The Coriolis Effect Myth

Were you ever told (or even taught) that water spirals down a drain in different directions in the northern and southern hemispheres due to the Coriolis effect? Weird how those things stick in your mind, isn’t it? Unfortunately that is… Read More ›


Meaning An accidental transposition of the initial sounds, or other parts, of two or more words. Origin The Rev. William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), who was a fellow and warden of New College, Oxford, is inextricably linked with the slips of… Read More ›

Very British phrases

There are several words and phrases I use on social media without realising that they are culturally or geographically niched. A few that spring to mind are ‘hamfisted’, ‘cheeky’ and ‘trainspotter’. Below is a selection from this Standard article which… Read More ›


The misuse of certain phrases in English is something that really gets my goat. Some examples: baited breath instead of bated breath here here instead of hear hear step foot instead of set foot it’s not rocket surgery instead of… Read More ›

Idioms about March

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb – the month of March usually starts with cold, unpleasant weather, but ends mild and pleasant. (Either part of the proverb can be used alone.) To be as… Read More ›