In this episode, Amy cuts and charts with “graph” Ryan wonders which came first, the “flirt” or the fan.

Lexitecture is a podcast about words. In each episode, a Canadian (Ryan) and a Scot (Amy) each present their current favourite word and talk about its origins, current use, and try to puzzle out how it may have gone from A to B. If you love thinking and talking about words, word origins, or just random bits of head-scratching language trivia, this may be the show for you!

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2 comments on Episode 95: Flirt Graph

  1. Peter Quirk says:

    Hi Amy & Ryan,
    I really enjoyed this episode, particularly the section devoted to ‘graph’. I was waiting to hear some other graph words, such a nomograph – a very practical kind of graph for computing a variable based on two other variables. It’s quite unlike the common conception of an X-Y graph. See for examples.

    Some related words that you probably skipped over for brevity are graphite and graphene, the latter not to be confused with grapheme. Graphene is a hew material with lots of promising applications (,which%20would%20remove%20everything%20apart%20from%20water%20molecules.) I’m not sure if you’re mentioned allograph either.

    Regarding “graph theory” – this is not related to the types of graphs you described, but to networks of nodes connected by edges. See for a brief explanation. When your GPS navigation system comes up with alternative routes from A to B, it draws a graph of edges (roads) connecting nodes (towns). Such graphs are called Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) because we want to avoid going along any edge more than once.

    From graph theory we developed the concept of the social graph (, which is the concept behind Facebook’s Open Graph API. Querying graph structures is very different from querying tabular databases, so a category of databases has emerged – graph databases (

    Regarding flirt, I thought floozie might be a related as it also referred to a woman of disreputable character, but etymonline suggests it might be related to flossy – 1890s slang for “fancy, frilly”. It’s very suggestive of flirting.


  2. Peter Quirk says:


    I think the graphic explaining millions may have been from the xkcd comic. Randall Munroe creates wonderful poster too – I own the Money poster, which spawned so many conversations in my office.


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