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."
This is one of two holidays that honor veterans. Veterans Day honors everyone who served in the military, while Memorial Day specifically honors veterans who died during their service. Still, it's hard not to think of veterans in general on Memorial Day. As we all take a day to honor sacrifices that are hard to comprehend, here's a look at some of the words you're most likely to hear and see around Memorial Day. Continue reading...
This high school dance takes on enormous significance in high school, when social pressure, weapons-grade hormones, and impending adulthood mix together in a boiling caldron that only be soothed by a formal dance. Whether you landed your dream date, are going stag, or prefer to avoid such shenanigans altogether, here's a list of prom-centric words. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Language
The lexicon of motherhood isn't always kind. We mock mom jeans and mommyblogs. Headlines recently covered the U.S. dropping the so-called "mother of all bombs," which is a bizarre turn of phrase, given that mothers tend to create and nurture life rather than wipe it out. Here's an appreciative look at some of the top verbs of motherhood. Continue reading...
Sure, Star Wars launched plenty of original words—like Jedi and Wookiee. But what better way to observe National Star Wars Day on May the 4th than to brush up on existing words featured in the film series? The following lexicon will serve you well in any galaxy. Continue reading...
The language of taxation runs all over the financial map, describing the wealthy, the disadvantaged, and the ungodly process of paying taxes. Here are some words you're likely to hear in relation to this stressful day, which can be—pardon the expression—quite taxing. Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Language
Lexicography is famously considered an art and science, but Kory Stamper thinks of it as a craft, a term implying "care, repetitive work, apprenticeship, and practice." Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries is a wonderful firsthand account of a lexicographical craftsperson who is master of another craft: writing. Few books about words—or anything else—are this well-written. Continue reading...
We tend to think of fools as the people who get fooled, but another meaning is key to April 1: the sense of a fool as a sharp, clever, professional expert in fooling, joking, and pulling other shenanigans. Continue reading...
1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 93 Articles

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.