The very tool we use to communicate legends to each other — language — is itself a source of folklore. A number of the words and phrases in use today have interesting origins that have almost become obscured in the mists of time. Equally, our sense of romance leads us to invent unusual origins for commonplace words rather than be satisfied with their mundane beginnings.




Acronyms

Acronyms
Purported origins of cabal, nylon, golf and more.

Mistranslations

Mistranslations
Change the language, change the meaning.

Apocrypha

Apocrypha
Widely believed yet generally not true.

Not What You Think

Not What You Think
Just deserts and strawberries.

Colored Perceptions

Colored Perceptions
Terms and phrases that derive from color-related words.

Offensive Origins

Offensive Origins
Unsavory origins of common words.

Documentary Evidence

Documentary Evidence
Odd documents.

Phrase Craze

Phrase Craze
Strange beginnings of popular phrases.

Eponyms

Eponyms
Words based on people’s names.

Place Names

Place Names
How towns and cities came by their names.

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs
English words borrowed from other languages.

Puzzlers

Puzzlers
Linguistic puzzles unravelled.

Literary Legends

Literary Legends
Works of literature and their creators.

Story Time


Story Time
Fanciful backstories given to ordinary words.

Mistakes

Mistakes
Errors creep in.