Green’s Dictionary of Slang is completely free to everybody from today, Guy Fawkes Night.
Mr Green explains why here. Previously the definitions were available to all, but the examples required a subscription. Now you can see the examples too.
For example, a Norfolk breakfast is no breakfast at all:
1939 Beds Times 25 Aug. 6/2: In the eastern Counties they galk [talk?] about giving the pigs a ‘Norfolk breakfast’ on Sunday mornings — which means they get no breakfast.
Many of the terms are, of course, unsuitable for polite company.
The three volumes of the 2010 print edition can be consulted in UEA Library.
A man using this Chinese ATM pressed the Correct button three times and the machine swallowed his card.
He thought Correct was being used as an adjective, but it was a verb!
- correct (adjective) = right; OK; with no mistakes
- correct (verb) = remove mistakes; revise; change something which is wrong, to make it right
Source: Language Log
From the iWeb Corpus. These are words found on the same web pages as the word Halloween.
Continue reading →
CrashCourse is a collection of YouTube videos on various subjects, including biology, chemistry, computer science and sociology.
Tons of awesome courses in one awesome channel!
The Biodiversity Heritage Library provides free access to hundreds of thousands of books and over 125,000 illustrations, from the 15th-21st centuries.
The illustrations can be seen in numerous albums on Flickr. For example:
UEA Library now has access to the Daily Mail Historical Archive, which covers 1896 to 2004.
Daily Mail (1989) ‘Scientists dig in to save the rabbits’, 29 November, p.37. Daily Mail Historical Archive.
Rothermere, Viscount (1934) ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts!’, Daily Mail, 15 January, p. 10. Daily Mail Historical Archive.
UEA Library opened in 1968, so this year is its 50th anniversary.
The architect was Denys Lasdun and the first librarian was Willi Guttsman. Tag, the UEA Library blog, has appreciations of both men.
An appreciation is an assessment (usually positive) of a person and their work.
Photo © N Chadwick (cc-by-sa/2.0)
Two days ago we quoted a letter to The Times from 1968, which described some UEA students as “childishly noisy”, “completely lacking in manners” and “unkempt”.
The Oxford English Dictionary has various defintions of unkempt. The one intended by the letter-writer would seem to be:
Of a person’s or (occasionally) an animal’s appearance, condition, etc.: characterized by uncombed or untidy hair; (more generally) scruffy, dishevelled.
The OED’s Historical Thesaurus lists this meaning under: the world > physical sensation > cleanness and dirtiness > dirtiness > [adjective] > dirty and mean. Words in this category (with the earliest year in which they were recorded) are:
- ungoderly c1400
- sluttish 1549
- squalid 1596
- scrubbing 1603
- sordid 1611
- snotty 1681
- frowzy 1710
- grub 1719
- seedy 1725
- unkempt 1838
- grubby 1844
- crumby 1859
- ratty 1867
- scruffy 1871
- scrutty 1914
- scummy 1932
- ribby 1936
- raunchy 1937
- sleazy 1941
- scroungy 1948
- manky 1958
- grungy 1965
- scungy 1966
- scuzzy 1969
- scrungy 1974
Words with similar meanings include grimy, tatty, shabby, dowdy and mangy.
You may have noticed how most of these words have two syllables and end in y. About half of them begin with s. This may be an example of sound symbolism or iconicity.
Beijing has had many different names over the last 3,000 years. This Google Ngram chart shows the three that were most common in English-language sources during the 20th century.