You want to know why.

We can tell you. Join us to explore the fascinating origins of human language, behavior, and culture to discover why we do the things we do.

Latest Whys

Spelling Bee

Why do good spellers compete in a spelling “bee”? The answer involves all the favorite subjects of a spelling bee winner—etymology, philology, and, of course, spelling.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

What’s a bandwagon, and why is everyone jumping on it? The answer involves the circus, Theodore Roosevelt, and cognitive biases.

Why Are Salads “Salted”?

Why does the word salad sound suspiciously like the word for salted in many languages? And where did salads come from, anyway? The answer takes us from ancient Rome to the high-class hotels of New York to Tijuana, Mexico.

Hungry for more? Get a weekly why delivered to your inbox.