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Coffee-nyms

If your name is too difficult for the employees at Starbucks to accurately write on the side of a coffee cup, we suggest you take on a coffee-nym. Can’t go wrong with Elvis. This is part of a complete episode.

Bump and Grind

Remember a few years ago when Amazon introduced that mysterious device called a Kindle? People worried that electronic readers would replace traditional books. Turns out the death of the hardcover was greatly exaggerated. Also, the expression...

A Different Julep

The word julep, from Persian terms meaning “rose water,” usually refers to a mint-and-bourbon alcoholic beverage with a kick as strong as a Kentucky Derby winner. But one family from North Carolina has a sauce they call julep: a half...

Espresso

Is there an express in espresso? Nope. Cafe espresso is literally “pressed-out coffee.” So the name espresso has nothing to do with the speed with which espresso is made. The term express, on the other hand, as in express train, derives...

Chiasmus and Antimetabole

Chiasumus, also known as antimetabole, is a somewhat symmetrical expression like John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ask not what your country can do for you”“ask what you can do for your country,” or “Never let a fool kiss you or a...

Unusual Words from Eleemosynary

Eleemosynary is the title of a play by Lee Blessing. The play celebrates this and other unusual words, including sortilege, charivari, ungulate, favonian, and logodaedaly. Martha saw a production at San Diego’s Moxie Theater, and takes the...

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