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Inside scoop on the 2012 Olympic Games - Invade London

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Published on Jul 23, 2012

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Hello my dear students! It's time for a little Olympic Games trivia. What city has hosted the Olympics the most times? Ok, I'll give you a hint: what city is filled with cheeky blokes, bangers and mash, the tube, and more tea per person than anywhere else in the world?
That's right—London! The 2012 summer games will make London the first city to host the Olympics three times—first in 1908, and then again in 1948. But lest you think the UK is getting special favors, London is the only city in the UK to ever host the Olympics at all!
So while all the tourists are wondering where to get the best fish and chips, I know you, my dear students, are dying to know where the word London comes from!

Well, it's fitting that the 2012 home of these ancient games has a very old name. London comes from the word "Londinium," which has either Latin or Romano-British origins and dates back to around the year 115 or 120. Though we know its age, the word origin is unclear -- but of course there are a few theories.
The first comes from Geoffrey of Monmouth in Historia Regum Brittaniae, a book about the history of London. According to good old Geoffrey, London comes from a King named Lud. He supposedly took over the city and named it Kaerlud... which became Kaerlundein, and eventually London. Unfortunately, experts believe that Geoffrey was trying to pump up Britian's reputation in history, and didn't get his story straight.
There was a second theory in the late 1800s. At the time, they thought London meant "a place belonging to a man called Londinos," but historians now reject this explanation too!
So the experts kept working on it, and came up with a new theory in 1998. Many now believe that London comes from the pre-Celtic, Old European word "(p)lowonida," which means "a river too wide to ford." This name was probably given to a part of the River Thames, which flows through London. From this, the town gained its Celtic name, Lowonidonjon... which eventually became London.
So now you know the stories about the word London, let's take a look at some of the words used in London. If you're heading out for a night of drinking, you could say you're "on the piss." If you want to catch the eye of a beautiful woman, you better be looking good -- or wearing your "smart dress." If you meet a lady with a nice backside, you might compliment her "bum" or "arse." And if all goes well, you might get to see her "knickers" -- but if she looks angry you better get out of there "straight away"!
Stay tuned as Hot for Words continues to bring you the inside scoop on the 2012 Olympic Games!

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