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27 Jul 2018

We inevitably stray into history every so often here on Haggard Hawks, and this week was no exception. The Roman statesman Cicero earned his second HH shout out today (spoiler alert: here’s the first) over on our new Instagram channel, thanks to a bizarre fact about the origin of his name:

Marcus Tul...

11 Jul 2018

We should have a special category on this blog for words you’ll likely never, ever have any cause to use. Case in point, the word circumjovialist: a specific term for a satellite of the planet Jupiter. 

The “circum–” part here is fairly straightforward; it’s the same root as found in words like ...

English has picked up more than a few Latin phrases over the years. And a long-overlooked but no less intriguing one popped up on HH today. 

A mutato nomine, then, is a story or anecdote that can be reused or reapplied, so long as all the names of everyone and everything involved are altered. 

As...

This curious etymological fact popped up on HH today: 

It’s a curious one, alright. And it’s not a particularly explainable one either. 

What we do know is that English picked up the word pedant sometime in the mid sixteenth century, either from French or Italian, and began using it (as the French and...

Most popular on HH this week was the curious fact that the word paraphernalia originally referred to all of a woman’s possessions that didn’t automatically become her husband’s property after their marriage. 

In that sense, paraphernalia literally means “outside the dowry”. It derives from the G...

12 Jan 2018

Here in the UK, a major headline this week was that Nigel Farage—formerly of the UK Independence Party, and a principal voice in the Brexit campaign to leave the European Union—had after much deliberation decided that a second EU referendum might be a good idea after all. The reasonin...

10 Jul 2017

 Gourd almighty: Pumpkinified pumpkins (Image credit: Pixabay) 

The word pumpkinify popped up on HH last week, and ended the week as one of the most popular: 

A handful of words along these lines—including pumpkinify, pumpkinification, and pumpkinifier—have been in use in English since the e...

1 Mar 2017

The other day, the word panchreston popped up on the HH feed:

In fact, it popped up the day after President Trump’s first solo press conference, but that, of course, was just a coincidence. (As was this, for that matter.)

But we digress. The earliest use of the word panchreston in English dates from t...

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...

2 Jul 2016

Ah, how the time flies. It seems like only yesterday Haggard Hawks embarked on a series of fifty Top 10 YouTube videos, back when David Cameron was Prime Minister and the UK wasn’t being laughed at by everyone, but here we are! How. The time. Flies.

Unbelievably, we’re already at the halfway point in...

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