The Great Christmas Scarf Scare

Ideally, Christmas should be a time of blithe jollity, but sometimes we try so hard to create a perfectly convivial Christmas celebration that we end up full of stress instead of full of felicity. In the hope that you don't spend this Christmas stressing out about holiday preparations while nursing yet another mug of spicy wassail, we have decided to remit to you a story about a young woman's struggle to bestow the perfect gift for Christmas. We've done our best to stuff it full of handy holiday vocabulary and Christmas spirit, so we hope you'll enjoy it!

  • Blithe
  • Placid
  • Bequeath
  • Bestow
  • Remit
  • Convivial
  • Wassail
  • Felicity
  • Jollity
Keep Reading

An Encomium to the Potlatch - Thanksgiving Words

It's easy to satisfy your palate with what you are in mood for when all the food is in front of you, and the same is true with words! Unless you happen to have a cornucopia of terms in your pocket, you may not always have the perfect word for the occasion.

Instead of simply thanking someone, you could try extolling them, giving them a requital, or writing them a world-class encomium on how great they are! When you find your uncles fighting over game penalties, it's important to know how to bring them back into accord so you can have dessert in concord and peace! Will you have the vocabulary needed to bring everyone together to encourage amity? If you're running out of words to say as you're praising the host's largesse you might need refresher on seasonal vocabulary. There's more to this potlatch than a boatload of food; you're going to need the tools (or, the words) to get you through an evening of second helpings! Looking for vocabulary that will make you the guest whose fame will carry on to the progeny? We've got plenty of words that will treat everyone's taste buds!

  • Largesse
  • Requital
  • Encomium
  • Progeny
  • Potlatch
  • Accord
  • Amity
  • Concord
  • Extol
Keep Reading

A Message to Mom

Want to know why mothers are so amazing? It's more than the fact that they devote such a big chunk of their adult lives caring for us, that they selflessly make it such a priority to bolster us - although we definitely appreciate that! It's that all this empathy, all this loving and raising and, well, mothering, is done completely willingly and often even with pleasure. Some mothers of grown sons and daughters even say that one of their greatest, impossible desires is to be able to hold their children as children just one more time. That's the kind of love that can leave a person speechless, wondering if there's anything they can ever hope to do to pay Mom back for her munificent dedication. There's something really special about knowing there's someone there who not only loves you but loves that you're her child. And you know something? We love that they're our moms, and even though we should take on the onus of showing them that we appreciate them every day, let's take advantage of the holiday to show them how special they are. So check out our Mother's Day story, where we've attempted to use a few of our favorite vocabulary words to express to moms everywhere just how awesome they are.

  • Bolster
  • Empathy
  • Munificent
  • Onus
  • Sagacity
  • Ingrate
  • Venerable
Keep Reading

Words of Independence

All words are important, but Independence-Themed vocabulary is especially crucial! Why? All the best patriots are masters of the spoken word - and in fact, some of our Founding Fathers were the most eloquent of all! Think of men like Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. All of these men were powerful leaders with visionary ideas, and their expert linguistic skill is one of the most important reasons they are so well-remembered today.

Having an arsenal of fireworks or a barbeque grill the size of the National Mall aren't the only ways to unleash your inner patriot. Allow us to offer some words of independence to update your vocabulary, America-style!

  • Doughty
  • Liberty
  • Militia
  • Republic
  • Valiant
Keep Reading

The Language of Love: A Valentine's Special

Valentine's Day is fundamentally linked to language. The words we choose are the vehicles with which we hope to convey our true feelings. We pick out greeting cards, write heartfelt poems, compose grand, romantic speeches to give to our significant others (well, some of us, anyway), all in the hope of giving form to that fluid, fluctuating thing we call "love." Somehow, love is utterly simple and at the same time unfathomably complex, and having the right words to describe it can make all the difference. Maybe you're not after the love of your life - maybe you're just going on an ordinary date this Valentine's Day, or else looking to get one. Either way, allow us to help - we've got the words you need to sort out your emotions and express what you truly feel. This one is for both lovers of language and lovers of love!

  • Amative
  • Amorous
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Bouquet
  • Lurid
  • Milieu
  • Nix
  • Trite
  • Tryst
Keep Reading

A New Year's Shindig with Words

You might be all set to carouse this New Year's Eve, but is your vocabulary as ready as you are? With all the different ways there are to have a shindig on this holiday, you'd show great prescience by stocking your personal lexicon with enough words to describe them all! Whether you're planning an all-out saturnalia or a much tamer get-together, using apropos words can make your invitations that much more effective, not to mention augur an atmosphere of stimulating conversation (if that's what you're into). So to get the most linguistic benefit out of your New Year, check out our gathering of special words that are guaranteed to get you ardent about the holiday!

  • Ardent
  • Augur
  • Bacchanal
  • Carouse
  • Daft
  • Gentrify
  • Harbinger
  • Prescience
  • Saturnalia
  • Shindig
Keep Reading

An Electoral Lexicon

In a democracy, the leaders we choose are vitally important. Just as critical, though, are the words we choose to discuss the candidates, as our vocabulary shapes the way we understand and contextualize their proposals, motives, and aspirations. More than that, the Election is not a solitary experience: it only works when we all participate, the first step of which is taking the time to talk to one another. Before you fulfill your civic duty, take a minute to review some key words that you might find handy on Election Day. Let your voice, and your vocabulary, be heard!

  • Inured
  • Vilify
  • Espouse
  • Bellicose
  • Chauvinist
  • Perfunctory
  • Polemic
  • Panacea
  • Fallacy
  • Interlocutor
  • Demagogue
Keep Reading

The Right Words: A Labor of Love

Ah, Labor Day! Such a fitting time for a break - after all, what better way to celebrate our hard-working countrymen than a day of pure repose. Still, this holiday isn't all bells, ballgames and barbeques: woven into the fabric of celebrations is the understanding that this fleeting respite marks the unofficial end of summer. From here on the temperatures will only get cooler, the leaves will be less verdant, and the respite of the next long weekend is not until Thanksgiving. After this holiday, most of us face the prospect of a solid few months of work. But whether you consider your job a thankless travail or a daily sojourn into your true passion, it's good to have a stock of words on hand to describe this yin and yang of work and play.

  • Fiddle
  • Moil
  • Travail
  • Repose
  • Respite
  • Sojourn
Keep Reading

With These Words...

Maybe a wedding isn’t on everyone’s mind, but marriage is much more than a ceremony – it’s a concept that could be used to describe the many commitments in our lives that require the utmost fidelity. Some of us see our relationships with a quixotic lens, hoping for a life bedecked in fervid happiness and emotional satisfaction. We like to forget that friendships and associations with ideas are more of a balance of give and take; while we are exposing our idiosyncrasies and sharing our lives with someone, we are also espousing their habits and values as we grow more accustomed to them. One of the relationships that we often take for granted is our commitment to the words we use. Though no officiant is required when we choose the lucky one, there is, nevertheless, an exchange that takes place. When we adopt words to say what we mean, we are taking on their past, present, and future meanings and connotations, for good or for ill. It may be cliché, but remembering to think before we speak our affinities could save us from a heap of embarrassment, or even heartache. So, if you’re ready to ponder words that align more with your personality and beliefs rather than your sartorial style, join us as we wed speaker and sound!

  • Affinity
  • Espouse
  • Officiant
  • Bedeck
  • Sartorial
  • Quixotic
  • Idiosyncrasy
  • Fidelity
  • Fervid
Keep Reading

Dad - Picking Apart the Stereotypes

It's easy to say we appreciate our dads, but how closely do we ever examine the concept of fatherhood? Many times, it seems like we just brush over the whole thing, falling back on a few traditional stereotypes about dads that succor us from the need to think. We assume, "Some dads are august and doughty, more god than man. Some are vapidly goofy and ribald, thinking more about jokes than parenting. And some are essentially drillmasters, loud, demanding, and ready to stamp out any indolent inclinations. That about sums it up." But why should we put fathers in a box like that? Why, when our fathers stay constantly dedicated to us, always putting in sublime effort to make sure we're safe and functioning well, to make sure we feel self-confident and prepared to tackle anything life dumps in front of us? Being a father is a highly individualized and monumental undertaking, one that, when properly considered, is stunning in magnitude. This Father's Day, we've picked apart some of the most common dad stereotypes in an effort to put true fatherhood in its proper perspective. By doing so, we hope to return at least a small fraction of the love and appreciation that dads have always shown us.

  • August
  • Doughty
  • Edify
  • Indolent
  • Parsimony
  • Ribald
  • Sublime
  • Succor
Keep Reading

Masquerading Vocabulary

People aren't the only ones who can dress up on Halloween - your vocabulary can don new guises, too! There are some words that seem to come a dime-a-dozen around the end of October, such as "scary," "horrify," "ghost," and other banalities. But when you find yourself beset by a white wraith who jumps at you from behind a twisted oak tree, the same tired, old terms might not cut it! Instead, describe the true nature of tricks and treats by giving your vocabulary a veneer of new word choices! Whether you choose petrify when your friends are scared silly, macabre to discuss the convincing-looking tombstones your neighbor insists on putting on his front-lawn, or eidolon to describe the armadas of little ghosts knocking at your door, Halloween is a great opportunity to give your conversations a different identity by using new words. Interested in learning more? Bring your scariest tricks, because we're handing out vocabulary like candy!

  • Petrify
  • Macabre
  • Wraith
  • Fetid
  • Veneer
  • Occult
  • Eidolon
Keep Reading

Words for Life (and Scrabble!)

There are few things that have as much potential to change a life as the power of the mind; thus, it's prudent to be familiar with some of the words that characterize the vast and flummoxing realm of human thought.

Sample some of the words which may change your life - especially on a Scrabble board!

  • Flummox
  • Zenith
  • Nirvana
  • Empathy
  • Qi
  • Prodigal
  • Prudent
  • Karma
Keep Reading

Understanding Liberty

Americans tend to have a very specific understanding of the word liberty. Our national mindset is all about personal freedom, and to most Americans, that's all that liberty is. Rather than referring to any particular privileges, we view liberty as a nebulous, all-encompassing entity. We see it as the simple, overall ability to act and feel in whatever ways we choose. Instead of being an individual value, liberty has become a mindset that permeates the fabric of American life.

Around the world, though, and among people who are not so fortunate, liberty is a much more concrete - and much more fleeting - concept. For those who know all too well how easily freedom can slip away, this concept of autonomy is something to be treasured, an object that can be denied or bartered for and that must be appreciated wherever it can be applied. So rather than accepting liberty as simply a given, we should strive to understand what it really means to have independence - as well as what it means to lack it. Looking for a place to start? Learn more about the meanings and usage of liberty.

  • Liberty
Keep Reading