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If you wonder about the origins of some of our wonderful English expressions, Words & Phrases is the place to find out more.
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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 ideas generally, “I read some interesting stuff” [more…]
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 the pan or cuckoo, the exact sound [more…]
Derived from the Latin crispus meaning ‘curled’, this word means firm, dry and brittle and you could say it’s a great example of onomatopoeia, a word that sounds exactly like its meaning.
From the Latin dēciduous, meaning ‘falling down or off’ this word describes trees which shed leaves, usually in the autumn. Some well known decidious Australian species are the red [more…]
The most famous Irishman was actually the son of a Roman official born and bred in South Wales. The legend goes that he was captured by Picts and sold as a slave in Ireland. He escaped to Gaul, where he became a priest and is credited with bringing Christianity to western Europe.
Many countries celebrate St Patrick’s Day on 17th March [more…]
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 chef concocted a blend of French and [more…]
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 inevitable and we can choose to complain [more…]