Advertisement

Knighted vs benighted

Knighted and benighted are two words that seem as if they should be related, but they are not. We will examine the definitions of knighted and benighted, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Knighted means to be awarded the title of knight. A knight is someone who has been of service to a monarch or other political leader. A man who attains such a rank may use the title "Sir" before his name.¬†Derived from the Old English word cniht, the k sound in knight has long … [Read more...]

Earworm

The term earworm came into its present use in the 1980s. We will examine the definition of the term earworm, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. An earworm is a portion of a song or tune that continually runs through a person's mind, to the point of irritation. Almost everyone at some time in his life has been subjected to an earworm. An earworm can be difficult to get rid of, though experts suggest a task that involves working memory as an effective way to short … [Read more...]

Too big for one’s britches or breeches and too big for one’s boots

Too big for one's britches or breeches and too big for one's boots are idioms that came into use in the 1800s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the phrases too big for one's britches or breeches and too big for one's boots, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. To be too big for one's britches or too big for one's breeches means to be … [Read more...]

Plenary vs preliminary

Plenary and preliminary are two words that are similar in pronunciation and spelling, and are sometimes confused. We will examine the differing definitions of plenary and preliminary, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Plenary means in full, absolute, unqualified in its completeness. Plenary may describe a meeting in which all qualified members are in attendance. A plenary indulgence is one in which the sinner is absolved of all sins. The word plenary … [Read more...]

Placate vs placket

Placate and placket are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation but have very different meanings. They are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of placate and placket, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. To placate means to appease someone, to smooth things over, to make someone feel less angry. Placate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are placates, placated, placating. The word placate … [Read more...]

Ideologue

The word ideologue has been in use since the early 1800s, and has a negative connotation. A word's connotation is all the meanings and associations it bears in addition to its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of the word ideologue, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. An ideologue is someone who expounds a certain idea or ideology, fervently and vociferously. An ideologue will not listen to compromise, and is considered unbending and unreasonable. The … [Read more...]

Sitting in the catbird seat

Sitting in the catbird seat is an idiom that was coined in the United States, specifically in the southern United States. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of sitting in the catbird seat, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Sitting in the catbird seat means being in a superior or position or a place where one has the advantage. Sitting in … [Read more...]

Guise vs guys

Guise and guys are two words that are pronounced in the same fashion, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words guise and guys, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Guise is the external appearance of something or someone, how something or someone appears outwardly. This may only be a temporary thing, or it may camouflage the true nature of the item or person in question. Guise is … [Read more...]

Fight fire with fire

The phrase fight fire with fire is an idiom that dates back to the middle 1800s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the term fight fire with fire, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To fight fire with fire means to use the same weapons or tactics that an aggressor is using on you. The connotation is that one is using weapons or tactics … [Read more...]

Gesture vs jester

Gesture and jester are two words that are often confused, since they are close in pronunciation. We will examine the definitions of gesture and jester, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A gesture is a physical movement, usually with the hand or the head, that conveys an unspoken meaning. Gesture may also refer to something that is done in order to convey a feeling, such as sending a card as a kind gesture. Gesture may be used as a noun or a verb, related … [Read more...]

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