8 phrases that come from Exodus

The film Exodus, directed by Ridley Scott and released this month, is part of a continuing trend of depicting the Bible on screen. Noah was released earlier in 2014, and Christian scripture has long provided material for the silver screen – from The Passion of the Christ and The Ten Commandments to (more tangentially) Monty Python’s […]

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downing street - pleb

WordWatch roundup: pleb, indict, Thanksgiving trends, and more

One of the most-discussed news stories in the US during 2014 has been the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on 9 August 2014. The shooting immediately became a key issue in the national discussion on issues of race and inequality. On 24 November 2014, the county grand jury decided not to indict Wilson for the shooting, sparking a wave of protests and civil unrest across the country.

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Quiz: how well do you know our new words?

This month’s update saw a host of new words and senses enter, with the internet and popular culture being once again a strong influence on the way people talk and write (lolcat, digital footprint). But now it’s time for YOU to prove that you’re up to date with current word trends! Take our new […]

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Strike me lucky, mate: Aussie words added to

Australian English is a distinctive part of global English. Ever since English was first spoken on the antipodean continent in the late eighteenth century, the vocabulary has evolved and adapted to such matters as the circumstances of penal settlement, indigenous culture and language, the diverse landscape, the unique flora and fauna, and the formative agricultural, […]

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rubber duck large

Duck face, lolcat, and permadeath: new words added to

Try not to be jel, but some xlnt new words have gone into in December’s mahoosive update. Whether you’re a shiny bum reading this while eating al desko or taking a break while you respawn, don’t be a keyboard warrior or say IDC – just sit back and enjoy the new words. Simples. Slang […]

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What are the origins of lord and lady?

Old English might have English right there in the name, but that doesn’t mean that it’s familiar to speakers of English today. The original spellings of some words bear so little resemblance to how they are spelt today that they are all but impossible to recognize. And in transforming their spellings, the origins and the […]

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Cryptology: the art and science of keeping words secure

As a cryptologist (alternatively cryptographer), what greater important responsibility could I possibly bear than that of keeping words secure? Cryptology is sometimes defined as the art of writing and solving codes. I am going to contest that on a number of fronts, not the least being that cryptology is far more important to all of […]

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Quiz: which Hunger Games character are you?

Happy Hunger Games! With the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 in cinemas recently, what better time to find out which Hunger Games character you most resemble? Before you start, make sure you’ve read about the language of the Hunger Games, and 8 words you need to know to survive The Hunger Games. […]

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