Category Archives: names

Nutty Nomenclature


Have you ever wondered why walnuts have surfaces with ridges and grooves whereas almost all other nuts are smooth? Pecans have rows of ridges, but hazel nuts, cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, macademia nuts and pistachios are all smooth, even though … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name’s Ending?


Have you ever wondered why we say Californian and Bostonian, but then say New Yorker, Londoner and Midwesterner? A friend recently used the term Kendallites to refer to habitues of Kendall Square, Cambridge MA. I understood perfectly what he meant … Continue reading

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Place Names


It has long been observed that the words for places tend to survive a long time; even when much of the lexicon of a language has otherwise changed or been replaced. Even when one group of people conquers another, the … Continue reading

Posted in names, social context of language | Tagged , | 3 Comments