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Brazilian Words for Misers

Our list of words for stingy people just grew longer, thanks to a contribution from Rick in San Antonio, Texas: When he lived in Brazil, he learned the expression mão-de-vaca, literally “hand of a cow” and pão-duro, literally “hard...

Words that Looks Like What They Refer to

Dan from Elmira, New York, wonders if there’s such a thing as “structural” onomatopoeia, where the visual appearance or architecture of a written word suggests the meaning of the word. For example, he says, the word level is a...

Episode 1557

Sock it to Me

In the 15th century, the word respair meant “to have hope again.” Although this word fell out of use, it’s among dozens collected in a new book of soothing vocabulary for troubled times. Plus, baseball slang: If a batter...

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