After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Norman French became the official language used at court and by the nobles. It was 300 years before ‘English’ became the official language of England. In Guernsey however the local people continued speaking Norman.
“Two nations divided by a common language” – an expression variously attributed to Oscar Wilde & George Bernard Shaw seems to aptly sum up some of the ‘infurating’ differences between “our version of English” and that of our American Cousins. In this article we present just some of the subtle, and not so sublte, differences in our common tongue.
Wher does the English idion of “Sweating Like a Pig” come from ?
Ever wondered how to sing your favourite carols in Guernsey French ? Well now you can. In this article we’ve listed the Guernesiais version of Silent Night along with the phonetic pronunciation
Chimpanzees share about 99% of our DNA, making them our closest living relatives, so the questions might be better re-phrased as “Can chimps speak?”
If you look at the statistics around the English language you’d think that we already have more than enough words in this ‘language of the World’. However as much as we like to think of English as the biggest and best of all the World languages, it turns out there’s just some things you can’t express in one word … but you can in other languages. Démerdeur (French); Koi no yokan (Japenese); Dreich (Scots); Litost (Czech)
A motley combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Germanic dialects, the English language (more or less as we know it) coalesced between the 9th and 13th centuries. Despite this we use a lot of Latin phrases to this day. In this article we look at some of the more common Latin phrases that we should all know.
Are you a Bibliophile, someone who loves books? If you are you’ll know the joy of buying, collecting, owning, (smelling?), touching and of course reading these textual marvels. In this article we introduce you to some words I think every Bibliophile should know.
In the English language new words come into being daily. There are, however, some words that we might just associate with the hipster speak of todays’ social media that turn out to be a lot older than you might think . So here are six of them.
On the 10th January 49 BC Julius Caesar led one of his legions across a small stream called the Rubicon, thus defying the Roman Senate and breaking the Lex Cornelia Majestatis that forbade a general from bringing an army out of the province to which he was assigned. Turning to his lieutenants just before he crossed, Caesar remarked bitterly, ‘Jacta alea est’ (The die is cast.)
In this article we look at the mistake that gave Turkey (the Bird) the same name as Turkey (the Nation).
This is one of those urban myths that refuse to die … “Do Eskimos Really have 80 Words for Snow ?” So in this article we hope to answer it once and for all.
Guernésiais, Auregnais, Jèrriais and Sercquiais – the local names for the French spoken in the respective islands – are direct descendants from the Norman French spoken at the time of the Conqueror. In this article we look at their ‘family tree’.
Eponyms are one of the most fascinating examples of how the English language gains new words. In this article we take a colourful look at the phenomenon some eponyms like : Uncle Sam, Masochism, Martinet & Jezebel.
Eponyms are one of the most fascinating examples of how the English language gains new words. In this article we take a colourful look at the phenomenon some eponyms like : Juggernaut, Lynching, Malapropism, Maverick & Tantalise.