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Linguistic Myths Surrounding Taphophobia

A Wellesley College student has been reading about the Victorian fear of being buried alive—also known as taphophobia—and the bizarre 19th-century burial practices associated with it. She’s heard that they gave rise to such expressions as dead...

Secrets, Shamans, and Sounding Gustav

Yep, it's another newsletter from A Way with Words! There's something kind of special about the language a family invents for its own use, so we talked about it on this past weekend's show. We also tried to narrow down the difference...

harvest

harvest  v.— «The phrase “harvesting” has been coined by party organisers at nightclubs in the city to describe how girls are gathered for so-called VIP events with Manchester United footballers such as the one that ended last week with...

flake

flake
 n.— «A flake of hay refers to as section approximately 2 to 3 inches wide.» —by North American Limousin Foundation Feed a Winner May 22, 2003. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

person of pallor

person of pallor n. a white or Caucasian person. Editorial Note: Usually used jocularly or ironically. Etymological Note: Constructed after “person of color,” a person who is other than white or Caucasian. (source: Double-Tongued...

Harvard death

Harvard death  n.— «To die “a Harvard death” (meaning the physicians have managed to normalize the laboratory test values but failed to help the patient).» —“Fracturing the Language of Biomedicine: The Speech Play of U. S...