According to Loose Cannons, Red Herrings, and Other Lost Metaphors
by Robert Claiborne, an adjective was coined because a plant found on an island
caused facial convulsions that resembled scornfully mocking laughter; what was
the adjective and what was the island?
Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.
The critically-acclaimed board game
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
sardonic and Sardinia
According to Claiborne, the Greeks called
the plant sardonion, plant from Sardinia.
If you ate it, you would make facial
convulsions that resembled sardonic (scornfully or cynically mocking) laughter
— and then you would die.
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