Latin language speakers may immediately translate this as flu, from la gripe in Spanish and la grippe in French. Well, it is actually something of a false friend. There is a medical meaning for this word in English (pronounced graip by the way). It refers to sharp gastric or intestinal pains, something that babies and young children apparently suffer a lot from.

When you are more likely to come across gripe is when someone is complaining about something. It is a synonym for moan when a moan means to complain but it does not refer directly to the type of sound. Nevertheless, you can imagine the tone of complaint.

The neighbour is having another gripe about the lack of rubbish collection.

Stop griping about your teachers and just get down to your homework.

Felix is really not ideal company at a party. He’s always pulling talk around to his gripes and moans about life.





This word refers to a copy or reproduction of an original work, maybe by the same artist or maybe by other means such as a carbon copy, facsimile, clone, duplicate or some sort of photocopying technique.

The forger made an exact replica of his passport.

Metaphorically, it can mean someone very similar

Mary’s daughter is a replica of her mother.


It does not refer to the tremors or aftershocks, which follow an earthquake. This is a use of the word in Spanish (réplica), which I rather like, especially as replicas can often be smaller versions of the original.



I always associated socialise with the idea of mingling socially at a party, of mixing with others, of making new friends and acquaintances.

“I’m bored with sitting down here alone. There seems to be more activity outside around the barbecue. I’m going to go out there and socialise.

She should get out and socialise more if she wants to find new friends.

I also knew of the use of socialising children by sending them to school and other socio-anthropological uses of the term.  Another less common meaning would be to socialise certain industries as in the government taking over private industries and putting them under the management of the state.  Which is what a socialist or communist government might do.

What has surprised me recently is to find the Spanish version ‘socializar’ used transitively to disseminate information. It would be like saying “Let’s socialize the decision of the committee among the members.

I understand that this socialization would include an element of discussion and analysis which might extend it beyond the English term of dissemination.

For now, I can’t see this usage taking on in English even if it has apparently been used in the English language at some point.  You can probably imagine taking information to a cocktail or some event where it gets to rub shoulders with many different people.  A rather bizarre idea. “Mary, meet my new roster for cleaning the bathroom.  Bathroom roster meet Mary.  Would you two like a drink?