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Fun Facts about the English Language

The English language is a West Germanic language brought to Britain in the 5th-7th centuries. It is the 3rd most spoken language in the world with 379 million speakers. English is the primary or official language in 55 sovereign states and 27 non-sovereign entities, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Below are some fun facts about the English language you may be surprised by.

English Language Fun Facts

  1. “Go!” is the shortest grammatically correct sentence in English.
  2. There are 24 different English dialects in the U.S.
  3. “Goodbye” originated from the Old English phrase “God be with you”.
  4. The first English dictionary was written in 1755.
  5. The oldest English word still in use today is “town”.
  6. Shakespeare is credited with adding 1,700 words to the English language during his lifetime.
  7. More English words begin with the letter “s” than any other letter.
  8. No words in English rhyme with month, orange, silver, or purple.
  9. Approximately one new word is added to the English language every two hours and around 4,000 new words are added to the English dictionary each year.
  10. “Queueing” is the only word with five consecutive vowels.
  11. The shortest and oldest word is “I”.
  12. English is not the official language of the United States.
  13. The word “queue” sounds the same even if the last four letters are removed.
  14. The phrase “long time, no see” is a literal translation of a Chinese phrase.
  15. The word “set” has the most definitions in the dictionary.
  16. “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” is the longest word.
  17. Pilots communicate primarily in English.
  18. “Bookkeeper” is the only word with three consecutive double letters.


You may be a native speaker of the English language or very familiar with it, but some of these fun facts may still surprise you.