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A great little expression turned up on the HH Twitter feed today:

So here’s a little bit more about it. 

Thanks to their instantly recognisable call (as well as their, errr, somewhat questionable parenting techniques), cuckoos have made themselves conspicuous enough to become subject to all kinds of f...

22 Apr 2018

Today is St George’s Day, which we’ve marked over on HH with the fact that the dragon supposedly slain by St George is said by some to have been called “Old Snap”.

Actually, that’s only half the story here. We don’t know what the dragon killed by St George was called because, y’know, dragons don’t e...

27 Mar 2018

Just don’t call it the the Houses of Guttersnipes (Wix) 

A list of words officially deemed “unparliamentary language” by the British House of Commons proved popular on HH this week:

...so here’s a bit more about them.

The British Parliament operates under a tight and, in some instances, fairly ar...

25 Jan 2018

A curious etymological fact popped up on HH last week: a lake was originally a stream. 

Pithy little stop-you-in-your-tracks-how-can-that-be-right facts like these always go well on HH—so well, in fact that (Shameless Plug #452) you can read the stories behind 100 of them in The Accidental Dictionary...

17 Jan 2018

If you follow HH on Instagram, you might have spotted this fact earlier this week: the “–wall” of Cornwall and the “wal–” of walnut are the same: both derive ultimately from an Old English word, wealh, that essentially meant “stranger”, “foreigner”, or more specifically, “Celt”. 

In the case of ...

20 Dec 2017

Murg of the Day: it’s either this or the pile of work on your desk... (Wix)

On Monday, the Scots dialect word murg popped up on HH defined both as “a heavy fall of snow”, and, as a verb, “to labour perseveringly through a pile of unpleasant work”. And as it ended the week as our most popular tweet, h...

19 Dec 2017

A load of bull: perhaps from Bloxwich (Wix) 

Earlier this week HH tweeted that a Bloxwich bull is an instance in which someone’s plans or grand hopes and expectations are thwarted at the last moment. There wasn’t room to tell the full story behind his expression over on Twitter, so here’s a bit more...

29 Sep 2017

HH tweeted the word gongoozler last week, defined by the English Dialect Dictionary as “an idle and inquisitive person who stands staring for prolonged periods at anything out of the common”:

And, well—it’s all just too strange to leave unexplored. 

Besides the fact that (according to the EDD at leas...

12 Sep 2017

A preposterously long word turned up on HH this week: an eighteenth century English physician named Dr Edward Strother coined the adjective aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic to describe the spa waters in the city of Bath:

As some of you clever, clever people pointed out on Twi...

11 Sep 2017

Three old nicknames for hedgehogs—herisson, furzepig, and land-urchin—cropped up on HH on Thursday, and ended up among the week’s most popular facts: 

So here’s a little bit more about them.

Herisson was borrowed into English from French in the sixteenth century; hérisson, as some of you will undoubte...

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10 Jun 2019

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