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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 +...

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

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

    InformationHeather JohnsonFebruary 18, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Swim

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

    InformationHeather 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 =...

    InformationHeather 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...

    InformationHeather 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...

    InformationHeather 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...

    InformationHeather JohnsonJanuary 27, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Humid

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

    InformationHeather JohnsonJanuary 26, 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...

    InformationHeather 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...

    InformationHeather JohnsonNovember 16, 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....

    InformationHeather JohnsonOctober 28, 2018
  • Why Is ‘Love’ Not Spelled ‘Luv’?

    Have you ever thought about the English language and considered the orthographic system downright wacky? Many words have a “silent e”...

    InformationHeather JohnsonAugust 30, 2018
  • No Doubt the “Silent B” Owes a Subtle Debt to History

    School children all over the English-speaking world bemoan the many “silent” letters of English spelling. The orthographic system of the English...

    InformationHeather JohnsonAugust 28, 2018
  • Are You Wondering About the ‘R’ in February?

    English spelling appears inconsistent at first. From silent letters to doubled letters, the orthography of English seems downright wacky to native...

    InformationHeather JohnsonAugust 27, 2018
  • The Functions of “Silent E” in Written English

    E is the most common vowel and letter in the English language. Many words end in e in written English. In...

    InformationHeather JohnsonAugust 7, 2018