Christine Lovatt’s Hello Column

Christine’s Hello column appears monthly in Lovatts BIG Crossword magazine – [geot exclude_country =”UK,EU”]click here for more information[/geot][geot country=”UK,GB,EU”]click here for more information[/geot]

Hello September 2019

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…]

Hello August 2019

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…]

Hello July 2019

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…]

Hello June 2019

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…]

Hello May 2019

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…]

Hello April 2019

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…]

Hello March 2019

A few months ago, I wrote about favourite words of famous people and I asked you puzzlers to tell me your own favourite words.
Puzzler Billie Halpin’s favourite word is onomatopoeia, which means the formation of a word from a sound associated with the meaning, such as sizzle, which sounds like a sausage frying in [more…]

Hello February 2019

One of the many sources of our English vocabulary is the eponym – a word named after a person or place.

Some eponyms are obvious – I’m sure you can guess what Count Pavel Stroganoff lent his name to? Although he descended from wealthy Russian aristocracy, he was born in Paris, where a French [more…]

Hello January 2019

One of the few things that are guaranteed in life – along with death and taxes – is change. Nothing stays the same, both in our personal lives and in the world itself. While we may bemoan today’s modern style and long nostalgically for the beloved way of life from our childhood, change is [more…]