for people with too much time on their
whine traces to an Old English verb, hwinan,
which means to make a humming or whirring sound. When hwinan became
whine in Middle English, it meant to wail distressfully.
the word tawdry
is short for Saint Audrey's Lace (neck lace bought at Saint Audrey's fair in Ely,
England). It is named after Saint Audrey, Northumbrian queen and patron saint of
Ely, who, according to tradition, died of a throat tumor which she considered to be a just
punishment for her youthful liking of neck laces.
The WD in WD-40
stands for Water Displacement.
the word sycophant
was taken from the Greek suko-phantus, which literally means
"fig-blabbers". (It was against the law in Athens to export figs, but the
law was seldom enforced except by people who used it as a pretense to inform against their
neighbors in an effort to ingratiate themselves with a certain political party. )
Synonyms include parasite, leech, sponge,
the word samba means
"to rub navels together".
the word moot
is its own antonym.
the ZIP in Zip-code
stands for "Zoning Improvement Plan".
means "soggy shrub" in Navajo.
No word in the English language rhymes with month,
orange, silver, and purple.
Of is apparently the
only word in which an F is pronounced like a V.
contains the letter A, but none of the words from one to nine
hundred ninety-nine has an A.
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