Word of the Week

Word history and etymology

Word of the Week – Fizzle
Fizzle. You've used the word, I'm sure. I have. Heard it countless times. And we all know what it means. But I bet you have no idea where it comes from--I sure didn't! Fizzle, as it happens, has the same Middle English origins as feisty, from the now-obsolete use of...
Word of the Week – Artificial
Have you ever paused to really look at the word artificial? If you had, you'd notice those first three letters: art. And if you look at those first three letters and think about what art is, then you'll likely go, "Well, huh." It makes sense, right? Art is something...
Word of the Week – Bully
Bully is a word we all know, right? And it's certainly not something we'd ever mean as a compliment. Which is why I was utterly confounded when I saw that the original meaning of bully was, in fact...sweetheart. Say what? Yep. The word dates in English back to the...
Word of the Week – Easter
Every couple years, I love to revisit the history of words like Easter...because yes, I've featured it twice before, but maybe you're new here! Or maybe you don't remember the history--I know I forget plenty of the words I've covered before! LOL This one, however, has...

Have you ever wondered when certain words started to be used in certain ways? Or how they even came about? If they’re related to other, similar-sounding words?

I wonder these things all the time. And so, for years I’ve been gathering interesting words together, looking at the etymology, and posting them in fun, bite-sized posts called Word of the Week. Here you’ll find everything from which definition of a word pre-dates another, to how certain holiday words came about, to what the original meaning was of something we use a lot today but in a very different way. And of course, the surprising words that we think are new but in fact are pretty ancient, like “wow”!

Word of the Week – Leprechaun

Word of the Week – Leprechaun

As we prepare for St. Patrick’s Day, let’s take a minute to look at the meaning of the little fae dressed in green that we sometimes associate with the day: leprechauns!

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Word of the Week – Guy

Word of the Week – Guy

“Guy” didn’t use to be a word for any male…in fact, it began life in English very differently, and we owe a French terrorist for its change.

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Word of the Week – Love

Word of the Week – Love

“Love” is a word so common we probably never to stop to wonder about it…but as we’re approaching the Sunday of Love during Advent, let’s look deeper!

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Word of the Week – Joy

Word of the Week – Joy

“Joy” is a word so common we probably never to stop to wonder about it…but as we’re in the week of Joy during Advent, let’s look deeper!

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Word of the Week – Peace

Word of the Week – Peace

“Peace” is a word so common we probably never to stop to wonder about it…but as we’re in the week of Peace during Advent, let’s look deeper!

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Word of the Week – Hope

Word of the Week – Hope

“Hope” is a word so common we probably never to stop to wonder about it…but as we’re in the week of Hope during Advent, let’s look deeper!

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Word of the Week – Halloween

Word of the Week – Halloween

Here we are again, back in the last days of October...which of course means HALLOWEEN (imagine me saying it in that exaggerated spooky voice, will you? LOL). So of course, I looked up what I've posted about it before. And yes, this is just last year's post, recycled....

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Word of the Week – Season (Archive)

Word of the Week – Season (Archive)

Originally published July 2018 Before bed one night, while we were waiting for his sister to finish washing her face and brushing her teeth, my son and I were coming up with silly reasons for each season’s name. It began with the easy-to-determine fall. “Hey!” Rowyn...

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Word of the Week – Coffee (Archive)

Word of the Week – Coffee (Archive)

Last published June 2017. I've featured this word a few times now before, and I know much of my readership has changed over the years. And let’s be honest–coffee deserves to be featured again. Because it’s one of the most beautiful creations in the universe. 😉 The...

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Word of the Week – Surf (Archive)

Word of the Week – Surf (Archive)

Originally Published September 2019 Surf began its life as a noun meaning “waves coming ashore” in about 1680, though it was quite likely a variation on suffe, from the 1590s. Where did it come from? No one’s quite sure. But it was originally used to describe the...

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