3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 891 Articles
A Vocabulary.com user reported this vocab-in-the-news moment today: He woke up to his clock-radio alarm in mid-Republican-presidential-debate recap, just in time to hear Governor Chris Christie call President Barack Obama a "feckless weakling." "Now that's some good vocabulary!" our user wrote in. Continue reading...
For the latest installment of Slate's podcast Lexicon Valley, I look at how the seemingly random number eighty-six became a verb meaning to get rid of something, thanks to a long-forgotten code of hash houses and soda-fountain lunch counters. Continue reading...

It's almost the end of 2015, and a new frontrunner for Euphemism of the Year has emerged. In a Department of Justice press release, Attorney General Loretta Lynch wrote, "The Department of Justice is committed to giving justice-involved youth the tools they need to become productive members of society."

As Shakespeare put it, "Wow." Continue reading...
Topics: Fun Usage Words
In 1948, the American journalist and language chronicler H.L. Mencken wrote an essay for The New Yorker, "Video Verbiage," in which he analyzed the lingo of the fledgling medium of television. Several of the words he gathered are now obsolete: vaudeo ("televised vaudeville"), televiewers (now just "viewers"), blizzard head (an actress so blonde that the lighting has to be toned down). Others are with us still, including telegenic and telecast. Nearly 70 years after Mencken published his essay, television itself is undergoing a massive redefinition, and so is our TV lexicon. Continue reading...
Topics: Language Media Words
A few days after high school senior Katelyn "Lyn" Leech posted a list she'd created from the Broadway hit Hamilton using the Vocabulary.com list builder, her Twitter notifications went through the roof. She knew something was up, but it wasn't until she logged on that she saw what it was. Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) had tweeted Lyn's list to his large following. Continue reading...
The latest episode of Slate's podcast Lexicon Valley is a hoot and a half, as I take a look at the origins of hootenanny, a word that emerged from rural America with many meanings before finding fame as a name for folk-music gatherings. Continue reading...
Intensive purposes? Slight of hand? Linguist Adam Cooper contemplates phrases whose meanings are in transition as we replace unfamiliar words fossilized with language that sounds more reasonable to our modern ears. Continue reading...
3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 891 Articles

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