A turducken is a boned chicken stuffed inside a boned duck, which is in turn stuffed inside a boned or partially-boned turkey. Each fowl is padded with stuffing or sausage, the turducken may be roasted, fried, braised, barbecued, etc. A turducken is an engastration, which is a food in which one animal is stuffed inside another. Chef Paul Prudhomme trademarked the word turducken in the 1970s, he is credited with inventing the term. However, it is known that the turducken existed in the state of … [Read more...]


Toffee-nosed means pretentious, snobbish, arrogant. Toffee-nosed is an English and Australian term, derived from the Victorian slang, toff, used by the lower classes to describe the upper classes. The word toff is a corruption of the term tuft, which was a gold tassel worn on an Oxford cap by the sons of those peers who had a vote in the House of Lords. By the 1890s these gold tassels or tufts were no longer worn to denote a son of a peer, but the idea of toffs being arrogant members of the … [Read more...]

Pie in the sky

Pie in the sky describes something that is falsely optimistic, a promise of something good happening in the future that is very unlikely to actually take place. The phrase pie in the sky was coined by Joe Hill in 1911, in a parody of a Salvation Army hymn. Hill was an adherent of a radical labor organization, the Wobblies. His lyrics in the parody hymn The Preacher and the Slave criticized the Salvation Army's concern with saving souls rather than feeding hungry people. The term pie in the sky … [Read more...]

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam is a personification of the United States. Uncle Sam, a name with the same initials as United States, is generally depicted as a tall, thin man with a long white beard wearing a top hat and a suit of red white and blue. Samuel Wilson was officially recognized by the United States Congress in 1961 as the source for the mythical Uncle Sam. Wilson supplied the army with barrels of beef during the War of 1812. The barrels were stamped with "U.S." to signify that they were owned by the U.S. … [Read more...]

German vs germane

German means an inhabitant of Germany, a native of Germany or a person of German descent. German also describes an item or custom that traces its roots to Germany or is characteristic of Germany. German is also the term for the language spoken in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The word German is derived from the Latin word Germanus, it is always capitalized. Germane means relevant to a certain topic, related to the topic being considered. Related words are germanely and germaneness. … [Read more...]

Bad hair day

A bad hair day may describe a day when one's hair remains awry and unmanageable. Figuratively, a bad hair day describes a day which is filled with annoyances and mishaps, a day when everything goes wrong beginning with the inability to tame one's hair. The phrase bad hair day seems to have originated in the 1980s, the first known instance of the term bad hair day in print is in a column in the Houston Chronicle penned by Susan Swartz in 1988. Swartz does not claim to be the originator of the … [Read more...]

SOS and Mayday

SOS is a distress call, it is recognized internationally as a message calling for help in a time of extreme distress.  The letters SOS are not an acronym, SOS was developed to be used as a radio signal. In Morse code, "s" is transmitted as a series of three dots and "o" is transmitted as a series of three dashes, which makes SOS in Morse code easy to transmit repeatedly and easy for the listener to decode. Germany was the first country to used SOS as a distress call in 1905, the SOS distress … [Read more...]

Crocodile tears

Crocodile tears are an insincere display of grief or sadness. The idea of crying crocodile tears reputedly began in antiquity, though the modern use of the phrase stems from the book The Voyage and Travail of Sir John Maundeville, published around 1400. In the book, the author speaks of crocodiles which are "serpents [that] slay men, and then, weeping, eat them", which gives rise to the myth of remorseful crocodiles. Later, the myth evolves into the belief that crocodiles weep heartbreakingly  … [Read more...]

Rail vs rale

A rail is 1.) a horizontal bar with supporting vertical posts that acts as a barrier or fence 2.) a horizontal bar affixed to a wall from which one may hang things 3.) the inside fence boundary of a racecourse 4.) a stile 5.) the tracks upon which a train runs 6.) sending something or traveling by train 7.) to complain about something loud and long or protest something loud and long 8.) a small wading bird. Rail is used as a noun or a verb, related words are rails, railed, railing, railer, … [Read more...]

Gallon vs galleon

A gallon is a unit of liquid measurement used in America and in Britain, though the U.S. gallon and British or Imperial gallon are not equivalent. A U.S. gallon consists of four quarts, or 3.79 liters. An Imperial gallon is equal to 1.2 U.S. gallons or 4.55 liters. The word gallon may also be used to describe a large volume of something. The word gallon comes from the Old French word jalon, which was an Old French liquid measurement somewhat equivalent to today's gallon. A galleon is a type … [Read more...]

About Grammarist
Contact | Privacy policy | Home
© Copyright 2009-2014 Grammarist

Sign up for our mailing list