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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...

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...

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...

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...

12 Oct 2016

Gandalf does his bit to encourage exam revision. (Image credit: YouTube

It’s World Dictionary Day this Sunday, which commemorates the birthday of great American lexicographer Noah Webster. Born in Connecticut on 16 October 1758, it was Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language...

22 Sep 2016

From keekers to trullibubs, this week’s HH YouTube video looked at ten alternative (or alternate, as you might prefer) names for body parts:

But of all the words and word facts that made that list, perhaps the most surprising is finding out that the indentation between your collar bones at the base o...

16 Sep 2016

“The act of assessing as worthless”: German inflation goes berserk post WW2

(Public domain)

Over on YouTube this week, we looked at ten of the longest words in the English language, including the likes of dermatoglyphicsantidisestablishmentarianism and pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism.

These aren’t e...

8 Sep 2016

You might remember this fact from the HH Twitter feed a while back:

...which led to a bit more explanation here on the blog: the name Rebecca was used (in allusion to a story from the Old Testament) for a series of toll gate protests in Wales in the mid nineteenth century. And it’s that story again t...

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