Our lexicographers respond to the ‘Essex Girl’ debate

Collins applauds the campaign by The Mother Hub to change the stereotypical view of Essex women, which has raised some interesting points around how words are included in, or excluded from, dictionaries. Here at Collins, we believe our duty as a dictionary publisher is to report the… Read More

Etymology Corner – ‘bonfire’

Bonfire Coming as it does just after the clocks have been turned back, Bonfire Night brings a welcome distraction from the dark November evenings. Bonfires produce warmth, light, and good cheer at an otherwise dreary time of the year. So when the great lexicographer Samuel Johnson compiled his… Read More

Etymology Corner – ‘battery’ and ‘debate’

(de)bat(tery) The words ‘debate’ and ‘battery’ might seem to have little in common, although both have been in the news recently: production of a notable brand of smartphone has been stopped due to the risk of its battery catching fire, while the televised debates between the US presidential candidates have… Read More

We take a look at the surprising origins behind the word ‘aftermath’

Aftermath Most words that begin with ‘after-’ are self-explanatory. We can all understand why we talk about an ‘aftertaste’, an ‘aftershock’, or an ‘aftereffect’, but why do we talk about the consequences of an event as its ‘aftermath’? It turns out that the ‘math’ in ‘aftermath’ has nothing to… Read More