Category Archives: Word of the Week

wotw

Codswallop—a load of old or new

Codswallop is slang for nonsense. It is a way of calling something fanciful and untrue without having to resort to the more overtly crude bullshit. Although there is no doubt to its meaning its origins are not clear. It has only been found in written English in the last fifty years. Wallop has been in English...
Read more

The sophisticated gourmand

I have been hearing, every now and then, people in the media referring to lovers of fine dining as gourmands. However, it is quite wrong and quite comical. It is used as if it were the superlative of gourmet, ie one starts as a simple consumer of food, graduates to being a gourmet, a lover...
Read more

A little history of horse words

Modern horses (Equus ferus caballus) were first domesticated on the northern European steppes 6000 years ago by people we identify as the Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE). These Proto-Indo-Europeans called their new friend the ekwos. They used it to conquer Europe and Asia and to spread the descendents of their language firstly across these continents and...

Read more

Strange flatware or what the fork is that?

I have come across the crazy world of multifunction tableware, strange cutlery or, what US speakers would call, strange flatware (technically cutlery should only be used for knives but UK English has made it the general term for tableware; the US more precisely call spoons and forks flatware). In a previous post I was trying...
Read more