There are 6 posts.
In this final blog post in the Free the Word series, OED associate editor Eleanor Maier explores ‘fam’, London’s chosen word and subject of a poem by Caleb Femi. fam n. a familiar form of address for a friend. Armistead Maupin writes in his Tales of the City series about the difference between a person’s […]more
In 1969 Ralph McTell sang ‘let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London…’ Well, reader, permit me to do the same. We’re going on a linguistic journey to urban London. You can leave your Lonely Planet guide to the city behind. And you can forget the name of […]more
People in the UK are routinely amused and bemused by French-speakers’ hyper-sensitivity to language matters and by the steps taken by the French state to regulate linguistic behaviour. In the 60s and 70s, under the sway of Gaullism, successive governments targeted above all the use of Anglicisms. More recently, the Socialists have faced a tide […]more
Have you ever wondered how some of the more unusual sounding tube stops in London got their name? Taking a look at the origins of London Underground stations’ names is, of course, pretty much the same as exploring the origins of place names: almost all of them are named after the areas they serve. Locals […]more
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 […]more
My dad introduced me to P.G. Wodehouse when I was a teenager. Not for a moment did it occur to him that a 14-year-old girl whose first language was Afrikaans and who had never left the African continent might not find immediate resonance with Bertie Wooster, Lord Ickenham, Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps, Gussie Fink-Nottle, and co., or […]more