THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: If it doesn’t quack, it could be a canard

By Barbara McAlister Word of the Day: Canard A news commentator recently called a questionable email from a close White House source as “quite possibly…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: The sun hasn’t set on Galileo’s theory

By Barbara McAlister Word of the Day: Heliocentric “Helio” is a prefix from the Greek word for sun. In Greek mythology, Helios was the god…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: Don’t accept an invitation to a noyade

By Barbara McAllister Word of the Day: Noyade Trust the French to have a wonderfully elegant word for an extremely inelegant concept. Think of abattoir…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: What’s the story behind Moxie?

By Barbara McAllister Word of the Day: Moxie Moxie, with a capital M is a soft drink. With a small m, it means spunk or…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: As seen on TV, today’s word is chyron

By Barbara McAllister Word of the Day: Chyron That strip of crawling text seen on every newscast at the bottom of your TV screen has…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: Today, the only spinsters are riding stationary bikes

By Barbara McAllister Word of the Day: Spinster Spinster is a term typically referring to an older unmarried woman with doubtful prospects of marriage. In…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: The strange history of shibboleth

By Barbara McAllister Word of the Day: Shibboleth Shibboleth is an old Hebrew word for an ear of corn. It originally meant a password or…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD QUIZ: Time to throw a raku party

By Barbara McAllister If you’re invited to a raku party expect to: a) Make pottery b) Learn self defense C) Eat Japanese food The correct…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: Karakul fashion trend tough on sheep

By Barbara McAllister Word of the Day: Karakul A newspaper photo of Afghanistan’s president described him wearing “the typical triangular Karakul, part of the native…

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THE AMATEUR WORD NERD: It’s easy to get all bubbly about this word

By Barbara McAllister Word of the Day: Ebullient Ebullient means exuberant or overflowing with high spirits or enthusiasm. It is from the Latin ebullire, to…

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