Tag: nickname

political catchphrases and nicknames

What’s in a nickname? Lyin’ Ted, L’il Marco, and the art of the political catchphrase

The US Presidential race is taking yet another twist in its long road to the White House this week, as voters in Indiana head to the polls for their primary contest. The race to become a party’s nominee is usually all but settled by this time of year, but in 2016, at least on the […]

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football team names

The origins of British football team names

Where do British football (or soccer) clubs get their names? The answer may seem straightforward enough, since most clubs are named after the city in which they play: Manchester City, Southampton, Liverpool. But there are exceptions, such as Arsenal, named after the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, whose workers formed the club in 1886. The Royal […]

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historical nicknames

How well do you know historical nicknames?

Many famous people through history are best remembered by nicknames. You might be familiar with authors who adopted pseudonyms (George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, etc.) but what of those people known only by epithets? Take our quiz and see how well you know the real names behind historical nicknames.

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jazz nicknames

How did jazz musicians end up with all those nicknames?

‘Old Blue Eyes’. ‘The Queen of Soul’. ‘Muddy Waters’. ‘The King’. Nicknames are an integral part of the history of popular music in the United States. They not only lend musicians a distinctive identity, but they also serve to create a sense of familiarity between musician and listener. Nicknames connect audiences to performers who, on […]

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Chicago skyline

How well do you know your US city nicknames?

Lots of cities in the United States have nicknames, ranging from monikers largely rejected by their populace (New Yorkers are famously impatient with the nickname ‘the Big Apple’) to those nicknames shouldered with pride – Pittsburghers, for example, proudly claim the nickname ‘The Steel City’, which references the city’s major role in the Industrial Revolution […]

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London_large

How well do you know building nicknames?

Many iconic buildings have over the years been given nicknames, often with the intention to criticize their modern design. Mockingly naming skyscrapers has become a popular activity in London in particular, which is why the city features especially heavily in today’s quiz. So, do you know where to find the ‘Gherkin’, or which city has […]

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apron metanalysis

Apron, adder, and other words that used to begin with ‘n’…

The words app and nap might rhyme, but to say they sound exactly the same is quite clearly wrong. Well, it is quite clearly wrong until you precede them with the indefinite article. There is nothing (apart from context) to distinguish an app from a nap in spoken English, unless you rather take your time […]

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Margaret Thatcher legacy

The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher’s linguistic legacy

The debate around Margaret Thatcher’s political and social legacy will no doubt continue for some time yet. But what of her linguistic legacy? Did she leave her mark on the English language? Iron Handbags It’s fair to say that Margaret Thatcher’s linguistic legacy lies more in what others have said about her and her politics […]

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