Playing with Words
* The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means "the king is dead".
* Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."
* The slash character is called a virgule or solidus. A URL uses slash characters, not back slash characters.
* The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
* The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
* The word "robot" was created by Karel Capek. It came from Czech/Slovak "robotovat," which means to work very hard.
* The only word that consists of two letters, each used three times is the word "deeded."
* The word "girl" appears only once in the Bible.
* The term, honeymoon, is derived from the Babylonians who declared mead, a honey-flavoured wine, the official wedding drink, stipulating that the bride's parents be required to keep the groom supplied with the drink for the month following the wedding; that month became known as the honeymonth, hence our honeymoon.
* "Rhythm" and "syzygy" are the longest English words without vowels.
* The two longest one-syllable words in the English language are "screeched" and "strengths."
* 'Strengths' is the longest word in the English language with just one vowel.
* The longest place-name still in use is: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, a New Zealand hill.
* The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It is a pneumoconiosis caused by the inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust.
* The second longest word in the Oxford English Dictionary is "floccinaucinihilipilification," which means "the act of estimating as worthless."
* One of the longest English words that can be typed using the top row of a typewriter (allowing multiple uses of letters) is 'typewriter.'
* One out of every eight letters used in written English is an e.
* No words in the English language rhyme with orange, silver, purple or month.
* The words 'sacrilegious' and 'religion' do not share the same etymological root.
* The phrase "sleep tight" originated when mattresses were set upon ropes woven through the bed frame. To remedy sagging ropes, one would use a bed key to tighten the rope.
* "Freelance" comes from a knight whose lance was free for hire, i.e. not pledged to one master.
* The term "devil's advocate" comes from the Roman Catholic church. When deciding if someone should become a saint, a devil's advocate is always appointed to give an alternative view.
* When two words are combined to form a single word (e.g., motor + hotel = motel, breakfast + lunch = brunch) the new word is called a "portmanteau."
* The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
* There is a word in the English language with only one vowel, which occurs six times: Indivisibility.
* The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.
* "Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."
* The oldest word in the English language is "town"
* The Old English word for "sneeze" is "fneosan."
* The word "samba" means "to rub navels together."
* The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in the English language.
* The Sanskrit word for "war" means "desire for more cows."
* The word 'byte' is a contraction of 'by eight.'
* The word 'pixel' is a contraction of either 'picture cell' or 'picture element.'
* In Chinese, the words for crisis and opportunity are the same.
* The shortest French word with all five vowels is "oiseau" meaning bird.
* Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."
* The infinity sign is called a lemniscate.
* The only word in the English language with all five vowels in reverse order is "subcontinental."
Source: Jayp.net and 2201 Fascinating Facts
(R) thedailystar.net 2006