Word of the day: less

The other day, just as I was slowly waking up and making my first cup of coffee, I heard a discussion on the radio about the whether or not you can say “less than one in five people”. It seemed…

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Word of the day: social mobility

Social mobility is the idea that over their lifetimes or across generations, people from lower-class backgrounds can move to a higher social class. An example of this would be my father, who grew up in relative poverty in Liverpool before…

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Word of the day: cowboy

If, like many foreign students, the main image that comes into your head when you think of cowboys involves men in big hats and long boots, riding horses and heading off into the sunset somewhere in America, then you may…

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Word of the day: mate

I witnessed a rather entertaining scene yesterday afternoon outside a tube station in north London. The wallet of a middle-aged man somehow managed to drop out of his back pocket as he was leaving the station, and a younger -…

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Word of the day: drone

Up until a few years ago, the word drone was most commonly used as a verb. If someone droned on and on, they talked about something in a boring way for a long time, so you might get stuck next…

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Word of the day: Cheers

Following on from our previous post on the phrase bon appetit, it's perhaps a reflection of the priorities here in the UK that it's far easier to come up with a single English word for what we say before we…

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Word of the day: wide boy

Every big city contains certain kinds of characters who come to represent some deep and fundamental truth about the place. They capture some timeless essence of their being. One of the most enduring social types familar to anyone who's spent…

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Word of the day: handsy

Just before Christmas, Oxford dictionaries announced their word of the year for 2017: youthquake. For some reason, these annual announcements always attract a lot of media attention here and this time was no different. Articles in a wide range of…

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Word of the day: resolution

The tradition of starting the new year by making New Year's resolutions is an ancient one. The Babylonians used to promise their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed goods and pay their debts, while…

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Word of the day: bling

When I was in the last two years of secondary school, I did History A-level, and spent quite a lot of time reading about the English Civil War, the execution of King Charles the First, the eleven-year Interregnum – the…

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