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Folk Expressions for Ailments

A physician in Onancock, Virginia, shares some expressions he’s picked up from his patients, such as Old Arthur, as in Old Arthur’s in town — a reference to suffering from arthritis. Patients have also described feeling discouraged or...

Impfneid, Vaccination Envy

The handy German neologism Impfneid literally means “vaccine envy.” It’s one of many German words coined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neid in German means “envy” and Impf, meaning “vaccine,” derives from...

Blood Type Donation Word Game

Quiz Guy John Chaneski donated blood the other day, which inspired this week’s puzzle based on the four blood types, A, B, O, and AB. Each clue involves a pair of words, and the challenge is to donate one of those four blood types to one word...

Prophylactic

Anna from Alden, Michigan, recalls as a child looking up the word prophylactic in the dictionary. It goes back to the Greek word phylax, which means “guard.” To guard against tooth decay, you can get dental prophylaxis, also known as...

Land Sickness

What’s for the word for when you get off a boat but still feel like you’re moving? It’s called land sickness, the opposite of sea sickness. A more severe version is mal de debarquement, French for “sickness from...

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