Category Archives: Word of the Week


Lady Mondegreen meets Barbie

A few years ago when my children were much younger and my wife was at home she decided to have classical singing lessons to give herself an outlet. One song she learnt was the Handel song, Ombra ma fui (translated as Never was a shade), (see word of the week...
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Devastated by decimation

I always struggle with a bit of personal pedantry when I hear the word decimate. Its literal meaning is quite different from its modern usage. It originally meant the destruction of one in ten but now means to destroy a significant proportion. Decimate comes from the Latin word decimare which meant the removal or destruction of...
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MICKLE—a once great word

Many a mickle makes a muckle, is a saying from the north of England (1). In Scotland: a wheen o' mickles mak's a muckle was recorded in the late 19th century (2). A Jamaican website reports a current Jamaican saying as: Every mickle mek a mockle (3).

Mickle is a very old word which has survived...

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Calling a yelve a dung fork

Still hunting for words to use to distinguish between a three-tined and a four-tined fork I was rewarded with a consolation prize. I have discovered the word for a dung fork is a yelve (a dung fork is used for clearing dung from stables or from cattle stalls). This word, sadly, has almost completely disappeared...
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