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  • Word Matrix: Pumpkin

    <pumpkin> alteration of earlier pumpion, from obsolete French pompon, via Latin from Greek pepōn “large melon” Words Sums Pumpkin Pumpkin +...

    Heather and Poppy JohnsonFebruary 19, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Vace

    <vace> “empty” from Latin vacāre ” “to lack, empty” Words Sums Vace + ant = vacant Vace + ant + ly...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 18, 2019
  • Our Third Grade Homeschool Curriculum

    I have been homeschooling my oldest daughter for four and a half years now and my preschooler son for a year...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 11, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Swim

    <swim> “move in water” Old English swimman (verb), of Germanic origin Word Sums Swim Swim + s = swims Swim +...

    Heather and Poppy JohnsonFebruary 8, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Thrall

    <thrall> Old English thrǣl “slave,” from Old Norse thræll Word Sums Thrall Thrall + s = thralls Thrall + ed =...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 5, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Beer

    <beer> “an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops” from Old English bēor, of West Germanic origin, based on...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 2, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Mare

    <mare> “found in or pertaining to the sea,” from Old French marin “of the sea, maritime,” and directly from Latin marinus...

    Heather and Poppy JohnsonJanuary 28, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Hume

    <hume> from Old French humide, umide “damp, wet” or directly from Latin humidus “moist, wet,” variant (probably by influence of humus...

    Heather JohnsonJanuary 27, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Humid

    <humid> from French humide or Latin humidus, from humere “be moist” Word Sums Humid Humid + er = humider Humid +...

    Heather JohnsonJanuary 26, 2019
  • Determiners Are Not Adjectives

    Traditional grammars categorize determiners with either adjectives or pronouns. But determiners are not adjectives. Repeat after me: Determiners are not adjectives....

    Heather JohnsonJanuary 12, 2019
  • Christmastime Is Here: The Etymology of Christmas

    Christmastime is here. Or is Christmas time here? From where and when does the word Christmas come? And is Xmas a...

    Heather JohnsonDecember 13, 2018
  • Pluralizing Last Names: Never Use an Apostrophe

    One way in which nouns differ from other grammatical forms in the English language is grammatical number. Prototypical English nouns have...

    Heather JohnsonNovember 16, 2018
  • A Short History of Thanksgiving: From Pilgrim Myth to Modern Celebration

    Do you recall the story of the first Thanksgiving? In 1620, 120 passengers including the English Puritans now referred to as...

    Heather JohnsonNovember 13, 2018
  • The History of All Hallows’ Eve: The Etymology of ‘Halloween’

    Halloween, Hallowe’en, All Hallows’ Eve — English speakers use many names for the holiday that occurs each year on October 31....

    Heather JohnsonOctober 28, 2018
  • Our Second Grade Homeschool Curriculum

    I have been homeschooling my daughter for four years now. I started homeschool preschool with her when she was 2.5 years...

    Heather JohnsonSeptember 16, 2018