Category Archives: Interesting words

Who Knew?

I just learned today that bobby pins are called “kirby grips” or “hair grips” in the UK and hair elastics are “bobbles.”

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Happy, Peppy, Perverse

HAPPIEST, you may be interested to know, anagrams into IT HAS PEP, a lively and fitting phrase. Perversely, it also anagrams into EPITAPHS.

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Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye weed is a popular plant among gardeners. When I did an Internet search on it, most of the hits were for gardening, rather than wildflower, websites. Among its positive attributes are that it’s pretty, unusually tall, attractive to … Continue reading

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I Now Pronounce You Correctly

Forte: I refuse to say that something is someone’s forte. The reason for that is the pronunciation of the word “forte.” I know that it rightly rhymes with “port.” But, if I were to say it that way, someone else … Continue reading

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One of My Many Collections

I recently hit the Latin trifecta by using three Latin terms in one day: “ad nauseam,” “redux,” and “deus ex machina.” I wonder how many other Latin words I’ve got stored away in my noggin. I think there must be … Continue reading

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Pronunciation Fail

Earlier this year I looked up the pronunciation of the word Taoiseach (the leader of Ireland). My best guess was “Tay-sik.” I was way off base. It’s “Tee-shuk” (and really less of a hard “k” sound and more of a … Continue reading

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I DARE You

The most exciting potential prize of the recent limerick contest (aside from the free trip to England) was a full set of the Dictionary of American Regional English. I was hoping to get one. Alas, I did not. But my … Continue reading

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Words I Do Not Like

The word “pulchritude” is too ugly to mean “beauty.” “Salvia” looks too much like “saliva” to be a nice flower name, and “scabiosa” is even ickier. My least favorite word of the moment, though, is “bloviate.” It ought to be … Continue reading

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British at Heart

I’ve always felt that the word “grey” looks better than the word “gray.” And as I think more on the matter, I realize that to me “gray” and “grey” are not even the same color. “Gray” is a drab color. … Continue reading

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Unusual Words

Because one of my favorite books of all time, The Last Legends of Earth by A.A. Attanasio, has such weird words in it, here is an Unusual Words post for you today. tractate: treaty; essay; any book of the Talmud … Continue reading

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