We had lot of of fun this year writing about words and language. We wrote about thief words and sailor sayings. We discussed coupon lingo, weird taxes, and hacker slang. We examined words coined in the 1920s beyond the bees’ knees. We confessed to liking big back-formations and hit the shizzle with some Snoop
Dog Lion inspired -izzle words.
Today we’re bringing you our 10 most popular posts of the year. Enjoy!
10. A Brief History of Yippee-Ki-Yay
July saw the 25th anniversary of the opening of Die Hard, and of course we had to delve into the etymology of that famous phrase. Or at least the first half (Slate took care of the second).
9. Eight Surprising Words from Portuguese
Tempura, who knew?
8. Cullions, Fustilarians, and Pizzles: A Short Dictionary of Shakespearean Insults
What better way to insult than to insult like the Bard?
7. Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Words We Found There
It’s fitting that the king of the portmanteau invented the word portmanteau, as well as chortle, mimsy, and snark.
6. Mad Men Soup: 15 Groovy Words From Season 6
After a long wait, Mad Men finally returned to TV this year, and we learned about the origins of words like catsup, grok, and the elusive Yankee wrinkle.
5. A Brief History of Newspaper Lingo
Ever wonder where yellow journalism, lede, and tabloid come from? We found out in this historical look at newspaper terminology and slang.
4. Dickensian Soup: 11 Words from Charles Dickens
Among the surprises were that Dickens coined the modern-sounding the creeps, and the possible connection between the Firefly expletive, gorram, and Dickens’s gorm, a corruption of goddamn.
3. Have an A1 day!: Our Favorite Words from Breaking Bad
While the first half of the season was rife with thief, drug, and fast food terminology, this final half season of one our favorite shows was all about euphemisms, from change in management, to rat patrol, to sending someone to Belize.
2. Downton Soup: The Words of Downton Abbey, Season 3
We’re not sure what we love more about the show: the drama and romance, or the British idioms, anachronisms or not.
1. Spelling Confessions: Words We Still Can’t Spell
We Reverbers, along with some kind followers on Twitter, admitted to still not being able to spell seemingly simple words such as restaurant, surprise, and weather. Perhaps we’re not alone in this as this was our most popular post of 2013.
We’re looking forward to 2014! What would you like to see us write about in the new year?
[Photo: CC BY 2.0 by Mary-Frances Main]