Hitler never referred to his movement as the “Nazi Party” because of the word’s implications —which are now negative for a totally different reason.
As the Scottish independence vote looms, Philologos investigates the origins of Scots Yiddish. Is it a dialect, a language all its own — or something else entirely?
There’s a long history of spitting to ward off hexes. Philologos explains this unpleasant custom, and also why the ‘evil eye’ is sometimes referred to as the ‘canary.’
What is the origin of the expression ‘the walls have ears’? Philologos delves into Hebrew scholarship — and explains what it has to do with WhatsApp billionaire Jan Koum.
A convoluted quote from the White House about Iran hints at an incoherent U.S. policy. But there’s more to it than that — and Philologos explains.
The now-infamous quenelle gesture has catapulted the anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne into the headlines. Could the salute’s origins lie in a popular French slang?
Jews traditionally greet one another ‘Shalom aleykhem’ and respond with the words inverted. Arabs use a similar greeting — but why?
Tennessee Titans defensive back Bernard Pollard complained that a coach was ‘working us like Hebrew slaves.’ Some found the remark insensitive, but it has its roots in the black church.
How did the practice of identifying a fellow Jew come to be known as ‘bageling’? Philologos discovers that the answer goes back to Montreal, circa 1992.
As bagels have spread far and wide, it has become slang for many things. Some stem from the zero that the baked product resembles — and we won’t mention the rest.