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In just about every city, people repeat variations of the saying, "If you don't like the weather, wait an hour." And for good reason. Weather is an ever-changing — and, on our stressed-out globe — increasingly extreme phenomenon. Weather never stops: it just keeps shifting and mutating into something else. That sounds like another natural phenomenon I know: language.  Continue reading...
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Welcome to another roundup of the euphemisms — new and old, fresh and stale, sweet and salty — that have lately come to my attention. I hope they tickle your funny bone and baffle your think bone.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Dog Blends, from Wienerhuahuas to Peekapoos

One of the commercials run during the Super Bowl this year was one from Audi featuring an imagined "Doberhuahua," a cross between a Doberman and a Chihuahua. But as VT contributor Mark Peters explained on OUPblog, real-life canine hybrids often have blended names that are just as fanciful, whether it's "wienerhuahua" or "peekapoo." Read Mark's blog post here.
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Brrr! In many places, it's been outrageously cold lately. Stay warm and cozy up to our winter-themed crossword. Solve it and you could win a Visual Thesaurus T-shirt!  Continue reading...
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The great folk-music pioneer Pete Seeger died on Monday at the age of 94. He's best known for such classics as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," "If I Had a Hammer," and "Turn, Turn, Turn!" But we're particularly fond of a song that he performed about the irrationality of the English language, "English is Cuh-Ray-Zee."  Continue reading...
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With the Super Bowl just around the corner, our own Ben Zimmer talked to Seattle's KUOW about the origins of some football language. Some of the terms, like "the 12th man" and "the Legion of Boom," have special resonance in Seattle, home of the Super Bowl-bound Seahawks.  Continue reading...
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It's a popularly held idea that dictionary writers have the power to add words to the lexicon when in fact language is changed the by people who use it and the job of the lexigrographer is to take note. Our own Ben Zimmer revisits this distinction in a look at a recent episode of the Nickelodeon teen comedy "Sam & Cat," in which the titular characters take on word-creation head on.  Continue reading...
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4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 376 Articles