Language

Quick Ben, Gimme a Phrase!

On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia appointed a five-man committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman of Rhode Island, and Robert Livingston of New York were its members. The opening sentence of the Declaration they produced contains the…

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YOU SAY HUZZAY, AND I SAY HUZZAH!

Although the years 1774 and 1775 were most difficult in Lincoln and Massachusetts, there were still reasons to give forth an enthusiastic shout of joy and cheer. In the current day reenacting, the terms often used for this emotional outburst are “huzzah” and “hurrah.” According to Capt. Grose’s Dictionary of the…

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What’s in a Word?

While we use particular words and phrases often in our conversations, including 18th Century words, do we always know what they really mean or where they came from? For example, we know that many colonial newspapers were called a “gazette” (pronounced GAHZ-ette). Why? The word comes from the name of…

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