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8 things you didn’t know about Dr. Seuss

Stashed in: Words!, Awesome, Dr. Seuss, @nerdist

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Which thing didn't you know? :)

Thing 1 and Thing 2!

But seriously, I did not know

 7. He gifted the English language with “nerd” and redefined “grinch.”

In 1950’s “If I Ran the Zoo,” a kid rattles off a list of fantastical creatures that rival the animals found in the zoo: “I’ll sail to Ka-Troo and bring back an It-Kutch, a Preep, and a Proo,/A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too!”

In the book, a sign identifies a “nerd” as a red and yellow and white-haired sourpuss. It appears to be the first documented instance of the word, which has since morphed into a put-down for bookish people.

Writing for The Boston Globe, Ben Zimmer said the word “nerd” has no one particular historical source, but it is a credible theory that Seuss played a role in popularizing it.

And while Seuss didn’t invent “grinch,” the word’s meaning — a grouchy person — is all him, Nel said.

“He actually changed the language,” Nel said. “There are poets that do that, but it’s not common.”

“Nerkle,” however, has yet to catch on.

thing 1 and thing 2

He invented nerd?!

He didn't invent grinch?!

Whoa. Cool. 

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