Interesting facts about the English Language that you probably didn’t know


Are you learning English with busuu and want to know really interesting facts about the English language?

The English language is weird, awesome and full of rules that lots of us don’t understand – that is what makes it different to any other language!

Did you know there are 24 different dialects of the English language in the US? Or that the Frisian dialects are the closest living languages to English, after Scottish?

Maybe you didn’t know that the word “nice” is actually derived from the Latin “nescius”, meaning ‘ignorant’!

“English is the greatest language in the world”: a bold claim! We do, however, mean “greatest” here in terms of the size of its vocabulary and its history and rules (we still think it’s pretty great though…)

Here’s another fun fact: many people believe that the word “testify” originated in Roman times, when men swore on their testicles. Unfortunately (for us, not the Romans) this is not true!

Due to a printing error, there was a word in the English dictionary without a meaning, which somehow managed to stay there from 1932 to 1940!. The word was ‘Dord’: it became known as ‘ghost word’.

Want to know more fun and interesting facts about the English language?

English infographic
Interesting facts about English that you probably didn’t know. –



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Harriet is Busuu’s Senior English Language Expert. She is from a little village near Stratford-upon-Avon, England, and studied French and Spanish at university in Southampton. Then she went to live in France where she started teaching English. She loves cooking and eating food from different cuisines and singing with her choir.


    • I used to tell my kids that most people live a long life and die old and happy when they asked me that question – hard to explain to them why their Dad had died so young. Their fears about losing the other parent are so re38l#&2a0;even my almost 11 year old does not like it when I am away for very long. We are their anchor now and for me to have the strength to hold on when they need it most, I have to be attached to the Jesus ship!

  1. English is a flexible language that easily adapts to words from any other language. I am surprised that only 80% of the Internet is written in English, since it is the language of business and ecommerce.


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