Adam Cooper studied linguistics at Brandeis University and The University of Chicago. Since 2010, he has been working with The Endangered Language Alliance in New York City on documentation and preservation projects.
Sure, the infamous pirates of the past have earned their reputation as murderous thieves. But the modern image of the swashbuckler is often more goofy than grim. Take for instance Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is vocabulary booty. There's so much more to pirate parlance than "matey" and "ahoy!" Continue reading...
For many, Labor Day and its three-day holiday weekend signals the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. But Labor Day is also a time to recognize those who toil and slog through their jobs. Here are some vocabulary words inspired by hard work. Continue reading...
There's something about singing along to a You're a Grand Old Flag with a huge group of people — whether at an outdoor concert or even with a televised crowd — that stirs patriotism. Consider what the words mean as you enjoy this time-honored tradition. Continue reading...
June 16 is National Flip-Flop Day. It's a sure sign of summer that there is a holiday celebrating the completely open footwear, something that barely qualifies as a shoe, but we here at Vocabulary.com think that this is a perfect time to commemorate the other meaning of flip-flop — a verb which means to change opinions to the other side of an issue. Continue reading...
How do vocabularians observe National Fudge Day? With a play on words, of course. So rather than (or perhaps in addition to) stuffing yourself with the gooey confection, how about exploring what it means to "fudge it"? In other words, the language of lies. Continue reading...
June 1st marks the 50th anniversary of one of The Beatles' greatest albums, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. On this album, The Beatles proved beyond that they were not limited to love songs, or constrained by any topic at all. It is this freedom of expression that makes Sgt. Pepper's so interesting to talk about from a linguistic point of view. Continue reading...
Lee's General Order No. 9, an address to his troops one day after the surrender that effectively ended The Civil War, contains vocabulary that conveys just how long and bitter the battle had been, and communicates both Lee's gratitude and uncertainty. Continue reading...
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