Spectacular Vernacular

Words amuse me. Many trace their origins back to the earliest languages in clear lineages. Others have evolved in fits and starts as people have twisted their meanings. Still others have been created in amusing ways.

My goal is to take what could be the dry topic of etymology and make it fun and entertaining with short vignettes on some spectacular vernacular.


December 2, 2022 |

People who employ sophistry use facts, figures, and logic skills, so their conclusions must be correct, right?

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


November 25, 2022 |

Don’t worry about this one. You may not know this week’s vocabulary word, litotes, but the literary device is not uncommon.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


November 17, 2022 |

Pumpernickel is a common type of bread, but the reason it qualifies for a Spectacular Vernacular segment is the etymology is a real gas.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


November 10, 2022 |

Elisions can be formal and poetic or found in informal everyday speech, so I’m tryin’ to give examples in today’s vocabulary post.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


November 4, 2022 |

Catercorner is an older version of a more common word that has a convoluted history to explain a modern meaning.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


October 27, 2022 |

Even if you’ve known the name of these common security devices, did you know where the word comes from?

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


October 21, 2022 |

Warning: The week’s vocabulary explanation may not be quite as satisfying as you hope. In fact, it might leave you hankering for more.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


October 13, 2022 |

I will confess that this word came to me when my attempt to enjoy a quiet meal in a restaurant failed due to a mammothrept.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


October 6, 2022 |

The pronunciation of this word might surprise you, but that will help you understand its connection to its commonly used sibling.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


September 28, 2022 |

The word itself is fun to say and use, but its etymological history is quite the kerfuffle which makes it that much more fun.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


September 21, 2022 |

I promise not to post a long-winded complaint about this week’s spectacular vernacular despite its ancient etymology—jeremiad.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular


September 14, 2022 |

When we create new words or phrases to express new ideas, sometimes we need to develop a retronym to distinguish the past from the future.

Read the Spectacular Vernacular