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15 Apr 2019

The Monte Carlo fallacy cropped up on HH this week, defined as “the misguided belief that because something has happened less frequently than might be expected, it is now more likely to occur”.

Over on Twitter, we gave the example of a flipped coin: imagine a coin is tossed 10 times in a row, and eve...

14 Aug 2018

Today in our intermittent series of Etymologies That Are Way More Interesting Than You Might Have Thought They’d Be, it’s the turn of the word hazard

As we explained over on Twitter, hazard (like a fair proportion of English words with a Z in them) derives from Arabic. Al-zahr means “the...

16 May 2018

An entry from Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary made it onto Twitter this week: in lieu of a definition of the word trolmydames in his 1755 Dictionary of the English Language, Johnson merely included the caveat that “of this word I know not the meaning”.

Why include the word at all if he didn’t know what...

13 Apr 2018

A tweet from last week that stirred up a bit of interest on HH was this one, listing some surprising two-letter words that are permissible Scrabble plays:

Most of the comments it received fell into one of two categories: namely those that questioned whether or not these can’t were indeed real words,...

23 Jan 2018

One of the most popular posts on HH this week was the verb kittle-pitcher, meaning “to prevent someone from telling a boring or longwinded story by constantly interrupting them with pointless contradictions.”

 Over on Twitter, we illustrated that fact with an extract from a nineteenth century diction...

18 Jan 2018

If you follow Haggard Hawks on Instagram these days, earlier this week you might have spotted the fact that the most productive set of letters in a game of Scrabble is AEINRST, which can be used to spell at least nine 7-letter words:

But there’s a few things to clarify here. First of all, those words...

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