Inside The Disney Vault tackles the entire twee canon, from the classics to the bombs

Anyone who assumes that “a podcast about dictionaries by people who write dictionaries” might have limited appeal hasn’t heard lifelong lexicographer Kory Stamper rattle off the word “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” with aplomb and glee. She and fellow dictionary editor Steve Kleinedler approach Fiat Lex…

“Hyperspace” shows how science can inform science fiction

Welcome back to Pop Lexicon, The A.V. Club’s series with Kory Stamper, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and editor, where she reveals the origins of America’s favorite colloquialisms. Today, Kory explains not only how science can inform science fiction, but how science fiction can influence scientific discovery, starting…

We uncover the criminal history of “gangbusters”

Welcome back to Pop Lexicon, The A.V. Club’s series with Kory Stamper, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and editor, where she reveals the origins of America’s favorite colloquialisms. In this video, Kory reveals the criminal history of “gangbusters,” a word first used in the early 20th century in reference to cops whose…

Where did the phrase “get medieval on your ass” come from?

Welcome back to Pop Lexicon, The A.V. Club’s series with Kory Stamper, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and editor, where she reveals the origins of America’s favorite colloquialisms. In today’s edition, Kory tells us about the origins of the phrase “get medieval on your ass,” a threat made popular by Pulp Fiction.

Where did “asshat” come from?

Welcome back to Pop Lexicon, The A.V. Club’s series with Kory Stamper, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and editor, where she reveals the origins of America’s favorite colloquialisms. In this episode, Kory charts the progression of “asshat” from a phrase that threatened violence (i.e., “wearing your ass for a hat”) to…

The A.V. Club’s favorite books of 2017

Something about this year made reading books feel not just crucial, but a little bit transgressive. Maybe it’s the assault on education and freedom of the press, or maybe it’s just that between reading new reports of abusive men and Trump’s latest attempt to chokehold the nation, simply reading for pleasure feels…

We uncover the unexpected game show origins of “FTW”

Welcome back to Pop Lexicon, The A.V. Club’s new series with Kory Stamper, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and editor, where she reveals the origins of America’s favorite colloquialisms. In this episode, Stamper uncovers the game show origins of one of the most used pieces of internet slang, “FTW,” which, depending on…

Let’s talk about the “vajayjay”

Welcome to Pop Lexicon, The A.V. Club’s new series with Kory Stamper, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and editor, where she reveals the origins of America’s favorite colloquialisms. In the inaugural episode, Stamper examines the story of “vajayjay,” the euphemistic slang for vagina made popular by Grey’s Anatomy and …

Word By Word makes the surprisingly convincing case for “irregardless”

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“The dictionary” is one of those background items that’s always just there, little thought about and quickly forgotten after looking up a word. Those of us who deal with the English language for a living might appreciate a particularly illuminating definition, but the focus is always on the word itself, not on the…