Christine Lovatt’s Hello Column

Christine’s Hello column appears monthly in Lovatts BIG Crossword magazine

Skyscrapers 🏢

Humans seem to have been intrigued by creating enormous buildings and architectural wonders for centuries. The Great Pyramid of Giza, originally 146.5 metres high, was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, destroyed in 1323, was over 120m tall. Churches and cathedrals, with their tall steeples striving [more…]

What’s your nickname?

There are different types of nicknames, sometimes depending on how a nickname will be used. Hypocoristic refers to a nickname of love and affection, which comes from the Greek hypokorizesthai, meaning ‘to call by endearing names’. Love, pet, babe, darling, dear, all spring immediately to mind.

A moniker also means a nickname or personal name and may [more…]

Nature’s creepy-crawlies

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that etymology and entomology look alike. Cockroach comes from the Spanish cucaracha and describes the unpopular nocturnal insect and a worthless or despicable person, although perhaps it should mean a born survivor, who lives through any circumstance.

Beetle comes from old English bitula ‘to bite’ and to beetle off is to [more…]

Music Terms are Music to the Ears

To face the music is to brave the unpleasant consequences of your actions. There are several theories about the origin of this phrase.  A common assertion is that ‘face the music’ originated from the tradition of disgraced officers being drummed out of their regiment. A second popular theory is that it may derive from [more…]

Naming Fauna

To make it even more complicated, they gave each animal two names – a scientific or Latin name and a common name.

The scientific name is unique and the same all over the world, made up of a genus name followed by a species name. The common name can change from one region to another.  [more…]

Ursa Major Stars

Ursa Major is a group of seven stars that can be seen in the northern hemisphere but not in the south. The Old Testament book of the Bible (Amos5:8) refers to it as the seven stars.

The name Ursa Major is Latin for the Great Bear. It’s hard to see how it ever resembled a [more…]

Lovatts Poetry Competition Winner

Here at Lovatts, we live and breathe words and creativity. Creativity means different things to different people, and the very act of creating – whether it be a painting, a story, a sculpture, or even a crossword – can be a therapeutic and sometimes even life-changing process. It was in this spirit of a [more…]

The Winter Solstice

Since ancient times, the winter solstice has been seen as an important astronomical occurrence, celebrated as the rebirth of sunlight and the gradual return of spring after the darkest period of the year. The word solstice comes from the Latin sōlstitium, which translates to the standing still of the sun, reflecting the way the sun [more…]

The Word Weather

Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

Since the beginning of recorded history we have tried to forecast the weather. Today, we use sophisticated technology, but for centuries sailors, shepherds and farmers [more…]