Here are some weird and wonderful facts about the English language for you to impress your friends with.

old English words

  • canst
    meaning – can (second person)
    example –  Please canst thou love me?
  • didst
    meaning – did (second person)
    example –  Didst thou call me last night?
  • doth
    meaning – does
    example –  Doth he not know the rules?
  • hath
    meaning – have
    example –  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
  • hither
    meaning – here
    example –  Come hither child.
  • oust
    meaning – to remove from a group
    example –  They ousted the thief from his hiding place.
  • shalt
    meaning – shall
    example –  Thou shalt not say the lords name in vain.
  • thee
    meaning – you (as an object)
    example –  I shall see thee tomorrow.
  • thine
    meaning – your
    example –  Pass me thine crown.
  • thou
    meaning – you (as a subject)
    example –  Thou shall not commit adultery.
  • thou
    meaning – art you are
    example –  Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Romeo?
  • thyself
    meaning – yourself
    example –  Be true to thyself.
  • thou hast
    meaning – you have
    example –  Though hast remarkable hair.
  • thy
    meaning – your
    example –  Love thy neighbour.
  • ye
    meaning – you plural
    example –  Here ye go, have a drink on me.
  • unto
    meaning – to
    example –  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    meaning – until
    example – unto death us do part.
shakespeare's words and phrases

crutch words

There are words in English called crutch words. They are words we use frequently but they and no value or meaning to a sentence.


They include:

  • actually
  • apparently
  • basically
  • honestly
  • like
  • literally
  • obviously
  • really
  • right
  • seriously
  • so
  • um
  • well
weird english facts - crutch words

irreversible binominals

Irreversible binomials are two words which are usually joined by the words `and` or `or`. These form a phrase with a fixed order that cannot be changed. They include:

  • all or nothing
  • bread and butter
  • fair and square
  • hugs and kisses
  • ladies and gentlemen
  • loud and clear
  • make or break
  • now or never
  • nuts and bolts
  • open and close
  • safe and sound
  • soap and water
  • sooner or later
  • sweet and sour
  • toss and turn
  • up and down
weird english facts - irreversible binominals


Onomatopoeias are words that sound like the word they are describing. They include:

  • animal sounds – bark, buzz, cheep, chirp, hiss, meow, moo, purr, quack, squeak
  • water words – drip, drop, drizzle, plop, splash, splosh, squirt
  • collision words – bang, bash, boom, clatter crash, smash, thud
  • voice words – belch, chatter, giggle, growl, grunt, huh, laugh, murmur, snort
  • air words – flutter, gasp, poof, swish, swoosh, wiz, whoosh, whip
weird english facts - onomatopoeia


An OXYMORON is a figure of speech that uses words that contradict each other. They include:

  • big baby
  • bittersweet
  • deafening silence
  • liquid gas
  • living dead
  • minor crisis
  • open secret
  • original copy
  • pretty ugly
  • seriously funny
weird english facts - oxymoron

the shortest sentence in English

The shortest sentence in the English language is `I am’.

The longest sentence is `I do.`

weird english facts - shortest sentence

tongue twisters

Practice the sounds of English with these tongue twisters.

  • a pessimistic pest exists amidst us
  • Eddie edited it
  • he threw three balls
  • Swiss wrist watch
  • Willies really weary
weird english facts - tongue twisters

text speak

knowing the correct meaning of text speak is important.

mum – Your uncle has just died LOL xxx

me – Mum, why is that funny?

me – What do you think ‘LOL’ means???

mum – Lots Of Love?

me – No, it’s ‘Laughing Out Loud’

mum – Noooo, I sent that message to half of the family.

weird english facts - text speak - lol

did you know?

If you replace the `w` in the words where, when and what with a `t`, you answer the question:

  • where = there
  • when = then
  • what = that
weird english facts - w words

More words in the English language begin with the letter ‘s’ than any other letter of the alphabet.

weird english facts - words begining with s

No words rhyme with the following words:

  • month
  • orange
  • purple
  • silver
weird english facts - words with no rhyme

words ending in gry

Who can tell me the only two words in the English language that end in ‘gry’?

For a bonus point…
When these two words are combined, what new word do they make and what does it mean?


The two words are:

  • hungry
  • angry

If you combine these two words, you get the word ‘hangry’. Hangry means you are angry because you are hungry.

social media phrases

social media phrases

Here are some ideas to use when writing to your friends.

  • Get well soon, sending lots of love xx
  • Congratulations on the birth of your baby. He/she is so cute. xx
  • Happy birthday! I hope you have a lovely day. Lots of love xx
  • I’m sorry to hear about the death of your mum/dad/friend. He/she was a lovely person.
  • Good luck with your exam/driving test. You will do great.
  • Congratulations on your marriage/ engagement, you make a lovely couple.
weird english facts - social media phrases