English Language Trivia

Started by: raymyjamie (6857)

English Language Trivia

The dot on top of the lower case letter 'i' is called a tittle

Dreamt is the only word that ends in mt

The past tense for the English word 'dare' is 'durst'

The expression to 'knuckle down' meaning to do something earnestly, originated from playing marbles (players used to put their knuckles to the ground for their best shots)

Words that are used to fill in time when speaking, such as ‘like’ or ‘basically’, are called crutch words (and should best be avoided!)

The word ‘lol’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011.

The word to dismantle originally meant “to remove a cloak.”

The opposite of “postpone” is prepone, meaning “to bring something forward in time.”

The “wuther” of Wuthering Heights is an old English dialect word for a sudden and strong gust of wind.

"Screeched," which means to make a harsh sound, is the longest one-syllable word in English.

The letters “ough” can be pronounced 9 different ways.
Find them all in this sentence: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”

A sentence containing all the letters of the alphabet is called a ‘pangram’.
The best example of this is :-
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy gate.

The longest English words that can be written without repeating any letters are
‘uncopyrightable’ and ‘Dermatoglyphics’ both 15 letters.

The word ‘alphabet’ comes from the first 2 letters of the Greek alphabet,
alpha and beta.

Started: 27th Feb 2021 at 20:01
Last edited by raymyjamie: 27th Feb 2021 at 20:02:47

Posted by: tonker (23952) 

The past tense of dare is dared. "Durst", as in "I durst thee" is dialect slang.

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy gate" has no 'd'.
However, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" has! .

Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 20:18

Posted by: raymyjamie (6857)

DURST, archaic, simple past tense of dare.

Above from

It seems we are both right Tonker.

Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 20:24

Posted by: tonker (23952) 

Whatever you say, Ray. I mean, I don't want to upset you, laaaaike!

Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 21:16

Posted by: mollie m (6398) 

I love threads like this, even though I don't always reply to them.

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" was a typing exercise when I was learning how to type back in the 60s on an old typewriter in College. The exercise was to learn how to use all fingers for each letter, which I still use today, much to the amazement of lots of folk who use just two or three fingers to type.

Also, I love to learn the meaning of words and how they're used but, like many others, I despise the filler words such as "like," "obviously" and "basically," and it makes me cringe when people start a sentence with the word "so," and end a sentence with "so.....", all of which are used to create a space in conversation and interrupting the flow of natural speech.

The English language is very complicated, even for the English, and there is not one single person who can speak or understand "the Queen's English," not even the Queen, because it doesn't exist because of local dialect, so pity the poor foreigners who try to learn a language that even we can't master ourselves.

Thing is, it doesn't matter, as long as we make ourselves understood. That's what's important.

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 06:25

Posted by: Anne (4003) 

The use of "y'know" is my pet hate. I'm sure people do not even realise how many times that has been uttered during a conversation/interview.

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 07:58

Posted by: tonker (23952) 

What written language do coal-miners use to communicate ?

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 11:45

Posted by: basil brush (16879)

Nice thread, Ray

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 11:47

Posted by: TerryW (6276)

That would be Pitmatic, Tonker.

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 12:05

Posted by: tonker (23952) 

'Pitman Script', Terry. You were nearly right. You get an orange with two slices missing!

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 12:12

Posted by: TerryW (6276)

Bugger! Only ever heard it called Pitmatic years ago.

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 12:31

Posted by: jacks (358) 

The 2 things that annoy me most: When people say 'A.M. in the morning' - though strangely, now I come to think about it, I've never heard P.M. in the evening said. Anyway, the other thing, which really drives me mad, is the persistent use of 'Interrogative intonation' - or 'Up-speak' as it's sometimes called.

Replied: 3rd Mar 2021 at 14:55


Note: You must login to use this feature.

If you haven't registered, why not join now?. Registration is free.