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10 Jun 2019

If one tweet kicked off something of a fratch in our comments section this week, it was this: nothing rhymes with beige except greige, an obscure word for the colour of undyed fabric. 

That being said, it wasn’t long before the counter-suggestions started rolling in. And in. Age. PhageSage. Stage....

13 Feb 2017

 “I think I’ve left the iron on...” (Public domain/Wikimedia Commons) 

A few days ago, this frankly terrifying fact cropped up on the HH Twitter feed:

This is an example of a chronogram, an intricate bit of wordplay defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a phrase, sentence, or inscription,...

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...

7 Aug 2016

A little while ago, this fact cropped up on the HH Twitter feed:

It ended up sparking quite a debate about whether carpet actually did have a rhyme, with everything from trumpet to market thrown into the mix. But, no. Seriously. Nothing rhymes with carpet. And nor does nothing, fo...

20 Jul 2016

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

You might have spotted this tweet over on the HH Twitter feed the other day:

Which, as our friends at UWG English pointed out, is probably not the most appropriate word for that kind of person…

But what about all the other characters that we know and love, and love t...

26 Apr 2016

Rhetorical terms and words for different figures of speech crop up every now and then on our Twitter feed, and are without exception brilliant, brilliant words:

But with our YouTube channel now in full swing—incredibly, this is already video number 16—we thought it might be good to dedicate an entire...

23 Feb 2016

[Ed. – Originally posted here, this story is now one of 100 peculiar etymologies featured in “The Accidental Dictionary”, available from all good bookstores.]

So, this peculiar little fact cropped up over on HH the other day:

We’ve tweeted about clouds before:

…which sparked quite a debate over on...

2 Oct 2015

Since the first HH post for BuzzFeed went online last week, it’s been viewed more than 300,000 times and, incredibly, has boosted the Twitter account past the 13,000 followers mark—so you can now pit your wits against the fourth HH Quiz… 

But of all 53 language facts cherry-picked from...

4 Jun 2015

When it came to being amazed, those Victorians really knew how to respond:

If ever an old fashioned phrase needed bringing back into circulation, it was this one. But where does a saying as bizarre as this one come from?

The earliest record we have of this beats my grandmother! dates back to 1833, whe...

2 Jun 2015

(Image credit: The Funambulist

!! UPDATE: There’s more on this story (and another 79 like it) in the new HH book, Around the World in 80 Wordsclick here for a sample.  

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So, yesterday we tweeted this:

It’s a surprising one. To most peopl...

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10 Jun 2019

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