Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

November 19, 2014

by Liz Walter​
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’.

If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class:

I come from Scotland/Spain.

You probably also know how to invite someone to enter your home, using come in:

How lovely to see you! Please come in! Read the rest of this entry »


New words – 17 November 2014

November 17, 2014


silver splicer noun informal a person who marries in later life

Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’
Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

[www.telegraph.co.uk 12 June 2014]


SBNR abbreviation spiritual but not religious; used especially on dating websites

A few minutes on Google revealed that SBNR is more than just an acronym. One in three Americans defined themselves as spiritual but not religious.

[http://www.bbc.co.uk/ 24 May 2014]

brotherzone noun informal a category of friendship where a man is like a brother to a woman, and therefore not a potential sexual partner

In my experience the ‘brotherzone’ is a lot more fun, when it’s short term/you have other female ‘friends’ cause 95 per cent of men will ‘slip-up’ before the girl. then [sic] they just end up looking sad and desperate.

[http://m.tickld.com/ 11 May 2014]

About new words


Are you feeling any better? (Talking about colds and flu)

November 12, 2014

by Kate Woodford​​​
Autumn has arrived with its beautiful display of gold and red leaves. Unfortunately, it has also brought with it various germs (=very small living things that cause disease). Many of us are now suffering from colds and, if we are really unlucky, flu (=a very bad cold, but with pains and a hot body). If you have caught a cold (=got a cold) or come down with (=started suffering from) the flu, you will probably want to tell someone about how bad you feel. You might tell a good friend, who will be kind to you, or even a doctor if you are really poorly (=ill). Here, then, is a selection of words and phrases that you can use to describe your symptoms (= physical feelings that show you have a particular illness).

Let’s start with the nose. You may have a runny nose, with liquid coming out of it all the time. (A cold with a runny nose is often described as a streaming cold). Or your nose may be bunged up or blocked (up), meaning that you cannot breathe through it. If any of these phrases describes your symptoms, you will probably want to blow your noseto clear your nose by forcing air through it into a piece of soft paper.

A cold often brings with it a sore throat (=a hurting back part of the mouth). Often, it makes you cough (=have air come out of your throat with a loud sound). If that cough is particularly loud and sounds as if it hurts, you might describe it as a hacking cough. Read the rest of this entry »


New words – 10 November 2014

November 10, 2014


smart gun noun a gun with various technologies, such as proximity sensors and biometrics, that are intended to improve gun safety

The so called ‘smart gun’ has recently been causing tension in both the EU and US firearms industries.

[www.bbc.co.uk 23 May 2014]


barrel bomb noun a type of improvised explosive device made from explosives packed into a barrel

Since the end of 2013, government forces have waged a deadly aerial campaign in the city using barrel bombs, allowing them to make several gains.

[www.bbc.co.uk 28 April 2014]

The Syrian air force has used so-called ‘barrel bombs’ dropped from aircraft to try to put down a rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.

[www.bbc.co.uk 30 May 2014]

genericide noun the use of a brand name to mean a class of similar items and the consequent dilution of that brand name’s potency

Cue rival businesses, circling the exposed brand and swooping to attach its powerful name to their own products. And if they can convince intellectual property judges that they are entitled to use it because it’s now an everyday word, that trademark is dead and buried – the victim of ‘genericide’.

[www.bbc.co.uk (Simon Tulett) 28 May 2014]

About new words


There I was, minding my own business… (The language of anecdotes)

November 5, 2014

by Kate Woodford​​
We all like to tell anecdotes – to share with our friends short, funny stories about things that we have done or seen. Of course, the subject matter of our stories varies hugely, from chance meetings with unusual characters to disasters in the kitchen. However, the phrases that we use to tell these stories are often quite similar. This week we’re looking at anecdote phrases and seeing how they are used in the telling of tales.

Of course, to start with, we need to introduce our anecdote, (which often relates to a topic that is already being discussed). To do this, we often use phrases such as these:

Did I ever tell you about the time I invited Al’s boss round for dinner?

I’ll never forget the time I got locked in a public toilet in Portland.

That reminds me of the time I gave a talk to some children at my daughter’s school. Read the rest of this entry »


New words – 3 November 2014

November 3, 2014


usie noun informal a self-taken photo of a group of people

Cute! Looks like Daddy Wiz put 3 chainzzz on his Handsome son, Sebastian, and snapped a quick usie.

[cantholdwater.com 03 April 2014]



Throwback Thursday noun slang a time for reminiscing (often used as a hashtag)

It’s #ThrowbackThursday (or #TBT if you prefer), which means RadarOnline.com is taking a look back to move forward on some of today’s hottest stories.

[radaronline.com 10 April 2014]

fave verb to mark a tweet as a favourite on Twitter (trademark)

The most popular reason for faving something? People simply liked the tweet.

[knowmore.washingtonpost.com 04 June 2014]

About new words


What’s that lovely smell?

October 29, 2014

by Kate Woodford

As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells.

Most smell words are either positive or negative. ‘Smell’ itself, however, can be either good or bad, depending on the words around it. ‘I love the smell of baking bread.’ is perfectly possible, as is It’s a horrible smell, like rotten eggs.’ Interestingly, without an adjective before it, or some other information, it seems usually to refer to a bad smell: Have you noticed the smell in the bathroom?/I can’t get rid of the smell. The derived adjective smelly, meanwhile, is always bad: smelly feet/smelly socks. Read the rest of this entry »


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