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Honyoks and Hunyokkers

Kyle in Fort Monroe, Virginia, says his family jokingly uses the term honyock to refer to “someone who acts in a silly way,” and often applies this word to politicians and bad drivers. Variously spelled, hunkyak, hunyakker, or hunyokker...

So Early of Late

Here’s a confusing little ditty that actually makes sense while pointing out some of the oddities of English syntax: How come you are so early of late? You used to be behind before, but now you’re first at last. This is part of a complete...

When a Hickey is a Snafu Rather Than a Blemish

Jase in Austin, Texas, knows that hickey means a “love bite” or “mark left on the skin,” and doo-hickey refers to a small object that the speaker can’t recall the name of, but why would anyone refer to a hickey in the...

A Different Kind of Colorful Flag

John from Dallas, Texas, was surprised to learn that a relative who said she was on her way to plant flags at a loved one’s gravesite meant she was going to plant flowers. In addition to meaning “cloth banner,” the word flag is...

Breakfast, Desayuno, and Jejune

Daniel in Wilmington, North Carolina, notes that in English, we literally break the fast in the morning, the source of the English word breakfast. In the same way, the Spanish word for “breakfast,” desayuno, comes from desayunar, meaning...

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