Monthly Archives: March 2010

Eastáit na Sí

An interesting Irish expression I came across recently is Eastáit na Sí (“Fairy Estates”), which are known as Ghost Estates in English. These are housing estates full of empty houses that nobody can afford thanks to the disappearance of the Celtic Tiger. The Irish version refers to the Sí (fairies or little people) from Irish […]

Cornish, English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh 4 Comments


This stamp was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to know whether anybody identify and decipher the writing on it.

Language, Puzzles, Writing 7 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 33 Comments


I came across the word grubstake in a book I’m reading at the moment and it caught my attention because I haven’t seen it before. It appears in the following context: “From the moment I first arrived back in New York, my father has wanted me to leave the city. He would be happy to […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Script charts

I decided to improve the script charts on the hiragana and katakana pages on Omniglot today – something I’ve been meaning to do to a long time. Here’s one of the new charts: As well as put improved charts of the kana online, I’ve also put links to Word and PDF versions of the charts […]

Japanese, Language, Writing 12 Comments

Name the language

Here’s part of a song in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 14 Comments


Can anyone decipher the writing on this image, which was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot. It looks like Hebrew to me.

Language, Puzzles, Writing 18 Comments


I finally got round to seeing Avatar this week and really enjoyed it. Na’vi, the constructed language used in the film was devised by Paul Frommer, sounds intriguing and there seems to be quite a bit of interest in it. Here are some websites where you can find out more: – Learn Na’vi contains Na’vi-English […]

Conlangs, Language 5 Comments


An interesting word I heard yesterday on Raidió na Gaeltachta was tonnmharcaíocht or surfing – literally “wave riding”. I hadn’t heard it before, but was able to work out the meaning from its component words. Another word for this kind of surfing is tonnscinneadh (wave glancing / skimming). Surfing the internet is scimeáil ar an […]

Breton, Cornish, Etymology, Irish, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 11 Comments

Cennin Pedr

Yesterday was St David’s Day (Dydd Gŵyl Dewi), a day when many Welsh people wear daffodils (cennin Pedr) in honour of their patron saint. The daffodil (cenhinen Bedr) is one of the national symbols of Wales, along with the leek (cenhinen), and the Welsh name for daffodil means “Peter’s leek”. The leek has been a […]

English, Etymology, Greek, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 Comments
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