Archive for New-to-me Words

Limerick myths

Recently tried to search for the origin of the following limerick: The limerick, peculiar to English Is a verse form that's hard to extinguish Once Congress in session Decreed its suppression But people got around it by writing the last line without any rhyme or meter. Which led me to a page of Limerick Myths, […]


According to my dictionary (MW11), a bascule is “an apparatus or structure (such as a drawbridge) in which one end is counterbalanced by the other.” Apparently it’s from a French word for seesaw.


Yesterday, Sumana told me about Martin Van Buren’s anti-Harrison campaign song from the 1840 US presidential election. Harrison’s slogan and campaign song was, famously, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” (because Harrison had been a military leader at the battle of Tippecanoe). Van Buren’s campaign song was to the tune of “Rockabye, Baby,” and the first verse […]

Letter turns

I made a three-point turn to turn my car around last night, and Jim told me that he’s recently been hearing that kind of turn called a K-turn. I had never heard that term before. Wikipedia adds that it’s also known as a Y-turn, which I’ve also never heard before. And coincidentally, this morning I […]

morfternoon and maen

A few weeks ago, I coined the word morfternoon, which refers to the period of time in a given day when it’s technically very late morning or even afternoon, but one is having such a slow start to one’s day that it’s effectively morning. Sadly, I see that others have also coined this term; there […]


According to Wikipedia: “Swarf [is a term for] pieces of metal, wood, or plastic that are the debris or waste resulting from machining, woodworking, or similar subtractive (material-removing) manufacturing processes.”

Is it esculent?

esculent: edible, fit to be eaten According to dictionary,com, it originates in the 1620s, from L. esculentus, from esca “food,” from PIE *ed- “to eat” (see eat). (Link and usage examples here) I saw it a while back and hadn’t gotten around to following up on the idea that it would make a great first […]