Category: Word origins

What is the origin of silhouette, nicotine and leotard?

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Video: what is the origin of the word ‘hazard’?

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7 facts about where clothing names come from

Lots of clothing, it turns out, wears its origins on its sleeves. The names of lots of common clothing items and materials actually come from their place (or person) of origin. 1. denim The hard-wearing cotton twill fabric, usually blue and often used for jeans, is pretty straightforward about its origins; denim comes from Nîmes, […]

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Critters, jitters, and transmitters: the history of ‘bug’

Bug has various common uses, and none of them are particularly pleasant. Whether you’ve come down with a bug, found a bug on your phone, worried about the Millennium bug, or been bitten by a bug, you’re unlikely to welcome the bug into your life. But how did the word come to mean such disparate […]

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From teaspoons to tea-sots: the language of tea

Tea was first imported into Britain early in the 17th century, becoming very popular by the 1650s. The London diarist Samuel Pepys drank his first cup in 1660, as recorded in his famous diary: ‘I did send for a cup of tee (a China drink) of which I had never drunk before’. The word tea […]

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Video: what are the origins of the dollar, pound, and yen symbols?

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The language of the Greek financial crisis

Europe According to Greek mythology, Europe was the daughter of Agenor and Tilefasa. She was a princess living in Phoenicia (modern day Lebanon) with her three sisters Asia, Libya, and Thrace. One day she was playing on the seaside when she saw a beautiful white bull. She was mesmerized by his beauty so she approached […]

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Whatever happened to the Brontosaurus?

When I was about six, my grandfather introduced me to a book which he had been given as a boy. It had a picture of a Triceratops on the front cover, and I read it eagerly as far as the back cover more than once. It was the 1897 edition of Extinct Monsters: a popular […]

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