Tag Archives: vocabulary

Word Nerd: 6 magical English words from Greco-Roman mythology

17 Jan

Since ancient times, mythology has helped form a bridge between abstraction and personification, between imagination and belief, and mind and speech. Myth is a feature of every culture. In fundamental ways, it helps explain the world to us. The means of that explanation is language. Naturally, myths are embedded in our vocabulary. Often, we use […]

Word Nerd: 5 words banished from the Queen’s English in 2018

8 Jan

Every year since 1976, the Lake Superior State University publishes an annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use, and General Uselessness. Although the first list was inspired by the pet peeves of LSSU’s late public relations W.T. Rabe and his friends, the list is now culled from thousands of international […]

Word Nerd: German, the original hashtag language

4 Dec

You know how hashtags work. A hashtag is a hash sign followed by a word. Sometimes a phrase is compounded into a single word. People can intuitively understand its meaning from either the word itself or the context. Sometimes, though, it’s possible to take it #TooFar #BeyondAllReason #DoesItEvenMakeAnySenseAnyMore #ICantEven. Well, if you thought this was […]

Word Nerd: 5 Aztec words that you definitely know

6 Nov

Technically, the language spoken by the Aztecs is known as Nahuatl, and there are many variants of it. It’s the language Europeans heard in the 16th century, when they first arrived in the great city of Tenochtitlan (the site of today’s Mexico City). Nahuatl has been spoken for more than 1,000 years in Mexico, where […]

Word Nerd: 7 words of wisdom that India gifted to the English language

16 Oct

Language and history often go hand in hand. The words we use – or don’t use – often contain fascinating stories within them that carry a good deal of meaning beyond the dictionary definition. Here are a few – feel free to add some of your own in the comments! 1. Ahimsa This Sanskrit word […]

Word Nerd: 5 Hinglish words that don’t travel well

18 Sep

If you’re an English-speaking Indian, there are bound to be some words that you fully believe are English. And with good reason: they can be found in an English dictionary. But to someone from another English-speaking country, their peculiarly Indian usage can be a head-scratcher. And that’s the best-case scenario – in the worst case, […]

Word Nerd: 5 words to help you brag about your beautiful campus

4 Sep

They don’t make buildings like they used to any more. No, really, they literally don’t. That’s why most of us have no idea what to call those little decorative thingies. You know, those fussy-looking thingummyjigs above the whatchamacallit. Problem is, unless we have a particular interest in historical architecture, we are unlikely to know the […]

Word Nerd: 5 zany words with a z that will expand your vocabulary

28 Aug

Z is the 26th and final letter of the English alphabet. Not a whole lot of words start with a z, only about 0.45%. But that’s no reason to miss out on this exclusive tribe of words. For this week’s edition of Word Nerd, we bring you 5 words that start with the last letter […]

Word Nerd: 7 knockout words that start with K

7 Aug

K, you will be surprised to note, is considered the funniest sound in the English language by comedians. It is also not a popular choice as an alphabet to begin words. Only 0.45% words start with a k. That’s no reason to not include the following words in your vocabulary. So here are 7 weird, […]

Word Nerd: 10 quirky words starting with a Q you will enjoy

31 Jul

Think of a word that begins with q (queen, queue, quintessential, querulous). Chances are you’ll flounder and fumble after you’ve listed 4-5. And you’re not alone. Q is one of the least popular initial letters in the English language. Approximately only 0.22% words start with an q. Keeping it company are the alphabets k (0.45%), […]