March 14th, 2014


A prolonged complaint or lamentation.

September 27th, 2015


The spell of the evil eye.

October 29th, 2013


A colloquial Chinese term for abandoned cars, or “zombie cars”.

January 25th, 2012


A Japanese word meaning “fear of one’s own glance “.

October 19th, 2013


A short crowbar; to force open as if with a short crowbar.

January 23rd, 2015


An itinerant minstrel.

October 23rd, 2013


Tease playfully.

August 6th, 2013

Judging a Wordnerd by his Covers: Part I

by Chris Hancock

A recent bit of redecorating in my house meant that bookshelves had to be dismantled, with all the books getting jumbled in the process. In trying to impose some sense of order on this higgledy-piggledy mess (and, incidentally, if there’s a better reduplicative word than “higgledy-piggledy” I’d like to hear about it) I found myself lingering over some books more than others. Some I could instantly return to their rightful place without a moment’s thought; others I couldn’t repatriate without opening them and flicking through, reading a paragraph here and there… maybe just smelling the musty paper. Old friends. I’d like you to meet ten of them…

August 9th, 2013

Judging a Wordnerd by his Covers: Part II

by Chris Hancock

Scene: A library. From behind, we see a debonair man in a silk smoking jacket running his finger along a shelf of books. He pauses, draws one particular volume from the shelf and opens it. As he flicks through the pages a smile of familiarity plays upon his lips. He turns and we see it is Chris Hancock. He looks to camera:

Oh, hello there. Welcome to the second part of my selection of favourite books from my personal library. You can read the first part here. If you’re already up to speed with that, read on…


December 30th, 2012


Apart from the obvious, jug is the sound the nightingale makes.