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 : Uncle Sam, Masochism, Martinet & Jezebel
Aug09

Origins of Some English Eponyms : 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 : Uncle Sam, Masochism, Martinet & Jezebel.

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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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When did the US start dropping the U from words such as colour?
Oct20

When did the US start dropping the U from words such as colour?

Did the American’s hi-jack the English language and have applied what seems, on the face of it, some rather arbitary descions to spell various words differently. Why remove the U from words like colour? In this article we look at the rather querky reasons for this.

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The Rise of Football – The Beautiful Game
Sep08

The Rise of Football – The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game, complete with even medieval hooligans, is older than you might think.

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Instead of swearing, some people say “Gordon Bennett”  – Why and who was he?
Mar20

Instead of swearing, some people say “Gordon Bennett” – Why and who was he?

Instead of swearing, some people say “Gordon Bennett.” But why? Did he exist and, if so, who was he?

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Guernsey Icons – The Guernsey Milk-Can
Mar07

Guernsey Icons – The Guernsey Milk-Can

Today the Guernsey milk-can has almost disappeared. We still see them of course, but we see little silver ones in jewellers’ shops and bigger ones in copper in old houses and in antique shops. However there are still some people who make them in the old way.

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The Evolution of the English Language
Feb18

The Evolution of the English Language

English is truly the international language of the world. It’s rise to prominence is due in no small part due to the British Empire and now to the all pervading American cultural hegemony. But what about the evolution of the language itself ?

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Nursery Rhymes – Origins & History III
Dec27

Nursery Rhymes – Origins & History III

Behind every nursery rhyme is a history and story that’s every bit intriguing as the rhyme itself : Three Blind Mice; Mary Mary Quite Contrary; Pease-pudding Hot; Little Miss Muffet; Little Jack Horner

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Christmas Crackers – A History of Tom Smith
Dec20

Christmas Crackers – A History of Tom Smith

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Cracker. That extra piece of trimming that helps make up the Christmas table with it’s paper hats, silly (sometimes usefull) gifts and jokes and mottos that we all like to groan at. Here we look at how the man behind this tradition, Tom Smith, developed them.

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