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narrow bank

narrow bank  n.—Gloss: A bank that handles only basic banking and does not get involved in complex investment programs. «Jon Molton made the point in arguing for “narrow banks”—institutions that just do basic banking...

Will The Rain Hurt The Rhubarb?

Obamamania, Obamabot, Obamathon, Obamamentum— the list of variations on the name “Obama” goes on and on. Is there an English word that means “the in-laws of your son or daughter”? And what does it mean when someone...

Shelf of Unwanted Books

When it comes to books, some people are pack rats; others make a point of periodically culling from the word herd. In a recent New York Times essay, Laura Miller describes her own mixed feelings about getting rid of unwanted books. A full shelf of...

vacuum energy

vacuum energy  n.— «What quantum theory says is that, powered by nothing whatsoever, the universe will still vibrate with what is sometimes called “vacuum energy” or “zero-point energy.”» —“The dark matter is the anti-matter source of...

45

45  v.— «The Wildcats’ confidence has been growing every week. It started with a win over Fox, the No. 2 ranked team in Class B, when Thackerville 45’ed them (a term for the 45-point mercy rule used in 8-man football).» —“Wildcats...

The Hair of the Politics That Bit Me

Welcome to another newsletter from A Way with Words. Over the weekend we talked more about political language, "hair of the dog," "a fish rots from the head down," and "pareidolia." We also posted another language...

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