The Origins of POSH

Posh Beginnings

The Origins of POSH

La-Di-Da!

The word posh has been in use in modern English since the 1910s. There is a story, that tells of well-to-do passengers who travelled between England and India had the word POSH written next to their names on bookings. POSH apparently stood for ‘Port Out, Starboard Home‘. The concept behind it was that the more desirable cabins were on the port side (left) which was the shady part of the ship and starboard (right side) travelling back to England.

P.O.S.H.

POSH has its beginnings as an abbreviation, but the research team at the Oxford English Dictionary could not find any evidence of this; the researchers searched shipping company documents and even interviewed former travellers and found no evidence of its use.

What is also interesting is that the word had been in use for some twenty years until the story of its origins came into light in the 1930s. While the story is intriguing, it has yet to be proven and so far, it has been debunked. Oh dear!

Graham,
The STAR Team

Source: OED, Oxford English Dictionary Language Resources

Draw My Life STAR Translation

Draw My Life | STAR Translation

Draw My Life | STAR Translation

Draw My Life | STAR Translation: Journey of a Start-up…

Over the years, many people have asked how we started STAR translation Dublin. We were a typical start-up and grew rapidly into the professional translation company we are today.

Paul Quigley and Damian Scattergood, our founders, share an insight into how we started. It all began in 2002, from a chance meeting at a LocalizationWorld conference in Dublin city with the CEO of STAR AG. Fast-forward seven days later when STAR-TS.COM was born.

Here is our story…

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Graham,
The STAR Team

421 Scots' words for snow

Great Scots! 421 Words for Snow

421 Scots' words for snow

There’s Snow Stopping the Scots!

It has been documented that the Inuits of Greenland, and parts of Alaska, have more than 50 words for snow, but recently we discovered that the Scots have 421 words for snow. You might think that northerly countries like Iceland or Greenland have more words for snow given their freezing temperatures, but the Scots reign supreme for more ways to describe the light, white stuff.

Academics at the University of Glasgow started a project to compile a thesaurus of Scots words. The Historical Thesaurus of Scots is the first of its kind and is being published online. The team of researchers has appealed to the public to send in their own words. They’re even accepting images to illustrate Scots words in all categories.

Always About Weather

Weather and Sport were the first two categories to gain the most entries when the thesaurus was set-up. The game of marbles overtook football for the most synonyms — a staggering 369 words.

“Weather has been a vital part of people’s lives in Scotland for centuries. The number and variety of words in the language show how important it was for our ancestors to communicate about the weather, which could so easily affect their livelihoods.”

“You might expect sports like football and golf to loom large in the thesaurus, but it turns out that there are actually more words relating to marbles – which is an indication of how popular the game has been with generations of Scottish children”, states Dr Susan Rennie, lecturer in English and Scots language at the University of Glasgow.

Other elements of weather like clouds and mist have many entries in the thesaurus.

Some Scots words for Snow

  • snaw — snow
  • snawie — snowy
  • blin-drift — drifting snow
  • skovin — a large snowflake
  • flindrikin — a slight snow shower
  • flukra — snow falling in large flakes
  • spitters — small drops or flakes of wind-driven snow and rain

View all the words and images online at scotsthesaurus.org and follow them on Twitter @scotsthesaurus.

Graham,
The STAR Team

Animal names into different languages

Most Popular Animal Names in Different Languages

Animal names in different languages

Animal Names in Different Languages

Are you learning a new language? Ever wondered what the most well-known animals are called in different languages!

We’ve put together a list of recognisable animal names from ant to whale, monkey to platypus and many more from English into Irish, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish.

Irish Animal Names

Learning the Irish names for animals may spark your interested in the endangered language. How many do you already know?

Download the high quality PDF to use at home, in your office, share with friends or, if you’re a teacher, place in the classroom — it may inspire!

Graham,
The STAR Team

Web Awards 2015, we've been nominated

Web Awards 2015, We’ve Been Nominated!

Web Awards 2015, we've been nominated

The awards are back and we’ve been nominated for the Web Awards 2015.

Our entire website has been chosen under the category or Best SME Website (20 employees or less). See the full list of all the nominees, and other categories in this year’s biggest Web Awards since it first began in 2008.

This year will also see a new addition to the categories list: Most Influential Irish Website Ever. That should grab everybody’s attention. Public nominations for the “most influential website” will result in a shortlist for a panel of expert judges to pick a finalist. Follow this special category on Twitter with #greatestIrish.

Follow Along

Judging has already begun on the other categories and we hope to make the shortlist too. Wish us luck!

The official Web Awards 2015 hashtag: #webawards15.

Graham,
The STAR Team

The Magic E in English spelling.

Magic E: Silent but Useful

The Magic E in English spelling.
English spelling rule: The Magic E.

Better English: The Magic E

We’re continuing our Better English blog with the Magic E. Also known as a silent E. This important and popular vowel can change the sound of other vowels, thus lengthening the sound of a word.

Rule of Thumb

If a word ends with a vowel and then a consonant, adding the letter E at then end can change the sound of the previous vowel. The Magic E changes the sound and meaning of a word, yet remains silent. For instance: by changing the sound from short: tap, to a long vowel sound: tape.

We’ve got some examples of words ending with E.

WORD ENDING WITH E
On One
Hat Hate
Bit Bite
Cub Cube
Breath Breathe
Tap Tape
Cod Code
Slim Slime
Win Wine
Sit Site
Quit Quite

Academics refer to the silent E as a marker, which means it doesn’t represent a sound but tells us the sounds of the other letters in the word. A marker makes the nearest vowel to it say its name — its alphabet name — A E I O U.

But there are always exceptions to every rule, especially in the English language.

More examples

  • love
  • glove
  • above
  • have
  • come
  • some
  • none
  • oven
  • cover
  • to live

It would seems like the academics who added the Magic E to lengthen the sound forgot about the old words above.

If you think we’ve left any words out of our lists, or just want to show us how much you know, then let us know in the comments below.

The STAR Team

Letter Q in spelling

Letter Q in Spelling, English

Letter Q in spelling, English

Master the Letter Q in Spelling, English

Q is one of the trickier letters to learn about in English spelling, as it’s often confused with C and K in phonetics. Here are the Q spelling rules to help you use it correctly and improve your spelling in the English language.

The letter Q is always followed by the letter U; at the start of a word, or after an S; it makes a sound like KW…

Examples

  • quick
  • quite
  • quiz
  • queen
  • quote
  • quantity
  • queue
  • squid
  • square

Some words end with QUE — these words with QU make a K like sound.

Examples

  • technique
  • cheque
  • unique
  • plaque
  • mosque
  • antique

These examples come from our Spelling Rules game, which helps improve your spelling skills. It was designed to help people with dyslexia improve their spelling in English. The game Spelling Rules created by Claire McNelis as part of her Master’s thesis in Digital Media at NUI, Galway. She wanted to create an application that would teach spelling rules in a way that was simple and accessible for dyslexic people.

Play the Spelling Game

Play the game for free by selecting the letter Q at the beginning. There are other games available too.

The STAR Team

Start-up Ireland

Ready, Set, Start-up Ireland!

Start-up Ireland

Start-up Ireland — 5 Days · 5 Cities · 5 Industries

Start-up Ireland

The most comprehensive map of Ireland’s start-up ecosystem has been produced by the guys at Start-up Ireland. The “gathering” is being dubbed as one of the biggest national events in the world and will take place across five Irish cities over five days and includes five industries …

The Start-up Map displays, for example, more than 844 start-ups, 132 multinationals and 71 sources of funding.

The gathering commences on the 5th to the 10th of October 2015, with over 50 events being planned so far.

If you’re a start-up and haven’t registered your place on the map, then contact [email protected].

Start-up, The Five Cities

The events will run in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford with the aim of channelling and growing the start-up sector throughout Ireland.

The gathering’s theme is “Start, Scale and Succeed from Ireland”, and it will mainly promote entrepreneurship, and develop world-class regional “start-up hubs” around existing industry strengths in Ireland. This will provide fuel for potential start-ups and those already in the market may scale up!

The Gathering is set to showcase Ireland as a leading start-up sector for multinational entrepreneurs, investors and R&D teams. The initiative is backed by the Irish government and may attract up to 15,000 people. Its creators aim to make Ireland a “start-up-hub” by 2020.

Follow the latest updates using #StartUpIRL.

If you’re a new company starting up, STAR can help you Start, Scale and Succeed in international markets. We provide translation services for websites, documents and apps in over 70 languages. Let’s start something big together.

Graham,
The STAR Team

New words enter OED, 2015

OED Unveils 500 New Words in English

New words in English enter OED, 2015

New Words in English Enter OED, 2015

OED, New Words in English Language

The OED, otherwise known as the Oxford English Dictionary, has recently announced 500 new words and over 900 newly revised and updated words that will be added.

Seems like there are so many that it’s almost impossible to imagine. However, many of the newly updated ones are new senses of the word, go, with about 603. Gosh! Although it’s 51 senses fewer than the longest OED entry, run, according to the OED itself.

One to make headlines though is twerk: a blend of of twitch or twist and jerk. Twitter almost exploded when it was revealed that twerk was, in fact, a pre-existing word — describing a dance that emphasizes the performer’s posterior, it has its roots in the early 1990s New Orleans ‘bounce’ music scene.

Even Older

Twerk goes back farther to its first possible usage in 1820 when it was spelled as twirk: referring to a twisting movement; a twitch. Then it reemerged in 1848 and again in 1901 when it was spelled the way we known it today. Its origin in unclear but the OED believe its influence is from quirk and work “in reference to the dance”.

What else is new?

We’ll cut to the chase and list ones already known, fo’ shizzle!

Along with guerrilla, that has already been established in the Dictionary here are some other phrases incorporating this compound word:

  • guerrilla theatre (1966)
  • guerrilla art (1970)
  • guerrilla gardening (1973)
  • guerrilla knitting (also known as yarn bombing or yarnstorming)

Then there’s that one we “slipped in” — fo’ shizzle (adjective), a slang term originated in the language of rap and hip-hop (2001) and means ‘for sure’.

Others:

  • ecotown (noun): First recorded in 1974. Any new town designed to have a minimal impact on the environment and to facilitate an environmentally responsible lifestyle for everybody.
  • freegan (noun): A person who eats discarded food, typically the refuse of shops and restaurants, for ethical or ecological reasons. It can also be used as an adjective and was first spotted in 1997.
  • e-cigarette (noun): A cigarette-shaped device, first noted in 2007, containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and then inhaled; simulates the experience of smoking.
  • voluntourism (noun): Tourism in which travellers spend time doing voluntary work on projects, usually for a charity. It was first recorded in 1991.
  • hyperlocal (adjective): Extremely local; first used in 1900.
  • meh (interjection): And interjection, expressing indifference or a lack of enthusiasm and popularized by The Simpsons, but already in use online by 1992 — two years before the series used it.
  • hot mess (noun): A hot mess referred to ‘a warm meal, especially one served to a group’ in 1818, but it’s more commonly used as a slang term for something or someone in extreme confusion or disorder.
  • lipstick (noun): In the world of darts, this is a slang term in use since 2003 for the treble twenty on a dartboard.
  • fratty (adjective): Relating to a college fraternity; typical or characteristic of such a fraternity or its members, especially with reference to rowdy behaviour … has its origins in 1898.
  • twitterati (noun): Users of the social networking service Twitter collectively, typically referring to the group of prolific contributors or those who have high numbers of followers. [2006]
  • webisode (noun): A short video, especially an instalment in a drama or comedy series, which is presented online rather than being broadcast on television. And surprisingly dates back to 1996.
  • SCOTUS (noun): An acronyms for (The) Supreme Court of the United States. [1879]
  • FLOTUS (noun): An acronym for (The) First Lady of the United States. [1983]

Check out the OED’s other new entries such as cisgender and intersectionality, fo’ shizzle! OK — it’s out of my system now.

Graham,
The STAR Team

Arrow pointing at the dots over both i and j, known as tittle

Just a Tittle

Just a title: arrow pointing at the dots over both I and J, known as tittle.
Just a tittle

Just a Tittle Bit

For every jot and tittle in life, there’s an app! Tittle: I really like the sound of this word although I don’t remember the last time I used it. It’s fallen into an abyss where words go because they sound a tad dated. Perhaps the younger generation has never even heard it. You never know though; it sounds like it could be the name of an upcoming app and the word itself is slingshot back into modern usage.

The OED states the meaning of tittle, a singular noun as a tiny amount or part of something. Although there is another meaning of tittle! One I never knew until now. The tittle, or the superscript dot, is the distinguishing mark that appears above both lowercase i and j in writing and print. Yes, there’s a word for those small dots. Amazing!

Origins

Tittle, as a word, has its roots in Late Middle English where it originated from the Latin titulus: small stroke or accent. Tittle is rarely used in modern English and its first known use was recorded in the Christian Bible (Matthew 5:18).

Hold on! I thought the tittle was a diacritic.

Diacritic

The tittle is also referred to as a diacritic, but this is a broader term as diacritics can appear on other letters in the alphabet. This is true for many European languages where diacritics appear as accents, macrons and graves over both vowels and consonants like these guys here: ä, ë, İ, ė, á, â.

Dotted and Dotless

There are several languages that use both the dotted and dotless I in uppercase and lowercase. Modern Turkish uses both dotted (İ i) and dotless (I, ı) as well as Azerbaijani and the Tatar language.

In Irish, bilingual road signs show the dotless lowercase ı to distinguish it from the buailte overdot that appears over consonants: ġ, ċ. Nowadays, an h replaces the diacritic and is thus written as gh and ch.

In some of the Dene group of languages from the Northwest Territories in Canada, both dotted and dotless I are used to distinguish the differences between tone-marked vowels, like í and ì. And in the French speaking province of Quebec in Canada, there are road signs that show the uppercase I with a tittle rendering one such place, Longueuil as LONGUEUİL.

There’s got to be some brands out there that use dotless I in their designs, fonts and logos. If you come across any, please do leave a comment below.

The STAR Team