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Word Origins

4 Russian Words That Don’t Mean What You Think They Do

4 Russian Words That Don’t Mean What You Think They Do

These aren’t your typical loan words. Here are a few words and phrases inspired by foreign languages (but with totally different meanings in Russian).
11 English Words With Strange and Surprising Origins

11 English Words With Strange and Surprising Origins

Ever wonder why it’s called a ‘seersucker suit’ or where the word ‘avocado’ comes from? Read on for these answers and more.
What’s The Meaning Of ‘Feminism’?

What’s The Meaning Of ‘Feminism’?

Feminism’s been in the news a lot lately, from Beyoncé to the 2016 election, to the Women’s March and #MeToo. But what is feminism really about? What does the word “feminism” actually mean?
Quiz: Can You Match The Winter Olympics-Related Word To Its Language Of Origin?

Quiz: Can You Match The Winter Olympics-Related Word To Its Language Of Origin?

The 2018 Winter Olympics are almost upon us, and you may come across some words with interesting origins. Test your knowledge with this quiz!
What Is The Longest Word In The World?

What Is The Longest Word In The World?

Hope you don’t have hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words).
Foreign Words Added To The Dictionary In 2017

Foreign Words Added To The Dictionary In 2017

From ‘arancini’ to ‘sriracha,’ did your favorite borrowed word make it into the dictionary this year?
10 Insults From The Past That Deserve A Comeback: English for Time Travelers

10 Insults From The Past That Deserve A Comeback: English for Time Travelers

What rude words, insults and phrases might you hear on your trip through time? Here are some of our favorite and most interesting put-downs of yesteryear.
9 Harmless Words That Started As Offensive Insults

9 Harmless Words That Started As Offensive Insults

Some words we take for granted were originally concocted as mean-spirited insults. Here’s the history of derogatory terms that were reclaimed and became mainstream.
Latinus Pro Stultis — 15 Latin Phrases We Still Use Today

Latinus Pro Stultis — 15 Latin Phrases We Still Use Today

Learning a bit of Latin is a cool way to delve into your own language. Take a look at the following Latin expressions and get ready to impress your most intellectual of friends!
9 Elizabethan Words To Bring Back — English For Time Travelers

9 Elizabethan Words To Bring Back — English For Time Travelers

What new (or, to be exact, old) words and phrases would you hear if you traveled back to 16th century Tudor England? And what would they mean?
The Eccentric History Of English Spelling (And Why It’s So Maddeningly Difficult)

The Eccentric History Of English Spelling (And Why It’s So Maddeningly Difficult)

Why is it so difficult to spell words in English? It turns out that the inconsistency of English spelling is a long, rambling history with many people to blame along the way.
21 English Words That Are Actually Greek (And The Stories Behind Them)

21 English Words That Are Actually Greek (And The Stories Behind Them)

So, did you know you could speak Greek? With over 150,000 words of Greek origin in English, this doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea after all.
5 Venetian Words That Took The World By Storm

5 Venetian Words That Took The World By Storm

Did you know that some words that we used every day come from Venice and have a very fascinating story behind them?