Ben Zimmer

Ben Zimmer is executive producer for and the Visual Thesaurus, and language columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

Lexicon Valley
June 6 2014 11:46 AMPangrammatic Tweets!
Lexicon Valley
May 2 2014 3:41 PMHow the Letter "K" Landed a Turkish Columnist in Jail
Lexicon Valley
Feb. 14 2014 9:47 AMHow Sid Caesar Learned Double-Talk
Lexicon Valley
Jan. 14 2014 1:33 PMA Reporter Said "Screw the Pooch" on Face the Nation. Where Does That Phrase Come From?
Lexicon Valley
Nov. 22 2013 1:39 PMNo, a Drunken Australian Man Did Not Coin the Word Selfie
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 9 2013 4:38 PMHow Did @#$%&! Come to Represent Profanity?
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 18 2013 3:11 PMWTF Is Older and More Flexible Than You Think
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 4 2013 11:32 AMOf Course Twerk Should Be in the Dictionary   
The Good Word
Dec. 29 2008 11:24 AMCzar WarsHow did a term for Russian royalty work its way into American government?
May 14 2008 7:01 AMPro·cras·ti·na·tionHow we got a word for "putting things off."
The Good Word
April 4 2006 5:48 PMHow Does the Pentagon Say "Body Bag"?Hint: It's not "transfer tube."
Lexicon Valley
June 4 2014 12:45 PMDon't Print Stupid S%#t: Should Newspapers Censor The "Obama Doctrine"?
Lexicon Valley
April 15 2014 4:07 PMSorry, That's Not an Emoticon in a 1648 Poem :(
Five-Ring Circus
Feb. 9 2014 2:17 PMAn Olympic Snowboarder Said "Huck It," and the BBC Freaked Out
Lexicon Valley
Dec. 13 2013 10:51 AMNancy Pelosi Told House Democrats to "Embrace the Suck." Where Did That Phrase Come From?
Lexicon Valley
Nov. 11 2013 4:01 PMBatman bin Suparman Arrested on Drug Charges. Here's How He Got His Name.  
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 27 2013 12:12 PMDid Stalin Really Coin "American Exceptionalism"?
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 6 2013 1:45 PMA History of Meh, from Leo Rosten to Auden to The Simpsons
July 18 2009 9:46 AMWas Cronkite Really the First "Anchorman"?How we came to use the term.
Sept. 10 2008 5:37 PMWho First Put "Lipstick on a Pig"?The origins of the porcine proverb.
The Good Word
Aug. 16 2006 1:15 PMKeeping Up With the SmonesesAre American newlyweds blending their last names?



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 11:13 AM Your Own Personal Rand Paul How the libertarian hero makes his foreign policy contradictions disappear.
Business Insider
Sept. 22 2014 9:39 AM Adrian Peterson Has a Terrible Contract, and Cutting Him Would Save the Vikings a Lot of Money
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 22 2014 11:15 AM Avenue of the Baobabs: Madagascar's Magical Upside-Down Trees
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.