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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…]

Stimulating Sudoku

Celebrate 200 issues of Handy Sudoku! 

This month we are celebrating a mind-boggling milestone: 200 issues of Handy Sudoku! One of our most popular titles, Handy Sudoku is the best fun with numbers you can have. Though it might look tricky at first glance, Sudoku puzzles require logical thinking, not maths skills – everyone has it in [more…]

The Goat Song of Greece

Tragedy is from the Greek word tragoidia meaning ‘goat-song’. Hmm, sounds a bit strange but in ancient Greece, groups of men joined together in a chorus to sing poetry, wearing goat-skins.  The chorus would tell a story in song, and one man would separate from the chorus to argue against the story – and [more…]