starts

ptarmic – Describing a substance that starts a sneezing bout. More…

early adopter – A person who starts using a technology or product as soon as it becomes available. More…

prolepsis – Anticipation before something starts is prolepsis. More…

start from scratch – Comes from giving handicaps to some competitors in racing; a contestant who starts from scratch (a line scratched in the turf or gravel) is the one who has no special advantage. More…

Black Friday (United States)

Black Friday usually refers either to the infamous Wall Street Panic of September 24, 1869, when Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market, or to September 19, 1873, when stock failures caused the Panic of 1873. But shoppers and retailers in the United States also refer to the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday because it marks the beginning of the Christmas commercial season and is traditionally a frenetic day of shopping. Discuss

Sati

Sati is an Indian funerary practice in which a widow immolates herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. Though its stated purpose is to purge the sins of the couple and ensure their reunion in the afterlife, the practice has been encouraged by the low status of widowhood. Practiced since the 4th century BCE, sati became widespread in India in the 17th and 18th centuries, and not all instances were voluntary. Today, it occurs rarely, and mostly in remote areas. When was the practice outlawed? Discuss

hunting

park – Originally a legal term for land held by royal grant for the keeping of game animals for royals to hunt. More…

sealer, sealing – A sealer is a seal hunter and seal hunting is called sealing. More…

half-cocked – Comes from hunting; a gun at half cock is in the safety position—so it came to mean “incompletely prepared.” More…

tryst – Comes from Scottish as a variant of an old word, trist, “an appointed place or station in hunting,” and now means a “secret meeting of lovers.” More…

Pilgrim Thanksgiving Day

Thousands of visitors flock to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving Day to watch the annual procession from Plymouth Rock to the First Parish Church. Each marcher represents one of the men, women, and children who survived the 1620 trip from England aboard the Mayflower to form the settlement known as Plimoth Plantation. The modern-day Plimoth Plantation is a living-history village that recreates Pilgrim life in 1627. Each November, Plimoth offers a variety of programs as well as period dining that features original Thanksgiving Day foods. Discuss

Carhenge

Built in western Nebraska in 1987, Carhenge is a replica of England’s Stonehenge—made of vintage American cars instead of stones. The 38 cars that make up the monument are painted gray, closely matching the current, deteriorated condition of Stonehenge. Some are embedded in the earth standing on end, with others welded on top of them to form arches. Today, there is a visitor’s center at the site, and Carhenge has even been featured on television and in film. It was created as a memorial to whom? Discuss