Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.

The Old Globe Theatre began life here 80 years ago, during the 1935 California Pacific International Exhibition. Commemorating that milestone — and honoring Craig Noel, the visionary who built that castle in the air and then implacably laid foundations underneath — let’s celebrate the showbiz words and expressions that enliven our language.

Because entertainment is such a joyful, enriching part of our world, show business metaphors help our language to get its act together and get the show on the road. At the opportune moment, these sprightly words and expressions stop waiting in the wings and step out into the limelight. The first limelights were theatrical spotlights that used heated calcium oxide, or quicklime, to give off a light that was brilliant and white but not hot. Ever since that bright idea, to be in the limelight has been a metaphor for being in the glare of public scrutiny. Such showbiz metaphors become a tough act to follow, but their act is followed again and again.

It’s time to face the music. Many actors experience a touch of stage fright at the moment of going onstage. But, looking out across the orchestra pit, each performer must “face the music.”

Slapstick comedy owes its name to the double lath that clowns in 17th-century pantomimes wielded. The terrific sound of the two laths slapping together on the harlequin’s derriere banged out the word slapstick.

One of those puppet clowns was Punch, forever linked to his straightwoman Judy. The Punch that is so pleased in the cliché pleased as Punch is not the sweet stuff we quaff. That phrase in fact alludes to the cheerful singing and self-satisfaction of the extroverted puppet.

From the art of puppetry we gain another expression. Puppet masters manipulate the strings of their marionettes from behind a dark curtain. Unseen, they completely control the actions of their on-stage actors. Whence the expression to pull strings.

For my closing act, I shine the spotlight on a few individual words that were born backstage and onstage:

• Claptrap was originally a theatrical trick or device designed to attract (trap) or applause (clap) in a theater. It might have been a showy line, such as “Britannia rules the waves!” Or it might have been a machine that made a clapping sound before canned applause was invented. Thus, claptrap compares a clap trapper to shallow, showy, cheap sentiment expressed solely for effect.

• Desultory descends from the Latin de-, “from,” and salire, “to leap.” The Roman desultors, or leapers, were circus performers who jumped from one moving horse to another. They were soon compared to people who fitfully jumped from one idea to another in conversation or one goal to another in their lives.

• Explode comes from the Latin explodere, “to chase away by clapping one’s hands.” In ancient Rome, disgruntled theatergoers would clap loudly to show their dissatisfaction with the performance on stage.

• Hanky-panky is possibly created, with the aid of reduplication, from the magician’s handkerchief, or “hanky,” a prop for trickery and sleight of hand. Or hanky-panky may be an alteration of hocus-pocus.

• Hypocrite is an offspring of the Greek hypokrites, a stage actor who, by the nature of his occupation, pretended to be someone other than himself. By extension, a hypocrite pretends to beliefs or feelings he doesn’t really have.

• Person also steps from the stage into our everyday parlance. In Greek and Roman theater, actors played more than one role during a performance simply by donning a persona (“mask”) to change character. Eventually, persona came to mean the role an individual assumes in life and, later, the individual himself.

You’re as real trouper to have stayed with this column to the final curtain call. Note that the spelling isn’t the military trooper, but trouper, a member of a theater company. A real trouper now means “one who perseveres through hardship without complaint.”