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Should you at any point need a word for an utterly ineffectual person in a position of power (ahem...), then we have just the word for you. They’re a King Log.  

That expression first popped up on Twitter way back in the summer of 2018. But as ineffectual leadership yet again appears to be the b...

28 Jul 2018

Stand aside, cats on ships—there’s a new favourite HH fact in town. Well, almost. Actually, no; the favourite is still the cats on ships. But this one is still pretty bloody good:

Yes, back when men were men, women were suffragettes, and the worst word you could hear on the London stage was “bloody”,...

22 Jul 2018

A brilliantly useful little word popped up on HH this afternoon:

And it has an intriguing story behind it. 

Thersitical derives from Thersites, the name of a minor character mentioned largely in passing in Homer’s Iliad—and known by the fairly grim epithet of “the ugliest man who came to Troy”.

Accordi...

21 Jul 2018

Rhetorical terms always prove popular here on HH, and this week we served up a particularly good one:

But as is often the case with terms like these, enantiosis isn’t quite as straightforward as it might appear. 

As we defined it on Twitter, in its basic sense it refers to “a figure of speech in which...

14 Jul 2018

William Hogarth’s ‘David Garrick as Richard III’ (1745): Tormented by ghosts and driven to the point of madness, Hogarth was a famous English artist (Public domain)

Here’s another expression you can thank Shakespeare for. Another Richmond in the field is an unwanted or unwelcome participant, or someo...

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...

We might be named after a bird, but horses keep popping up on Haggard Hawks a lot more than we might expect—often in the most bizarre of places, too. I mean, you can’t even ice a cake without a horse turning up, just like you can’t even feague a horse without an eel turning up. 

And then there’s this...

18 Mar 2018

Facts about words whose opposites aren’t particularly well known always prove popular on HH. In the past we’ve talked about everything from dysphemisms rather than euphemismspreponing rather than postponing, and Lima Syndrome, the Peruvian opposite of Stockholm Syndrome. And this week, w...

13 Mar 2018

 (Wix)

Most popular on HH this week was a bit of wordy trivia that—well, sparked quite a bit of debate. On Monday, we tweeted the fact that in French writer Charles Perrault’s Cendrillon (1697), Cinderella’s slippers were actually made of vair (“squirrel fur”), not verre (“gl...

One of the strangest etymologies we’ve featured for a while popped up on HH this week: ganache, that rich chocolatey mixture used to top cakes, takes its name from a French word for an empty-headed fool—which in turn takes its name from an even older French word for the bottom jaw of a horse. S...

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