Tag Archives: etymology

Mentor, mentee — how about mentoree?

One of the positives (or is it a negative?) of working with language so much of the time is the sheer volume of unusual things you encounter. Not simply an odd word or usage here and there, but also the … Continue reading

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On Behalf of Jamais Vu

Do you ever have an experience where, without warning, something that you’re familiar with feels suddenly like you’re encountering it for the very first time? There’s actually a term for this: it’s jamais vu, the opposite of déjà vu. Instead … Continue reading

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Shibboleth — not someone who predicts the future and not a Lovecraft monster

I’ve been swimming into the depths of political speech again lately, and that means I encounter interesting words and concepts that aren’t always common in everyday use. One of the words that crops up now and then is “shibboleth.” I … Continue reading

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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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