Everybody loves an Irish accent, but there isn’t just one Irish accent.... READ ON
For over a century, a controversy has been brewing over what might be called the Loch Ness Monster of dialect study: the elusive singular “y’all.” There are a few who claim to have seen it in the wild, and many who denounce such claims as nonsense. Does it exist?... READ ON
People have been using belly button to mean “navel” since the late 1800s. Your nose has been your schnozz since the 1940s, and your hooter since the '50s. Booty has been dated back as far as 1928. Guys have been comparing their guns since 1973, and their pecs since 1949. But slang names for parts of the body don’t end there.... READ ON
Lots of languages have distinct plural forms for "you." Wouldn't it be useful if English had one too?... READ ON
It turns out, there are a number of things about English that conspire to make “I could care less” a less irrational phrase than it might seem.... READ ON
In English we have a few different ways to write the sound of a kiss: muah, smack, xxx. They get the idea across, but none of them imitate the actual sound of a kiss.... READ ON
Before Sochi was selected as the host of the 2014 winter Olympics, not many people had heard of it, so it didn't have a widely known English pronunciation. ... READ ON
Is there any suffix more adorable than the lovely little –ling? It gives us yearlings and starlings, downy ducklings and goslings, affectionate darlings and siblings, and comforting tender dumplings. But –ling hasn’t always been so little and cute. It used to be far more productive than it is now, and its connotations weren’t always adorable.... READ ON
Light Warlpiri only has 350 native speakers, and none of them are older than 35 years old.... READ ON
Only a drip wouldn’t be storked for such a swellelegant little guide.... READ ON
Until a few decades ago, Ukraine was almost always referred to as the Ukraine. Then people started dropping the definite article, and now you almost never see it. What gives?... READ ON
Daven Hiskey runs the wildly popular interesting fact website Today I Found Out. To subscribe to his "Daily Knowledge" newsletter, click... READ ON
Image by Flickr user David Goehring, used under Creative Commons license.The phrase "drink the Kool-Aid" is common in American business and politics. Roughly translated, it means "to blindly follow," and it usually has a negative connotation: iPhone buyers waiting in line for days have "drank Apple's Kool-Aid," so to speak. But where did this phrase come from? And does it even refer to the correct beverage? We're gonna have to go all the way back to the 1950s to answer this one.The Road to... READ ON
Remember that old children's game Telephone, where a word or phrase would be whispered whispered down the line until it got to the last person? In most cases, the resultant phrase sounded nothing like the original. Such is the case of "piggyback." It has nothing to do with an actual oinker, and everything to do with a misquoted phrase.
Experts believe the original phrase dates back to 1565 and was "pick-pack," meaning objects that were taken from storage and pitched onto a person's waiting shoulders... READ ON
Presidential retreat Camp David is named after Dwight Eisenhower’s grandson.