Hello from quarantine!
I’ve often wondered why we use the word derby to refer to a match between two sporting rivals (in most forms of English at least, as the term crosstown rivalry is also used in the United States), considering that Derby is also the name of a city in England. I’d always imagined there must be a connection between the two uses of the word. Continue reading
Or perhaps enemigo would be more appropriate!
I’m not an expert in Spanish by any means. But recently I found myself watching a brief clip from Toy Story 3 (I can’t for the life of me remember the context, but it was a YouTube video of some sorts). The clip was from when Buzz Lightyear’s accidentally had his voice (and personality: I have seen Toy Story 3) changed to Spanish. From this very brief clip, and memory of watching the film, I recognised that he was saying Are you a friend or an enemy!? Which was very interesting. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered why both F and Ph can have the same sound in English?
Phone, philosophy, Philadelphia: force, far, fair etc. Continue reading
I was reading Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles the other day when at one point, a character described the eponymous heroine as “a crummy girl.” As with many of Hardy’s novels, which are full of 19th-century English West-Country dialect, there was an explanatory note. I was going to pass over it, as there are many such notes, and I don’t want to interrupt my reading flow by stopping for each one. Plus, the meaning was pretty clear from the context: it obviously meant attractive.
John Doe, caucasian, approximately 45 years old, evidence of blunt-force trauma to the base of the skull…
Pretty familiar if you’ve been exposed to the barest minimum of American crime fiction: “John” and “Jane Doe” used to refer to an unidentified victim or suspect in a criminal case. But why these names in particular? Continue reading