Word Origins

Was The First Computer Bug A Real Insect?

The phrase 'computer bug' has been around for a long time, but was it created due to an incident involving a real insect? Click through to find out.

What Is The Origin Of The Phrase "Dressed To The Nines"?

To be ‘dressed to the nines’ means to be dressed very smartly – but what is the origin of this phrase, and why is it ‘nines’ rather than ‘eights’ or ‘tens’?

What Is The Origin Of The Phrase "Hair Of The Dog"?

Most people have known somebody in need of the hair of the dog, but where did the phrase come from? Our short video explains everything.

What Is The Origin Of The Phrase "Sleep Tight"?

There are lots of parents out there that have said "sleep tight" when they put their kids to bed. But have you ever wondered where the phrase came from?

What is the origin of the phrase "the bee's knees"?

The bee's knees is usually said to describe something of outstanding performance, but have you ever thought about where it came from? Our page has the answers.

What Is The Origin Of The Term "Brass Monkey"?

In some English-speaking parts of the world, the phrase 'brass monkey' is used to describe cold weather, but where did it come from? Our video has the answer.

What Is The Origin Of The Term "Flea Market"?

Most people will go to a flea market at some point in their lives, but where did the phrase come from? Watch our video to find out the answer.

What Is The Origin Of The Term "Pros And Cons"?

What is the origin of the term ‘pros and cons’? You may use this phrase often, but without realizing that you’re actually abbreviating Latin…

What Is The Origin Of The Term "UFO"?

There are many theories about the existence of UFOs, but where did this initialism come from? Watch our video to find out the real truth.

What Is The Origin Of The Word "Berserk"?

Where does the word ‘berserk’ come from, and what has it got to do with bears? We’ve got the unexpected answers, so you can stop going berserk!

What is the origin of the word "codswallop"?

You might have heard ‘codswallop’ used in British English to mean ‘nonsense’ – but where does this curious word come from? The answer is a little complicated…

What Is The Origin Of The Word "Cup"?

Where does the word 'cup' come from? And what does it mean to be 'in your cups'?

What Is The Origin Of The Word "Grockle"?

Grockle: if you’ve ever been to Cornwall or Devon as a tourist, you might have been called a ‘grockle’. But what does it mean and where does the word come from?

What Is The Origin Of The Word "Hazard"?

We all want to avoid hazards – but have you ever wondered where the word ‘hazard’ comes from? One possible answers involves a castle and some dice…

What Is The Origin Of The Word "Jink"?

High jinks are always fun, but can you get any other sort of jinks? Well, ‘jink’ can also be used as a verb – find out what it means, and where it’s from.

What Is The Origin Of The Word "Loo"?

‘Loo’ is often used in informal British English to mean ‘toilet’ – but where does the word come from? There are a few theories; we explore them all.

What is the origin of the word "OK"?

OK: those two little letters form a handy word that is recognized all around the world, but where did OK get its meaning? We explore the possibilities.

What Is The Origin Of The Word "Penguin"?

Everybody’s fond a penguin, but did you know that the word penguin might come from Welsh? The debate is still running; here are the theories.

What is the origin of the word "posh"?

Does the word ‘posh’ come from ‘port out; starboard home’, or is it time to put that theory to bed? We look at the evidence for and against.

What Is The Origin Of The Word "Quiz"?

‘Quiz’: you might have heard an unusual story about this word originating after a bet. Is it true? We look at the word’s history and offer some suggestions.