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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Word of the day: bolshie

Last Wednesday marked the centenary (the 100th anniversary) of the 1917 Russian revolution. In March that year, Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia, abdicated. The First World War had been disastrous for the country and food shortages and rampant…

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Word of the day: faff

Over the last few days, I've been in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, running a teacher development seminar for around 150 wonderful locals. In one particular session, we were looking at pronunciation, and I was talking about the way my…

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Word of the day: hardcore

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to run a two-day teacher development course in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. One evening, a few of us went out for dinner and while we were chatting, one of the organisers of the event started telling…

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