Archive

Etymology Corner – ‘Dadbod’

To celebrate Collins Word of the Year 2015, we explore the etymology of ‘Dadbod’.   Dads have something of an image problem in the English language. The word ‘father’ tends to signify wisdom and respectability in expressions such as ‘father figure’ (a person you can turn to for advice, guidance,… Read More

Etymology Corner – ‘Clean Eating’

To celebrate Collins Word of the Year 2015, we explore the etymology of ‘clean eating’.   It seems that every year brings a new philosophy as to the best way to regulate our intake of food to ensure optimum health and fitness. One idea that has gained many supporters recently… Read More

Etymology Corner – ‘Shaming’

To celebrate Collins Word of the Year 2015, we explore the etymology of ‘shaming’.   March 2015 saw the publication of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by the journalist Jon Ronson, a book that shone a spotlight on the current trend for mounting campaigns to heap opprobrium on people who… Read More

Etymology Corner – ‘Corbynomics’

To celebrate Collins Word of the Year 2015, we explore the etymology of ‘Corbynomics’.   Jeremy Corbyn’s successful campaign to become the new leader of the British Labour Party was based on some radical economic policies. He rejected the prevailing idea that the government should cut its spending in order… Read More

Etymology Corner – ‘Binge-Watch’

To celebrate Collins Word of the Year 2015, we explore the etymology of ‘binge-watch’.   There was a time when the fans of a television programme would experience a sense of gloom when the closing credits rolled, knowing that they had to wait for a full week until the next… Read More
A student holding several books

Etymology Corner – ‘Festival’

Book-lovers are emerging from their paper cocoons in their book-and-mortar houses, in order to attend the Cheltenham Literature Festival and feed their desire for exciting, new reads. Here at Etymology Corner, we’re feeding your love of words. By no coincidence, this month we explore the origin of ‘festival’. Read More
Old image of smoke around a cathedral

Etymology Corner – ‘Blitz’

‘Blitz’ comes from the German word for lightning. Its arrival in the English language can be traced to the German military strategy of Blitzkrieg (literally ‘lightning war’), which used tanks and bombers to secure rapid victories at the start of World War II. When a similar strategy was used in… Read More
A woman wearing a long red dress sitting on a large rock on moorland

Etymology Corner – ‘Wuthering’

Last week Emily Brontë and Kate Bush shared a birthday. To celebrate Bush’s 57th and Brontë’s 197th, we delve into the origin of the wonderfully Gothic ‘wuthering’. The title of Emily Brontë’s classic novel Wuthering Heights refers to the name of a haunted farmhouse in an exposed moorland… Read More
Narcissus looking at his reflection in a pond

Narcissism Redefined

The English language is evolving all the time. Over 50,000 new words were added to the 12th edition of the Collins English Dictionary in 2014, and the definitions of many pre-existing words had altered according to popular usage. Dr Craig Malkin, clinical psychologist and author of The… Read More