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5 Apr 2017

Following on from the periscians and the Sciapodes that have cropped up on HH recently, the other day we tweeted the word Thule:

And it’s another of those unassuming words that has a superb story—and, in particular, a story about Ancient Greek geography—behind it. 

To the Ancient Greeks, Thule (which...

11 Aug 2016

A long, long time ago over on HH, this fact cropped up: 

In retrospect, that’s a little disingenuous (not least because linguists can’t really decide what actually constitutes a word). But regardless of the parameters involved, studies of etymology tend to agree that anywhere from one-quart...

27 Apr 2016

You might have seen this frankly brilliant fact pop up over on the Twitter feed this week:

Poor old penguins. It can’t be much fun humpling around in sub-zero temperatures avoiding being eaten by seals all day. But then along comes Oliver Goldsmith—whose seven-volume History of the Earth an...

1 Apr 2016

There’s really no nice way of putting this, but the fact is that poop crops up more often than it duly should on this blog. And thanks to a tweet from the HH feed the other day, we’re going back down that way again now:

There’s no denying that cacafuego is a brilliant (and unavoidably...

10 Feb 2016

Full colour image of Uranus. Stop laughing. (Image credit: NASA/Wikipedia

Before we begin, let’s get a few things out of the way. The noxious atmosphere around Uranus could kill a man. Uranus has a circumference of 100,000 miles. Scientists are looking at a black hole near Uranus. What are those tw...

21 Jan 2016

(Image credit: Wikipedia

If you’ve been keeping up with the new HH YouTube channel, chances are you’ve already seen the second video in our new 500 Words project, which went online yesterday. Looking at the meanings and origins of 10 Words Spelled Q Without U, this time around one of the...

17 Nov 2015

 An intriguing word cropped up on HH the other day:

Which raised this excellent and equally intriguing question:

And that equally intriguing question has an equally intriguing answer.

Etymologically, the hyper– of hyperborean is the Greek word for “above” or “over”, as in words like hype...

25 Sep 2015

Here’s an intriguing little fact that popped up on the HH Twitter the other day:

This is actually (shameless plug #1) one of the choicer entries cherry-picked from the HH fact book, Word Drops. And although (shameless plug #2) you can find out more about it (shameless plug #3) in the design award-nom...

9 Jul 2015

(Image credit: NASA) 

It’s easy to forget that place names—just like surnamesfirst namesmonths of the year, and all other proper nouns—are still only words, and as such have their own histories and etymologies. We’ve mentioned quite a few of these before on the @HaggardHawks Twitter feed, from “t...

24 Jun 2015

Earlier this week, HH tweeted this:  

Aside from giving us the chance to tweet that fantastic NASA spaceshot, again this is one of those weird facts that almost sounds too strange to be true:

“Infuriatingly interesting” might just be the finest compliment we’ve ever received. But our blushes asid...

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