Love English

Your stories in a flipbook!

Stories behind WordsAs many of you will remember, last year we ran the Stories behind Words series on this blog. In the series we asked teachers, authors, linguists and other language enthusiasts to share a personal anecdote about a word (or phrase) that they felt strongly about: a word that had a personal meaning to them.

We received many contributions of funny, sad and heart-warming stories that appeared on the blog in the first half of 2013.

While David Crystal offered us some perspective Dorothy Zemach treated us to an explanation of the infrequently-used word wayzgoose, and Andrew Delahunty chose to combine a variety of words, advocating that blagrant should surely be the next new word. We received a lot of very personal stories too – by Simon Williams and Miles Craven, among others.

In the summer, the series continued with a twist and featured new stories about interesting terms and phrases: where they came from and how they changed over time. These stories, co-authored by Michael Rundell and Liz Potter, are also included in this collection.

You can view the Stories behind Words flipbook or download a pdf of the collection, on our resources page.

We would like to thank all guest authors for writing their wonderful stories and for their permission to republish their posts in this online flipbook.

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Saskia Iseard


  • Reading the lesson about “ways to say I don’t know”, I noticed the absence, among the examples sentence, of the expression. “beats me”. That is why it is too informal or even impolite?

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