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19 Aug 2016

A few days ago, HH tweeted this:

It’s one of those words that, if you’re not careful, could be taken in a very, very questionable direction. But there are plenty of words that don’t even have to be mispronounced to raise eyebrows—they’re just straight-up dirty. Or, at least, that’s how it might seem.

...

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...

13 Aug 2015

(Image credit: Flickr

 A few days ago, HH posted this: 

Which raised this perfectly appropriate question: 

The short answer is, yes, there is. But the long answer is much more interesting than that.

First things first: the ana of ananym is the Ancient Greek word ana, which was variously used to...

27 Jul 2015

Last week HH tweeted the screenshot above—taken from a brilliantly-titled dictionary of Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present—published in 1890. And, well, it probably all needs a bit more explaining.

Admiral is one of those deceptively straightforward words behind which lies the kind of hist...

15 Jul 2015

For some reason, toilet talk keeps popping up on here (we’re looking at you, vespasienne), and unfortunately we’re heading back down that way now. That’s because last week we found out that when Italian slang gets weird, it gets brilliantly weird:

Pisacàn is an old Venetian word, which has long since...

30 Apr 2015

Earlier this month, UK Labour Party leader Ed Miliband made headlines (as well as a new Labour Party slogan) by exclaiming that “Hell, yes!” he was tough enough to be the next Prime Minister. Then, earlier this week, David Cameron likewise made headlines when he admitted to feeling “bloody live...

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