Home » living

Tagliving

An Eke Name, Nickname

The verb to eke, as in to eke out a living or eke out a win, derives from Old English eaca, meaning “addition” or “supplement.” The expression an eke name, or literally “an additional name” was later altered by...

Living Room, Family Room, Den

What do you call that room in your house where the family gathers — the family room? The den? The TV room? Names for that living space go in and out of fashion. In the 1930s, you might have called it the sitting room, parlor, living room, setting...

Lockdown Haikus

The Orange County Museum of Art commissioned Los Angeles artist Alan Nakagawa to do a project he called “Social Distancing, Haiku, and You,” in which he invited the public to write haikus about the experience of living through the COVID...

Linguistic Hedges and Conversational Softeners

Paul in Dryden, New York, says when he lived in Tennessee, he knew that when someone began a sentence with Bless his heart, that phrase would usually be followed by the word but, plus a criticism of that person. Now that he’s living in New...

Pop Your Clogs, Clever Clogs

Annie in Bend, Oregon, says that while living on a narrowboat in England several years ago, she encountered some intriguing slang: clever clogs, a slightly derogatory term for someone who’s a bit too smart for their own good, and pop your...

The Life of Riley History and Origin

Marie-Claire from Montreal, Canada, wonders why we say that someone living in carefree luxury is living the life of Riley. No one’s sure this expression’s origin, although it may be associated with a 19th-century vaudeville song about an...

Recent posts