Of all the things that define us as humans there is surely one remarkable thing that marks us out from other life on earth – language and the ability to communicate via speech. But what is it in our genes that allows us to do this?
Wher does the English idion of “Sweating Like a Pig” come from ?
Ever wonder why ‘Jingle Bells’ is the only Christmas song that doesn’t mention Christmas, Jesus or the Nativity ? That’s because it was written to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Did you know … The London Stock Exchange was originally a coffee shop
If you look at the number of words in the English language you’ll find that estimates vary between 500,000 and just over 2 million, depending on how you count them. You will find that some of these words were simply “made up” by various authors at one time or another but they’ve proved so popular that they’ve entered our everyday lexicon like Galumph, Nerd, Namby-pamby, Factoid, Serendipity and many more.
Today, London is the financial capital of the world and for good or ill the hub of global banking and finance. How banking started in the capital is every bit as intriguing and mysterious as the ways that modern international finance seems to work today. Basically we owe it all to a religious order of heavily armed warrior monks who set up London’s first bank some 900 years ago.
Loch Ness, the largest by volume, of all the many lochs in Scotland, is possibly the most famous body of water in the world. The reason, of course, is what is claimed to lie in its deepest, darkest depths – The Loch Ness Monster!
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.
Whilst much of the world’s road systems enforce driving on the right, not all do. Most notably, the British drive on the left whilst their continental cousins drive on the right, but why ?
Okay as questions go this is a ‘doozy’ – as our American cousins would say. It’s a question that has perplexed humanity from as early as the ancient Greeks all the way to us in the 21st century, and we’re still dying to know : Which came first-the chicken or the egg ?
Given the bad press that fizzy drinks get these days, it may come as a surprise that ‘soda pop’ was originally conceived as a beverage to be consumed for the benefit of one’s health.
Baked Beans – beloved as part of an ‘English Breakfast’ eaten by the ton on toast is perhaps a peculiarly British love. But where did this come from – and where did ‘baked beans’ originate from ?
Nothing seems quite so paradoxical as the inventor of dynamite being the sponsor of the World’s most renowned peace award – The Nobel Prize. That being the case the invention of Dynamite, please note NOT gunpowder, was a pretty seminal moment in the history of technology.
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.