Masks and face coverings: the new normal?

Think of masks and what comes to mind? Does your subconscious link them to glamour and derring-do…or pleasure…or even terror? Perhaps some mythical swashbuckling character from film or fiction …Zorro, the Lone Ranger, even Batman or Robin. Or something more sinister, like Hannibal Lecter? Whatever their associations, getting used to… Read More
a rocket being launched

Spanish word of the week: suceso

el suceso NOUN event; incident Today will be looking at the ‘false friend’ suceso. Be careful not to use the word success as a translation. It translates into English as either event or incident: los sucesos más importantes de la última década the major events of… Read More

The Longest Word in the Collins English Dictionary

This post was originally published on 4th April 2012 and updated on 21st July 2020. What is the Longest Word in the Collins English Dictionary? The longest word listed in Collins English Dictionary* is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, which is the full name of the chemical DDT. It has 31 letters. In… Read More
young woman with her hands against her face looking shocked

Spanish word of the week: harto

harto ADJECTIVE fed up, tired If you’re fed up with or tired with something harto de is the phrase you need: Estoy harta de esta comida. I’m fed up with this food. Estaba harto de tener que hacerlo todo para ella. He was tired of… Read More

One snooker doesn’t make a summer

Ah, summer in England! Strawberries and cream at Wimbledon as sun (or rain) beats down on Centre Court and the boisterous crowd throngs Henman Hill. Or a bracing dip at the lido followed by post-immersion goose pimples making it feel especially wonderful to be alive. Except that this COVID-summer will… Read More
a sebird standing in water looking at its refection

Spanish word of the week: imagen

la imagen (PLURAL las imágenes) NOUN image, picture Imagen has very much the same range of application as its English cousin image. It can be used literally to refer to a physical image or picture: las imágenes del accidente the images or pictures of the accident… Read More

Air bridges and she-sheds offer positive vibe after lockdown

After a year when many of the new words coming into the Collins Dictionary have involved measures to ensure public safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, the words that have arrived in June may hint at how people are planning to escape from lockdown and re-establish social activities. Some of the… Read More
a young girl and a much taller boy looking as if they are about to argue with each other

Spanish word of the week: discutir

discutir VERB to argue, to quarrel; to discuss Discutir is a word that could trip you up. If a Spanish-speaking friend says that two people están discutiendo and you think it means ‘discussing’, you might be surprised at how loud they’re talking! In fact, it often means… Read More

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

At long last some semblance of life as it was BC (before Coronavirus) is returning or soon will. Shops have reopened. As of last week, garden centres are welcoming customers back, as are zoos, safari parks and outdoor visitor attractions. Dentists in England can carry out routine treatments. On… Read More