There were only two English words that end in “gry”– hungry and angry. In 2018, the Oxford English Dictionary added a third– “hangry” (an irritable state induced by lack of food).
The correct plural of “dwarf” is “dwarfs”. “Dwarves” is a spelling popularised by J. R. R. Tolkien to make a distinction between his own creations and the “sillier creatures of these latter days”.
The word “museum” is derived from the word “musaeum” which translates to Institution Of The Muses, the Muses being the nine goddesses of the arts.
People whose mother language is anumeric (a language that has no way of expressing arbitrary numbers) struggle to compare and remember the exact size of collections of as little as four objects. This suggests that numeric abilities are intrinsically related to linguistic abilities.
The word Boycott is named after an Irish landlord named Charles Boycott. After Boycott attempted to evict 11 tenants, the local community decided to shun him. Workers would not work for him, traders would not trade with him, and the postman would not deliver the post.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word “kinda” has been around since the early 20th century. It calls “whatcha” a “nonstandard contraction.” “Hafta,” on the other hand, is called “informal”, while “lemme” is a “contraction”.
The name “Scotch Tape” was used as an insult to the inventor while he was inventing Masking Tape. ‘Scotch’ being derogatory slang for cheap or thrifty. He then went on to create Scotch Tape, and the name stuck.
The English word weird originally meant ‘having the power to control fate’, which is why Shakespeare named his witches in Macbeth The Weird Sisters. Later depictions of them dressed in odd and strange ways led to the current definition of the word.
Since the 1300’s, the pronoun “thou” was actually considered more informal and even derogatory than the pronoun “you.” This is also why its usage began declining in the 17th century; it was considered “impolite.”
The word Hello became popular after Thomas Edison suggested its use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell, his competitor, preferred Ahoy.
Two Oxford students heard that the author Rudyard Kipling earned 10 shillings per word so they sent him 10 shillings and asked for one of his very best words. Kipling replied: “Thanks”.
33% of Americans consider “whatever” to be the most annoying word or phrase. The recent addition of “fake news” takes second place with 23% followed closely by “no offense, but” with 20%. 11% think “literally” is the most grating word used in conversation while 10% assert “you know what I mean” is the most agitating.