Authentic Language

Excuse my French

Figleaf language




Woe betide the teacher who announces to a class of teenage boys that today’s topic is pollution. And Always is a brand of tampon, and tampon in some European languages means rubber stamp and rubber in American English refers to condom which in some languages is preservative which could really get you in a jam!

On a new route to work this morning, I came across a spunk shop. While I can honestly say I didn't put my foot in it, I did take a photo of the eye-catching sign.


In the New Model Corpus, the word spunk occurs 32 times, only once as a verb. Eight times it refers to semen, 22 times to courage and twice indeterminable. In the BNC, it occurs much more frequently - 84 times.


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Embrace the Parsnip, an article by Luke Meddings




Topics that are not traditionally welcome in foreign language textbooks form the lovely acronym PARSNIP. Click the parsnip to find out what they are.