What’s it like being bissextile?

Find out now :-)


Comments/DISQUS help? Click here.

Allowed HTMLDISQUS Status

Leave a Reply

279 Responses to Bissextile

  1. Hell, In thought bisextile meant: I like sheets of different softness! I may be wrong.

  2. ravenlol says:

    funny blooper at end ..

  3. leonard says:

    Bring back ARNOLD…[seasons] and hot hot hot…do U know what I [mean]…so Alax and buzzword are an item :o …babies are science…. :lol: artificial LOVE….leaping for hot….Don’t Worry, Be Happy on theremin

  4. fglrx says:

    ‘Schwarzenegger’ is a pleonasm, it means literally a ‘black nigger’ (schwarz = black, negger = nigger in German). :grin:

  5. darlingj says:

    Wow, Great Lesson!…1 year down…100+ Videos…10′s of millions of Views…HFW website…great interaction with your student base…getting more and more exposure outside of YouTube…what will the future hold? :smile:

  6. bar666xp says:

    I would like to request the word [sex] or [sexy]

    after the “bisexual” slip lol :twisted: .

    • bar666xp says:

      oh forgot to answer this year is not..
      every 4 years like all answered so who is a Bissextile person?
      one that was born on the extra day, it’s some one that the real date of bearth comes only every 4 years.

  7. rangerwesley says:


    No thist year is not Bissextile, you would have to be able to devide the year by 4, and get an even number, some of the Bissextile years are 2000, 2004, 2008, and the next Bissextile year is 2012. ;)

    Thankyou and Have a Grate day. ;)


    P.s. I coud not edit me post so I just re-posted. ;)


  8. rangerwesley says:

    No thist year is not Bissextile, you would have to be able to devide the year by 4, and get an even number, some of the Bissextile years are,

  9. leonard says:


  10. smilefin says:

    im sorry but i didnt get it even by reading those comments :p you should give some examples :grin:

  11. ingvarr says:

    Things started to go out of alignment lol. She’s so cute, and whats with the random animals? mmmm I’d like to see some bissextile action between Marina and hotforprofits!

  12. resol29 says:

    As many of the comments indicate some continued confusion about the meaning of “bissextile”, I thought I’d clear things up a bit. According to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, bissextile means “containing or noting the extra day of leap year.” So, someone who is bissextile is one who observes the extra day in the leap year.

    If I’m wrong, please correct me.

  13. shawnmnorris says:

    You’re hilarious, Marina! It’s impossible for YOU to be bissextile, but you’re funny nonetheless – hey!! nonetheless! Who came up with that word and how does that mean what that means? none + the + less – hmmm…. we should investigate!!! Is it also an idiom?

  14. shawnmnorris says:

    What does the suffix -ide incite? I mean what does the suffix -ide add on to the end of words like homicide, insecticide, suicide, fluoride and with fluoride – is that like the killing of your teeth? Please expound.

    - Shawn M. Norris

    • Qermaq says:

      The suffix -cide indicates killing. Fluoride is from “fluor-” meaning fluorine, the element, and -ide, meaning acid. Like “oxide” is a combination of oxygen and acid. Usually -ide is attached to elements, like bromide, but there brom- probably derives from the Greek brōmos, meaning a stinky odor.

      • shawnmnorris says:

        I looked it up on and you’re right! Thank you for your input – so then fluouride wouldn’t have anything whatsoever to do with killing, but an element acid would it be? I’ve heard that flouride actually over time kills your teeth and gives you some kind of cancer or something of the like, but flourine doesn’t. I don’t know how that would play out scientifically, but I definately don’t want to brush my teeth that would give me cancer or anything like it. Thanks, Qermaq!

        - Shawn M. Norris

  15. jon92thebest says:

    lol so like whats the problem if Marina is bisextile :neutral: .i mean about these things i cant suffer gay people but i think lesbians and bisextile girls r hot as hell.after all it is her life and she is the onli one who decides about whats best for for the rest of u.if ya all realy like Marina ya just have 2 accept her the way she is becaus who knows… it might payoff.anyways.Marina.. u rock girl !!! :wink: . keep up the good work.

  16. ragabashmoon says:

    Ok, so I am confused, was Marina born on February 29th, that’s why she’s “bisextile”? If so then that means she’s 28, not 27 as it says on her YouTube page? Or, is she not actually bisextile herself and was doing a “what am I” game with leap years?

    I mean, I understand what “bisextile” means, but how is Marina bisextile?

  17. prospero811 says:

    As a confirmed bissextile, do you also enjoy metemptosis and proemptosis?

  18. genmotorco says:

    Hola, there is one phrase that I have always heard, as well as everyone else I am sure, but there is only one individual that has ever given me a different perspective on it.

    The Phrase is “Spitten’ Image, or Spit ‘n’ Image.” Meaning: Someone that looks like or resembles someone else.

    I was told that this phrase is actually “Spirit and Image.” Meaning the same but more reasonable. To resemble someone else’s Spirit and Image.

    Larry Horn, Professor of Linguistics at Yale, suggests that “Spirit and Image” is wrong and “Spitten Image” is more accurate. Where an individual would come from the “spit” of another person either by salivation or ejaculation with reference to DNA.

    Can HotForWords investigate?



  19. squidward10tacles says:

    Hi Marina!! Your videos are great, if all teachers were as hot and cute as you no one would drop school, I have a word request for you, this is a word used a lot lately on the web, music and in video games, it is “Vixen”. I really want to know it’s meaning and origin, and know if it’s right to call you a “CyberVixen”

    Thanks for reading.
    Julian :smile:

  20. bob liesmith says:

    Word Request
    Neatorama ran an interesting article about the etymology of testify and I was wondering what if you could delve into the word’s origins.

  21. jcparis says:

    I would like to know why feller, sawer. Can both mean The lumberjack and the use of a saw. A technique of sawing and the one that is sawing,
    But the word to fell and to see have nothing in common apart that one is doing the other is looking
    Please tell me.
    PS you don’t mention enough that 60% of English is From French

  22. quantum phantom says:

    I would like to request not a word…but merely the prefix “chrono” such as in chronological, chronograph, chronogram, chronobiology, etc….and why the name of Khronos, son of Uranus, Titian and Ruler of the “GOLDEN AGE” from Greek Mythology, came to mean time…????….

    hope you make a video…

  23. l-lawlz says:

    I think you should do the word yummy,
    i dont know why but it’s been bothering me what it really came from these past few years

  24. swagen says:

    Hi Marina:

    I just recently came out with a series of books on a form of divination that I have been working on for over 25 years. The new form of divination is called Diceology. I am curious as to your explanation of this word as you understand it.

    You can see my site at:

    I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun with this one.

    Oh, love your page. Good luck with it.


    Steven Wagenheim
    Creator Of Diceology

  25. psycho skater says:

    haha, i was almost born a bissextile, my bday is on the 28th of feb. You should do a video about the expression ‘ to babel ‘, I don’t think it’s been done before. There was a documentary on tv about piramids and the fact that the pyramid of Babel was the biggest of all, and it was interpreded as humans trying to reach god, so he made all of them speak different languages so they wouldn’t understand each other, that’s why when you say something people dont understand they say you’re babeling :smile:

  26. father_bob says:

    Greetings from Iceland

    I have a good word for you…


  27. ernie says:

    I am uncertain if you have viddied it or not, however I submitted a video response to one of your lessons a little while back. I am intensely curious as to the meaning/origins of “tintinnabulation”. If you could see fit to cover that in a future lesson, the gratitude will flow boundlessly.

  28. tigger says:

    I find etymology interesting as well.. I listened to your podcast regarding 11 and 12 but wonder why the trend didn’t continue with 13/14… etc. Or, why they didn’t call them one-teen, two-teen to keep a pattern?

  29. 84jimmy4x4 says:

    This is for the general audience: Semantics is the study of the meaning of words. Words have literal “dictionary” meanings but also may have connotations. A good example would be “hot” and “cool”
    Can a person, say Marina, be both hot and cool. Well literally it’s a contradiction, but in American parlance one can be both attractive and sophisticated. These are implied meanings of hot and cool.

    With regard to the vitriolic comments of alx, as well as buzzword, I say…get a life… you misbegotten adolescents.

  30. prospero811 says:

    Thoughts to ponder:

    There is neither apple, nor pine in a pineapple.
    There is neither bread, nor fruit in a breadfruit.
    There is neither worm, nor wood in wormwood.
    Quicksand isn’t quick.
    Sweetbread isn’t sweet (or bread).
    Strawberries are not made of straw.
    Buttermilk has no butter.
    Grapefruit has no grape.
    Eggplant has no egg.
    There is no ham in hamburger (and ham on a bun has no name).
    Panda bears and Koala bears are not bears.
    Glowworms are fireflies, but they are neither worms nor flies.
    Guinea pigs are neither pigs, nor from Guinea.
    Titmice are birds and have no tits.
    Groundhogs are not hogs.
    Horned toads are not toads.
    One tooth, two teeth.
    One booth, two beeth?
    One mouse, two mice.
    One house, two hice?
    One goose, two geese?
    One moose, two meese?
    If adults commit adultery, do infants commit infantry?
    If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
    If olive oil comes from olives, what do they make baby oil from?

  31. bohemist says:

    Hi, Marina, my “Slavic sister”… :grin:

    I’m from Croatia and I am also a philologist. Recently majored in English and Czech language and literature. I love etymology (too bad we didn’t do much of it in college) and my thesis was about etymology and comparison of football (soccer) terms in Czech and Croatian.

    Keep up the great work, I guess I belong to the minority that watches your videos because they are interested in etymology. Sure, the fact that you are pleasing to the eye is a nice bonus. :mrgreen:

    Oh yeah, my youtube username is hbanffzg so if you want you can check out my band’s videos (tambura music, instrument similar to the Russian balalaika or domra).

    Всего наилучшего!

  32. rad6000 says:


    I am a new viewer and just love what you are doing, great job. I do have a word that I would like to submitt. “Contrarian”

  33. 84jimmy4x4 says:

    Buzzword: You make my point “res ipsa loquitur.” If Latin exceeds your capacity: try this in German:”Affenschwanz, Lech mir am Au’l, du Schwueler!”

    • alx says:

      if you want to insult someone in a foreign language, you better be able to do it correctly. otherwise it’s pretty fucking stupid ridiculous.

    • buzzword says:

      I admit the superiority of Latin and German exceeds my inferior capacity. By capacity I assume you mean intellect. Perhaps this is a result of my inferior breeding. I do admit to many limitations that may in your scale of human value place me far below you. I humbly request that you provide to me the content of your post that I am unable to read. I am sure that those of superior rank such as yourself have valued the additional insight provided in the Latin and German phrases. Since the post is directed toward me, would you please afford me the access to your meaning? Your attempt to use language to exert intellectual authority over me and convey to others in this public discourse your own linguistic and intellectual dominance is apparent. Perhaps it was my brute instincts that brought to this understanding. Your attempt to use language as leverage in a social exchange is actually common and I assure you easily within my grasp. Indeed my use of vulgarities can be understood in the same manner, serving similar purposes. However, I am sure indeed that the audience is very impressed with your brilliance and have recognized your point most clearly. I hope this same audience may take pity upon my ignorance and vulgarity as you have. My inferior words have been reduced to ashes under your scrutiny. Your indulgence is further required as I am limited in capacity and left with only the most basic human rights regarding self expression. Such freedoms I am sure your are aware of. In sad anticipation that you choose not to correspond further I wish you this farewell, Shalom. It is Hebrew and means peace among other things.

  34. djdvd1980 says:

    Dear Hot For Words,
    I can’t find the origin for the word “slang” so maybe you can help me out.
    Thank you Hot For Words :grin:

  35. rougemain says:

    This is my first inquiry and I don’t mean to overindulge.

    What is the difference in meaning between “VINTAGE” (exclude wine) and “ANTIQUE”?

    • alx says:

      if you got old crap to sell, call it “antique” and double the price.

      • rougemain says:

        Damn! Why didn’t I think of that?! Could it because I know there are people who have no intellectual depth and deductive abilities?

        Seriously: I do need productive input. I am not a ‘seller’ by any means; I collect. The problem arises when sellers try to scam others ( and hopefully not me!) by tossing around those terms helter-skelter. By getting a consensus of reliable thought, I can help my self, and moreover, my friends are come to ask now and then about ‘items.’


  36. wlj067 says:

    Esteemed teacher and favorite philologist,
    What is the difference between a philologist and an etymologist? I’ll only ask this once, as bugging you with another request would be better suited to an entomologist, no? :lol:

  37. 84jimmy4x4 says:

    Dobry Denh Marina:
    I agree with the response to mind your “p’s” and “q’s”: that it was a custom in old English puds (Taverns) to use a chalboard at the bar to tally the drinks a customer consumed. Beer (bitters) and ale were served by the pint or quart. Essentially you “ran up a tab” by having the bartender or barmaid write down your name and then put a “p” or a “q” for each beverage you drank. If you got too inebriated a disreputable barkeep might add a few extra “p’s’ or “q’s” to increase his profits. Hence the expression imp;lies be aware of your consumption and don’t drink until your oblivious.
    I propose two word for you to explore for the silly children who are always dropping the F-Bomb. The first word is SCATOLOGY.
    The second word is PUERILE. There are too many puerile attempts to lure you into the semantic meaning of scatological terms.

    • alx says:

      I fucking hate semantics.

      • 84jimmy4x4 says:

        I suppose that would make you anti-semantic.
        Ty dupajasz!

      • buzzword says:

        alx, I’m shocked. Hate is such a strong word. I am sure there are prettier words that you could have chosen to convey your not happy attitude.

      • alx says:


        I fucking loathe semantics.

      • buzzword says:

        for the silly children who are always dropping the F-bomb.

      • alx says:

        whoa, dude, wait. tom waits is one of my favorites and this is one motherfucking great song. goddammit.

      • Marina says:

        Love it alx and buzzword! Also thanks for the conversation where you two talked me into coming out with my bissextile admission!

        I feel much relieved :mrgreen:

        • leonard says:

          :lol: I feel much relieved :mrgreen: :lol: MONKEY
          1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016 ****

          Marina was born Year of the Monkey
          How to write the sign :

          Monkeys are always alert and can feel surroundings even as they are thoroughly engaged in conversation. Monkeys are sociable and have an active outside life. Monkeys sympathize with people and they in turn trust you with their secrets. Monkeys can forgive, but never forget and can be revengeful if somebody wrongs them several times. They wait their turn for the perfect opportunity and nothing can stop them from achieving a goal. They have a lively love life. Monkeys are good at making people comfortable and even the most shy individuals open up to them. Having a very attractive openness, and as a partner they are reliable, adaptable and cheerful. Inherently brainy, monkeys very rarely fail in their mission. They are good at assessing risk and financial problems. Monkeys are intellectual and their memory is incredible. They don’t care what opinions others may have of them. They know they are lucky, and they also know they have the power to change things when convenience calls. Monkeys are virtually unsinkable! If people try to trick monkeys, they will probably catch them. They never make a move without a plan. They are great strategists. They can spot an opportunity in any form. They never miss a trick! They improve and try to do things better, and often amaze even themselves. They are the ultimate diplomats and slip in and out of difficulties with ease. Monkeys are always out in front! Dragons and rats will match up with the monkey. Famous people like Will Smith, Julius Caesar, Lord Byron, Elizabeth Taylor , de Vinci, Harry S. Truman, and Jennifer Anniston are signed under the monkey. :lol:

          The Monkey (猴) is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Monkey is associated with the earthly branch symbol 申.


      • alx says:

        actually, buzzword, it reminded me of another great song.

        if you don’t like the boss, you ain’t got no heart.

      • alx says:

        marina, anytime. ;)

      • prospero811 says:

        What’s the “semantic meaning” of the word “semantics?”

      • alx says:

        prospero, did you reply to my reply or to the anti-f-bomber’s posting?

      • alx says:

        ah, nevermind, just scrolled down …

      • prospero811 says:

        Hi alx – I was basically replying to the anti-f-bomber guy. I am not sure what that guy means “by semantic meaning.’ That’s not the thing that most concerns me about his post, however. What bothers me the more is, in no particular order, his poor: spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and formatting.

      • alx says:

        funny you should ask about the “semantic meaning”. I stopped short, too, when I read that. yeah, he probably means “meaning” since every word — even every free morpheme, if we want to go down one level — has a “semantic (better: lexical)” meaning, not just a grammatical meaning.

      • buzzword says:

        OK, waits, the boss… These guys are favorites. Generally I hate lists but what is artists are important to you, lyrically. Since this is hotforwords.

      • alx says:

        uh. I didn’t really get it. :/

      • buzzword says:

        I like tom waits and springsteen mainly because of the lyrics. I enjoy being introduced to new musical artists and was wondering who you may be listening to. I generally hate questions like, “what music is in your stereo?” Because often it is a value based question and I’ve met a lot of people who judge people based upon who they listen to, read, whatever. I try not to, being a cultural relativist and all. People come to appreciate what they do for whatever reasons. I just like listening to new stuff. Since hotforwords is all about words I thought asking about music based upon lyrical characteristics would be appropriate. Lyrically I like Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman, Nina Simone to name a few. I thought you could throw a few my way.

      • alx says:

        waits, springsteen, tom petty, johnny cash, tori amos, joan osborne … yeah, well, that’s the singer/songwriter corner.

        then there’s stuff that is “music-music” … freak kitchen, bumblefoot … industrial stuff like agonoize, cyborg attack, blutengel … iam (french hiphop) …

        and some german stuff, of course.

      • buzzword says:

        From what you’ve mentioned I think you would really appreciate Nina Simone singing Strange Fruit .

    • wlj067 says:

      Another supposed origin of the phrase “mind your p’s and q’s” comes from the printing trade, when type was hand assembled one letter at a time by “compositors,” who composed a page of type in preparation for printing. Because the letters were set backwards into a frame (so they would print forwards when turned upside down against the paper), p’s and q’s looked very similar and were easy to confuse. A competent, sober printer would “mind his p’s and q’s,” whereas a sloppy or hungover printer would confuse the two similar, reversed letter forms.

    • buzzword says:

      There are two basic God damn types of F-bombs. The first are ass kicking weapons which produce a shit load of explosive energy through fucktomic fission reactions alone. These bastards are known colloquially as obscenities, F-bombs, or vulgarities. A useless bag of monkey shit won’t fucking do. In fucktomic fission weapons, a big ass mass of fissile fuck material (enriched radioactive shit or ass burning pooptonium) is assembled into a bowel blowing supercritical ass material—the shit load of material needed to start an exponentially growing fucktomic expletive chain reaction—either by shooting a shovel full of sub-critical shit into another (the “son-of-a-gun” method), or by compressing a sub-critical bucket of shit material using piss and vinegar explosives to many times its original density, shit so thick you can stir it with a stick (the “eat shit and die” method). The latter mother fucking approach is considered more fucking smooth than the former, and only the latter approach can be used if ass burning pooptonium is the fucking fissile material used to fuck off. Scatology is a pretty word but it still smells like fucking shit to me. Punk as fuck.

    • prospero811 says:

      What is the “semantic meaning” of a word? Is that different than the “meaning” of the word?

      • fadeintoyou77 says:

        Semantic meaning would be a tautology, i would’ve thought.
        Tautology is redundant word use.
        The adjective “Semantic” is superfluous when preceding the word “meaning” above.

        Marina, i’d love if you did the etymology of the word “Tautology”. :smile:

      • alx says:


        in this case you’re right since, as mentioned above, every “word” has a semantic (lexical) meaning.
        but there are elements that don’t carry a semantic meaning but just a grammatical one. consider bound morphemes (i.e. suffixes, prefixes, infixes, circumfixes, and so forth). they do have a meaning. e.g. the suffix -s, which pluralizes nouns. thus, its grammatical meaning is [+plural]. since it doesn’t refer to anything in the outside world it does not have a lexical meaning.

      • prospero811 says:

        Perhaps someone could address the “p’s and q’s” issue in a connotative sense and also by explaining its denotative reference. Add to that an analysis of any applicable truth conditions, argument structure, thematic roles, discourse analysis, and the link all of these in terms of the syntax of 84jimmy4x4′s post. That might help clear things up a bit.

      • alx says:

        hm. I’d call “semantic meaning” in the phrase in question a (semantic) pleonasm.

        and tautology?

        I’d go with one of the (imho) greatest thinkers of the 20th century:

        The tautology has no truth-conditions, for it is unconditionally true; and the contradiction is on no condition true.

        Tautology and contradiction are without sense.

        (Like the point from which two arrows go out in opposite directions.)

        (I know, e.g. nothing about the weather, when I know that it rains or does not rain.)

        (Wittgenstein, TLP 4.461)

        so, yes, “semantic” in “the semantic meaning of a word” is redundant, but “the meaning of a word”, even “the semantic meaning of a word”, does have a sense.

      • prospero811 says:

        Wittgenstein? Wittgenstein? He was a beery swine – just as shloshed as Schlegel!

        In the immortal words of the Monty Python troupe:
        Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
        Who was very rarely stable.
        Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
        Who could think you under the table.
        David Hume could out-consume
        Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel,
        And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
        Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.

        There’s nothing Nietzsche couldn’t teach ya’
        ‘Bout the raising of the wrist.

        John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
        On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
        Plato, they say, could stick it away;
        Half a crate of whiskey every day.
        Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
        Hobbes was fond of his dram,
        And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart: “I drink, therefore I am”
        Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed;
        A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he’s pissed!

      • alx says:

        please, don’t blaspheme. :(

  38. mileycyrus says:

    HotForWords why won`t you upload anymore videos???

      • Marina says:

        My account is broken on YouTube.. so hopefully they fix it on Monday.

      • mileycyrus says:

        Ok thankyou!!! You are the #1 teacher on youtube!!! :smile:

      • errinf says:

        Damn. That always suck when an artist is limited by technology. Let’s hope that Marina’s account troubles only appear bissectily so that we can start getting new lessons. In the meantime, there are still plenty of old lessons to learn in the word list, at least for me, that is. I’ll just use this as an opportunity to catch up after partying late night over the weekend. I’ve had my hands full, and have fallen a little behind on my own regime. I’ll try to make this negative into a positive by learning another older lesson today, as they are just as cool as the old lessons.

        Best regards to your artistic outlet on youtube being plugged in and working in the near future, Marina. How dare they let their insipid technology interfere with your educational mission to spread philology to the masses! :evil: I thought the whole point of youtube was to be a showcase for video artists like you… WTF? :?: :!:

  39. politricks5 says:

    *****If I’m not mistaken, the origin of the word “cranky” is pretty interesting. “Why are YOU so Cranky this morning?!”
    Check it out! :razz:

  40. politricks5 says:

    thanks marina, I spat my coffee everywhere b/c of that blooper :shock:
    that was a zinger

    arnold is cute, but i like monkeys.
    and monks are neat too.

  41. firecop001 says:

    Marina, I like Arnold, and I’m sure the real Arnold won’t mind since he has a fantastic sense of humor. I hope as you narrow down the candidates of AT’s that you manage to pick one as cute and as “eye candy appealling” as yourself. I notice in quite a few of your videos that you like to have your hair in “pig tails”…..I’ve always wondered how hair styles get their rather unique names, so can you give us some history in how they came to be called that…..??? Thanks. PS…how does one make a living looking up the history of words and phrases, or do you have a different real job??

  42. limbel61 says:

    Hi Marina! Big fan of yours! I am a Language Arts teacher from El Paso, Texas. I teach 8th grade students in an “Alternative” setting. These are kids with discipline problems. I use your lessons in class and they love it. One word I would love for you to do a lesson with would be “gringo”. Where does it come from? Most of my students are of Mexican descent, El Paso being a border town. Thanks for making it fun and hope to hear from you soon!

    Yours truly,


    • buzzword says:

      Thank you for being a teacher. Especially in the “Alternative” settings. I taught children for a while in Columbus, Oh. Frequently the Somali and Hispanic immigrant populations, some Ethiopian, Sudan and Cambodian. Many of the kids were adapted to very harsh often violent environments. The hardest part was dealing the social and emotional adaptations and helping them develop new ones. I really respect what you do.

      So, “gringo” I also worked in Nicaragua during university and had a mango thrown at my head and called gringo. My first thought was, “What a great cultural experience, I being a symbol of American political oppression…” A sure sign of that I was becoming academically institutionalized. Anyway, gringo, someone told me it meant, “green go” as in a call to American military in Latin America to leave. This is not correct. “Gringo” is based on the Spanish word, “griego” meaning greek or somebody who speaks a foreign language. The meaning of the word changes depending on the country. In Mexico it usually refers to us in the U.S. In Nicaragua it is often used to describe someone blonde and light skinned not just someone from the U.S.

      For you specifically I would really recommend reading Américo Paredes’ Folklore and Culture on the Texas-Mexican Border. . It is a great work and enjoyable read. Here’s a link, you should read everything by him.

      Regarding linguistics and bilingualism, I am familiar with Einar Haugen a U.S. linguist who did a lot of work with bilingualism in the U.S. I really liked his theories regarding bilingualism. He grew up as an Norwegian immigrant himself and his academic work benefits greatly from his personal experiences. Here is another link.

      We should think of them as crossroads rather than border towns.

      • errinf says:

        And here I thought I could write a long comment! LOL

        Then again, maybe you are just buzzed off of words like I am, dude. At least you aren’t one of those boobs who requests the origin of the word ‘boobs’ because they happen to have a great pair in front of them. We have a few things in common, not just the size of our comments, tho I still think I got the biggest comments of all… :shock:

      • limbel61 says:

        Hey Buzz! I checked Paredes’ website. Very intereseting stuff there. I might even use some of that stuff in the classroom. Thanks for bringing that up to me.

      • originalistrick says:

        Hey, Buzzword,

        I just noticed your mention of Dr. Paredes. I went to U.T. with his son. Great friend, shared apartments, graduated and taught in the same district. Really respected Dr. Paredes.

    • hitman says:

      Buzzword, I complete your information:

      In many countries of South America , “gringo” is the surname for italians or people whose parents are from there.Nowadays that surname became popular and is the surname for foreign people and their family who have black or brown hair.This surname isn’t an insult and many people like having it.In addition, I specified with black or brown hair because we can see that blondies with a skin white are called “russian” “polish” ” “Ukrainian” but the most popular is the first.

      I hope this information help and solve your doubt


  43. ells says:


    Hot For Words, I have a question.

    I am a pilot. Sometimes equipment on the plane does not function correctly one moment and the next it seems to be fine. This is the work of Gremlins. The movie “The Twilight Zone” took the Gremlins to a new level, but I don’t think they got it right. Hot For Words, can you please tell me who these Gremlins are and why they mess with airplanes?


  44. turtlespeed says:

    Hi Marina, I just recently fell upon your show in the iTunes store when I was doing a search for German language lessons. Anyway, I really like it and since I started watching I’ve been thinking of words and phrases I’d like to know more about. There is one phrase that came to mind, “Salty Dog,” where does this phrase come from and what relation does it have to what it’s used for? Thanks and keep up the great work!


  45. mistress9nine says:

    Hi Marina! I thought it’d be fun if you tried this word. It’s not english but I’d love to see try and spell it right or explain what it means step by step. :D The word is “megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért” . I think if you google it you’ll find it but I’m not sure. If you do this one youll have a fan for life (even though I already am)

  46. monkey3 says:

    There seem to be quite a number of phrases that have animal references. The one I am curious about is “Dog Days”. Where did it come from and what is its connection to Summer?

  47. knagus says:

    Hi Marina,
    I would like to know something about lineage a word ‘peninsula’. In my opinion It’s very weird word for english language.
    Greetings from Poland,


    ps. Your lessons are very interesting, but IMHO too much your breasts! Yeah.. I understand, your apperance must be interesting also for ganders. They also should know something about english.

  48. chrisby280 says:

    Hey Marina,

    As you probably know, it’s curently Lent, which ends on Easter Sunday. Traditionally, (and for a reason unknown to me) we celebrate a giant rabbit that hides eggs and goodies for little children. I was wondering if you could find the origin of the Easter Bunny in honor of the upcoming holiday. Also, could you find the link that ties this massive egg hiding rabbit to the resurection of Jesus Christ? I’m really curious to find out where we go this odd tradition.

    Your newly devoted fan,

  49. blondiebrains77 says:

    Hey Marina!

    I was wondering if you could help me figure out where the word skedaddle came from. :wink:

    Please and thank you,

  50. truthinpainting says:

    When I was in high school my English teacher told me that “house” and “mansion” used to mean the same thing but that because “house” was an English word and “mansion” was a French word, “mansion” came to have a more luxurious connotation whereas “house” became more plain. Is this true? If it is, why is this so and is it true with other English vs. French words?

  51. sdec040721 says:

    hello, marina. i am 偶爱偶家.
    i test your problem, [postname] work very well, here i leave a comment, do you reply me with a mail? i check it, thanks!

  52. buzzword says:

    My first Linguistics class was taught by a visiting Chinese professor. The linguistic differences were significant. Which was really appropriate and ultimately improved our skills. It was his first time teaching in the U.S. and he did not anticipate our accents. Ohio has an appalachian population with a distinct accent and he was teaching at a appalachian branch campus. The problem always surfaced when grading our papers, especially phonetic transcription. the first test he gave we were asked to transcribe catch. The entire class (except me) transcribed it as kεč. The next day he asked people in the class to pronounce the word, and began to smile knowingly. The class he taught at the main campus transcribed it as kæč. So he always had to prepare for teaching the class to an english speaking population with two distinct accents. Which the linguistic geek really enjoyed. He told me it reminded him of the many linguistic variations in China.

  53. buzzword says:

    But have you ever heard the phrase, “yellow house” which I assume means retarded, stupid, idiot? If you have where does the term, “yellow house” come from?

  54. fadeintoyou77 says:

    Hi Marina.
    Your videos are great.
    But i’m not so sure i’m liking the all new raunchy Marina. :smile:

    Where’s the adorable, sweet, girl-next-door Marina we all know and love.
    IMHO, you’re sexier when you’re just being yourself.

    Anyway i’ll always love you no matter what i suppose.

    Could you please do the words “Laconic”, “Facetious” and “Spurious” sometime.
    Kinda boring i suppose but i’ve always wondered about their etymology.
    Thanks Sweetie. :smile:

  55. Eris_Fae says:

    There are two common words I’ve always wondered about. Marina, where did “upset” come from? It seems like an obvious combination, but that would make no sense.

    Hey, you’ve told us about gossip, but how did “magazine” come about?

  56. 89wheelz89 says:

    could you please tell me the meaning of the word “disability” and where it came from,. Pretty please with super on top, thanks

    Shawn aka “wheelz”

  57. batman692008 says:

    :mrgreen: I got a good word for you my wife and i watch your a lot an wanted a word so we found one for you. PNEUMONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS hope you enjoy. :smile:

  58. shane says:

    One more…

    I’m also curious about the term constellations.

    Obviously the root of Stella refers to stars. That’s easy.

    But in looking into the beginning of astronomy, even before the Greeks and Romans, the stars were not grouped together to form animals, gods, or any other zodiological sign that we now have from those ancient civilizations. Each star was it’s own entity.

    At sme point they began grouping them together to form the characters and they took on the term constellations. But why not just ‘Stellations’ meaning of the stars? Doesn’t the prefix ‘Con’ mean against or not?

    If so, wouldn’t Constellations mean ‘Not of the stars?’

    What am I missing here? How did this term come to describe the fictional grouping of stars into figures?

    Thanks again,


  59. shane says:


    With all the sporting events lately, and ‘March Madness’ coming up, I have been trying to find out how ‘Mascots’ gained their place in sports.

    I have found that the word mascot is defined as a person, an animal, or an object believed to bring good luck, which explains why sports teams use them.

    I also found that mascot is derived from a French word ‘mascotte’, which in turn comes from the word ‘masco’ which means witch.

    But I cannot find the connection. How did a word meaning witch come to be defined as a good luck charm, and adopted by sports teams, and even some other types of organizations around the world? Weren’t witches considered bad luck?

    Thanks for your insight and wisdom!!


  60. jb6123b says:

    5 stars all the way,keep it up your doing great :lol:

  61. hitman says:

    Congrats Marina , I like the idea of putting some phrase of proverb undr the recent comment….. you are making us smarter and smater


    Greetings from the northern and cold land


  62. pooopak says:

    Hi there,

    To convert any particular date you can try :arrow:

  63. jonanovi says:


    What about the word “discipline”?
    Why does it means such different things, as “a discipline of science” or “to be disciplined by your teacher” or “to have discipline and finish your work”?

    I’d love to see a video on this. :grin:


  64. melancholyguy says:

    :wink: I’m a melancholy guy but you make me happy. I dance. Please tell me the origin of the word FRUG. PS: I also hope to be your teaching assistant. If I get the position, I will beL :lol:

  65. Marina says:

    OK.. how many levels should I allow the replies to go.. right now I am at 3.. is 3 too much?

    • Marina says:

      I put it back to 1 level thread.. let me know if I should go back to another level…

    • alx says:

      since some replies are not really that short, I’d go with two unless you broaden the comments column. (moving the “google ads” column below the “recent comments” one?)

    • trgoblin says:

      The ability to reply to a reply is a nice option.

      Which Plugin are you using if I might ask?

      The two comment plugins I’ve listed below seem pretty nifty, but I have no personal experience with them. One allows users to edit or delete their own posts, which comes in handy for those of us who tend to make typos or write silly posts after too much wine; and the other seems like it has a great deal of flexibility.

      • Marina says:

        I am using wordpress-thread-comment which is bad ass.. as it’s the ONLY one that actually emails the person you are replying to.. much like YouTube. All the other ajax ones.. etc.. are great but don’t alert the poster that he specifically has a response. The subscribe to comments one is no good as it emails you whenever anyone comments.

        This one is great.. but it’s written by a Chinese guy.. so the instructions are a bit hard to follow :-)


      • trgoblin says:

        Wo ah! “Bad Ass!” Surprisingly non-russian vernacular. I should have known you always do your homework.

        How many more ways can you impress us? Open the garage and pull out the Harley Davidson, thunder down the road and lets see some biker garb in one of your lessons! :cool:

      • Marina says:

        Comes from hanging around too many Americans trgoblin :roll:

      • trgoblin says:

        Marina –

        I like the expression on you – makes you seem a little less geeky and a bit tougher in a very cool way. BAM – my new favorite Acronym.

        As for Americans… I recall you’re one of us now – and we’re glad to have you!

    • pooopak says:

      Good ideas Alex :roll:

    • alx says:

      delete my previous three postings, please. here it is again.

      also, can you include a “target=”_blank” ” in the <a> tag so that linked sites appear in a new window / tab? don’t know if that’s possible in wordpress. should be.
      would be nice too if you let people know which tags are allowed.

    • prospero811 says:

      Hi Marina,

      Does it have an option to allow opening and closing of threads? I.e. someone posts a new topic, and then underneath that, people respond, but only the headline of a response shows. If you want to read it, you click on it and then it opens. Then responses to that response show up as headings beneath that, and so on.

      That way the user controls the length of the page, and which threads he or she travels down.


      • alx says:

        just so I know I understand it correctly … you mean like threaded or flat, like you can change the view in some forums? hm. this ain’t a forum, though.

        and it wouldn’t be half as fun. ;)

      • Marina says:

        No Eric.. cannot do that.. these are all plugins that I use.. and some of them allow that, but then they don’t email you when there is a response.. so I opted for this one as it’s the only one that emails you and let’s you know that someone responded to you.

        Plus.. I figure that since I am releasing new videos every other day, then the comment lengths shouldn’t get too long as the conversations will then shift to the new videos!

        Plus I like seeing these long conversations.. they’re pretty funny :razz:


      • prospero811 says:

        Well, since the discussion here was about how many “levels” to allow, it seems logical to simply allow some threading. It might make it more efficient. Although it also would likely encourage more posting and discussion, which would inevitably result in arguments and then “flame wars.”

        I think it’s just as well to leave it like it is, but provide a different location for general posts (not related to the particular word/video at the top), and a separate link for submitting word requests.

        What would be cool with word requests, incidentally, would be a function where on the home page there’d be a link to click that says “Request a Word.” When that’s clicked, it takes the user to a page that shows all the words already requested and allows him or her to enter a word and explain why that word should be investigated by our trusty, and ever so lovely, Hot For Words. Then the requested word would be put on a “requested word list” that everyone would see on the “Request a Word” page. Then when multiple people request the same word, a count could be kept to keep track of what words more people are interested in. That would also help reduce the constant “re-requesting” of the same words over, and over….. and over….. and over…. again.

      • prospero811 says:

        Hi Marina,

        That last comment of mine was directed to “alx” – I had not seen your response yet.

        I understand, and it’s fine the way it is. I was just chiming in with my suggestion. You can probably tell, I am not shy about giving my opinions! :smile:

        Happy Monday!

        Time for lunch out here, and I’m hungry. Any suggestions?


  66. errinf says:

    Is a palindrome bissextile because it goes both ways?

    I think I get the point of this lesson: that leap years like to swing.

  67. sernic says:

    Please excuse my daring, “teacher” :oops: … but can you check out 2 of my words: “mazurka” and “xerox” :smile: ?

    P.S. You look very ravishing, each time I watch these videos… Kisses and good-luck

  68. mello-g37 says:

    Very good….BUT Every leap year a Girlfreind , a woman Who is with a Man…..can ask HIm to marry HER why did you not say about that….waiting 4 years can be a Long time… but worth the wait with tthe right answer.

    Why is it said ” pinch, punch first day of the month? ”

    Also i have started a Face book Group fans of hotforwords…hope you like…oxoxoxoxoxoxox
    take it easy :wink:

  69. pupilo no. 1 says:


    Tu eres la Profesora mas sexy de Filologia. Yo me estoy convirtiendo en un FiloMarinologo.


    Tu alumno No. 1

  70. labbatt78 says:

    :?: What’s it like to be bissextile? Hmmmmmmm, for right now I don’t know yet, I’ll get back to you on that.

  71. greatsayain says:

    I looked through the comments on the “Colonel” video
    and a lot of people are asking for the same thing as I am,
    What happened with the word lieutenant.
    Why do british commonwealth countries (Canada, australia, etc.) pronounce it Leftenant, and America and everyone else says

  72. carlinhospotter says:

    teacher: you know a lot about how to make a feedback of the previous class. The comment about Arnold, muscle and Mice was really interesting. i will tell you know lots about pedagogy so you are such a hot for words’ teacher as I have never before known.

    about the bissextile thing i would say the answer has been already revealed by hotforcars previously.

    just check out a little of Philosophy of the era

    i want to become one of your colleges dear teacher.

  73. fountainpenner says:

    Why do we call a Hot Dog that if there is no Dog in it?

    Why do we call a Hamburger a hamburger if it has no ham in it!

    Vsjo xarasho! :lol:

  74. pereirar56 says:

    hello girl you very beautiful you talk moves i me driver for race cars dtm audi rs big kiss for you :cool:

  75. augie says:

    :razz: great lesson sweetheart :razz: lets have dinner so i may obtain special lessons my place or yours KISSES

  76. quepasakoolj18 says:

    Great as always Marina :cool:

  77. mileycyrus says:

    Marina, I can not find the T.A form. Plz help me :mrgreen:

  78. donniegeorge says:

    Hi Marina
    Happy bissextileday
    Love the lessons.
    Since this is a presidential election year, what is the origin of the term
    “LAME DUCK”?
    We hear President Bush called this on an almost weekly basis.
    Thank you from a grateful student.

  79. alx says:

    ah, now it’s possible to reply to a reply. good. :)

  80. bignicky says:

    Consider the origin of the word lesbian, as in the female dominated Greek island of ancient lesbos
    Sure to gain an increase in both sexually oriented viewers as well as those truely interested in it’s foundation.

  81. charles says:

    Thank god.. I thought…. :oops:

  82. jolayne23 says:

    That was a good one, Marina, although I’m not sure if my friend whose birthday is on February 29, making him a true leap year baby, is bissextile. Can you tell me that?

    I also have a request for a phrase: Scot-free

    Does this have anything to do with Scots, as in Scottish people?

    Thanks for all your informative and fun videos!

  83. gkatskohn says:

    I have seen your “Bissextile” video and I thought that was cool, I never really wondered what else it could be called I think more about people being able to Celebrate their actual Birthday.. It’s funny like that. Anyway, I have posted this on three of your youtube videos, because I just now found the most updated video, and Want to make sure you get this… because I am REALLY wondering about it.

    “I would like you to explain for me. -OUGH, This can be pronounce in many different ways Slough (slew) Cough, and Rough (ruff). If you could please explain why this has so many different sounds and yet it be spelled exactly the same?? I just wonder how -ough can make so many different sounds, even like -omb Like Comb, Bomb, and Tomb… That is another one that I want to know about”

    Please if you could Do a lesson on these I would be Very Greatful, because I have Always wondered why -OMB, and -OUGH can be spelt the same and Yet sound so completely different.

    Thank you Very, Very much,


  84. markallen35 says:

    New to the net, love your lessons! What is the origin of the word gargantuan?

  85. legendary says:

    hey Marina,

    can u do a lesson on “facilitate” “fragment” “language” and “grenade”.
    And please look at this message.

  86. rokzgeetar says:

    what about the term “copy-cat” ?

  87. Rod says:

    Hi Marina. I have a question.

    Why do we pronounce Wednesday like wens-day?

    I haven’t watched this lesson yet. I’ll check it out on YouTube next time I have a moment and leave a comment there if I feel the need.

  88. prospero811 says:

    Oh, and the kalend of March would be the first day of March and the significance of the sixth day before the kalend of March had to do with the Roman calendar. According to tradition, the Roman ruler Numa Pompilius added January and February to the calendar. This made the Roman year 355 days long. To make the calendar correspond approximately to the solar year, Numa also ordered the addition every other year of a month called Mercedinus. Mercedinus was inserted after February 23 or 24, and the last days of February were moved to the end of Mercedinus. In years when it was inserted, Mercedinus added 22 or 23 days to the year.

  89. prospero811 says:

    Hi Marina!

    Great video, and yes this year is bissextile, meaning leap year.


  90. trgoblin says:

    To answer the homework questions…

    1) Is it a bissextile year? This could be a trick question. Yes it is a leapyear, but technically its not bissextile because…

    2) Bi (meaning two or twice in this case) and sextile (referring to the 6th day before March or the 24th of February) is significant based on the Roman Calendar in the 16th century when the 24th Day of February was observed twice every four years. Now we don’t observe the 24th day twice, we observe a 29th day every four years instead.

    Right? Wrong?

  91. alx says:


    bisextility is not that uncommon; I guess people are tolerant enough to accept it. if they don’t they’ll have to work on their attitude. ha! great coming-out!

  92. constermonster says:

    Hi Marina,

    I love your lessons! They’re entertaining, witty, and, above all, they’re educational. I always feel that I learn something new from them.

    I have a phrase request. The phrase is “Mind your P’s and Q’s.” Where did the expression come from? Has the meaning of the expression changed over time? If so, how does the phrase’s earliest meaning compare with its current meaning?

    Thanks so much for your time and consideration! I look forward to your next lessons!

    Your Student,

    • alx says:

      it refers to a child’s difficulty to distinguish p from q when they’re learning to write.

      btw, language acquisition is an interesting topic. three-week-old babies are able to differentiate between b and p. now that’s an accomplishment right there!

    • vargas says:

      I was told (who knows if it is true) that mind your P’s and Q’s came from this:

      Year and Years ago in pubs, beer was served in either Pints or Quarts. At the end of the night when the crowd was most likely to get rowdy, the bartender would worn those causing trouble to “mind their pints and quarts” and then eventually this was shortened to “mind your P’s and Q’s.”

      It made sense but I don’t know if it is true.

    • the bigger bfg says:

      It is to do with manners

      minding your P’s and Q’s is to be midfull to say your:-
      “P” Please and thank you “Q”

  93. hotforcars says:

    Hey Marina, another great video, cute rodent btw :cool:

    to answer your hmk questions..

    1) Yes this is a bissextile day but contrary to popular belief today is not Bissextile, it is the 24th of February that is Bissextile in a leap year.

    2) The reason why the 6th day before the calender of March was chosen as the “leap day” because back in Roman Times Julius Ceasar decreed that in leap years the 6th day before the Calender of March or “Kalendae” as it was referred to back then, should be doubled. They rationalized it as such:

    7th day before Kalendae of March 23 February
    6th day before Kalendae of March 24 February
    6th day before Kalendae of March 25 February
    5th day before Kalendae of March 26 February
    4th day before Kalendae of March 27 February
    3rd day before Kalendae of March 28 February
    The day before Kalendae of March 29 February
    Kalendae of March 1 March

    Why did Caesar choose to double the 6th day before Kalendae of March? It appears that the leap month Intercalaris/Mercedonius of the pre-reform calendar was not placed after February, but inside it, namely between the 7th and 6th day before Kalendae of March. It was therefore natural to have the leap day in the same position.

    Any chance of an A++ :mrgreen:

    Your Student,

    Andrew T.

    • Marina says:

      So Andrew.. does that mean they repeated the day… so there were two 6th days before? IE.. did they just repeat Feb 24th?

      • alx says:

        “[...] its origins lay in the way the Romans interpolated their extra day every four years. They didn’t add it at the end of February as we do, but six days before its end, that is, after the day we would now call the 24th of February. At this point in the month, the Romans counted days backwards from the start of the next month, so this additional day was called “bis sexto”, “the second sixth (day)” which evolved into our “bissextile”. ”


      • hotforcars says:

        Yes your right Marina, they considered both the 24th and the 25th as being the sixth days before…It wasn’t so much that they repeated the 24th but instead adding another day being the 29th…And in the present time instead of looking at both the 24th and 25th as the sixth day we just see the 24th as being our “Leap day”

        I’m still a little iffy on Cesar’s reasoning behind the system he came up with but i got the just of it from researching…

        Here’s a good resource if anyones interested:

    • Marina says:

      Thanks Andrew! Useful information! :mrgreen:

      • hotforcars says:

        No problem..It was actually quite interesting to find out the history of the Leap year, it never occured to me to actually look it up for myself, so Kudos on the interesting subject :wink: …

        That brings an :idea: to mind…where does the word “Kudos” come from :?: :?: :?:

    • wizardeal says:

      The Roman calender was based on three things:

      One day = one rotation of the earth on its axis
      One month = one rotation of the moon around the earth
      One year = one rotation of the earth around the sun.

      These occurrances did not divide up equally, one earth orbit = 365 1/4 earth rotations, So Caesar changed the old Roman calender, which had an extra month every few years that shortened February, to the Julian calender and the 24th of February was the beginning of the new year for the Romans, exactly one lunar cycle before the equinox. So the extra day was added at the end of the year, which, to the bassackwards counting Romans, was the 6th day before March, so the extra day was the bis sextus, or the doubled day that occurs six days before March :roll:

    • cunnilapper says:

      how cum this makes my brain hurt :?:

  94. tryant says:

    There! Now the new vid is working.. :smile:
    So it was You and Your “bissextile” ways that messed-up the date on My digital watch Marina! It says “3-01″!! Since it is Your fault are You going to come fix it?!

  95. nakikita says:

    Could you please give a lesson about the origin of the term “to pull a boner?”
    Thank you for the wonderful, and instructional, videos.


  96. tryant says:

    Huh? Can’t view the new vid..Says “no longer available”.

    Marina,have You thought of doing email forward lessons? Would be another way to educate Your Dear students and You could call it “hotforwArds”..Not only that but the way forwards get around You would gain exposure exponentially..

  97. hitman says:

    I watched it a couple of hours ago, I am suscribed to your Podcasts

    Youtube show me an error-message and I cant see it :sad:


These are facebook comments below.


Not your typical philologist! Putting the LOL in PhiLOLogy :-)