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Interesting Facts about English Language

  • Do you know word 'alphabet' comes from first two letters Greek alphabet - alpha and beta ?
  • Here is a very simple sentence which uses every letter of the alphabet ,it is 'The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog ' !
  • Challenge your friends ! Ask them to find rhyming words for any of these five words - Orange,Month,Silver, Angel & Bulb ! You will be surprised to try that these five words don't have any rhyming word !
  • Do you know that if you really get excited on finding new words,learn this special word for youself ! The word is logophile.It means 'lover of words' ! !
  • Do you know about 'crutch words' ?Crutch words are those words which we slip into sentences to give us more time to think or emphasize on some point. We start using them unconsciously but gradually they became part of our verbal tics.Few examples of these words are -actually,obviously,like,honestly,basically etc.Most of the times they don't add any value or meaning of a statement ,for example,'I actually was absent that day.'So what is your crutch word?
  • Ok, here are 3 wacky words from 21st century- i) Coople - Inseparable couple so satisfied with each other's company that they rarely socialize with others. ii) Cancellelation-The joy felt by someone who frees up his schedule by cancelling an appointment .iii) Droidian slip- It means confusion about which electronic device does what for example answering an AC remote instead of the mobile phone etc.
  • Want to impress your friends? Remember, Scolionophobia –It means to have fear of School, hope you don’t have it.
  • Talking of Phobias, you may get whole list of phobias on internet, but here is one interesting phobia - ‘Phobophobia’–It means fear (phobia) of having any phobia. So you got a word for phobia of phobias.
  • The word 'swims' when turned upside down will still look like same i.e.'swims'.
  • The sentence 'Are you as bored as I am ' can be read backwards and would still make sense!
  • Now test your friends, ask them to say ‘the sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick’.It is known to be the toughest tongue –twister in English language.
  • Do you know a funny fact about the word 'listen'? It contains the same letters as the word 'silent'!
  • Do you know there used to be a word in the dictionary (from 1932 to 1940), which did not have any meaning? The word was ‘Dord’.It happened due to some error, this word was later known as Ghost word.

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  • You would be surprised to know that ‘Pronunciation’ is the most mispronounced word.
  • The longest word in English is 45 letters long ! It is 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis'! It refers to a lung disease caused by silica dust.
  • Do you know about a 5 letter word in English dictionary, which is pronounced in the same way even when the last four letters are removed from it? Oh, you guessed it right, it is ‘queue’.
  • Here is something more about ‘Q’, would like to tell you that it is the least used letter in English language.
  • Do you there are few words in English language, which only exist in plural form? Here are few –glasses, scissors, trousers, jeans, pants etc.
  • Also you may be interested to know that one in every 6 persons in world knows or speaks English language.
  • Also the first word spoken on the moon by a human was an English word! Do you want to know what it was ? It was ‘ok’ (well a small controversy exists here,few say it was ‘Houston’ ,others say it was ‘Contact’, anyway all the said word were in English).
  • Don’t be surprised if we tell you that English language has richest vocabulary as compared to any other language in the world. Few of the dictionaries claim to have 6,00,000 words.
  • Going into history of dictionaries, would like to tell that first English dictionary was printed in 1755.

See free School Science - education videos by clicking here Science Learning for 6-12 years old kids

  • There are many words in English, whose origin is very interesting .One of the word originated from marbles game! Have you ever played marbles? If yes, you must be knowing that sometimes players have to put their knuckles down on ground to take best hit, so from this a word originated ‘knuckle down’ which means to work very hard.
  • Here is one more interesting history of origin another word ‘trivia. It comes from a Latin word ‘trivium’ which means a place where 3 roads meet, a kind of people square in old times. People would regularly gather there & would talk about all kind of things, most of which were very small & mostly useless so the trivia word originated which means interesting but useless things.
  • Do you know that origin of word 'sinister' is rooted to superstitions.Ancient Romans were highly superstitious .One of the example is their fear for anything to do with the left, which is why their words for ‘left’ and ‘left-handed’ were sinister and sinstra , giving us the modern meaning of the word ‘sinister’ meaning bad or wicked.
  • Let’s tell you about an unusual word. It is one of the few very last words in any dictionary ,it is ‘zyzzyva’ ,it is an insect which is very destructive for plants.
  • Here is one interesting fact about a word 'Bookkeeper'.It is the only word in English language with three consecutive double letters!
  • Flamboyance :We know that meaning of this word is ' richly colored'.But do you know that a group of flamingos is called flamboyance ...also called flurry .On the mythological side,a group of unicorns is called a blessing! !
  • Here is a strange fact about September . The word 'September' originates from Latin word for 'seven' i.e. septem. THen why it is ninth month? September used to be seventh month in original Roman calendar ,new year started in April in this calendar thus making September as seventh month.But another Roman emperor ,Julius Caesar shifted the start of new year back two months. It resulted in September being ninth month!
  • Same is true about October & November. These words originated from Latin words octo & novem , meaning eight & nine , since these were the eighth & ninth months in old Roman calender.Try to find out about December , see whether the same logic applies!
  • Do you know that the adjective most often used to qualify the noun 'heart' is 'broken'

Complied by Amit Natrajan,M.A.English,Mumbai