elevenses, n.

elevenses, n. 1. a short break for refreshments, usually with tea or coffee, taken around 11 am.   2. the refreshments eaten then

Words and food combined in the most delicious way; this is the wonderful gift that made my week. A gift that also got me curious about the etymology behind it.

Not to be confused with second breakfast — though it often is — elevenses first appears in 1887 Continue reading “elevenses, n.”

~ce17 series


The fourth Found Words collection presents forty-four selected word columns from my preferred broken old dictionary of choice; the Concise English Dictionary. These columns are protected in slightly larger sleeves (22.5cm x 6.5cm) than our previous bookmarks, and paired with their identifying swing tag.
The larger sleeves allow the header words that uniquely name each bookmark, to remain attached to its word column rather than trimmed off and tucked inside its sleeve.
Continue reading “~ce17 series”

nonillion, n. and adj.

nonillion, n. and adj. From the Latin nonus (ninth) + French -illion (in million)

This Shorter English Oxford Dictionary is showing her age.

Nonillion exemplifies the post-million divergence of numerical terms on the scales once referred to as British (long scale) and American (short scale) systems.
Giving in to the growing local use of the American system, the UK officially adopted the short scale terms in 1974.
I don’t recall learning this in school but must admit that is a long while ago now and my memory is also on a short scale when it comes to numbers and math.

So, how to remember the difference for future reference? Continue reading “nonillion, n. and adj.”

nepenthe, n

nepenthe, n. A potion supposed to make persons forget their sorrows; any draught or drug capable of removing pain or care.

Is it just a coincidence that every time I come across this elegant word I can’t remember its meaning?
Yet each time I look it up, I realise we’ve met before. And it wasn’t on sad occasions – as far as I can recall.
Continue reading “nepenthe, n”