Beards are in at the moment. Or at they were in somewhat recently. Even if they’re not in anymore, there are still a lot more of them around than there were a few years ago. For a humble bit of facial hair, the beard has inspired a surprising number of words in the English language, though not as much as people think… Continue reading


Why is Christmas sometimes referred to as Noël, particularly in old Christmas carols? It comes from the Latin natalis, meaning birth, as part of the phrase Dies Natalis, meaning birthday. One of the most common ways the phrase was used in Ancient Rome was to refer to Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the birthday of the Roman sun god Sol Invictus, which, in an amazing coincidence, took place on Christmas Day. Continue reading