Silent letters

To pronounce or not to pronounce, that is the dilemma. English, like some other languages, has a number of letters which are ‘silent’ in certain words. The tricky thing is, knowing which letters can be silent, and learning when they should and should not be pronounced. The main silent letters… Read More

Audrey Brow, Unicorn Farts & Space Grease: June’s Words in the News

Although I’m fluent in German, I first heard the word Schadenfreude (literally “harm-joy”, or the malicious joy one gets from the misfortunes of an enemy) in an episode of The Simpsons, in which Lisa uses it to describe Homer’s glorying in the downfall of their goody-two-shoes neighbour, Ned Flanders. I… Read More

A quick guide to basic Russian lingo!

So, you’re in Russia? And you want to learn a bit of the local lingo? Here’s a very quick guide to the basics in Russian. When meeting up with Russians, a handshake is an appropriate gesture when greeting or leaving. You might want to start with: Hello/Hi Привет [pri-v’et]… Read More

5 unusual words & phrases to upgrade your World Cup 2018 banter

Whether you’re a football fanatic or somewhat indifferent to sport, the 2018 World Cup brings everyone together to celebrate the beautiful game. Impress your friends, family and colleagues with this unusual collection of football lingo. Throw a few of these words and phrases into your World Cup conversation and you’ll… Read More

Pronunciation of ‘-ough’ words

This is the first blog of our brand new series looking at difficult to pronounce words. If there is any group of letters that underlines how tricky English pronunciation can be, it is the string ‘-ough’. Fortunately, there are few letter combinations in English that vary as widely in the… Read More

GDPR, yanny/laurel & MadaBaka Beat: May’s Words in the News

Greetings. I have really enjoyed informing you about new and trending vocabulary in the news and social media over the past few years. However, new data regulations are coming into effect, and these will change what data I can retain and how I can use it. So if you would… Read More

The etymology behind 4 eggs-ellent Springtime words

With the wreckage of many chocolate eggs behind us and some spring weather finally on the horizon, you might wonder where this tradition of sharing brightly wrapped sweet treats and talking about giant benevolent bunnies comes from? We’ve explored the diverse etymology of 4 eggs-ellent words associated with spring. Read More