Did you know that today, January 18, was A. A. Milne\u2019s birthday? To mark this, people around the world are celebrating Milne\u2019s much-loved creation, Winnie-the-Pooh. And for Winnie-the-Pooh Day this year, we thought we\u2019d take a quick look at the language of Pooh.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_5745" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Pooh and friends.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nBut what can a bear of very little brain offer the English language? More than you might expect! In fact, if we look at the Oxford English Dictionary, Pooh and his friends pop up a few times\u2026\r\n1. Pooh-Sticks\r\nPerhaps the most obvious bit of Pooh in the dictionary comes with pooh-sticks. This is the game that Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends play by dropping sticks into a river on the upstream side of a bridge. The contestants then rush to the other side to see whose stick emerges first.\r\n\r\nThis might not sound like a competitive sport, but the World Poohsticks Championships have been taking place in England for 35 years now!\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_5746" align="aligncenter" width="377"] Pooh-sticks in action.(Photo: Malc McDonald)[\/caption]\r\n2. Eeyore and Tigger\r\nAmong Pooh\u2019s friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, Eeyore and Tigger stand out for their contributions to the English language. Eeyore, the downbeat donkey, appears in the OED as a term for a \u201cpessimistic, gloomy, or habitually disconsolate person\u201d (or you can use the adjective \u201cEeyore-like," if you prefer).\r\n\r\nA Tigger, on the other hand, is defined as an \u201cexuberant, energetic, and cheerful person.\u201d The famously bouncy tiger has also inspired two adjectives: Tiggerish and Tigger-like. It seems, then, that Winnie-the-Pooh offers terms for people of very different temperaments!\r\n3. Heffalumps and Woozles\r\nIn A. A. Milne\u2019s writing, heffalumps and woozles are (possibly imaginary) creatures that steal honey. And since Winnie-the-Pooh is really, truly very fond of honey, he has to be wary of these sneaky beasts!\r\n\r\nThe words \u201cheffalump\u201d and \u201cwoozle,\u201d and the creatures\u2019 appearances, are based on the English words \u201celephant\u201d and \u201cweasel,\u201d respectively. But outside of Milne\u2019s writing, heffalump has become a playful word for real-life elephants (or sometimes, less politely, larger human beings).\r\n\r\nSadly, the word \u201cwoozle\u201d hasn\u2019t yet made it into the dictionary. However, it has inspired the term \u201cwoozle effect.\u201d This is based on the story of Pooh and Piglet mistaking their own footprints for those of a woozle, then chasing themselves in circles in a hunt for something that doesn\u2019t exist.\r\n\r\nIn the real world, the \u201cwoozle effect\u201d occurs when a misleading or unsubstantiated idea is repeated and republished often enough that people start believing it (or chasing their own footprints, so to speak). So while \u201cwoozle\u201d isn\u2019t in the dictionary yet, it still might appear there one day!