a white sheep bleating as it looks at the camera

Grunting, lowing and bleating (Animal sounds, Part B)

a white sheep bleating as it looks at the camera
Marcel ter Bekke/Moment/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

In Part A of this blog (Howling, mewing and snorting), we looked at words for the various sounds made by dogs, cats and horses. This week we’re widening our scope and considering words for the sounds made by farm animals and wild animals. Continue reading “Grunting, lowing and bleating (Animal sounds, Part B)”

a Bernese Mountain Dog barking

Howling, mewing and snorting (Animal sounds, Part A)

a Bernese Mountain Dog barking
Jill Lehmann Photography/Moment/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

A reader of this blog recently requested a post on animal sounds. When I looked into the subject, I was struck by the huge range of very specific words in the English language for the various noises that animals and birds make. Accordingly, this is a post in two parts, A and B. Here, in Part A, we start by considering words for the different noises that dogs make. Continue reading “Howling, mewing and snorting (Animal sounds, Part A)”

close-up of a woman's smiling mouth, showing her teeth

Gritting and cutting your teeth (Idioms and phrases with ‘teeth’)

close-up of a woman's smiling mouth, showing her teeth
ultramarinfoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Kate Woodford

It might surprise you to learn that the noun ‘teeth’ features in a number of current English idioms. This post is a round-up of the most frequent and useful. Continue reading “Gritting and cutting your teeth (Idioms and phrases with ‘teeth’)”

skyline of city buildings lit up at sunset

A vast, sprawling metropolis (Words for describing cities)

skyline of city buildings lit up at sunset
Gary Yeowell/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

It’s reckoned that around 55% of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities. With this in mind, I thought we’d take a look at the sort of words we use to describe urban and suburban areas. I hope you find it useful. Continue reading “A vast, sprawling metropolis (Words for describing cities)”

a smashed plate on a tiled floor, next to a child's bare feet

Clatter and thud (Sounds, Part 3)

a smashed plate on a tiled floor, next to a child's bare feet
John M Lund Photography Inc/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

This is the last of a three-part post on words that we use to describe sounds that we hear in our daily life. In previous posts, I’ve covered sounds heard in the city and those heard in the country. This week, I’m staying indoors and thinking about sounds that we hear inside our homes and other buildings. Continue reading “Clatter and thud (Sounds, Part 3)”

yellow leaves being blown from a tree on a windy day

Rustling leaves and the howling wind (Sounds, Part 2)

yellow leaves being blown from a tree on a windy day
Blair Fethers/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

In my last ‘sounds’ post, I looked at noises often heard in a city, such as the ‘hum’ of traffic and sirens ‘wailing’. Today I’m focusing on some more pleasant sounds – those often heard outdoors. Continue reading “Rustling leaves and the howling wind (Sounds, Part 2)”

blurred photograph of cars and an ambulance driving through a busy city

The rumble of traffic and the wailing of sirens (Sounds, Part 1)

blurred photograph of cars and an ambulance driving through a busy city
Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

Have you ever wanted to describe a sound that you heard but found you didn’t have quite the right word for it? Then read on, because this post (and Parts 2 and 3) will provide you with a range of specific words and phrases to refer to the sounds we hear in our daily life. We’ll start by looking at noises that we hear in an urban environment. As you might imagine, many relate to vehicles. Continue reading “The rumble of traffic and the wailing of sirens (Sounds, Part 1)”

a smiling young man holding a red balloon shaped like a heart

Pouring your heart out and bottling it up (Showing and not showing emotions, Part 2)

a smiling young man holding a red balloon shaped like a heart
Westend61/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

This is the second of two posts on the theme of showing and not showing emotions. The words and phrases in Part 1 focused on adjectives and verbs. Today’s post looks at idioms and phrasal verbs in this area. Continue reading “Pouring your heart out and bottling it up (Showing and not showing emotions, Part 2)”

potato milk (an off-white liquid) being poured from a glass bottle into a drinking glass, with whole potatoes in the background

Stress busters and potato milk (New entries in our dictionary)

potato milk (an off-white liquid) being poured from a glass bottle into a drinking glass, with whole potatoes in the background
Iryna Melnyk/Moment/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

This week’s blog post is a little different from the sort of posts that you’re used to reading here. Just for a change, we’re looking at some of the words and phrases that have recently been added to our online dictionary and seeing what common themes are reflected in these latest additions. We regularly add words to the Cambridge Dictionary to keep it up to date as the English language changes. Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with our New Words posts, where we show you our research into words that have appeared in English very recently. Some of these words are only used for a short amount of time before being forgotten. Others become part of everyday language, and when our research shows that this has happened, we can consider adding them to the dictionary. This post looks at some of these, so if you want to learn about some recent additions to the Cambridge Dictionary, read on! Continue reading “Stress busters and potato milk (New entries in our dictionary)”

two women hugging each other and laughing

Express yourself! (Showing and not showing emotions, Part 1)

two women hugging each other and laughing
Flashpop/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

This week I’m looking at the language we use to describe how people express (or don’t express!) emotions. It’s an interesting area with a range of words and phrases so I’ll present the information in two parts, Part 1 and Part 2. Continue reading “Express yourself! (Showing and not showing emotions, Part 1)”