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Tagonomatopoeia

Episode 1593

Word Hoard

Ever wonder what medieval England looked and sounded like? In Old English, the word hord meant “treasure” and your wordhord was the treasure of words locked up inside you. A delightful new book uses the language of that period to create...

Words that Looks Like What They Refer to

Dan from Elmira, New York, wonders if there’s such a thing as “structural” onomatopoeia, where the visual appearance or architecture of a written word suggests the meaning of the word. For example, he says, the word level is a...

History of Beep

When did we start using the word beep? After all, today we have car horns, microwaves and other electronic gizmos that beep, but before the early 1900s, nothing ever beeped. It makes you wonder: How did people back then know their Hot Pocket was...

Modern Onomatopoeia

Grant has collected some modern onomatopoeia for the technological age. Try untz, for the beat in dance music, or wub, for the common dubstep sound. Pew pew! works for lasers and beep for a computer’s beep is a modern classic. This is part of...

The Uncanny Valley

The disturbing sensation you feel when almost-human characters seem downright creepy is called the uncanny valley. Speaking of creepy, do you know someone with a morbid fear of clowns? There’s a term for that, too. Why do politicians suspend a...