World’s Strangest

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10 Places and the Words They Inspired

1. Buncombe County, North Carolina Just before the U.S. House was set to vote on allowing Missouri into the Union in 1820, North Carolina Rep. Felix Walker requested a chance to speak. When his exhausted colleagues tried to cut him off, he told them that his speech wasn’t actually for the House at all, but for [...]

The Politically Incorrect Etymologies of 11 Words and Phrases

At various moments in its life, a word will hop languages, change meanings, travel through sinister moments and land in pleasant ones. But no matter how many times it’s superimposed, and how far it gets from its original source, a word doesn’t let go of its memories easily. Here are 11 modern English words with [...]

The Dirty Etymology of 9 Everyday Words

Within our lexicon lives a library of forgotten stories, developed over centuries and tucked away in words. Thanks to the dirty impulses of our forefathers, quite a few of them also contain filthy chapters, making us the unwittingly foul-mouthed butt of their humor. Here are 10 of our language’s naughtier practical jokes. 1. Orchid Oops, you just [...]

16 Delightfully Fun Ways To Make Sushi

Who doesn’t love Hello Kitty sushi? Ok, so that’s not really your thing? How about sushi that spells out the word “sushi?” There’s even an Obama roll, if you’re into eating presidential faces. However you enjoy your rice and fish treats, you’ll certainly dig on these great rolls. Link

How the Canadian Provinces and Territories Got Their Names

Here’s a little more Canadian history on this Canada Day. Alberta Named in honor of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the wife of the Marquess of Lorne, Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883. Lake Louise, the village of Caroline, and Mount Alberta are also named after her. British Columbia The name refers to the Columbia District, the [...]

Four Times a Year, This Sundial Spells the Word “Solstice” or “Equinoxe”

This amazing sundial at the Ecole Supérieure des Mines de Paris in Valbonne, France is designed so that on the day of the summer and winter solstices, sunlight shining through it displays the word “solstice.” On the days of the spring and autumn equinoxes, the sunlight forms the word “equinoxe.” Link | Photo: Jean-Marc Mari

Hilarious Geek Mashup Art By Evgeny Yakovlev

Evgeny Yakovlev is an illustrator from Karaganda, Kazahkstan who specializes in ridiculous acts of geek mashupery. That’s clearly not a real word, but sometimes it takes a little creative vocabulary to describe geek art this awesome. Take a gander at Boba Fett collecting a bounty on the nefarious Road Runner, Edward Scissorhands discussing family with Wolverine, and [...]

17 Winning Words From Past National Spelling Bees

KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters/Landov Yesterday, 14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati from San Diego won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the word guetapens, which means “to ambush.” To celebrate Nandipati’s impressive achievement, here are 17 of the most interesting words from the Bee’s 87-year history. 1. Gladiolus, 1925. The word (a type of flower) is notable not due to [...]

Cymbolism

The website Cymbolism wants your input to help establish what colors people associate with words. You’ll be given a word, and you select the color that you most associate it with, from a rather limited selection of colors. Some words are hard to color, like “Brooklyn.” The best part is that your response to each [...]

Say Pleonasm: 9 Common Phrases Longer Than They Need to Be

The word pleonasm describes phrases that use more words than necessary to get across a point. Sometimes a pleonasm is used for effect. Other times it’s just redundant. Here are some examples people use all the time. Add your own in the comments. Neck image via Shutterstock 1. Nape of the neck. There’s only one nape, and [...]