Welcome to the Wordlady blog!

This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
You can also order my best-selling books, Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs and Only in Canada You Say. Fun and informative!


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"I would go anywhere to hear her talk about anything."
-- Resident, Christie Gardens, Toronto

"If you ever get the opportunity to hear the Word Lady speak in person, don’t let it pass you by!"

Dear Katherine,
   For the past three days I have been receiving phone calls and emails from CFUW members expressing their delight with your presentation last Tuesday.  One member pointed out how rare it is to find a speaker who can deliver learned and fascinating content with wonderful wit.  Another member simply said that you were the best speaker we have had in the past three years, which I think sums it up nicely.  On behalf of everyone there, I thank you  for a sparkling evening.

-- Anna Guthrie, Program convenor, University Women's Club of North Toronto 

"Thank you so much for agreeing to be our guest speaker at the Grimsby Museum fundraising dinner. I have heard nothing but praise for your talk -- "informative", "humorous", "the best I've heard", "let's have her again" are a few samples. You were key in making our event a success."
-- Marg Bowman, Grimsby Museum 

"I have taken quite a few classes at the School of Continuing Studies over the years and I have to say that I probably have enjoyed your class the most...Thank you for a very enjoyable as well as informative time."
-- Celine R., student at University of Toronto Continuing Studies

I recommend Ms. Barber highly. She is articulate, intuitive, has the timing of the finest stand-up comedian and the acuity of the sharpest academic. She has the power to engage her audience and make them wiser than they were before her thoughtful monologue.”
-- Geoff Roberts, Headmaster, The Crescent School, Toronto

"I have heard so many positive comments on your talk at the Grimsby Museum fundraising dinner in November - people loved it!  We consider ourselves lucky to have been able to book you."
Mary V., organizing committee, Grimsby Museum fundraising dinner 

"I heard great feedback from our residents and they would like to see you again"
Reem Toma
Wellness and Vitality Coordinator
Amica at Bayview Gardens

Like everyone else I have spoken to since your lecture,I am enjoying your talks very much. We all are learning a great deal painlessly because of your confident, polished delivery and entertaining wit.” – R.W., Bluewater Association for Lifelong Learning, Owen Sound

"Doug and I had the privilege of attending a Katherine Barber Lifelong Learning lecture series in the fall and she was OUTSTANDING!  Who knew that someone could make dictionary-writing and the evolution of the English language a spellbinding topic?  We could hardly wait for each week’s session to begin" 

"Katherine is brilliant, and this [Rollicking story of English course] is a FANTASTIC class packed with information both historical and practical. Katherine will provide you with the tools to legitimately assess all kinds of word questions you invariably run into. The Barber name has become a verb in our home when it comes to delving into word origin and usage, as in "I've got to Katherine Barber that when I get home." Take this class if you can!


About Me

My photo
Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.