Tag: folk etymology

German Compound Words

Words with a perspective: German compound words

A few years ago, it was reported that German had ‘lost’ its longest word – the 63-letter monstrosity Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungs- aufgabenübertragungsgesetz. The cause of this ‘loss’ was a law change in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: in 2013, the ‘beef labelling supervision duties delegation law’, as is the term’s literal English translation, was officially repealed, thus rendering its name […]

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A Lego version of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

J.R.R. Tolkien and the definition of ‘hobbit’

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. . . What’s a hobbit and how did J.R.R. Tolkien come by this word? Was it invented, adapted, or stolen? To celebrate the release of The Hobbit film and renewed interest in J.R.R Tolkien’s work, we’ve excerpted this passage from The Ring of Words: Tolkien […]

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Is the set-up of a steamship really the origin of posh? The posh acronym (Port Out Starboard Home) is a popular explanation for the origin and definition of posh.

What is the origin of the word ‘posh’?

There have been many attempts to explain the origin of posh, with some theories being more persuasive than others. Is the famed posh acronym theory true? Let’s investigate! Stylish dandies and cash Posh, meaning ‘smart, stylish, splendid, luxurious’ is first recorded in 1914, with the chiefly British strand of meaning, ‘typical of the upper classes; snooty’, […]

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