Monthly Archives: October 2010

Jumpers and sea pigs

Llamhidydd, (n/m) [pl. llamhidyddion] – porpoise, dancer, acrobat, jumper Today’s word appears in a book I’m reading at the moment and is a new one to me. I’m not sure about the etymology of the hid part, but llam means jump, and the suffix -ydd indicates a person or agent. As well as jump, llam […]

Breton, Cornish, English, Etymology, Irish, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 21 Comments


This sign appears in the window of a Thai restaurant in Washington DC, and was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to know what it means. Can you help?

Chinese, Language, Puzzles, Writing 2 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 11 Comments

3 Unique Ways to Learn Spanish

Today we have a guest post from Ian at Fluently Spanish: If you’re like most people who want to learn Spanish, you are sick of the boring methods used by old-fashioned school and college lecturers. All that hope, promise and excitement of learning Spanish can only last so long if you are stuck reading books […]

Language, Language learning, Spanish 17 Comments


Koro is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by about 1,000 people in Arunachal Pradesh in north-eastern India. Until recently it was unknown outside this region and was discovered by a team of linguists who are part of the National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project, which aims to document endangered languages [source]. The linguists started documenting two other […]

Language 5 Comments

Casual water

casual water – “a temporary accumulation of water on the golf course”. Technically the accumulation of water has to be above ground and visible, and this does not include lakes; wet, spongy, mushy or muddy ground; dew or frost, or snow or ice [source]. So in other words casual water is another way of describing […]

English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment


Can anyone decipher the writing around this disc? It was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who’s been told that it’s in a Kufic version of the Arabic script, and who thinks it could be Ottoman Turkish or Persian. A speaker of Hmong who wrote to me recently mentioned that consonants are called tsiaj […]

Language, Puzzles 28 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in six different languages. Can you identify the languages and work out which is the odd one out?

Language, Quiz questions 20 Comments

Word of the day – spurtle

I came across today’s word, spurtle, in a book I’m reading at the moment. It’s described as “a wooden utensil for stirring porridge” in the book, while according to Wikipedia it is: a Scots kitchen tool, dating from at least the fifteenth century. It was originally a flat, wooden, spatula-like utensil, used for flipping oatcakes […]

Language, Scots, Words and phrases 5 Comments
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