Articles, quizzes, and grammar tips for word-lovers everywhere

Tag: etymology

Blurring the lines between fiction and reality

Romeo and Juliet

Have you ever been caught in a Catch-22 situation? Do you get the eerie feeling that Big Brother is watching you as you spy yet another CCTV camera filming your every move? Or perhaps you’re grinning like a Cheshire cat having just won another game of hangman on Oxford Dictionaries Online? The English language is […]

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How to write a slang dictionary

Green's Dictionary of Slang

1.      Cancel your appointments ‘Have you ever thought of writing a slang dictionary,’ an editor asked in 1993 and although I had, a decade earlier, and published it, I said only, ‘Yes.’ And had a publisher. The problem, in these globalizing days, is keeping them. There would be four before the book finally appeared. I […]

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Body parts

Skeleton

The etymology of the English language is awash in body parts. We have hundreds of words that have been formed, Frankenstein-like, by taking bits and pieces of the human body. For instance, we have numerous words containing hands in them – chiropractic comes to English from the Greek root kheir (meaning hand), and the Latin word for […]

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