This is a part of Science Diction, a series digging into the scientific origin stories behind our words and language. Find all our stories and previous issues here.
Come Nerd Out In Person!
On Friday, April 12, gather with us at the Strand Book Store in New York City as we tell tales of the scientific origins behind your favorite words. Tickets are $15, and you can buy them here.
Science doesn’t exist in a silo. Scientists use words and language just like us. Encoded in the language they use are etymologies, histories, and stories that often stretch back centuries—some even bleeding into the words we use in our everyday life. It’s a fascinating trail we wanted to follow. That’s why we created Science Diction.
Each week, we’ll send you an email featuring a single word and unearthing the scientific origin story behind it. From quarks to umami to the sun, we’ll take a look at what we’re really saying when we use these words.
So, for all the word nerds and etymology enthusiasts, the logophiles and language lovers, the history buffs and story seekers, this one’s for you. Sign up here, and read previous issues below.
Johanna Mayer is a digital producer at Science Friday. When she’s not obsessively checking SciFri’s digital pages, she’s probably baking a fruit pie. Cherry’s her specialty, but she whips up a mean rhubarb streusel as well.
The Best Science Books Of 2017
From Oliver Sacks to graphic novels, Maria Popova and Deborah Blum discuss their favorite science books of the year.
Need A Break From This World? These 10 Books Will Transport You.