Most of us know that 23rd April is St George’s Day; however, it’s also UN English Language Day. While you might not have heard of this day before, it was actually established in 2010 by UNESCO and seeks to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organisation.
While you might assume the date was chosen to coincide with celebrations of our patron Saint, the reality is it’s actually to mark the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. For those of you who fancy yourselves as wordsmiths, we have a selection of apps that can keep you head and shoulders above your peers.
# 1 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
Whether you are a regular user of dictionaries or not, Merriam-Webster is undoubtedly going to be a name you recognise. This app is a fantastic and easy way to find out whatever you need, with over 225,000 definitions, including pronunciation by native English speakers.
Once you have downloaded the app you will have everything you need, so you don’t even have to rely on a good internet connection. However, there is also a free ad-supported version if you just want to use it occasionally.
# 2 Concise English Dictionary
There is something very comforting about the word “concise”; it conveys knowledge, wisdom and an air of authority, which is precisely what this app offers. Combined with a thesaurus it offers an all-in-one reference point, regardless of your needs.
Information is constantly updated to ensure you are using the most accurate information, featuring scientific references, geographical data, biographical information to name a few things.
The simply named “Dictionary” is a fantastic app offering over 2 million definitions, and the ability to save your favourite words. Pronunciations are included, so you never need to worry about getting it wrong, and there are also numerous blogs and slideshows providing interesting information about a variety of topics, for example “8 different ways to say yes”.
Our favourite feature though is the word of the day, as it offers a fantastic way to learn something new 365 days of the year.
Fantastic, and underused words
Having made the most of our word of the day options, we thought we’d compile a short list of some of the most amazing words (and their definitions) we think need to be brought back in to common use.
- Petrichor (noun) a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather
- Cachinnate (verb) to laugh loudly (we know a few people who do this, often)
- Gadarene (adjective) involving or engaged in a headlong or potentially disastrous rush to do something
- Saturnine (adjective) to be gloomy or mysterious (we know some people like this, too)
- Brontide (noun) the slow rumble of distant thunder
- Cagamosis (noun) an unhappy marriage
- Apricity (noun) the warmth of the sun during winter
- Effulgent (adjective) to shine brightly or be radiant
- Bombinate (verb) to buzz, or to hum