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Home --> Language


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.
Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2015 by snopes.com.
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