Mark Peters is a language columnist, lexicographer, and humorist who has written for Esquire, The Funny Times, New Scientist, Psychology Today, Salon, and Slate. He contributes to OUPblog and writes the Best Joke Ever column for McSweeney's. You can read Mark's own jokes on Twitter, such as, "I play by my own rules, which is probably why no one comes to my board game parties anymore."
You're familiar with canine and feline, but there's a marvelous menagerie of animal adjectives (Anserine! Piscine! Vulpine!) that we don't want to wind up on the endangered vocab list and disappear forever. So do your part: learn them and use them, either literally or metaphorically. Continue reading...
These days we need all the levity, lunar or otherwise, that we can get. This lexical lunacy is a flimsy excuse for me to write about my favorite type of word: the reduplication. From ack-ack to zip-zap, reduplicative words are silly, childish, catchy, animalistic, nonsensical, and awesome. Continue reading...
These chaos-describing words have, for the most part, a violent pedigree. Today's "ruckus" was likely a deadly event in the days of yore. We dive into a disorderly group of words that are appropriate for discussing both petty and primordial pandemonium. Continue reading...
As long as there's a literal Constitution to amend and a metaphorical constitution to defend, constitution will remain an important word. Here's a look at this versatile word, just in time for September 17th — Constitution Day. Continue reading...
Turns out evasion can take the form of a Trojan horsepucky so subtle and tiny most would not recognize it as evasive at all. This expanded edition of The Evasion-English Dictionary shows how small, everyday, nothing-to-see-here words can hide as much hokum as the longest and vaguest jargon. Continue reading...
National Dog Day is on August 26th. In honor of our (mostly) amenable friends, learn these synonyms for obedient. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Language Words
Horses have trotted and galloped all over the English language.Here's a roundup of equine lingo, just in time for National I Love Horses Day on July 15th. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Word Origins
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