14 Sep 2022

Old Words For New Scandals

Q. Scandals are piling up so quickly these days, it’s hard to keep them straight. Wait, who did that again? We’re going to need some more descriptors; one story sounds just like the last. Are there any ancient or abandoned words ready to spring back into action? . A. The

08 Sep 2022

Photographing Queen Elizabeth II

Q. What are some of the most striking photographs of Queen Elizabeth II? . A. It’s a near impossible question given the sheer volume of photos of the Queen over her life span. But, included in the ‘striking’ list would surely be the photos taken by renowned photographer Annie Liebowitz

31 Aug 2022

Our Online Painting Obsessions

Q. Over the last few years, museums have been active in bringing their artworks online, armed with key facts and historic insights. It’s a great viewing opportunity for those of us who can’t be there in person. As we visit online collections, museums also have a chance to see which

29 Aug 2022

One Beat Off On Zoom

Q. Do you ever find yourself just slightly off in your conversational rhythm on video chat? Even just one-on-one with people you know well? In person, you’re back and forth with ease – mellow in casual chat, more rat-tat-tat when the topic is exciting. Yet, shift to video and you

22 Aug 2022

Is My Jam Your Jam?

Q. Overheard: “Biz Dev is my jam!” How does that sentence make you feel? i. Cool! Right. Biz Dev. Jam. ii. Meh. iii. Eww. How did the latter phrase – ‘my jam’ – come to represent something the speaker particularly likes? . A. Being ‘jammed’ can be associated with unpleasantness

17 Aug 2022

Everything’s Coming Up Danger

Q. What are some of the more unusual meanings that the Victorians assigned to flowers? . A. For 1800s floral bliss and horror, look to Kate Greenaway, an illustrator and author born 1846 in Hoxton, England. Alongside the nursery rhymes and bedtime tunes in the Treasury of Kate Greenaway, you’ll

10 Aug 2022

1900’s Swizzle + Food Slang

Q. So many cultures are rich in food-related slang. What are some English examples from the last century? . A. Here’s a sampling of food and drink slang words from A Dictionary of Slang and its Analogues. Past and Present. First compiled by Editors John S. Farmer and W.E. Henley

01 Aug 2022

Hot Words

Q. What are some forgotten or little-used words relevant to hot, hot weather? Asking for a A. Apricate To luxuriate in the hot sun. Caldarium The hottest room in Roman baths. Calefaction You’re getting warmer. Calid Burning, scalding hot. Canicular Steaming, muggy hot. Dankish Humid, sticky. Drouth Good clothes-drying weather.

23 Jul 2022

Ever Popular Picture Books

Q. If there is one type of book we read over and over, it’s picture books. As young children, as parents, as sentimental sorts of all ages. Which English language picture books have been consistently most popular over the last decades? . A. Tracking all sales in all modes in

16 Jul 2022

You In One Word

Q. You have one word to describe yourself. What do you choose? What would others say? . A. It can feel impossible to describe ourselves in one word. Much harder than describing others, particularly those we know at a distance. But, if pressed, what would we choose for ourselves? Last