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Dashboards, From Wagons to Digital Screens

Gerald from Gaspee Point, Rhode Island, wants to know the story behind the term dashboard. Originally a dashboard was wood or leather placed at the front in horse-drawn vehicles to keep the driver and passengers from being dashed with mud, water, or...

German Words of the Year

The German publisher Langenscheidt declared smombie as the Youth Word of the Year for 2015. A portmanteau of the German borrowings smartphone and zombie, Smombie denotes someone so absorbed in their small, glowing screen that they’re oblivious...

When Words Collide

A hazy, hot, and humid hello! In this week’s archive episode, we take on headlines that make you do a double take, such as “Child’s Stool Great for Use in Garden” and “Milk Drinkers Turn To Powder.” We discuss a...

Apatown

Apatown  n.— «It sounds like fun and games—the boozy, all-woman answer to those close-knit gangs of Hollywood boy-men captured on screen in “Entourage” and embodied by the real-life Apatown, the industry moniker for filmmaker Judd Apatow’s...

Auto-Antonyms

Cleave, dust, and screen are all words that can mean the opposite of themselves. You can cleave to a belief, meaning to “adhere closely,” but you can also separate things by cleaving them. Words that mean the opposite of themselves go by...

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