Has the humidex got you reaching for a pop, dockside at the camp? You might be Canadian. That’s right, according to Only in Canada, You Say, these are uniquely Canadian terms. Katherine Barber, “Canada’s word lady,” wrote that book. She used to supervise development of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, when it was still under production.
I don’t casually browse dictionaries as often as I once did, but I’m still thrilled at moment of serendipity, when the dictionary yields a new word and distracts me from what I was supposed to be doing.
Today, I discovered wordhoard, a store of words and, therefore, the vocabulary of a person, group of people or an entire language. It may be an obvious compound, but it existed (without the a) in Old English.
With the final two games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup happening this weekend, the language of football (or “soccer,” depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on) seems to have taken over the planet. While copyeditors are known for loving new words, this sudden flood of footy talk can be a baffling experience.
The first time someone wrote luxurious, in a story called Arthur and Merlin, he meant lascivious, lecherous or unchaste, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. That was around 1330. Arthur and Merlin, by the way, also gives us the first recorded use of the insult biche-sone, or son of a bitch.
We’re gearing up for a happy holiday weekend here in the United States as we celebrate Independence Day tomorrow. Finalize fireworks-watching plans? Check. Make sure flag-displaying etiquette is correct? Check. Use the proper vocabulary during fireworks watching and flag displaying? Better check!
Do you know your fireworks from your flag works? Match the term with its appropriate definition. [Difficulty level: moderate]
When I type pejorative, I must consciously stop my left forefinger from dropping down on the r key after my middle finger taps the e. When I hear it spoken, it’s often unclear whether there is an r sound at the end of the first syllable.
We’ve been clearing some clutter, and my wife decided to sell a music box that has an impressionist-style scene on the front of ladies with parasols and that plays Debussy’s Reverie. The potential buyer, no doubt motivated by an ironic sense of humor, was disappointed when she realized it did not play the bugle call reveille. So that was a $3 sale lost.