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Our distant cousins don’t necessarily look like us so we shouldn’t be surprised that in the world of vocabulary, word families have relatives who share a common ancestor, but have distanced themselves from each other.
The Latin word sanguis meaning ‘blood’ gives us both sanguinary ‘bloodthirsty’ and sanguine ‘happy’. Perhaps this is a hint about the mood of ancient assailants? The word [more…]
Some parents or grandparents call their children lambs, or chickens – affectionate and loving terms. Many of us call our children kids.
Kid comes from a very old Norse word for a baby goat. The word has been borrowed and applied affectionately to small children for centuries, maybe because baby goats are so cute, like baby humans. It was being used [more…]
The word pig probably comes from the Old English picg and once only meant ‘young pig’. Adult pigs were called swine. A hog was a castrated male. A boar is the tusked, Eurasian wild pig from which our domestic pigs are descended.
To go the whole hog means to do something as completely as possible, and comes from the purchase at the [more…]
Whether you are a mother yourself or you are lucky enough to still have one, now’s the time of year when we honour mothers and also, to look at the word ‘mother’. It comes from a very ancient source – the Sanskrit language. You could say Sanskrit is the mother of many languages. Their word for mother, ‘Ma’, is the root [more…]
Look at the grid, bearing in mind the fundamental rule that each row, column and 3×3 box must contain one instance only of each of the digits from 1 – 9. The other side of this is that if a digit is already in a row, column, or 3×3 box, it can’t appear again in that particular row, column, or [more…]
Much has been written about William Shakespeare, especially this month as we celebrate the anniversary of his death, 400 years ago. He was born on 23rd April 1564 and died on his birthday in 1616, at the age of 52.
Although his original plays and poetry are peppered with words like ‘doth’, ‘thee’ and ‘wherefore’, because they were part of 16th century [more…]