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Listed under:  Language  >  Language conventions  >  Word meanings
Audio

Different meanings for the same word

<span style="line-height: 1.4;">You've heard people speaking English with different accents, but have you noticed that the differences in accent come down to the way words are pronounced? Listen to this interview with linguist David Crystal and find out about accents and why the same word can mean something different or ...

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Naming words: significant social effects

The names we give people and places hold great significance for us. But have you ever thought about how this simple act can impact on others? Naming is a powerful tool. Watch this clip as Professor Kate Burridge explains the ways that language can have significant social effects.

Interactive resource

Stroke dig: level 2 [Chinese]

Restore stone tablets and character strokes from dig sites. Separate the tablets; notice that each has the faded outline of a Chinese character. Sort the strokes into stroke types according to their shape. Rebuild the characters by using the sorted strokes in the right order. Discover the meaning and sound of the characters. ...

Interactive resource

Stroke dig: level 3 [Chinese]

Restore stone tablets and character strokes from dig sites. Separate the tablets; notice that each has the faded outline of a Chinese character. Sort the strokes into stroke types according to their shape. Rebuild the characters by using the sorted strokes in the right order. Discover the meaning and sound of the characters. ...

Interactive resource

Stroke dig: level 1 [Chinese]

Restore stone tablets and character strokes from a dig site. Separate the tablets; notice that each has the faded outline of a Chinese character. Sort the strokes into stroke types according to their shape. Rebuild the characters by using the sorted strokes in the right order. Discover the meaning and sound of the characters. ...

Video

My Place - Episode 3: 1988: Lily, The Bicentenary

Lily and her friends are painting the school sign for the Bicentenary when she tells her cousin, Phoung, a false story about how convicts were treated in early Australia. Phoung repeats this story to the class as part of a report on the First Fleet.

Interactive Resource

BBC Skillswise: words to watch out for - homophones

This is a word game in which students recognise common homophones and pair them by turning over counters to reveal them one by one. There are three levels to the game. In level one, students match six pairs of homophones; in level two, they match eight and in level three, ten. Each word is read aloud and accompanied by ...

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The Aussie Accent: whaddya reckon, mate?

Imagine a world where everybody sounded exactly the same when they spoke. What might that be like? Are there 'good' and 'bad' ways to speak? In this clip, listen to the opinions of many people about whether Australians have a bad accent.

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Word histories: how extraordinary!

Words can change over time and so can their meanings. The word 'extra' broke away from other words to become a word on its own. Professor Kate Burridge explains how this impacts on words like 'extraordinary'. She also explains the origins and meanings of the words 'hearse' and 'rehearse''.

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Conquest: the process of language change

When the Normans conquered England in 1066, they brought a lot more than fancy clothes and castles; they also brought the French language. Discover the impact that this momentous event continues to have today.

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Challenging grammar rules, darlings and crowbars

Find out that what appears to be a straightforward grammar rule behind the use of the words 'fewer' and 'less' may not be as straightforward as it seems! Professor Kate Burridge explains that this grammar rule has been under challenge for centuries. She also explains the origins of the word 'darling' and why the 'crow' ...

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Why do we say the words the way we do?

What kinds of things might influence the way we pronounce words in English? Professor Kate Burridge explains why knowing when 'kilometre' came into English helps us to understand why it is pronounced differently from similar words such as 'kilogram' and 'centimetre'. She also explains what it means to 'barrack' for a team.

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Words and sayings over time

Have you ever wondered where sayings like 'hanging by the skin of your teeth' come from? Professor Kate Burridge explains the origin and meaning of this saying. She also explains the opposite word (antonym) to 'misogynist' (someone who hates or has a long and deep prejudice against women) and the origins of the word 'goodbye'.

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From possessive apostrophes to discombobulation!

People often worry about the use of apostrophes. See how Professor Kate Burridge answers a question about how to use the apostrophes after certain names, telling us how the rule has changed over time. She also explains the origins of the word 'discombobulate' and why the plural of house is not 'hice'.

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'Bought' or 'brought' and radio code

Changes in the use, pronunciation, and meaning of common everyday English words happen all the time. Professor Kate Burridge explains that we can see this in the way people increasingly switch the past tense of the verbs 'buy' and 'bring'. She also answers a viewer's question about why 'Roger' is used on two-way and CB radios.

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Borrowed words: the processes of language change

Do you know any words from another language? Chances are, you know more than you think you do! English is a polyglot language; one that borrows words from other languages. In this Professor Kate Burridge discusses the origins of the phrases 'short-shrift' and 'lily-livered'.

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A song about kangaroos

This is a song about an Australian animal, the kangaroo. Don Spencer sings lyrics about how people from all over the world come to see the kangaroo. Listen to the rhythm. It is like the hopping of a kangaroo.

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New meanings: the processes of language change

Have you ever engaged in a bit of argle-bargle? It's the original form of a colloquialism you might be more familiar with: argy-bargy. But where does this phrase come from? Etymology is the study of the history and evolution of words. In this clip Professor Kate Burridge explains the origins of this curious phrase and other words.

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A song about goannas

Goannas are a type of Australian lizards. Listen to the lyrics of the song performed by Don Spencer that asks lots of fun questions about goannas. Watch some goannas moving through the bush and looking for food.

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Dude: American words and pronunciations

Where does the word 'dude' come from? Why do speakers of English often pronounce words differently depending on their country of origin - not only because of their accent? Find out with Professor Kate Burridge when she takes on these questions from viewers.