Judith B. Herman is a Southern California writer with a thing for words and pictures. Her blog, WordSnooper.com, tells the adventures of Lexie Kahn, Private Etymologist. Thanks to Photoshop Judy uses her camera to document unreality.
Recently we busted some myths about the popular email “Life in the 1500s.” Here are the rest of the tall tales, shrunk to fit reality.... READ ON
The fleshy, edible, seed-bearing parts of plants are a fruitful source of terms and phrases. We’ve picked eleven for you.... READ ON
Why does the back of your lower leg have the same name as a baby cow?... READ ON
A surprising number of common English food and beverage words have Arabic backgrounds.... READ ON
How many conversations proceed blithely along before the participants realize they’re talking about two different people with sound-alike names?... READ ON
Most of us know that American “fries” are British “chips.” Here’s a glossary to help you out of trickier menu muddles.... READ ON
It’s easy to guess what an ancestor of someone named Cook, Carpenter, or Smith did for a living. With other occupational surnames, though, either the word or the trade has become obsolete, so the meaning is hidden.... READ ON
Here's what the key grip, best boy, and gaffer actually do, plus the origins of those titles.... READ ON
The inventors of Bubble Wrap were originally trying to make plastic wallpaper.