Over at Chillopedia they complied a long list of unknown facts about the English Language.
These facts are fun and can be shared with your grandchildren.
Did you know…?
- The word “set” has more definitions than any other word in English.
- The combination “ough” can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.” Wow!
- Although its gone out of usage now, ‘Stewardesses‘ is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.
- The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses – its plural.
- The word “queue” is the only word in the English language that is still pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed. Its spelling reverts between the two forms a lot. There seems to be no rule which is the correct version.
- “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.
- Typewriter can be typed using only the top row of keys on the keyboard. Now, that’s QWERTY!
- The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
- The verb “cleave” is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.
- Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning “containing arsenic.”
- 8. Postmuscular is the longest word typed using alternating hands, two letters at a time of keys on the keyboard. Try it – we just did!
- 9. There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, “therein”: the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, here, ere, therein, herein.
- The dot over the letter “i” is called a tittle. (Click here for more information)
- The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb – Yikes!
- 1. Over 400 million people use the English vocabulary as a mother tongue. These facts are from 2011, so you can imagine that they are larger now. And over 700 million people speak English as a second language.
15 Fun facts to share with your grandkids about the English language