Author Archives: mstraw2014

Michelle Straw has a chapter published on AIN’T

 Michelle Straw has a chapter published in Ain’thology: The history and life of a taboo word. The chapter is entitled “Language change in a post-creole British contact setting: non-standard Ain’t negation.” She considers the kinds of changes in language that … Continue reading

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10 english words that aren’t (10) House

This is a very old word that can be traced back to the Old English period 9th/10th century. It would have been used by the Anglo-Saxons, the old English inhabitants. So really we can consider this word to be English. … Continue reading

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10 english words that aren’t (9) Trousers

This word is thought to come from Irish and Scottish Gaelic originally via Old French/Latin. The Irish form was trousse or trews. It was introduced into English during the 16th century. As with food, clothing is another major semantic domain … Continue reading

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10 english words that aren’t (8) Potato

A stable food in England and Ireland, the potato was first introduced into Europe by Christopher Columbus in the 16th century. It comes from the Spanish patata. The semantic domain of foodstuffs is a very common way in which words … Continue reading

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10 english words that aren’t (7) Tennis

We often think of Tennis as originating in England, especially because of the world famous Wimbledon tournament. The game was played earlier in Florence, Italy during the 14th century and there is some evidence of the use of the word … Continue reading

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10 english words that aren’t (6) Chav

Many words have a number of urban myths associated with them and stories about their origins. chav is one of them. Here in Cheltenham, the story is told that chav was originally coined by Cheltenham Ladies College girls who would … Continue reading

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10 english words that aren’t (5) Window

Window comes from the Old Norse word vindauga meaning vindr wind + auga eye. It was adopted into English after the Scandinavians invaded England and established the Danelaw in the North and East of England at the end of the … Continue reading

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