Dept. of Word Lists

Jazz Words

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Stop noodling with your axe and gimme a vamp on your doghouse, can you dig it? To help translate this deliciously jazzed up sentence, drummer Brian Floody, a professional musician active in New York's jazz scene, graciously gave us this list of jazz-related words and their meanings:

Axe Any musical instrument
Box Guitar
Tubs Drums
Doghouse Upright acoustic bass
Licorice Stick Clarinet
Chops A dual meaning: Technique, or for horn players, the spot where the horn meets their lips.
Woodshed Practice (see Shed)
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Topics: Vocabulary Fun Words

Grant Barrett, the author of The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English, is living a word lover's dream: By day he's a lexicographer and project editor at the Oxford University Press's "Historical Dictionary of American Slang," and by night he runs the Double-Tongued Word Wrester's Dictionary, his acclaimed website dedicated to hunting "under-documented words from the fringes of English." After getting hooked on his Double-Tongued discoveries -- from bark mitzvah to whoadie to blow a hoolie -- we had to talk to him. Here's our conversation:

VT: How do you find your Double-Tongued words?

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The Sports Closet - an area of the Lounge hitherto closed to visitors - is thrown open this month as we examine some linguistics curiosities brought to light by the recent World Cup. Continue reading...
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