A Delectable Jumble!

As has become customary here, for the weekend I offer a mixture of links, accumulated through the week, to odd and interesting word- and language-related websites.

First up is The Phrase Finder (subtitled “The meanings and origins of sayings and phrases”).  Though it’s a British and English-language site, it offers up as well American phrases, and phrases from Latin and French.  Who’d have guessed that the first use (in print) of “Katy bar the door” was a James Whitcomb Riley poem? Or that “dead as a doornail” dates at least as far back as the 14th century?  Fascinating stuff!

Now for something completely different. The A More Perfect Union site maps words used on dating sites, “the words people use to describe themselves and those they want to be with.”  Here’s a section of the Maine map:


What does it all mean?  I have no idea! The map tells us that Maine has 106,374 singles, who used 961,413 words to describe themselves or those they desire. It’s pretty darn interesting that “popsicle” and “PVC” somehow figured into the deal.  And is “decoupage”, in its ordinary meaning, a word you can imagine employing as an aid to seduction?

Scrabble Finder helps make a jumble of letters into possible Scrabble® words;  for instance adeghorst makes goatherds (9 letters) and 597 other words (8 letters or fewer). You might try a game sometime soon;  think of it as Angry Birds for wordy folks!

[Dictionary Person will return on Tuesday, April 19.]

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