I am obsessed with English etymology, the study of where words come from and how their meanings change over time.
Each etymology is like a magic portal into a tiny truth about history, culture, language, or the mind—a miniature eureka, a quiet a-ha, a satisfying huh, or a little story that I believe only a good word origin can tell. So, each week, I pick some words, usually based on a newsy theme or topic, to see what we can learn from their roots.
I currently live in Austin, Texas, with my dog Hugo and fiancée Olivia. I am Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com, where I specialize in content on trending words, slang, and other intersections of lexicography and news and pop culture. Discover my earlier work at Emojipedia, Slate, Mental Floss, Oxford Dictionaries, Nameberry, and Strong Language.
In 2016, I read and wrote about the experience of reading the complete works of Shakespeare Confidential.
Follow me on Twitter at @mashedradish or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to my brother, Andrew Kelly, with a special assist from Sveta Eremenko, for my bio “doodle” featured on the splash page.