Category: Weird Words

Posts about curious words, history and usage.

Rabbit

I’ve seen a lot of rabbits in my yard this summer. A few of them worked their way through the fence into my garden, to the detriment of my pea plants. The hopping fur balls ate the plants to the

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Loophole

Friend or foe? It all depends on perspective when considering a loophole, no matter which definition you use. When coming across the word loophole, most people probably think of taxes. A loophole is an ambiguity or technicality in a law

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Behoove

No, behoove is not a spell from an evil wizard that causes one to grow hooves or in some way look like a character in one of Henry Fuseli’s paintings. (Maybe it should be, but we can debate that another

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Bug

Bug is a word that you would think has a very earthy history. Bugs are insects or germs, any of those little things that crawl around and generally annoy us. (Bugs in software don’t crawl around, but they certainly annoy

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Angle

Unless you managed to escape geometry and trig in school, when you hear the word angle, you probably have nightmares about pointy protractors and lines intersecting at strange, well, angles. But angle is not as cut-and-dry boring as you might

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Weird

I suspect most people are surprised to find that the meaning of weird as a noun is quite different from weird as an adjective. In modern parlance, weird is mostly used as an adjective to describe something that is odd,

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Freelance

I was watching a documentary on the lance, the medieval weapon of choice for mounted knights. In the last segment, the host mentions that knights who became mercenaries during lulls in the Hundred Years’ War were known as free-lances. The

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Wolf

I suspect everybody knows what a wolf (Canis lupus) is: a furry, four-legged creature with big teeth that lives and hunts in packs and sings to the moon and plays a very important role in a healthy ecosystem. Deer, elk,

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Wyvern

The wyvern (sometimes spelled wivern) is a mythical beast related to the dragon. It features a dragon’s head, a barbed tail, wings instead of forelegs, and hindquarters resembling a snake (no legs) or a lizard (two legs). Artists sometimes depict

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Cadger

Look up cadger in the dictionary and you will find its primary meaning has a very negative connotation. A cadger is someone who begs or borrows without any intent to repay the debt. Drop the trailing r and you have

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