Monthly Archives: May 2006

Word of the day – isogloss

isogloss, noun = a line drawn on a map around the area in which a linguistic feature is to be found, such as a particular pronunciation of a given word Origin: from the Greek ισος (isos) – equal, and γλωσσα (glossa) – tongue/language. Other words with similar meanings include: isolex, an isogloss for a particular […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Word of the day – nimhneach

nimhneach, adjective = painful, sore, (person) touchy, spiteful Examples of usage Tá sceadamán nimhneach orm = I have a sore throat Tá droim nimhneach air = He has a sore back Tá bolg nimhneach uirthi = She has a stomach-ache Related words nimh, noun = poison, venom nimheadas, noun = antagonism, spitefulness nimheanta, adjective = […]

Irish, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Word of the day – garganta

garganta, noun = throat, gullet, neck, instep, singing voice, gorge, ravine, narrow pass, shaft Examples of usage mojar la garganta = to wet one’s whistle (to have a drink) le tengo atravesado en la garganta = he sticks in my gullet tener el agua a la garanta = to be in great danger (lit. “to […]

Language, Spanish, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Word of the day – pomodoro

pomodoro, noun = tomato One of the things Christopher Columbus brought back from the “New World” was the tomato. People believed that tomatoes were poisonous at first, but had started to fry and eat them like eggplants (aubergines) by the beginning of the 18th century. The Italians gave tomatoes the same nickname as eggplant, pomo […]

Italian, Language, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Word of the day – kiartey

kiartey (K’YART-a), noun = chore, job, task Examples of usage Vel kiartey ec Peddyr foast? – Does Peter have a job yet? Ta mee skee jeh’n chiartey aym – I’m tired of my job Cre’n sorch dy chiartey by vie lhiat jannoo? – What kind of job would you like to do? Related expressions kiartagyn […]

Language, Manx, Words and phrases 9 Comments

All the world’s a stage

The title of today’s post is an example of a metaphor from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The full version is: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players They have their exits and their entrances; According to Wikipedia, a metaphor, from the Greek: μεταφεριν (metapherin) – “to carry something […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

As mad as a box of frogs

The title of this post is an example of a simile, a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds, and which usually starts with as or like. Some examples of well know similes include, as slippery as an eel, as busy as a bee, as thick as two short planks, […]

Language, Similes, Words and phrases 9 Comments

Word of the day – aptronym

An aptronym or aptonym is a name that relates to its owner’s profession or personality, often in a humorous or ironic way. For example, William Wordsworth (poet), Larry Speakes (presidential spokesman under Ronald Reagan) and Anna Smashnova (tennis player). This word was apparently coined by Franklin P. Adams, an American newspaper columnist in 1938, according […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 5 Comments


One of the things they talked about yesterday on Word of Mouth on BBC Radio 4 was onomatophobhia, the fear or dread of certain words or phrases. They interviewed people who go out of their way to avoid hearing or seeing particular words, in most cases as a result of negative and/or traumatic associations with […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 9 Comments

Word of the day – 風

風 (kaze, fū), noun = wind, breeze, air, appearance, manner, bearing, atmosphere Examples of usage 強い風がふている (tsuyoi kaze ga futeiru) = There’s a strong wind blowing – this is certainly true of Brighton today, hence my choice of this word. どこからともなく風が花の香りを運んできた (doko kara tomo naku kaze ga hana no kaori o hakondekita) = The fragrance of […]

Japanese, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment
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