One day you are an average person and suddenly, the very next day, your name becomes an item in a dictionary. An Eponym is a person after whom an invention, phenomenon, or discovery is named. Many Eponyms have become brand names, while many have come from books. Many historical eponyms are also based on mythological or religous persons. Today we look at the origins of the most famous eponyms, the ones that are used on a daily basis.
"Awfully pretty","virtual reality" and the "only choice"... these are a few examples of the daily use of oxymorons – rhetorical phrases with self-contradictory meanings. Some of them have been fully integrated into daily life. Do you use oxymorons often? Check out our gallery.
Back in the day, collecting postage stamps was a hobby. Today, it can be a lucrative business, with investment potential, in some cases. Some of the rarest stamps can fetch spectacular amounts of money. A "One Cent magenta" stamp, for example, was sold in 2014 for US$ 9 480 000. Postage stamps, however, are not the only items people like to collect. Collectibles can include anything from beer maths to match boxes, dolls, car models or even coupons. And to top it all off, they all have names. Which collecting obsession is yours?
Encountering a word that contradicts its own meaning can be a challenge to understanding. Nevertheless, such words exist, and are called contronyms, and their opposite meaning depends on the context of the sentence. On the other hand, many of them are well known and commonly used in both ways. How this works in practice will be found in this article.
Millennials have been linked to many strange attributes. In addition to technology addiction, there is also a preoccupation with convenience. And that might be one of the themes of the peculiarities that permeate Millenial vocabulary. As shown by the following examples, shortening has surely become The Thing for the era following the turn of the millenium.
Words or sentences that read the same backwards and forwards have been a popular pastime since ancient times. One of the oldest ones dates back to 79 AD. Given their highly visible occurence across today’s internet, Palindromes don't seem to be fading away. While some are practically usable, others sound more like disconnected statements from another world.
Animal noises belong in the category of Onomatopoeia, which are words that phonetically imitate the original sounds. From a linguistic point of view, the variability of interpretation from language to language is unsurprising, but the frequent diversity of these linguistic contrivances, at times far from even marginally reminding the listener of the actual sound, can be amusing to many people. The same hen does "kokodák" in Czech, "git-git-giddak" in Turkish, and "petok-petok" in Indonesian. And in English hens, never do anything apart from clucking. It is the man who speaks: "Cock-a-doodle-doo". Next time you are asked by a child which animal does which sound, make sure you know the answer in the right language.
Pronunciation challenges don’t just come in the form of specially created tongue twisters. There are names around the world that are everyday challenges for all the people who use them, whether it is the first name, city name or the train station. Visit these with us and see some of the longest names in the world.
Any given word in one language can mean something quite different in another language. Mostly these are just innocent differences in meaning, but here and there some of the differences can create embarrassing situations if the nuances are overlooked. In one instance, a brand was introduced in a new foreign market and not only failed, but had to be removed from all the shelves because the brand name had a double meaning which happened to be vulgar and inappropriate in the country of introduction. Check it out.
The longest words in most languages are a challenge. Perhaps that´s why they are not often used and commonly remain curiosities in dictionaries. Here are some of the most complicated ones, some running on and on, and taking up whole lines.