Tag Archives: etymology

Vocabulary: What is a bollard?

A quick post today from the vocabulary files. This one’s about something that most of us see many times every day, but don’t know the word for. In fact, most of us don’t know there’s even a word for it. … Continue reading

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Indian summer: what and when is it?

We’re not experiencing it yet where I live (outside of Boston), but it’s that time of year when people start talking about “Indian summer.” I’ve seen a few references to this seasonal quirk lately (including one in something I was … Continue reading

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Panhandler: Its Origins Are Unclear, But Its Meaning Isn’t

Children are experts at uncovering quirks in language use. Most of us, as we get older, become so used to the inconsistencies and the oddball idiomatic expressions that we no longer notice them. Kids, because they haven’t been exposed to … Continue reading

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Real Estate and Realtor: Word Origins

It’s been a fairly busy month in language but I haven’t been able stay timely. So many interesting words and usages, so little time! I didn’t want to let a full month slide by without posting on some useful topic … Continue reading

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That Origin of Bogus? It’s Probably Bogus.

I’m old enough to remember when the word “bogus” was at the fringe of colloquial English, a slang term that few respectable people would consider using. Of course, it shouldered its way into the circle around the campfire of “acceptable … Continue reading

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