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Tribble Meaning Pompom

Polly, a library worker in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, wonders about the correct term for the fuzzy puffball atop a warm hat. Is it a tribble or a pompom? The word tribble first appeared in the classic Star Trek episode “The...

My Word is Born

Michael from Sherman Oaks, California, says that as a teacher in New Jersey in the 1980s, he heard students saying My word is born, meaning “You better believe me,” and later shortened to simply word. The research of linguist Geneva...

Groovy Slang Origins

David in Livingston, Montana, heard a 1954 radio show in which Frank Sinatra used the phrase sweet and groovy, like a nine-cent movie. Was the word groovy really around in those days? Yes, by 1937, the term had filtered into the mainstream from the...

Origins of “Camp” and “Campy”

The noun camp and the adjective campy refer to movies, theater, or a style or an exaggerated manner of creative or personal expression that combines high and low elements of culture. These terms were first used in the underground gay community, and...

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