Monthly Archives: January 2014

Buiten

Tthe Dutch word buiten /ˈbœy̯.tə(n)/ is one I’ve heard quite a bit while listening to Dutch radio, and though I know what it means – outside; out of – I wasn’t sure where it came from. Today I discover that it is related to uit (out, from). Buiten also means: villa, abroad, forth, apart from, […]

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Dutch, English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 8 Comments

Wirlie

In a book I read recently (one of Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series) I came across a number of Scots words that were unfamiliar to me. One that I particularly like is wirlie, which, according the Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL), means: “a place where a field-wall crosses a stream; an opening […]

English, Etymology, Language, Scots, Words and phrases 3 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 6 Comments

SpeakTalkChat: Linking Language Enthusiasts and Learners

Today we have a guest post by Aodhán Ó Duagáin (Aidan Duggan) of www.SpeaktalkChat.com ————————————————————————- SpeakTalkChat is a language platform that allows users to link based on shared languages and shared interests. Our goal is to link us together based on shared interests to chat through our shared languages. Our philosophy is that much progress […]

English, Language, Language learning 4 Comments

Dirks, Saxons and Messers

I discovered today that dolch is the German equivalent of dirk, the dagger that is worn in the sock in Scottish Highland dress (see photo). The dirk is known as a sgian dubh (black knife or secret knife) in Scottish Gaelic, and the word dirk, which first appeared in English as dork in the 17th […]

Danish, Dutch, English, Etymology, French, German, Language, Proto-Indo-European, Scottish Gaelic, Swedish, Words and phrases 9 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 6 Comments

Lucky and inspiring veins

I discovered yesterday that one way to say that someone is lucky in French is to say that they avoir de la veine (‘have of the vein’). I’m not sure why veins are associated with luck. Does anybody know. Veine also means seam and inspiration. Other expressions featuring veine and related words include: – veiné […]

English, Etymology, French, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Fantoosh puppets

I came across the interesting Scots word fantoosh [fan’tuʃ], which is defined by the Online Scots Dictionary as “flashy, ultra-fashionable”, whicle the Dictionary of the Scots Language gives a more detailed definition: “1. Over-dressed, over-ornamented; flashy, showy; ultra-fashionable; and 2. An over-dressed person”. Related words include fantoosherie (fuss, pretentiousness, swank) and fantooshed (flashily dressed). This […]

English, Language, Scots, Words and phrases 4 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 14 Comments

The apple of one’s eye(ball)

The other day I came across the Dutch word oog [oːx], which means ‘spot; hole; period (of time); eye’ – I was looking for the equivalent of eye when I found it. Words like this with double o just appeal to me for some reason and I have to keep reminding myself that they the […]

Dutch, English, German, Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments