Yes Wegh

The word for what Renn is nowadays is “vehement.” “Yyyyyyyyeah!” she will say in answer to any old question. Or “NO,” with her hand starkly out in front of her, fingers splayed and ramrod straight. Especially to the dogs if she is holding a piece of apple, or anytime she thinks of the squirrel that … More Yes Wegh

Can You Even

I was just eating a cannoli, lucky me, and admiring its crisp tubishness, and wondered suddenly if the word has any relation to “can,” as in the metal kind, often also tubish. And it does! Both come from Latin canna, a reed or pipe*. So, for that matter, does “cane.” While what I can find … More Can You Even

Bewitched by Fish

Hello, have you wondered about -monger as a suffix? The words “scaremongering” and”fearmongering” have popped up in my world as a parent lately–from other parents describing the landscape of available advice for teaching a child about using the toilet. I realized I think of “-mongering” in these instances as like “generating, amassing, and stuffing the … More Bewitched by Fish

Bah Humble

First: Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar is here with me today to help make my point. Welcome, Kendrick! Now, I am pleased to announce a well-fed and beautifully groomed pet peeve of mine: when people upon whom a very clear honor is bestowed accept said honor by describing themselves as deeply humbled by that honor. … More Bah Humble

Ever more wor d’oeuvres

This week’s small news in words is here! 1. “Caper” the piccata ingredient and “caper” the film genre aren’t related. 2. “Sin” comes from the Proto-Indo-European for “to be.” That’s intense! 3. “Relish” in the sense of a “condiment which imparts flavor” started as Latin for “loosening/stretching” and then French for “leaving behind” and then … More Ever more wor d’oeuvres

Some more wor d’oeuvres

Hi! Here’s the latest: 1. “Gossip” comes from two words you’d recognize: “God” and “sibb” (relative, as in “sibling”)–so, basically the godparent of your kid, meaning someone you are super close to and to whom you would presumably talk alllllll the shit. And thence the verb. 2. Honduras means “depths.” 3. “Tentacle” and “tentative” have … More Some more wor d’oeuvres

Wor d’oeuvres

Hey folks: listen, I look up etymologies basically daily. And I’m always like couuuuld this be a whole post and doooooo I have that in me? And the answer is usually “god I don’t know but now I feel bad that I haven’t written one and probably won’t.” And then everyone loses! So guess what, … More Wor d’oeuvres