Monthly Archives: February 2012


Sproange /spɒˈrændʒ/ is another name for the sporangium /spɒˈrændʒɪəm/ of a plant, which the OED defines as “a receptacle containing spores; a spore-case or capsule.” Sporange comes via Latin from the Greek σπορά spore + ἀγγεῖον (vessel). Sporange is also the only English word that rhymes with orange, a factoid I discovered on Lexiophiles, which […]

English, French, Greek, Language, Latin 1 Comment

Language quiz

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

Language, Quiz questions 15 Comments


The French words baragouin and baragouiner came up in conversation yesterday and I thought I’d write about them today as they have an interesting etymology. According to Reverso baragouin means ‘gibberish, gabble or double Dutch’ and baragouiner ‘means ‘to gibber, jabber, gabble’. The Larousse Dictionary defines baragouin as language that is incomprehensible due to poor […]

Breton, English, French, Language, Words and phrases 10 Comments

‘Bilingual’ dolphins

According to an article I found today, dolphins sometimes make whale-like calls. Researchers from the University of Rennes in France recorded dolphins at an aquatic park in Port-Saint-Père and found that they make noises very similar to humpback whale calls, particularly when resting during the early hours of the morning. This is the first time […]

Animal communication Comments Off on ‘Bilingual’ dolphins

Sign languages

I’ve been thinking about which language(s) to focus on this year. My studies of Russian petered out before Christmas, partly because I haven’t any pressing need to learn it. Since then I’ve been trying to decide whether to continue with Russian, to learn a new language, or to work on a language I’ve already studied. […]

Language, Language learning, Sign language 3 Comments
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