As with any major historical event or phenomenon, life during COVID calls for new terms. For the majority of Americans, “sheltering-in-place” and “social distancing” are novel experiences that no pre-existing term can describe. So naturally, the English language has experienced a deluge of neologisms during the pandemic. …

Blackfishing: a trend in which non-white people alter their appearance in order to present themselves as Black. (Source: theweek.co)

The setting is virtual debate camp. The question was what is something new you have tried during the stay at home order? I was expecting responses like “catching up on my…

Spinster was originally a female spinner of thread (14th century); it became a legal designation of an unmarried woman, as unmarried women were expected to sit home and spin fibers into thread. By the 18th century, it became a pejorative for any unmarried woman past a certain age.

Reading Helen…

What do the following word pairs have in common: attitude and aptitude; advent and adventure; busy and business; and apparently, people’s personal favorite mourning and morning? The words in the pairings have a similar look and sound. Attitude and aptitude only differ by one letter. Advent and adventure share a…

Let’s face it…I am more than a little obsessed about words. Maybe that is a poor choice of a word. I don’t want to be described as a person that is possesed or occupied (as obsessed is from the Latin obsidēre meaning “to beset or occupy” with ob: away +…

EtymologyRules

Etymology: the truth about language and words

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