Archive for the Category: Spanish

Word skipping to Venus

I was asked today about the origins of the word worship. The person who asked was told by a highly-educated minister that “worship” is derived from an old English word, “word-skip”. Supposedly, “word-skip” means “word shaper” or “shaper of words”. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary: worship comes from the Old English worðscip, wurðscip (Anglian), […]

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Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Italian, Language, Latin, Portuguese, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 17 Comments

Purses and sporrans

The word purse has an interesting history, I discovered today. It comes from the Old English word purs, from the Late Latin word bursa, which had a number of meanings of the centuries, including skin or leather; (money) bag; scrotum; exchange; and scholarship, allowance, and comes from the Greek word βύρσα (hide, leather). bursa is […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic 5 Comments

Ventriloquism

There was quite a bit of talk about ventriloquism on an episode of QI I watched recently, mainly because one of the guests was a ventriloquist. The word ventriloquism comes for the Latin words venter (stomach, belly, womb) and loquī (to speak) so it means “to speak from the stomach”. It was known as εγγαστριμυθία […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, Etymology, French, German, Greek, Italian, Language, Latin, Polish, Welsh 3 Comments

Lyrics Translate

The other day I came across a useful site called Lyrics Translate, where you can find, submit and request translations of songs. It currently contains translations between a wide range of languages, including English, German, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Polish and so on, and the site itself can be viewed in a variety of languages. There […]

Also posted in Breton, English, French, Irish, Language, Manx, Music, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Translation, Turkish, Welsh 2 Comments

Summer chicks and glowing coals

Last night we were talking about the Pili Palas on Anglesey, a butterfly centre, which also has birds, snakes and other exotic creatures. The name is a pun combining pili-pala (butterfly) and palas (palace) – it took me ages to realise this. We were trying to think of the words for butterfly in various other […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, German, Irish, Italian, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Ingrown languages

In an interesting book I read recently, What Language Is by John McWhorter, the author discusses why some languages appear a lot more complicated or ‘ingrown’ than others. He gives the example of Persian and Pashto, two Iranian languages spoken in a number of countries in western and central Asia. Whereas Persian has more or […]

Also posted in Arabic, English, Language, Language acquisition, Language learning 7 Comments

Lightbulb moments

Yesterday while we were singing La Bamba at the ukulele club the words started to make sense to me. I’d picked up some of them through repeated listening, but had never bothered to learn them before this week. Now I not only know the words, but also what they mean. Often with songs in languages […]

Also posted in Irish, Language, Welsh 3 Comments

Spots and sleeves

Today we have a guest post by Andrew of How to learn Spanish Hi, my name’s Andrew, I’ve been teaching myself Spanish on my own for about four years now, I run a blog on the subject of how to learn Spanish on your own where I share my own experiences and tips, and today […]

Also posted in French, Language 2 Comments

A kitten’s growl

A kitten’s growl would not come near the plights of your spoken voice. You are a banana moon subverting the sun. Your ear-splitting sequels have a mind of their own. Demonize your sofa. It will lend forth more peanuts between the cushions. The tiny sounds of ancient bees resound forth from the forrested coercions between […]

Also posted in English, Language 3 Comments

Hands and pockets

In English when you know something or somewhere well, you can say that you “know it like the back of your hand” or that you “know it inside out / back to front / upside down”. If you’re talking about people, you might say “I know him/her/them like I know myself.” Yesterday I learnt that […]

Also posted in English, French, German, Language, Turkish, Words and phrases 20 Comments