Category Archives: Meanings

Meanings: “Baffle”

July 24, 2014 Reading something, I paused recently on the verb “baffle.” In one usage, it means to confuse. In another it means to soften or mute a sound. Assuming they were connected, I wondered which usage came first. Was … Continue reading

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Let’s Get Organized! Or Should We Form a Community?

March 19, 2014 Many people are ambivalent about organizations. We realize that a good deal of what gets done in this world is done in and through organizations, but we also chafe at the ways they hem us in — … Continue reading

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Meanings: “Clinch”

October 30, 2013 The Red Sox can clinch the world championship tonight if they win tonight’s game. I’ve heard that via several news sources — print, TV, radio,web —  already this morning. Since they won their two recent World Series … Continue reading

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Meanings: “Upshot”

August 24, 2013 I recently wrote up some minutes from a meeting and used the word “upshot” to refer to the conclusion reached after a long discussion. Another member of the committee noted that “upshot” has its origin in archery, … Continue reading

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Meanings: “Crayon”

July 9, 2013 The etymology is straightforward, from the French for “pencil,” which originally meant a chalk pencil.  We graduate from crayons as we become adults, don’t we? Only children use them, or children occasionally assisted by their parents. The … Continue reading

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Meanings: Geek vs. Nerd

June 20, 2013 Geek or Nerd? Think these mean the same thing, or is there a difference?  FlowingData has a lovely visualization based on tweets to show how people use the two terms:

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Meanings: “Love”

June 12, 2013 “Love” is an essential four letter Anglo Saxon word. The Etymology.com entry is below. Today is a good day to think about loving because it is the anniversary (the 46th) of the Supreme Court case Loving v. … Continue reading

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