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28 Dec 2016

So after 50 weeks, 50 videos and 500 words, here we are! At the start of 2016, HH embarked on a fifty-episode YouTube series exploring obscure words and etymological stories. And with 2017 now upon us, it’s time for the very last episode. Ah, sunrise, sunset. 

All along we intended to keep the fiftie...

20 Dec 2016

Ah, it comes round quicker each year, doesn’t it? No, not The X Factor (although, yeah, that too actually) but Christmas. And this week over on our YouTube channel—in the penultimate episode in our 500 Words series—we looked at 10 words you’ll doubtless find utterly indispensable this holiday season...

9 Dec 2016

This week on our YouTube channel, we looked at 10 words that you might not have realised are onomatopoeic:

Everybody knows what onomatopoeia is, of course. But when it comes to etymology, it’s easy to forget that there’s a lot more of it in the dictionary besides snapcrackle and pop. Quite a f...

1 Dec 2016

This week over on the HH YouTube channel we looked at the literal meanings of words, with an eye to picking out a set of 10 whose literal meanings seemed at odds with, or far removed from, their actual meanings:

So a corridor is literally “a place for running”. Something that’s mediocre is lite...

25 Nov 2016

It’s by no means unusual for words to change their meaning, often quite dramatically, as they’re passed down from decade and decade, and from century to century, through the language. Sometimes however, those changes can be quite surprising—which is the point of the new HH book, The Accidental Dicti...

17 Nov 2016

So last week it was teddies, this week it’s bears...

One subject we tend to hold back from mentioning on HH is confusing and confusable words. That’s largely because doing so tends to open up not so much a can of worms, but a more a shipping container of worms.

Can you, for instance, use literally to...

11 Nov 2016

One of the most interesting groups of words in the language is eponyms—that is, words derived via some etymological quirk from a person’s name.

Words like these are a lot more common than they might first seem. Besides those coined in honour of, or in such a way as to refer back to, some n...

2 Nov 2016

Hands up if you’ve had enough of politics? Hm. Everybody? That’s unlucky. Because here’s a bit more. 

This week on our YouTube channel, here at HH we looked at the origins and meanings behind ten of the most obscure political terms we could track down, including raddlings (money spent on politic...

25 Oct 2016

Ah, Halloween. When children dress as monsters, adults dress like children, and everyone over the age of 30 dreads the sound of their own doorbell. But as it’s the scariest day of the year (and not just because of that doorbell thing), this week on YouTube we looked at the names of 10 little-known g...

24 Oct 2016

(Image credit: Public domain)  

Gadzooks and lackaday, our weekly YouTube series is nearly at an end! We’re into the last ten of the 50 videos we’ll be posting to our channel this year, and this week—by crikey!—it was the turn of exclamations and interjections to be put in the HH spotlight:

Expression...

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