Blog Excerpts

It's the Most Wonderful (Word Learning) Time of the Year!

The holiday season is famous for its hustle and bustle. But that doesn't mean word learning has to come to a stop. In fact, the holidays provide many opportunities to acquire and think about words. It's just a question of knowing where to look for them. 

First, pour yourself some egg nog, and drink it while contemplating the question, "What is nog anyway?" Need something stronger? Try grog(Better read first, then drink.)

Next, turn on the holiday holiday music. The archaic (or simply confusing) language of carols presents many a vocabulary stumper, which, when puzzled through, remind us that our lexicon is nearly as rich as some of those tempting holiday desserts.

Got touchy relatives coming over? Find innocuous conversation starters in Merrill Perlman's "Yule Love This" on the origins of some common holiday words (such as yule itself), or in Susan Ebbers' investigation of the difference between wishing a happy and merry Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or New Year's). Let technical writer Mike Pope take you on a tour of Christmas terms originating in classic Christmas movies and television specials from Dr. Seuss to Rudolph to Charlie Brown to "It's a Wonderful Life." 

Don't worry if these pieces become so engrossing you forget a last minute gift. You can always construct a thoughtfully personalized gift of a word for a loved one using nothing but your printer, some high quality paper, and our Dictionary.

And if, in between rounds of nog quaffing, carol singing, relative entertaining, and gift making, you do have time for playing, consider learning this list of Scroogey Words (from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol) put together just for you by all the hardworking List Elves at

Happy everything!

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