It's time once again for the annual look back at the noteworthy words of the past year. Did you indulge in any manspreading
this year? Were you concerned about dark money
? Here's a veritable vortex
of words that rose to prominence in 2014.
For my latest appearance on the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley, I take a look at a word with an origin story that seems too good to be true: grog
, an alcoholic concoction, typically of rum and water, that has been making sailors groggy since the 18th century.
In the latest installment of the Slate podcast "Lexicon Valley," I presented the hosts Mike Vuolo and Bob Garfield with a bit of a mystery. Where did the expression "get one's goat" come from? Theories abound, but hard evidence of the phrase's early use has only recently come to light.
For my latest appearance on Slate's Lexicon Valley podcast, I quizzed the hosts Mike Vuolo and Bob Garfield about a five-letter word that seemed to spring out of nowhere in online usage about a decade ago but in fact has roots that are centuries old: snark
Is there any point in remaining "spoiler-free," steering clear of any crucial plot points of movies or television shows you haven't seen yet? That's the question raised by Netflix in its new "Living with Spoilers" campaign, and it set me off on a search for the roots of the "spoiler" in my latest column for the Wall Street Journal
In the latest installment of the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley, I take on a word that every child knows, orange
, and reveal its hidden history. It's a remarkably well-traveled word, and its travels tell us a great deal about the cultural history of many of the world's great civilizations.
A few weeks ago I started a regular feature on the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley called LinguaFile, in which I present the hosts with a word and have them try to guess its origins. Last time it was discombobulate
, and for this week's episode I went with another one of my favorite words, lagniappe
, meaning "a bonus gift (as given to a customer from a merchant)."