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A glitch refers to some piece of technologys failure to do something its intended to do. But Siri is doing exactly what it was built to do. Siri would have an actual glitch if it couldnt understand diphthongs or something. Damon Poeter,PC Magazine, December 1, 2011

Etymologist believe thatcollywobblesmost likely has its origin incholera morbus, the Latin term for the disease cholera (the symptoms of which include severe gastrointestinal disturbance).

Long ago English gamblers called the four-dotted side of a diecater(from the Frenchquatre, four). The placement of those four dots suggested two diagonal lines, which is likely howcatercame to mean (dialectally, anyway) to place, move, or cut across diagonally.

We find an allusion to the merchants crude talk in 16th century British chronicler Raphael Holinsheds description of a messengers language, which he said was as bad a tongue … as any oyster-wife at Billingsgate.

oleaginousmarked by an offensively ingratiating manner or quality

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used in Edinburgh as a warning cry when it was customary to throw slops from the windows into the streets

symbiotean organism living in symbiosis

embolizationthe process by which a blood vessel or organ is obstructed by a material mass

causing or deserving strong dislike or hatred

The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary.

How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.

Oh, never shall I / Forget the cry, / Or the shriek that shrieked he, / As I gnashed my teeth, / When from its sheath / I drew my snickersnee! The Mikadoby W. S. Gilbert

Modern billingsgate betrays puerile imbecility of pundits headline in theRome(GA)News-Tribune, March 4, 2006

The word is a bit strange-looking to English speakers, a fact reflected in the two pronunciations the word has, one with a first syllable of /dif/ and one with a first syllable of /dip/.

The points … where [the two grids] would meet became Broadway and Colfax Ave. which is why to this day downtown Denver sits catty-wampus to the rest of the city. Francis J. Pierson and Dennis J. Gallagher,Getting to Know Denver: Five Fabulous Walking Tours, 2006

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Evoking the dual nature of diphthongs themselves, the worddiphthongretains the two parts in its Greek ancestordiphthongos: di-meaning two andphthongosmeaning sound or voice.

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We dont know wheretaradiddle(also spelledtarradiddle) comes from, but we do know that the word has been a favorite of writers ranging from Balzac to Trollope to G. K. Chesterton. Lyricist W. S. Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) used it in two operas.

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pain in the abdomen and especially in the stomach; a bellyache

abhorrentcausing or deserving strong dislike or hatred

We havent got time to listen to more taradiddles, Im afraid, Dumbledore. Cornelius Fudge inHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling, 2004

Bumfuzzlemay have begun asdumfound, which was then altered first intodumfoozleand then intobumfoozle.Dumfound(ordumbfound) remains a common word today, butbumfuzzleunfortunately is extremely rare.

How wouldcholera morbushave shifted intocollywobbles? By folk etymology a process in which speakers make an unfamiliar term sound more familiar. In this case, the transformation was probably influenced by the wordscolicandwobble.

Irish can bumfuzzle any team headline about the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team,Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2002

dialect Britain : fish parings or refuse; broadly : any bits and pieces

The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary.

Snickersneecomes from the Dutch phrasesteken of snijden, to thrust or cut. Over time,snick and snee,snick-or-snee, andsnickersneefollowed.

For the first 200 years of the words life, however, it had another meaning as well it was used to describe that particular kind of bad hair day when unruly hair stands on end or simply falls the wrong way.

Since the 14th century, Billingsgate has been the name of a fish market in London, England a fish market at one time notorious for its merchants vulgar language.

English speakers gotwiddershinsfrom an old German word meaning to go against, and by the mid-1500s we were using the word as we use it today as a synonym forcounterclockwise.

Catercorner(laterkitty-corner) andcaterwampusand eventuallycattywampusfollowed.

pansexualsexual desire or attraction…not limited to a particular gender identity or sexual orientation

Can you outdo past winners of the Spelling Bee?

two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to form one speech sound, e.g. the sounds of ou inoutand of oy inboy

The biggest change is that the new iMac takes on some of the design ethos of the old eMac from all those years ago, featuring a bulbous back plate that hides all the gubbins but tapers down to an incredibly thin 5mm edge. Stuart Miles,, October 23, 2012

in a left-handed or contrary direction; counterclockwise

There is a myth thattaradiddlewas born in the town of Taradiddle, Ireland; that itself is ataradiddle, because there is no such town.

Gubbinsoriginates in the language of cooking. Its ancestry includes words meaningparing,portion, andgobbet(meaningmorsel).

1archaic: to engage in cut-and-thrust fighting with knives 2 : a large knife

Pity the visitor to Scotland unfamiliar with the practice of using what is most likely a French-based term (garde leau!literally means look out for the water!) when dumping slops into the streets.

And the waves beat upon the one hand, and upon the other the dead leaves ran; and the clouds raced in the sky, and the gulls flew widdershins. Robert Louis Stevenson,The Song of the Morrow, 1896

… unfortunately I awoke this morning with collywobbles, and had to take a small dose of laudanum with the usual consequences of dry throat, intoxicated legs, partial madness and total imbecility… Robert Louis Stevenson,Vailima Letters, 1890-1894

Residents often threw refuse out of windows at night onto the streets. A commentator observed that, One never knew the moment when the warning cry Gardyloo… might ring out, following which would come in quick succession an avalanche of unmentionable filth on to the footpath or the passer-by. Jonathan Yeager,Enlightened Evangelicalism: The Life and Thought of John Erskine, 2011

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