We don’t know the roots of ‘gig,’ but its sound symbolism suggests a certain resilience – which we’re all going to need.
A vintage Disney cartoon has some profound insights for today’s drivers.
The man in the white suit takes on Darwin and Chomsky.
There’s a special way to speak of someone who tells ‘the truth,’ and ‘nothing but the truth,’ but not quite ‘the whole truth.’
A look at how two identical words of very different origin drifted into one – and provided a perfect term for just this time of year.
In light of the incident of the American Olympians in Rio, a look at the vocabulary of overstatement, understatement.
Data cruncher extraordinaire Josh Katz has turned the responses he got to his fascinating online dialect quiz into a new book.
Before the holiday, a look at the roots of our vocabulary of gratitude.
A look at the many meanings of a useful little word – and those of its evil twin.
An official form that must be filed with 12 copies prompts some musings on how hardworking the metaphor ‘folding’ is in our language.
A look at an inspired metaphor for talking about the courtroom problem of tainted testimony in court.
The longtime voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers sometimes broadcast the game by knowing when to shut up.
An account of how one of the Chelsea bombs was foiled introduces a colorful bit of New York City slang.
Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for President-elect Donald Trump, smiles as she arrives for a party at the home of Robert Mercer, one of Trump's biggest campaign donors, Saturday, in Head of the Harbor, N.Y.
'Water features' trace their origin – etymologically and literally – back to ancient Babylon and Rome.
A look at some of curious lingo of currency traders as the pound has fallen against the dollar in the wake of the ‘Brexit’ vote.
A look at the surprising history of a phrase that’s been much a part of this year’s presidential campaign.
The events of a long hot summer prompt research into some of the vocabulary of public gatherings.
The way people ‘vote with their feet’ for a new path through a park has something in common with the way they establish new grammatical usages by using them.
A presidential interview serves as a reminder that our language has two ‘out of the box’ idioms.
A word much heard during political seasons is an apt borrowing from the worlds of physics and math.
The late boxing great was an early rapper and a political poet as well as a pugilist.
A return visit to a familiar beach house prompts some thoughts on time and the ebb and flow of the ocean.
Why ‘female president’ isn’t the best term, however this year’s election turns out.
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