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Throne vs thrown

Throne and thrown are two words that are pronounced in the same fashion but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of throne and thrown, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A throne is a formal chair that only a sovereign or bishop may sit in. The word throne may be used literally or figuratively, to mean sovereign power. It is derived from the thirteenth century word trone, which … [Read more...]

Leave someone holding the bag

To leave someone holding the bag is primarily an American phrase, but it has its roots in Britain. To leave someone holding the bag is an idiom, which is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of to leave someone holding the bag, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To leave someone holding the bag means to manipulate a situation so that one person takes all the … [Read more...]

Gastropub

The term gastropub has only been in use since the 1990s. It was first used in Great Britain where pubs are common. We will examine the meaning of the term gastropub, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A gastropub is a pub or bar that serves alcoholic beverages as well as high-end, excellent food. A gastropub has a relaxed atmosphere, but is also refined. Foods commonly served at gastropubs are gourmet hamburgers, flatbreads, fish and chips and charcuterie platters. … [Read more...]

Recuse vs excuse

Recuse and excuse are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of the words recuse and excuse, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Recuse means to disqualify someone from a legal duty because that person is prejudiced or has a conflict of interest. Someone may be recused through his own decision or someone else's decision. Judges often recognize when they have a conflict of interest and recuse themselves. Recuse is a … [Read more...]

Caveat emptor

Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase that is still invoked to this day. It is a loan phrase. Loanwords and loan phrases are terms that have been taken from other languages and used as English words and phrases. Another term for a loanword is a borrowed word. We will examine the definition of the term caveat emptor, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Caveat emptor literally translates as "let the buyer beware". The phrase expresses the idea that it is up to the buyer to … [Read more...]

Wangle vs wrangle

Wangle and wrangle are two words that are very similar in pronunciation but are spelled differently and have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of wangle and wrangle, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Wangle means to obtain something through devious means or clever manipulation. Wangle is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are wangles, wangled, wangling. Wangle may also be used as a noun to mean the … [Read more...]

Wean vs ween

Wean and ween are two words that are pronounced in the same fashion but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of wean and ween, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Wean means to acclimate an animal or child to accepting food other than its mother's milk. Wean is also used figuratively to mean to acclimate someone to doing without something that they have become dependent on. … [Read more...]

Bells and whistles

The phrase bells and whistles is an idiom with an indistinct origin. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of bells and whistles, some possible sources of its origin and some examples of its use in sentences. Bells and whistles refers to the extras that are incorporated into an item, the appealing non-essential features, the extra trimmings. The term bells and whistles … [Read more...]

Dear John letter

The term Dear John letter is an American phrase, popularized during World War II. We will examine the meaning of the phrase Dear John letter, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A Dear John letter is a written communication in which the author ends a personal and intimate relationship with the recipient. The term Dear John letter became popularized during World War II, when many Americans spent years away from home. It was assumed, and probably correctly, that a … [Read more...]

Slough vs slew

Slough and slew are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of slough and slew, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A slough is an American term which means an inlet that is only sometimes filled with water or a low place on the prairie which sometimes fills with water. Slough may also mean a swamp. The word slough is derived from … [Read more...]

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