Top 10 Q&As for 2023

Q: Hi AWC, it’s time to pick our top 10.

A: Oooh fun. We certainly covered some interesting stuff this year.

Q: As always. The English language hath no shame.

A: Agreed! It’s a fascinating, writhing, living thing.

Q: That’s one way to put it. 

A: Well, let’s get into it – and from all of us here at AWC, thanks to our readers for another year of fun word origins and myth busting!

Q: Who are you talking to?

A: The readers.

Q: Do you mean?— Are we?— …gulp.

A: You rather suit being speechless. Now, without further ado… please enjoy!

If you’re successful, what do you yell out? “BINGO!” is what. But where exactly did this word come from? And which came first – the card game or the exclamation? 

What timeline of events led to “whodunnit” sneaking into the English language and becoming so famous so quickly? And who wanted this term DEAD? 

Here in Australia, our triangle signs say “GIVE WAY”. But why do Americans write “YIELD” on theirs? Is there a difference? And what does Mexican food have to do with it?

There’s nothing like snuggling underneath that doona. But wait – one else on the PLANET calls a duvet a “doona”? How did this come to be the case? And what is the difference between a quilt and a duvet anyway? 

Why do we call hidden extras in movies or video games “Easter eggs”? They’re not remotely chocolatey or Jesus-y. Where did the term come from? And what does Baby Yoda have to do with all of this? 

Where did some of the world’s most famous shoe brands – “Nike”, “Adidas”, “Reebok”, “ASICS” and more – get their names? We put our best foot forward to find out.

2023 was a very big year for Barbie and Ken. But where did their names come from? And what about some OTHER toy names? Let’s unbox the answers! 

“Anchor’s AWAY!” – that’s the term for dropping anchor, right? Right? Actually, the truth may surprise you for a couple of reasons. This deep-dive revealed the weighty truth.

We often give each other pet names – but what about the pet names we give to our pets? When and WHY did we start calling dogs “pooch”? What about cats and “puss”? Why are rabbits also known as “bunnies”? 


Finally, in this age of misinformation, deflection and conspiracy theories, the term “gaslighting” has become a popular catch-all. But where did it come from? Why is it so gassy? And what do Billy Joel, Ingrid Bergman and Dr Seuss have to do with it?

Do you have a question you’d like us to explore? Email it to us today!

 

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