jeremy butterfield

‘100 Words for Rain’ by Alex Johnson

Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day! British weather, eh! Who would have it? March this year, though rainy and dismal, was not in fact the rainiest March on record. That happened in 1947. But now that spring is springing upon us fast, it’s been a delight to delve,… Read More

National puppy day

National Puppy Day falls on 23 March, as it has ever since its inaugural year of 2006, but this year it falls on a Saturday. Which means that dog owners will probably be lucky enough to have more time than ever to pamper their perfect pooch. Read More

Japanese words in English

Here’s a pub quiz question for you: What’s the only (real) country that is also a verb? Have you got it yet? I’ll put you out of your misery. It’s Japan. Collins English Dictionary defines the verb as ‘to lacquer with japan or any similar varnish’. And ‘japan’ as a… Read More

Pizza, Pasta, Parole

The ninth of February marks World Pizza Day. A day to celebrate that quintessentially Neapolitan dish which has become, er, quintessentially everywhere, but perhaps particularly in the US, where it sometimes morphs into ‘pizza pie’, and in the UK, where it’s become part of our cosmopolitan – some might say… Read More

The holly and the ivy: wonderful words for Christmas plants

Which plants I wonder, gentle reader, do you associate with Christmas? I strongly suspect several of this week’s Collins Word of the Day will spring to mind. IYAM, certain plants just shout ‘Christmas’, don’t they? Well, perhaps some are a bit shoutier than others. The traditional holly, ivy, mistletoe and… Read More

The Rugby World Cup and South African language

Well, that was a cliffhanger and a half, wasn’t it? South Africa has been buzzing with elation ever since the Springboks’ historic victory in the RWC final. They took the title for the fourth time, thereby not only repeating their triumph at the 2019 World Cup but also placing themselves… Read More

Words from South Asia for the Cricket World Cup

Howzat! During this month and a goodly part of November, legions of cricket fans worldwide will be watching matches in India like enthusiastic hawks as the country plays host for the third time to the stellar four-yearly ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup (CWC for short). Viewing… Read More

Turkish delights: Turkish words in Collins English Dictionary

Turkish delight Look up the word Turkish in the Collins Dictionary and you’ll encounter several compounds that hint at the influence Turkey and its culture have exerted over the centuries. Take Turkish coffee, that mood-boosting, energy-providing short but sweet shot. Perhaps you have a… Read More

Beer and skittles: beer-related words and phrases

Friday 4 August marks International Beer Day. Started in 2007, the Day honours the people who make and serve beer as well as suggesting we enjoy the drink in novel ways or with friends or try a new variety. Beer was once British everyman’s drink, wine… Read More