A little boy having fun swinging on a whale toy at the playground

A whale of a time: talking about enjoying yourself

A little boy having fun swinging on a whale toy at the playground
marcduf/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

I thought it would be nice to talk about something cheerful today, so this post is about having fun! Continue reading “A whale of a time: talking about enjoying yourself”

A woman in profile exhaling. The vapour of her breath is visible in the cold air.

Inhaling, gasping and panting: words to describe breathing

A woman in profile exhaling. The vapour of her breath is visible in the cold air.
olaser/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

Today’s post is about language around the activity of breathing – something we usually do without thinking about it unless we have a medical problem or are deliberately doing breathing exercises, for example during yoga practice. Continue reading “Inhaling, gasping and panting: words to describe breathing”

close-up of a determined young man in a racing helmet

A class act and nerves of steel: talking about people you like and admire (2)

close-up of a determined young man in a racing helmet
Fuse/Corbis/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

My last post looked at some general qualities of people we like, such as being pleasant and kind. Today’s post is about some more specific admirable qualities. Continue reading “A class act and nerves of steel: talking about people you like and admire (2)”

two older men laughing together in a park

Laid-back, likeable and jovial : talking about people you like and admire (1)

two older men laughing together in a park
triloks/E+/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

After three posts on criticizing people’s character flaws, it’s definitely time to balance that with some vocabulary for praising those we admire! Continue reading “Laid-back, likeable and jovial : talking about people you like and admire (1)”

portrait of an old man frowning angrily

Prickly, abrasive and churlish: talking about people you don’t like (3)

portrait of an old man frowning angrily
John Rensten/The Image Bank/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

This is the final post in a short series about words for people we don’t like. This post will concentrate on describing people who are bad-tempered, rude, or cruel. Continue reading “Prickly, abrasive and churlish: talking about people you don’t like (3)”

Two adorable border collie puppies sit in front of a veterinarian as one playfully growls at the other causing the other puppy to look scared.

Lily-livered or hard as nails: talking about people you don’t like (2)

Two adorable border collie puppies sit in front of a veterinarian as one playfully growls at the other causing the other puppy to look scared.
FatCamera/E+/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

My last post contained general insulting words and phrases. You can find words and phrases for people who are stupid, untrustworthy, boring or stubborn in previous posts by me and my colleague Kate Woodford, so today’s post looks at ways of describing some other character flaws. Continue reading “Lily-livered or hard as nails: talking about people you don’t like (2)”

girl reciting poetry from a book

Rhyme, rhythm and verse: talking about poetry

girl reciting poetry from a book
photosvit/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

March 21st is World Poetry Day and today’s post looks at language we use to talk about this extraordinary form of writing. Continue reading “Rhyme, rhythm and verse: talking about poetry”

One blue and one red wooden figurine leaning into each other under speech bubbles on white surface, purple background

She’s a piece of work: talking about people you don’t like (1)

One blue and one red wooden figurine leaning into each other under speech bubbles on white surface, purple background
PM Images/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

Looking at tweets about a UK politician recently, I was struck by how many colourful terms we have for insulting people, so I thought that would be a good topic for my next couple of posts! Continue reading “She’s a piece of work: talking about people you don’t like (1)”

a young woman solving equations on a glass screen in a laboratory

Genes, molecules and momentum: talking about science

a young woman solving equations on a glass screen in a laboratory
PeopleImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

11 February is the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and, as a small contribution to this important topic, today’s post is all about science words. Of course, this is a vast field, but I have picked out a few key terms from the areas of biology, chemistry and physics, which I hope will be useful. Continue reading “Genes, molecules and momentum: talking about science”

wooden fence with a sign reading 'Private Property: No Entry'

Unless you leave now… : Using conditionals (2)

wooden fence with a sign reading 'Private Property: No Entry'
Hiob/E+/GettyImages

by Liz Walter

My last post looked at the basic building blocks of first, second and third conditionals. This post gives a little bit more detail about common variations we can use. Continue reading “Unless you leave now… : Using conditionals (2)”