Ben Zimmer is the executive editor of and
the Visual Thesaurus, language columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and
former language columnist for The Boston Globe and The New York Times Magazine.

The Wall Street Journal

‘Die-Ins’ Hark Back to Strike in Depression (Dec. 13, 2014)
Current protests linked to ‘sit-in strike’ of 1936.

Among British, ‘Pleb’ Can Be Costly Epithet (Dec. 6, 2014)
A high-profile libel case shows the costs of the class-conscious term.

‘Door-Buster’ and Black Friday (Nov. 29, 2014)
The term ‘door-buster’ appears to stretch back to an 1890s department store.

Read more language commentary in The Wall St. Journal here.


The Linguistic Power of the Protest Phrase “I Can’t Breathe” (Dec. 15, 2014)

Slate’s Lexicon Valley

Too Much Grog Will Make You Groggy. But Where Does Grog Come From? (Episode No. 49, Dec. 15, 2014)

Help Solve the Mystery! Where Did Get One’s Goat Come From? (Episode No. 47, Nov. 17, 2014)

Can John Leguizamo Put a Pretty Face on Fugly? (Nov. 7, 2014)

Read more language commentary on Slate here.