Topic: etymology

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Where do new words come from? – TED Ed

There are over 170,000 words currently in use in the English language. Yet every year, about a thousand new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Where do they come from, and how do they make it into our e...

Why Is A Group Of Crows Called A “Murder”?

A leap of leopards, a flamboyance of flamingos, a barrel of monkeys, a murmuration of starlings: Collective nouns for animals are fun and full of personality and information, but how did these descriptions come about?...

How are streets, roads, and avenues different?

A road, a street, an avenue, a boulevard, a drive, a parkway, a beltway... and that just gets us started! What's the difference between each of these thoroughfares? This Vox video by Phil Edwards and Gina Barton helps...

How did clouds get their names? – TED Ed

In daydreaming out the window as a kid, Luke Howard began to informally study the constantly changing clouds in the sky. In 1802, he was the first to name cloud forms, as well as a variety of transitional cloud types....

Odd – Mysteries of Vernacular

Odd. Odd. Say it a few times, and the word 'odd' sounds odd. Peculiar. Different from what is usual or expected. Of course, we also know that odd numbers can't be divided evenly into two groups. But where did this odd...

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Channel 4 News Welsh weather presenter Liam Dutton pronounced Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch during his weather report, and it's quickly gone viral. His smooth pronunciation is impressive t...

Ukulele – Mysteries of Vernacular

How did a small four-string guitar that was not invented in Hawaii end up with a Hawaiian name that means Jumping Flea? Let's go back to the 19th century when Portuguese travelers brought a braguinha to Hawaii. Jessic...

Pants – Mysteries of Vernacular

Where does the word 'pants' come from? The journey of this word throughout history begins with the 4th Century Roman Saint Pantaleon and is now used to refer to any clothing with two separate tubes that are meant to c...

Making Sense of Spelling – TED Ed

Words can come alive and make more sense when you learn about their structure, relationships, and history. From the TED-Ed archives, Making Sense of Spelling. Watch more TED-Ed, and more abou...

How The Elements Got Their Names – It’s Okay to Be Smart

This information-packed video from It’s Okay to Be Smart explains How The Elements Got Their Names in rhyme! It’s a great introduction for looking further into the periodic table&#...

NOAA 2013 Expedition: The Rhinochimera

The name Rhinochimera breaks apart with meaning: rhinos = nose and chimaera = marine monster, but this fish has many names. (Our favorite: straightnose rabbitfish.) This one is swimming in Hy...

Robot – Mysteries of vernacular

Where did the word robot come from? Let’s travel back to 1920, when Czech writer Karel Čapek wrote a sci-fi play about hard-working, human-like machines. Wait, first let’s go back farther: more than 1000 y...


 
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