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Bailiwick

A woman in Eureka, California, is curious about the term bailiwick. It comes from a Middle English word for bailiff, and wik, a Middle English word that means dwelling and is related to several English place names, such as Gatwick and Norwich. This...

Frozen Rope

Where would you find a sports commentator talking about high cheese and ducks on a pond? Here’s a hint: both terms are part of what makes America’s pastime so colorful. • A government official in New Zealand proposes a new, more...

New Maori Words

A government official in New Zealand has devised a new Maori-based glossary to replace some of the English words used by the government for talking about mental health, disability, and addiction. For example, he proposes replacing the word autism...

Blind Tiger

When you pick up a book of poems, how many do you read in one sitting? Some people devour several in a row, while others savor them much more slowly. Plus, it’s a problem faced by politicians and public speakers: When you have to stand in...

Do-ocracy

The Occupy movement helped to popularize the term do-ocracy, a system of management or government where the people who actually roll up their sleeves and do things get to decide how those things are done. This is part of a complete episode.

Idiom’s Delight

A recent study found that some names crop up more frequently than others in certain professions. The name William is especially common among attorneys–and graphic designers include a higher-than-average number of Jessicas. Plus, picturesque...

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