17 Fascinating Language Facts

The following is an excerpt from 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts To Make Your Jaw Drop:

1. The word “infant” is from the Latin for “unable to speak.”

2. The offspring of a polar bear and a grizzly bear is called a “pizzly bear.”

3. Nudiustertian means “relating to the day before yesterday.”

4. Zugunruhe is the restlessness of caged birds in the migration season.

5. Lalochezia is using swearing to relieve stress or pain.

6. The remains of birds hit by airplanes are known as “snarge.”

7. Gambrinous means “being full of beer.”

8. Pandiculation is yawning and stretching at the same time.

9. An English person from 2013 could not understand an English person from 1300 without a translator.

10. Vowel-schmowel: the practice of adding a rhyming word beginning with sch- to another is called “shm-reduplication.”

11. The Spice Girls are mentioned five times in the Oxford English Dictionary, under “girl power,” “big,” “merchandised,” “popularist,” and “tabloid.”

12. The wire cage holding the cork in a bottle of champagne is called an agraffe.

13. Pet parrots released into the wild teach wild parrots how to talk.

14. Motdièse (or “sharp-sign word”) was coined by the French in 2013 to avoid using the English word hashtag.

15. The phrase "you’re toast" was first used by Bill Murray in "Ghostbusters."

16. In Finnish an exclamation mark is a "shout mark"; in Spanish it’s a "wonder symbol."

17. An endling is the final individual in a species.



  • 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens
  • 'Robinson Crusoe' by Daniel Defoe
  • 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley
  • 'Madame Bovary' by Gustave Flaubert
  • "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allen Poe
  • 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • 'The Lord of the Flies' by William Golding
  • 'Touching the Void' by Joe Simpson
  • 'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens