Category Archives: Words, phrases & expressions

Online dating slang: a glossary

Santeri Viinamäki / Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for Cupid’s help online — as most love-seeking singles are inclined to do these days — then you’ve probably encountered some of these common 21st-century dating behaviors up close and personal. Their names are almost as ridiculous as the activities they describe — especially since most of them are gerunds formed from nouns-or-even-proper-names-masquerading-as-verbs. Sigh. Continue reading

Bigly – update

“And they’re taking it over bigly.” … “Obamacare kicks in in 2016, really bigly.” … “Mexico is ripping off the United States bigly and we have to do something about it.” Donald Trump likes that word bigly, but is it legit?

Update 9 August 2018: Apparently it was indeed a word back in the late 19th century, as used by a literary great of the time (as illustrated above). It fairly pains me to mention these two men in the same breath. Please note in a comment below if you can guess who that author is … Continue reading

Gossip

“One winds on the distaff what the other spins” (Both spread gossip) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder / Wikimedia Commons

According to Ben Healy writing recently in The Atlantic, there might be evidence to suggest that gossip is healthy and good for us. Really? To my mind there’s a slightly onomatopoeic quality to the word itself, with the hiss of a whisper at its center and the heavy thud of its first syllable both implying that surely nothing good can come of it. Have you ever stopped to wonder where the slightly strange word comes from? Continue reading

A good wallop

Middle & Over Wallop, Glyndebourne

If you’ve ever been to the opera at Glyndebourne, deep in England’s green and pretty Sussex countryside, you might have eaten in Middle & Over Wallop or Nether Wallop. If you’re like me, the names of those distinctive dining rooms might conjure up images of saucy spankings, or at least a punch below the belt, perhaps somewhere in England’s green and pleasant lands. But we might be wrong in thinking there was any sort of thrashing going on in the history of these eatery names. Continue reading

The language of sex: come one, come all (come v cum)

Update: The censored cake … With the word “cum” back in the news today, Glossophilia is happy to republish one of its most popular posts.

The censored cake / Facebook

 

KamaSutra

*  *  Warning: contains strong language *  * Language advisory: viewer discretion is advised * *

Continue reading

“GIGO”

My friend Loretta and I were recently discussing a movie we’d just seen. Struggling to find a way to describe and explain the main character’s gloomy revolving door of unsuitable lovers and why Isabelle was unable to find herself a lasting, fulfilling relationship, Loretta shrugged her shoulders and raised her palms to the ceiling: “I guess it’s a case of GIGO. … Continue reading