World’s Strangest

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15 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in October

Need a reason to celebrate this month? Look no further than the list below. October 1st: National Homemade Cookies Day Getty Images Take a knee, Little Debbie, today we only want our tasty circular treats fresh from the oven. If you aren’t a master of the chocolate chip, take the day to make a little mess [...]

Why Do We Say "The Butler Did It"?

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. The all-too-common phrase “the butler did it” is commonly attributed to Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958). Mary was a very popular writer who authored over 50 books, many of which became best-sellers. Known as “the American Agatha Christie,” Mary [...]

New Words Added the The Oxford Dictionary Online

The folks at Oxford have added some new, modern words. Not to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) itself, but to the Oxford Dictionary Online, which is what most of us use, anyway. Let’s set the scene. Your OH has decided it’s date night, and althoughhe isn’t exactly ripped he has great emotional intelligence and madean effort [...]

35 Modern Words Recently Added to the Dictionary

Getty Images The Oxford English Dictionary is a warehouse of over 600,000 words. Despite this large arsenal, we continue to coin, clip, and blend new words into existence, and the OED folks pump some of these new words into their dictionary. Here are some more recent additions with their official definitions. 1. Bling (n): Expensive, ostentatious [...]

Fun With Copyright Traps: 10 Hoax Definitions, Paper Towns and Other Things That Don’t Exist

Facts are hard to copyright—impossible, actually. This is problematic for people who deal in information; any reference material is factual, and therefore difficult to protect from dirty, lying thieves who want to steal your work. That’s where fictitious entries come in: facts become very easy to copyright when they aren’t true. These are people, places [...]

12 Really Forced Portmanteaux That Didn’t Catch On

There are times when one big word can more effectively do the job of two words. These are not those times. 1. Balloonatic (balloon + lunatic)
 A person who is balloon-mad; a balloonist, spec. (Mil. slang) a member of a balloon corps or balloon squadron in the First World War (1914–18).
 When the first manned hot air balloon [...]

11 Notable Patients at the Government Hospital for the Insane

St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., provided mental health care services to members of the U.S. armed forces and District residents when it opened as the Government Hospital for the Insane in 1855. Founded by social reformer and mental health advocate Dorothea Dix, St. Elizabeths treated more than 7,000 patients at its height during the [...]

The Oxford Dictionaries Spelling Challenge

The Oxford Dictionaries offers a spelling test you can take online. Words are pronounced for you, so turn your speakers on. I aced the Tricky level. On both the Difficult and the Fiendish levels, I scored 14 of 15. I actually spell pretty well, thanks to years of writing under the supervision of spellcheck and [...]

Online Retailers and the Drunk Customer Market

A lot of good, horrifying stories begin with “I was drunk, so I got on the Internet…” and go downhill from there. Some people even shop online while sloshed: “I have my account linked to my phone, so it’s really easy,” said Tiffany Whitten, of Dayton, Ohio, whose most recent tipsy purchase made on her smartphone [...]

10 Previous Word of the Year Candidates That Didn’t Catch On

Last week Oxford Dictionaries named “squeezed middle” the Global Word of the Year,* edging out terms like “clicktivism,” “fracking” and “tiger mother.” A quick look through past lists like these tells us Words of the Year don’t always stand the test of time. Here are ten examples. 1. Bushlips Anyone who remembers George H. W. Bush’s [...]