10 fascinating words in Japanese

The English vocabulary is famous for having so many descriptive terms, but every language has words that are hard to translate into English and yet would be an interesting addition.

The Japanese language reflects the way Japanese people have a great respect for nature and the changing seasons.

Komorebi means ‘the sunlight that filters through [more…]

Genders in Language

We are lucky that our English language is grammatically gender-free. About a quarter of the world’s languages use grammatical gender, which means it’s a lot harder to learn a language where you must remember which gender each noun is. Some of the languages that use this system are German, French, Spanish, Italian and Gaelic. [more…]

The most common word in the world

I read recently that the most common word in the English-speaking world is no, with okay as a runner-up. But what about the most commonly used word in the world – English-speaking or not?

Words such as radio, bank, café, chocolate and beer are understood in many countries even though they may have their own [more…]

How do you pronounce?

Data rhymes with…
The overwhelming majority of you pronounce data as though it rhymes with garter (darta), as opposed to rhyming with Alligator (dayta). Interestingly, the UK see our pronunciation of this as somewhat of an oddity. One we no doubt find pleasure in, as the ‘data’ seems to show ?

Forehead is pronounced…
Phew, this was [more…]

What is the meaning of Boxing Day?

Boxing Day, also known as St Stephen’s Day is a public holiday celebrated on the 26th of December by most countries in the Commonwealth.

There are a couple of versions of the origin of Boxing Day. In Queen Victoria’s reign, Boxing Day was when the aristocracy, to ensure their Christmas Day ran smoothly, gave [more…]

Beauty trends through the ages

If you think the modern trends of wearing tattoos and piercings are a bit over the top, think about life in ancient Greece and Rome, where an essential ingredient of face masks for women was fresh crocodile dung. Lovely!

We might complain about going to the dentist, but many African and Asian tribes used to [more…]

Good things come in small packages

They say that good things come in small packages or that it’s the little things in life that mean the most, and it’s interesting to note how many words there are to describe a tiny amount, such as a whit, a scrap, a trace or a spark. A smidgen is a Scottish word for [more…]

Pull up a chair

We spend a great deal of our lives sitting down, whether driving, eating or reading because it’s very hard to do these things standing up.

Fortunately, there are many different types of seats to sit on. In the kitchen, there’s a kitchen chair or backless stool. In the dining room, there’s the dining chair, or [more…]

What’s in a middle name?


We sometimes ask for a person’s middle name in a crossword clue, although we usually choose a well-known one, unless we’re feeling very cruel.

We have middle names for various reasons. A person may be given a middle name to distinguish them from other people with the same first name and surname, especially a father [more…]