Which Joe gave his name to ‘sloppy joes’? We look at five interesting sandwiches and their lexical origins.
What is the origin of the word 'penguin'?
The origin of penguin is still debated. The name originally applied to the great auk (now extinct) of the seas around Newfoundland in Canada, and may have come from the Welsh pen gwyn, meaning 'white head' (or a similar phrase in the Breton or Cornish languages). In the logbook of the Golden Hind, which sailed around the world in 1577–80, there is a reference to a 'foule, which the Welsh men name Pengwin' that was seen in the Magellan Straight at the tip of South America. The sailors on the expedition may have mistaken penguins for great auks, or simply applied a term they knew to an unfamiliar bird: the great auk resembled a penguin in that it was a large flightless bird with black and white plumage that was adapted to life in freezing waters.
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language facts from around the globe.
The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.