Browsing Month December, 2006

Today’s Word: Yankee Dime

Well, I was thumbing through one of my favorite dictionaries just now, the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English, when I came across the lovely expressions “Yankee nickel” and “Yankee dime,” defined therein as, “A kiss, usu given to a child in return for a small favor such as doing a household chore.” The earliest citation more…

Today’s Word: Demodicid

I could have done without knowing that mites called demodicids live in our eyelashes, but oh well. This is what happens when I spend too much time wandering around the web. The name, by the way, comes from two Greek words that mean “fat” and “wood-worm.”

You Say Potato, I Say….

A revealing piece from behind the scenes at the American Heritage Usage panel.(Be sure to click on the Multimedia sidebar there on the left, for various members’ takes on various usages.)

A New Co-Host for “A Way with Words”

Well, y’all, as my North Carolina-born pappy used to say, I’m a-grinnin’ like a mule eatin’ briars! Why? Because “A Way with Words” has a new co-host, Grant Barrett — and I couldn’t be happier. As editor of The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English and the Double-Tongued Dictionary Web site ( Barrett tracks slang, jargon more…

Hear “Not So Much” Much?

I can’t tell you how many times I heard the expression “not so much” over the Thanksgiving holiday — and it wasn’t from people refusing large helpings at the dinner table, either. I was mystified as to the origin of this trendy catchphase, but this article cleared it up for me. I don’t know — more…