40 Weird Words (and their Weirder Origins)

Why do we call dunces dunces? John Green gives us the etymological low down on this and 39 other unusual words in the latest episode of Mental Floss.


Conspicuously absent from this fascinating roundup: the secret origins of "nerd" and "dork," how the genitals got their names, and why there's a "b" in the word "doubt."

Two more things for the etymologically inclined. One: I really can't recommend this animated history of the English language enough. Two: this visualization that color codes words according to their origins is really worth a look.


[Mental Floss]



A video about words...