Category Archives: Word of the Week


Isotropes of unobtainium found

Late last year (Dec 2014) the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary gave their imprimatur to 500 new words by including them in their dictionary. Among these words was unobtainium. For those of us who know our Periodic Table it is quite clear that unobtainium is not an element listed in it. Unobtainium is a humorous word...
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Meaning of niche

Niche (pronounced neesh or nitch) is a word used in ecology and marketing. In its original use it is a noun that describes a shallow recess, especially one in a wall, to display an ornament. It came into English from the French verb nicher to make a nest.

In ecology, niche theory describes how an organism or...

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Do you remember the Grand Panjandrum?

In my word-of-the week I love exploring the way a word has been created or adopted into English. I do try to avoid obscure words if they are  specialised or only being used by people who are showing off. However, if the story behind a word is whimsical enough I will make an exception. So it is with...
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While in the UK we went to the Imperial War Museum. I was looking forward to seeing some tanks but there were very few there. However, I did pick up a little word history: tanks as armoured, gun-mounted vehicles moving on caterpillar tracks got their name as part of their top-secret development during WWI. The earliest...
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