Monthly Archives: April 2012

Honchos

I thought that the word honcho as in head honcho (big leader / big cheese) came from Japanese. The OED and the Online Etymology Dictionary both say that it comes from the Japanese word 班長 (hanchō) or squad / team leader, and that it was borrowed by American servicemen in Japan and Korea in 1947-1953. […]

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Basque, English, Etymology, Japanese, Language, Words and phrases 2 Comments

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 10 Comments

Irish

According to the 2011 Irish census, the number of people who use Irish in Ireland as their everyday language outside school is 82,600. Many more speak it, but only in school, or rarely, This compares with 119,526 people who speak Polish at home and 56,430 who speak French. The census also found that just 35% […]

Irish, Language 6 Comments

Squeegee

The other day I discovered that the thing I clean my windows with is a squeegee – I was familiar with the name, and knew it had something to do with cleaning, but wasn’t sure exactly what a squeegee was. From the sound of the name I guessed that it was a soft, squeezy kind […]

English, Etymology, Language 8 Comments

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 7 Comments