Landmark Advanced Unit 7- Exploring Words
Aims: Understanding words from context and self-study skills
All the words below are shorter, more colloquial words for common everyday objects. Do you know any of them already (e.g. specs)? What words are they short and informal forms of?
ciggie/ ciggy/ fag
a telly/ tellie
a woolly/ a woollie
Can you guess what any of the other shortened words refer to or which words they come from?
Search for any words you didn’t understand on the internet. There might be other meanings, so make sure the results you find are colloquial expressions that are short for other words (e.g. there are boots called Cardy, but it’s a brand name and isn’t derived from a longer word). No using dictionary sites!
Tips if you have problems finding relevant results
Try a UK based search engine (e.g. google.co.uk) and select “uk results only”
Pick one site to search, e.g. Wikipedia or a British newspaper (The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Sun etc)
Try an image search
Search in Google books to avoid misspellings, shopping results etc
Search with words like colloquial, slang, informal or idiom
Search with words that it often goes together with (which can be found from the initial search)
Search in phrases often used with everyday objects, e.g. I really like…, I’ve got a… or I want a new…
Use speech marks or a plus sign (depending on the search engine you are using) to make sure words are together in the searched document
Use a minus sign to eliminate results containing a particular word
Go through your answers as a class. How useful was the internet to find the meanings? Which tips above were most useful? What other strategies did you or could you use?
Try to find which of the alternative spellings above is more common. Again, make sure that the results have the right meaning.
You are going to do the same again, but this time also copying sentences that make the meaning clear from context into a Word document to keep. Open Word and save the document as “Landmark Advanced Colloquialism Examples”, then copy and paste results that make the meaning clear as you search for the words below. Don’t include any literal or formal meanings, e.g. broken for shattered. For the first few, it might be worth searching with “I was…” or “He felt…”
PDF version for easy printing: ColloquialEnglishWebquest