Ben Zimmer

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

The Good Word
Oct. 17 2014 11:50 AMCzar WarsHow did a term for Russian royalty work its way into American government?
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.
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 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   
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?



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in the New Yorker. It’s Not Good.

Brow Beat

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.