Philologos


Cheers! We're Not Poisoned — Or Are We?

By Philologos

Does the famed toast ‘l’chaim’ date back to a Byzantine custom of testing wine for poison? Philologos prefers to believe it evolved from an ancient expression meaning, ‘all right.’Read More


'Yahweh' Should Not Offend Anyone

By Philologos

A reader objects to the word ‘Yahweh,’ which he finds offensive. Philologos says it’s a legitimate Biblical term and no one has to read it if they don’t want to.Read More


Who's Scoring a 'Jew Goal'?

By Philologos

Soccer fans borrowed the term ‘Jew goal’ to apply to an easy score. Philologos says the term is an anti-Semitic insult, but teams may be happy to have plenty of ‘em.Read More


L'Chaim a Bad Grammatical Error?

By Philologos

Jews have been toasting with the expression ‘L’chaim’ for centuries. Philologos investigates a reader’s complaint that we may have been wrong for just as long.Read More


How 'Gay' Lost Its 'Shtick' Over Time

By Philologos

Words are always changing and there’s no point in fighting ‘linguistic apostasy,’ a reader says. Philologos doesn’t entirely agree, especially when it comes to ‘gay.’Read More


How Yahweh Got Its Verbal Vibe Back

By Philologos

Yahweh is the hypothetical but widely accepted scholarly version of God’s sacred biblical name. This very old name has gotten itself some very new vibes.Read More


Is This Any Way to Name a Train Station?

By Philologos

Does the Russian word for central train stations come from London’s Vauxhall? Or from similar words in German and Yiddish? Philologos ponders the possibilities.Read More


President Confuses Jews and Janitors, Or Does He?

By Philologos

President Obama inadvertantly said ‘Jews’ when he meant to mention janitors. Philologos wonders if he really has wealthy Jewish donors on his mind.Read More


Ubiquitous Holiday Greeting Irks Some

By Philologos

Rosh Hashanah is done for the year. But two readers seek advice from Philologos about the proper grammar and usage of the well-known greeting l’shana tova.Read More


Virtuous Woman Worth Weight in Coral?

By Philologos

Neil Tuchten, a South African judge, asked about the well-known verse in the book of Proverbs: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”Read More


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