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Less Well Known Cousins

I was watching a David Attenborough nature program and learned the meaning of a word I had seen many times. The word was HALTERE. I had imagined it was a word of French origin for some article of clothing or something. I certainly had no idea that it was the remnant of the rear wing of a fly that had evolved to be like a sort of gyroscope. That got me thinking. The only reason I knew the word was that it was the anagram of LEATHER. There are other combinations like that where one ordinary word has an anagram with an obscure meaning. Like the less well-known cousin of a celebrity. Quite often only one of the two words will fit on the board and you don’t even have to shuffle the letters around

DO U Know DOU?

The quiz for this week is to write down the 4 letter words you can think of that start with the letters DOU. DOU is not a word, so these are not hook words to add to a word already on the board. It is a vocabulary test, so just work your way through the alphabet deciding what letters added after those 3 will make a word. We don’t tend to start words with that combination. That is one reason why interesting bingos such as DOULEIA (inferior veneration accorded to saints and angels) and DOUANIER (customs officer) are hard combinations to see. Before giving you the answers to the quiz here are a few 5 letter words that start with DOU that are useful for dumping vowels, because they all have 3 di

On the Up & Up

This blog is mostly about 4 and 5 letter words that begin with the letters UP. In fact the quiz is to see how many of the 4 letter words you can think of before we move on to the list. It sounds easy doesn’t it? In fact some of them are easy and there are only a total of 7 words in all, but I will be surprised if you manage to get all 7. The blog needs to be filled in with another list first so that you can’t immediately see the answers to the quiz. Stop right here and write down as many of those 4 letter UP words as you can think of. Don't scroll down until you are ready PHANG A Shakespearian verb meaning to seize in the teeth PLAID A long piece of woollen cloth PLEAD

Arguing Word Testing, Trialing and Proving

One of the tricky areas of word study is knowing what –ING words can have an S added to them. Just to demonstrate the difficulty the only quiz this week is on which of the four –ING words in the title can have an S added to them. Clearly ARGUING, TESTING, TRIALING and PROVING are all correct, but how do you feel about ARGUINGS, TESTINGS, TRIALINGS and PROVINGS? If the word can be used as a noun it should be able to take an S. For example the word SETTING can obviously take a plural. If you can have a table setting for one person you can obviously have many settings for many people Nouns can always have the word THE placed in front of them, so one of my methods is to try to use it in that way

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