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Expressions from the Bible

Land of milk and honey, Judgment Day, and root of all evil are well-known phrases that first appeared in English translations of the Bible. There are several less obvious ones, though, including bottomless pit, meaning an abyss, which first appears...

“Shingles” Comes from Latin

The painful condition called shingles takes its name from Latin cingulum, meaning belt, because the inflammation often appears as a belt-like band around the torso. The Latin root of cingulum, cingere, meaning to gird, is also the source of cinch, a...

Solastalgia

Solastalgia is psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, or by change to a place that has been familiar. Coined by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht, solastalgia combines the Greek root -algia, meaning pain, and solas...

The Origins of Ditto and Mimeograph

You may remember ditto machines (especially their smell), or even further back, mimeograph sheets. Both the words ditto and mimeograph were originally brand names. The word ditto goes back to an Italian word that means said, while mimeograph comes...