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Self-Deprecating vs. Self Depreciating

A remark that’s critical of oneself might be described as self-deprecating. Surprisingly, though, before the 1940s, such a remark was properly said to be self-depreciating. In Garner’s Modern English Usage (Bookshop|Amazon), grammarian...

Doofunny, Dofunny

Nikki in Northampton, Massachusetts, wonders about a term her dad used for someone who’s a little odd or weird: do funny. As far back as the 1850s, Do funny or Doo funny was an amusing last name for characters in satire, whether in newspapers...

Mondogreens and Oronyms

Mondegreens are words misheard in song lyrics that still make a kind of sense, such as misunderstanding Just like a white-winged dove as Just like a one-winged dove. They’re sometimes called oronyms. This is part of a complete episode.

Deadpan Expression

Deadpan, an adjective used to describe a flat or unsmiling affect, as in deadpan humor, derives from the use of pan as a slang term for “face.”

This is part of a complete episode.