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The YWYS Blog

Here is where we'll share whatever catches our fancy, as long as we think you will find it informative or entertaining.

April 11, 2020

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “L,"  from Word and Phrase Origins, a thoroughly delightful book published in 1997.

Lava. The word derives from the Latin labes ("sliding down"), a reference to the molten rock that flows down a mounta...

December 12, 2019

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “K,"  from Word and Phrase Origins, a thoroughly delightful book published in 1997.

Katydid.  John Bartram, America's first great botanist, first recorded katydid in 1751 as the name of the large green...

September 30, 2019

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “J,"  from Word and Phrase Origins, a thoroughly delightful book published in 1997.

Jack Frost. Jack Frost has been the personification of frost or cold weather since 1826, when the term was first used...

March 16, 2019

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “G,"  from Word and Phrase Origins, a thoroughly delightful book published in 1997.

Game's not worth the candle. Before electricity, nighttime card games were played by candle. Many of these games...

January 22, 2019

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “F,"  from Word and Phrase Origins, a thoroughly delightful book published in 1997. 

Fast shuffle. A fast shuffle by a crooked cardplayer often results  in a deck stacked to that player's adv...

July 19, 2018

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “C,”  from Word and Phrase Origins, a book given to me (and a most thoughtful gift it was) shortly after its 1997 publication.

Cannoli. Reflecting its shape, this crisp Italian pastry filled with sweet...

June 18, 2018

Here are a few of my favorite entries, all beginning with the letter “B,”  from Word and Phrase Origins, a book given to me (and a most thoughtful gift it was) shortly after its 1997 publication.

Bat out of hell. As everyone knows, moving like a bat out of hell  means g...

May 1, 2018

One of the best and most thoughtful gifts I ever received was from a coworker who knew I was a logophile -- a lover of words. Published in 1997 and titled Word and Phrase Origins, the book’s  description says it “contains more than 9,000 entries that trace the sometime...

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