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More About “Sisu”

After our conversation about sisu, the distinctively Finnish term for “intestinal fortitude,” a listener of Finnish heritage from northern Wisconsin emails to illustrate the Finns’ understanding the word. Sisu, he says, requires...

Nidorosity

In case you need a word for a really meaty burp — and what nine-year-old doesn’t? — 18th-century lexicographer Samuel Johnson has you covered. In his 1755 dictionary, he defines nidorosity as “eructation with the taste of undigested...

Strong Work, Medical Jargon

Tom, a medical student in Minneapolis, Minnesota, says surgeons and emergency medical personnel compliment each other with the phrase strong work on that. The congratulatory expression strong work seems largely confined to medicine, though. Another...

Cold as Aggie Forti

Margo from Denton, Texas, says when the weather was really cold, her Kentucky-born grandmother would say it was cold as agga forti. The term aggie forti refers to something really strong, particularly a strong drink. That expression and the variants...

A Pangram Short of a Letter

This lyrical entry in Wordsmith.org’s pangram contest would have been a strong contender had it not been for the fact that it includes all but one letter of the alphabet: A quivering butterfly wing conjures a zephyr that expands to a storm...

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