Home » Notes

TagNotes

Knight Chevalier

A listener in Richardson, Texas, notes that before her mother married, her middle name was Knight and her last name was Chevallier. For those who know the French word for “knight,” chevalier, this made for some occasional chuckles. This...

Origin of Hoodlum

The word hoodlum first pops up in the 1870’s in San Francisco to refer to the exact thing it does now: guys who are up to no good. In the journal Notes and Queries, you’ll find all kinds of discussion on hoodlum. This is part of a...

Exspuition

As the OEDILF notes, exspuition is an old word for spitting, which you can do either standing or sitting. This is part of a complete episode.

Proununciation of Biopic

How do you pronounce biopic? The proper way to mention the genre of biographical motion picture has always been “BUY-oh-pick,” as opposed to the mirror of myopic. It’s not unusual to mispronounce a word if the spelling does not...

Unicycles

A unicycle enthusiast wonders if his unicycle can be properly called a bike. To avoid the four-syllable mouthful, the unicycle community (yes, there is one) sometimes calls it a uni, but for the general public, the term “bike” works...

Tavern Sandwich

A vegetarian from Vermillion, South Dakota, wonders about the origin of a popular loose meat sandwich called a Tavern Sandwich. It’s like a sloppy joe, and also goes by the monikers Maid-Rite and Tastee. Martha notes a diner in Sioux City...