Speed Reads


These words may sound modern, but they really aren't

There are some words that seem so modern you can't imagine them being uttered by someone from a different century. Over at The Guardian, David Shariatmadari is shattering that notion with 11 words that are far older than most people thought, including "booze," "crib," and "babe." It's all part of something linguist Arnold Zwicky called "regency illusion," or the "belief that things YOU have noticed only recently are in fact recent."

Take the acronym OMG for example. It wasn't first typed into an AIM window by a 12-year-old, but rather was written in a letter sent to Winston Churchill by Lord Fisher in 1917. "Legit" also sounds positively modern, but can be traced back to an 1897 appearance in the U.S. National Police Gazette: "Bob is envious of Corbett's success as a 'legit.'" Read about the other nine words at The Guardian.