I love interesting words and facts about them. Jeff Miller has 20 pages dedicated to them and they’re a joy to read if you’re an etymology fan. Here are a few of my favourites:
- The Hungarian words újjáépítéséről (“about its reconstruction”) and újjáválaszthatóságáról (“about his/her re-electability”) have seven accent marks. Also in Hungarian alelölülő means “deputy chairperson” (lit.: “deputy fore-sitter”), although this is a made-up word that is not in use.
- The name MUAMMAR KHADAFI has 32 variants according to the Library of Congress.
- TWERK was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015. Research by the OED has found the term was first used in 1820 as a noun spelled twirk, meaning “a twisting jerking movement” or “twitch.” It then emerged as a verb by 1848 and the modern spelling was adopted by 1901.
- An entire book that does not use the letter e, a novel titled Gadsby, was published in 1939.