an opportunity — for you to paint a vivid word picture. Imbue your musings with mirth by incorporating these terms: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary Has Been Trolling Trump On Twitter For Months : All Tech Considered Merriam-Webster's Twitter account weighs in on trending words and phrases and has waded into linguistic matters in politics, including a big campaign question: Did Donald Trump say "bigly" or "big league"? Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR Merriam-Webster's Twitter account weighs in on trending words and phrases and has waded into linguistic matters in politics, including a big campaign question: Did Donald Trump say "bigly" or "big league"?

100 Words Every Expert Author Should Know Please note: Read this post first. We clarified our position. A Great Vocabulary Makes Compelling Reading! 100 Mostly Small But Expressive Interjections David Bier Thanks for this – what a fun post considering there’s no actual narrative in it! Cecily Some of these interjections are quite culturally and age specific, so if people need to be told what they mean, they should probably not be using them.For example, to many Brits, va-va-voom is not old-fashioned at all, but instead is firmly linked to the long-running ads that footballer Thierry Henry made for the Renault Clio. Himanshu Chanda Whoa ! What a biiiig list. And yes this ones really great. You understand exact meaning of those interjections while reading comic strips Michael Huzzah!

Remembering Nüshu, the 19th-Century Chinese Script Only Women Could Write In 1988, Yi Nianhua, a frail, sickly woman in her 80s, spent many evenings scribbling elegant characters at a table in her kitchen in the small rice-farming village of Shangjiangxu Township, China. With only a blunt writing brush, the elongated script came out fat and blotchy on the newsprint she used for paper. But Cathy Silber, a professor at Skidmore College in New York, worked alongside Yi in her kitchen, diligently deciphering and studying the written language. “Out of the thousands of scripts that are gender-specific to men, here we have one that we know is gender-specific to women,” says Silber, who has been researching Nüshu since 1985. Yi was one of the last remaining writers of Nüshu, a fading script that only women knew how to write and read.

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