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Fotched a Heave and Catched a Fall

Michael in Morgantown, Kentucky, is pondering his grandfather’s phrase He fotched a heave and catched a fall meaning someone “made a quick bodily movement and fell.” Fotched is a dialectal past tense of fetch. This is part of a...

Episode 1551

Cherry Bombs

An ornithologist says there’s a growing movement to change the name of a pink-footed bird currently called the flesh-footed shearwater. The movement reflects a growing understanding that using flesh-colored for “pink” fails to...

Words from Women’s Suffrage

Databases like the Google Books Corpus can also be used to follow text over time. For example, as the women’s suffrage movement grew around 1910, words relating to women’s rights grew in popularity and frequency of usage. This is part of...

zap

zap  n.— «Following the 1969 Stonewall riots, as the nascent gay rights movement became increasingly combative, a gay Philadelphia teenager initiated his own guerrilla war aimed at television, including the CBS Evening News. Mark Segal...

Office 2.0

Office 2.0  n.— «Savvy office workers frustrated that their on-the-job computer tools don’t function as smoothly as, say, an Apple iPod are taking matters into their own hands. No longer are they relying on company technicians, or...