Posts Tagged: etymology

Curating Life

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You might say that our blog offers curated literary articles. That might sound pretentious, but not nearly as pretentious as a curated salad, a curated college application, or a curated wine list. The Guardian takes a look at the use, overuse, and history of curation: The idea of the contemporary curator originates with the conceptual art movement […]

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Organic Keeping-on

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Mental Floss’s brief history of the term “OK” is more than just all right. Using Allan Metcalf’s OK: The Improbably Story of America’s Greatest Word as a source, it covers not only the term’s birth, but also how it went the 19th-century version of viral and attained an almost miraculous staying power. Our rating: Overall, keen.

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Yo Mama So Old She’s a Scandinavian Root Word

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These etymological origins of words related to insults are so strange and wonderful that some of them almost seem made up. For example, it seems there used to be enough people writing “snarky epic poems” in Scandinavia that their title, skald, became synonymous with censure, eventually giving us the word scold. The word scoff comes from the equivalent English […]

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“Nerd”

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The etymology of the term “nerd” involves a lot of abbreviation, according to English actor, comedian and writer Simon Pegg. However, there’s a lack of fact-checking and historical verification there. American slang adopted the word over fifty years ago, but its origins remain obscure. One theory is that “nerd” came from “knurd,” which is “drunk” […]

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