About Dominic Lovatt

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So far Dominic Lovatt has created 21 entries.

2020: Chinese Year of the Rat

As we have just entered into the Chinese Year of the Rat, we thought we’d take a closer look at the phrases and literature surrounding the rambunctious rodents from the genus Rattus.

Many of you will recoil with horror at the mention of rats, because of the bad press they have had for years. A [more…]

The most common word in the world

I read recently that the most common word in the English-speaking world is no, with okay as a runner-up. But what about the most commonly used word in the world – English-speaking or not?

Words such as radio, bank, café, chocolate and beer are understood in many countries even though they may have their own [more…]

‘Head over heels’ and other phrases about love

This month it’s St Valentine’s Day once again, and so much has been written about romantic love, in stories, poetry and song, that you might think there is nothing left to say. But it seems that we never tire of the romantic dream, which after all makes the world go round. Love will never [more…]

Crossword Fever in the 1920s

The decade known as the Roaring Twenties was a time of huge change. The First World War was over, and although there was high unemployment in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, the people embraced the newfound freedom of the era. By the end of the 1920s, the world was a different place.

America had [more…]

Why do we have a ‘leap year’?

Good news this month for anyone whose birthday falls on 29th February – this is a Leap Year so you can celebrate your birthday on the correct day instead of 28th Feb or 1st March. Or maybe you don’t mind not having a birthday, because you claim to be only a quarter of your [more…]

How do you pronounce?

Data rhymes with…
The overwhelming majority of you pronounce data as though it rhymes with garter (darta), as opposed to rhyming with Alligator (dayta). Interestingly, the UK see our pronunciation of this as somewhat of an oddity. One we no doubt find pleasure in, as the ‘data’ seems to show 😉

Forehead is pronounced…
Phew, this was [more…]

What is the meaning of Boxing Day?

Boxing Day, also known as St Stephen’s Day is a public holiday celebrated on the 26th of December by most countries in the Commonwealth.

There are a couple of versions of the origin of Boxing Day. In Queen Victoria’s reign, Boxing Day was when the aristocracy, to ensure their Christmas Day ran smoothly, gave [more…]

Australasia vs Oceania

You may have come cross the name Australasia in our crosswords. It is the regional name for Australia and New Zealand, and despite the last four letters, it does not include Asia. It means ‘south of Asia’.

Every place on Earth has an antipode, ie the spot on Earth’s surface that is diametrically opposite [more…]

Beauty trends through the ages

If you think the modern trends of wearing tattoos and piercings are a bit over the top, think about life in ancient Greece and Rome, where an essential ingredient of face masks for women was fresh crocodile dung. Lovely!

We might complain about going to the dentist, but many African and Asian tribes used to [more…]