Christmas Factoid : ‘Jingle Bells’ wasn’t originally written as a Christmas song
Dec01

Christmas Factoid : ‘Jingle Bells’ wasn’t originally written as a Christmas song

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.

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From Coffee to Commodities – The London Stock Exchange
Nov10

From Coffee to Commodities – The London Stock Exchange

Did you know … The London Stock Exchange was originally a coffee shop

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From Galumph to Nerd to Blatant – 10 Beautiful Words Coined by Famous Writers
Oct10

From Galumph to Nerd to Blatant – 10 Beautiful Words Coined by Famous Writers

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.

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The Warrior Monks Who Brought Banking to London
Jul18

The Warrior Monks Who Brought Banking to London

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.

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The Origins of the Loch Ness Monster
Jul11

The Origins of the Loch Ness Monster

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!

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How the US States Got Their Names
Jul04

How the US States Got Their Names

How did the 50 US States get their names … ?

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6 Words That Are Older Than You Might Think – Unfriend, Trick Out, OMG, LOL, Punk, Dude
Mar14

6 Words That Are Older Than You Might Think – Unfriend, Trick Out, OMG, LOL, Punk, Dude

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.

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Why do the Europeans Drive on the Right Whilst the British Drive on the Left ?
Jan20

Why do the Europeans Drive on the Right Whilst the British Drive on the Left ?

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 ?

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Which Came First – The Chicken or the Egg ?
Jan03

Which Came First – The Chicken or the Egg ?

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 ?

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The Origin of … Carbonated Drinks
Dec27

The Origin of … Carbonated Drinks

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.

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Baked Beans – Peculiarly British ?
Nov29

Baked Beans – Peculiarly British ?

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 ?

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Dynamite
Oct18

Dynamite

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.

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Origins of Some English Eponyms : Juggernaut, Lynching, Malapropism, Maverick & Tantalise
Jun21

Origins of Some English Eponyms : Juggernaut, Lynching, Malapropism, Maverick & Tantalise

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.

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The Meaning of Some Guernsey Surnames
Feb19

The Meaning of Some Guernsey Surnames

There’s a rich variety of traditional Guernsey surnames. Surnames that have been in the island for generations and with which we are all very familiar but may never have given any thought as to what they might actually mean. In this article we look st some of them.

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Origins of Some English Eponyms : Chauvinist , Draconoian, Hooligan, John Hancock & Mentor
Nov27

Origins of Some English Eponyms : Chauvinist , Draconoian, Hooligan, John Hancock & Mentor

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 : Chauvinist , Draconoian, Hooligan, John Hancock & Mentor.

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