Category Archives: Words at Play

Words at Play

Ben Zimmer, the executive producer of Vocabulary.com and VisualThesaurus.com talks about notable words of 2013 in a Wall Street Journal article.  Many of the new words, he notes, are “portmanteau words.”  If you follow this blog, you know what that … Continue reading

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Words at Play

When you look up English words in a dictionary you will often find their antonyms – words that mean exactly the opposite – as well.  Some English words, however, are their own antonyms.  Some people call them auto-antonyms, others call … Continue reading

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Words at Play

The other day I was thinking about words and expressions that we use without any thought about their origins.  I started with the word “cranny,” and my mind wandered from there to many other odd words and expressions – even … Continue reading

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Words at Play

Most of the suitcases we use today open at the top to display one large compartment into which we can place our clothes.  Long ago there was a suitcase called a portmanteau (see photo below) that opened at the middle, … Continue reading

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Words at Play

Pork comes from pigs, beef comes from cattle, and mutton comes from sheep.  Did you ever wonder why we use such words as pork, beef, and mutton instead of pigs, cattle and sheep to describe the meat we eat?  A … Continue reading

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