Christine's Desk - Lovatts

Welcome to my Desk, where you’ll find all sorts of items to hold your interest. Unlike my real office desk, which is cluttered with books, files, news cuttings and the remnants of my lunch, this Online Desk will be efficient and easy to navigate.

Learn some of the tricks of solving those weird cryptic crosswords on my tutorials page.

If you wonder about the origins of some of our wonderful English expressions, Words & Phrases is the place to find out more.

Read about the puzzling but positive effect Lovatts has on your health in Puzzles & your Health. We’d love to hear from you, so write a letter to Christine’s Mailbag. You might want to comment on my regular column @ Christine’s Hello.

There’s something for everyone here, so come on in!

Latest Posts

19 11, 2021

Skyscrapers 🏢

  • November 19th, 2021

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 to reach heaven, were once taller than [more…]

4 11, 2021

What’s your nickname?

  • November 4th, 2021

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 have comes from ‘monk’ (as monks take [more…]

15 10, 2021

Nature’s creepy-crawlies

  • October 15th, 2021

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 scuttle hurriedly like a beetle. Being beetle-browed [more…]

1 10, 2021

Music Terms are Music to the Ears

  • October 1st, 2021

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 the stage, when an actor faces the [more…]

28 09, 2021

Naming Fauna

  • September 28th, 2021

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.  Some species are named after people or [more…]

9 09, 2021

Ursa Major Stars

  • September 9th, 2021

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 bear, but the bear image is quite [more…]