Tag: wordplay

The language of Lewis Carroll was highly innovative, and his books are full of neologisms and nonce words.

Alice Day and the language of Lewis Carroll

Alice Day is an annual celebration held on 4 July to mark the anniversary of the ‘golden afternoon’ in 1862 when Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematics tutor at Christ Church, Oxford, took Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boating picnic up the river Thames. During the trip he amused the sisters by telling the […]

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A statue of Napoleon, who features in the famous palindrome "Able was I ere I saw Elba". Learn how to make palindromes!

How to make palindromes

26 February marks the 200th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s banishment to the isle of Elba in 1814 provides the historical pretext for one of the best known palindromes in the English language, Able was I ere I saw Elba. With that gem in mind, let’s have a look at what goes into making a great palindromic sentence! Recently, we […]

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Are you a cruciverbalist?

Crossword and cruciverbalist language

The crossword was the invention of Liverpool émigré Arthur Wynne, whose first puzzle appeared in the New York World in 1913. This initial foray was christened a Word-Cross; the instruction in subsequent issues to ‘Find the missing cross words’ led to the birth of the cross-word. Although Wynne’s invention was initially greeted with scepticism, by […]

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March Madness: we have a winner!

This competition is now closed. With only five votes separating victory from grim defeat, the sport expression that has claimed the championship title in the Oxford Dictionaries Bracket Challenge is: butterfingers. The champ Who would have guessed that clumsiness would be a winning trait in a sports competition? This slightly ironic turn of events might […]

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