Tag: Susie Dent

squeezed middle

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2011: ‘squeezed middle’

You’d think that choosing the standout word of the year would be a contentious affair. So many possibilities, you’d guess, and so many linguistic loves, hates, and indifferences to deal with amongst those who debate it. The truth is that, normally, choosing the word of the year is a slam dunk. Take ‘bling’, the obvious […]

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fnarr fnarr

Fnarr fnarr, phwoah, and mwah

You might be surprised to discover that fnarr fnarr is included in OxfordDictionaries.com, but it has been for a few years now. ‘Fnarr fnarr’, that two-word deliverer of sniggering, usually at some piece of sexual innuendo, got me thinking about words born through sound association, and their often overlooked power in our language. A 16th century writer […]

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