The wonder of words

Words. Don’t you just love them? And their evolution; or indeed revolution!

Did you know this month, September, derives its meaning from the Latin ‘septem’ meaning seven, because in the original Roman calendar September was the seventh month of the year rather than the ninth.

And then there is the lovely phrase ‘whiffle’. Which according to lexicographer Susie Dent means: to waver indecisively over something, or trifle with your work rather than get down to it. Whiffler: the person doing the whiffling. Whifflery: an example of the above.

I know a few of those myself!

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) also has a great quarterly update on new words which brings some real surprises every time. In its latest in June, ‘gym bunnies’ and ‘junkyard dogs’ made an appearance.

But I have to end this short post with a recent brilliant one from the OED Word of the Day. As the 15 September was Agatha Christie’s 129th birthday, they chose ‘murdermongeress’ which stands for a female writer of murder stories.

See how many times you can bring that into everyday conversation!

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About Author

Claire Dee

Director and founder of Surrey-based business consultancy Claire Dee Communications.

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