Thursday, 14 July 2016

Irish English: What is a gossoon?




gossoon 

Irish  a boy [C17: from Old French gararçon]

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Irish English: What is cat melodeon?

Cat (a): dreadful, no good, awful, very bad. Or for a more emphatic version, Cat melodeon (Sounds like 'melojen')
The Cat Melodeon players
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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Where does the word referendum come from?

Referendum derives from the Latin referre or refer back - in this case to the demos or people. In the early Twentieth Century the more commonly used term was plebiscite, but this became associated with dictators rubber stamping the seizing of power or territories
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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

What is the origin of the word alphabet?

From the first two letters of the Greek alphabet - alpha and beta.
The English word alphabet came into Middle English from the Late Latin word alphabetum, which in turn originated in the Greek ἀλφάβητος (alphabētos), from alpha and beta, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet.[4] Alpha and beta in turn came from the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet, and originally meant ox and house respectively. Source
More fun facts about the English language here (short audio with worksheet)
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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

What is a curveball?


In American English a curveball is a deceptive or unexpected action which poses a new challenge e.g. He threw a curveball by threatening to walk out of the meeting.  

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