Wicked Words (Horrible Histories Special)
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Discover why words rule in this wicked book of them! Find out why they say the pen is mightier than the sword! Terry Deary runs riot through the horrible history of the English language in a book to leave you (and your teacher) speechless.
American Dictionary too by changing some spellings. But the third edition of 1961 caused a lot of trouble when it said ain’t was a perfectly good word, and so was piss-poor! (A bishop objected to that one.) Knock-knock Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Language expert. Language expert who? Language expert who can tell you why you spell the work ‘k-nock’ but say it ‘nock’. I never asked. But I’m going to tell you anyway. The reason it is spelled k-nock (like k-night and k-nee) is that this is the
was usually married to a king.) Then along came the Normans in 1066, and decided they liked it better spelled queen. (If the Normans hadn’t done this then the English might have laughed at someone who called himself William the Conkeror! It’s very hard to conker a people who laugh at you.) Did you know…? William the Conqueror tried to learn English … but failed! Middle English – history of the language – part 4 Middle English came between Old English and Modern English. It came in the
need to know is that words don’t just mean something. They have sound too. And the wickedest word speakers and writers can use those sounds. So can you. The sl sound is usually used for unpleasant things. Insult your deadliest enemy with a collection of sl words … Onomatopoeic joke Q: What goes ‘clip’? A: A one-legged horse. Potty proverbs A proverb is a popular saying, usually with a piece of useful advice. It’s the wisdom of hundreds of years concentrated into a few, well-chosen words.
words about words. In the Middle Ages the qabbalah was a set of mystic practices – a bit like looking at your horoscope in the newspaper today. Followers of the qabbalah believed quite simply that words were magical in themselves. They were a code sent by God. All you had to do was to understand their secret and you would understand the meaning of life. How did this work? Give each letter a number: A = 1, B = 2 and so on till Z = 26. Now, add up the value of the letters in a word. B-E-D is 2 +
said, ‘Butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth’. A figure of speech still used today. 3 To be in another person’s shoes – to take someone’s place In the Viking age, when a man adopted a son, the boy accepted by putting on the man’s shoes. 4 Not worth your salt – no good In Roman times salt was a rare and precious mineral – like gold. So it was often used to pay the soldiers. If you weren’t worth your salt then you didn’t get your salt – your pay! Of course salt comes from a Latin word and people