Have you noticed that we have the word orphan for a child whose parents have died, and widow or widower for a person whose spouse has died, but no word for a parent whose child has died? Author Jen Hutchison would like the word motherling to be used for a mother who has lost [more…]
Traitors sometimes pop up in our crossword clues, highlighting the fact that history is full of tales of treason. In some cases, the names of traitors have become words to describe a person who acts treacherously.
The most famous traitor is probably the biblical disciple Judas Iscariot, who indicated Jesus’ identity to the Temple [more…]
All left-handed people are evil, worthless, mysterious and bring bad luck. At least, that’s what they used to think in former days. The Latin word for left is ‘sinister’, which has only come to mean evil or treacherous because of its leftist leanings.The old Saxon word for left was ‘lyft’ which also meant worthless. [more…]
Puzzler Cathy Parker asks why we say we ‘fall’ asleep. One theory is that when you nod off in a chair, your head falls forward. If you’re lying down, it feels like falling, as you sink into the bed and go to sleep.
Another theory is that to fall asleep, like falling ill or falling [more…]
If you ever find yourself in the aisles of a supermarket not remembering what you’re there to buy, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We all have days when our memory seems to let us down and we forget not just the finer details, but basic information too.
Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to [more…]
Beer is one of the world’s oldest prepared drinks and the third most popular drink in the world, after water and tea – certainly the most consumed alcoholic drink.
Beer dates back to at least 5th millennium BC, in Iran. Cereal was first farmed around 10,000 BC, so it’s possible beer was brewed then, as [more…]
Our English language has a huge vocabulary – possibly larger than any other language.
This is because we have had so many varied sources. The Anglo-Saxons brought their West Germanic languages with them. After the Norman invasion of 1066, French became the language of the courts. The church, universities and legal world used Latin, [more…]
Our inspiring DIY winner Arthur Daniell will turn 100 this year! His winning crossword was published in Christine’s BIG Crossword 319.
Arthur Daniell was born on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia in 1919. He was the second youngest of 6 children. His parents settled on a dairy farm at Monteith on the River Murray [more…]
Is there any word more versatile than the word ‘stuff’? It’s an informal way of saying ‘things in general’, for physical objects, such as all your worldly goods, “I put my stuff in storage and went around the world”, or just what you’re holding, “Where can I put my stuff?”.
It can also mean [more…]