Word Origins

Why Do We Say Wow?

Why Do We Say Wow?

The word might sound modern, but “wow” goes back hundreds if not thousands of years.
What’s The Meaning Of ‘Feminism’?

What’s The Meaning Of ‘Feminism’?

Feminism’s been in the news a lot in the past few years, from the Women’s March to the watershed #MeToo movement. But what does the word “feminism” really mean?
139 Old Norse Words That Invaded The English Language

139 Old Norse Words That Invaded The English Language

Without the Vikings, English would be missing some awesome words like berserk, ugly, muck, skull, knife, die, and cake!
7 Words And Expressions About The Moon From Around The World

7 Words And Expressions About The Moon From Around The World

We can’t think any better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing than with 7 moon words and phrases from around the globe.
10 Fruit Names And Where They Come From

10 Fruit Names And Where They Come From

Turns out, people used to call a lot of different things “apples.”
The Origins Of 10 Space Terms That Are Out Of This World

The Origins Of 10 Space Terms That Are Out Of This World

Words like “nebula,” “galaxy” and “cosmos” can summon up lots of romantic images of space exploration, but where did these terms come from in the first place?
Eponyms Everywhere: 8 English Words That Came From Names

Eponyms Everywhere: 8 English Words That Came From Names

When you boycott a business or play the saxophone, you’re putting eponyms to use! Here are 8 common words that derive from people’s names.
Star Words: Language Trivia From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Star Words: Language Trivia From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

The earthbound origins of the names, cultures and languages in the Star Wars universe.
111 English Words That Are Actually Spanish

111 English Words That Are Actually Spanish

Spanish and English have been trading vocabulary (and culture) for centuries. Here are just some of the Spanish words in English that you use all the time.
Jargon Watch: The Language Of Fashion

Jargon Watch: The Language Of Fashion

Get your vocabulary all dressed up for its runway debut.
Where Do All The Color Names Come From?

Where Do All The Color Names Come From?

Which came first, orange the fruit or orange the color?
Mate, Buddy, Pal: What People Around The World Call Their Friends

Mate, Buddy, Pal: What People Around The World Call Their Friends

What we call our friends reveals so much about our relationships. In that spirit, we compiled a list of words for friends in other languages.
A Cultural History Of Pumpkins And Gourds

A Cultural History Of Pumpkins And Gourds

It’s fall, which means pumpkins have been shoved into every space they can fit into. How did they become ubiquitous? The history of pumpkins provides clues.
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).