Here are 25 Interesting Facts About English Language.

1-5 Interesting Facts About English Language


1. Understanding English actually hurts professional players of English scrabble. Some of the world’s best Scrabble players are Thai and can’t speak English. – Source

2. The English words moose, opossum, pecan, raccoon, skunk, and squash all originated from the now-extinct language of the Algonquian people, the native tribe inhabiting the site of the earliest English colony in what is now the US at Roanoke Island. – Source

3. In English, multiple adjectives are supposed to be listed in the following order: Quantity, Opinion, Size, Age, Shape, Color, Origin, Material and Purpose. – Source

4. Many English words used to be spelled phonetically (e.g. debt was ‘det’) until some scholars purposely added silent letters to make them look more like Greek or Latin words, sometimes erroneously. – Source

5. The word “electrocute” is a combination of the words electro and execute, meaning killed by electricity. So if you don’t die, you were not electrocuted, you were shocked. – Source

6-10 Interesting Facts About English Language


6. Before the English speaking world was exposed to the fruit, the color orange was referred to as “geoluhread” which is Old English for red-yellow. – Source

7. In addition to the word “lord” evolving from a word literally meaning “keeper of bread”, “lady” evolved from a word literally meaning “kneader of bread.” – Source

8. If you write any number in words (English), count the number of letters, write this new number in words and so on, you’ll always end with number 4. – Source

9. English words for livestock (cow, sheep, chicken) are Germanic-based and the words for meats (beef, mutton, poultry) are French-based. This is because the people who raised the animals were Anglo-Saxon peasants and the people who ate them were Norman aristocrats. – Source

10. The word “set” has 464 definitions, making it the word with the most variety. – Source

11-15 Interesting Facts About English Language


11. The word “dude” was first used in the late 1800s as an insult towards young men who were overly concerned with keeping up with the latest fashions. – Source

12. There is a word that is the opposite of sparkle and it is “darkle.” – Source

13. The word “minute” comes from “the first MINUTE (small) division of an hour.” The word “Second” comes from “the SECOND minute division of an hour.” – Source

14. The word “legend” originally meant “things to be read.” In the pre-Medieval period, reading and writing were very rare, and so anything worthy of being written down was something very noteworthy, and thus “legendary”; worthy of being written down and read. – Source

15. The word “camel” in “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” may be an incorrect translation of the word for rope. – Source

16-20 Interesting Facts About English Language


16. The English word ‘infant’ comes from the Latin word ‘infans’, meaning “unable to speak” or “speechless.” – Source

17. “Bookkeeper” is the only word in English language with three consecutive Double letters.

18. The word “retarded” came into popular use during the 1960’s because it was considered far less offensive and more politically correct than labeling someone a moron, idiot or imbecile. – Source

19. The word cereal comes from the Roman goddess Ceres, and her association with edible grains. – Source

20. The word “barbecue” has been around since 1650, and it has meant “outdoor meal of roasted meat or fish as a social entertainment” since 1733. – Source

21-25 Interesting Facts About English Language


21. The Mayan god of wind and storms was called Jun Raqan, pronounced “Huracan”, hence the English word “Hurricane.” – Source

22. The word “Aibohphobia” meaning “fear of palindromes”, is a joke word deliberately constructed to be one. – Source

23. The word “liberal” in liberal arts means worthy of a free person (as opposed to a slave), and such an education isn’t meant to get you a job but rather to make you useful in a free society.

24. Acronyms are said like words, while initialisms are individual letters. For example, NATO is an acronym and FBI is an initialism. – Source

25. Old English used the word ‘dore’ for male bees. Dumbledore means bumblebee. – Source

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Last Update: April 25, 2016

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