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Carry a torch for someone, torch song and torch singer

The idiom to carry a torch for someone first appeared in the 1920s. 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 meaning of the phrase carry a torch for someone as well as the related terms torch song and torch singer, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences, To carry a torch for someone means to remain in love with someone even though she has rejected you, to … [Read more...]

White lie

The term white lie is traced back at least as far as the 1740s, with the symbolic meanings attributed to black and white going back even farther. We will examine the definition of the term white lie, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A white lie is a fib that is told to spare the feelings of the listener or so the teller may avoid minor repercussions. A white lie is considered harmless, and sometimes may even be considered a kindness. The term white lie was first … [Read more...]

Ombré ombre or hombre

Ombré, ombre and hombre are three 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 ombré, ombre and hombre, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Ombré describes something composed of graded shades of the same color, from lightest to darkest or from darkest to lightest. Ombré is an adjective and a borrowed or loaned French word. It is the past … [Read more...]

Indubitably vs undoubtedly

Indubitably and undoubtedly are two words that are sometimes found confusing. We will examine the definitions of indubitably and undoubtedly, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Indubitably means beyond a doubt, without question, plainly true. The word indubitably first appeared in the mid-1400s, it is derived from the Latin word indubitabilis which means that which is not doubtable. Undoubtedly also means beyond a doubt, without question, plainly true. … [Read more...]

Let bygone be bygones

The phrase let bygones be bygones is an old one, the earliest citation found is from the 1500s. We will examine the meaning of the term let bygones be bygones, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Let bygones be bygones is an admonition to put our differences behind us, to leave our disagreements in the past and go forward in friendship and cooperation. Bygones is the plural form of the wore bygone, and is rarely used outside of the phrase let bygones be bygones. For … [Read more...]

Doggerel

Doggerel is a term that has been in use since the fourteenth century, with virtually the same definition that it carries today. We will examine the meaning of the literary term doggerel, where it most probably came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Doggerel is irregular poetry, poorly written with irregular meter and rhyme, concerning trivial matters. Doggerel is sometimes written as a parody of more serious poetry. Many poems, rhymes and songs written for children are referred … [Read more...]

Fire and brimstone

Fire and brimstone is a phrase that dates back hundreds of years. We will examine the meaning of the term fire and brimstone, where the phrase came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Fire and brimstone is a phrase that denotes the punishments of hell. Brimstone means a burning rock, such as burning sulfur. The term fire and brimstone comes from the Bible. In the King James translation of the Bible, fire and brimstone is mentioned several times. For instance, in the book of … [Read more...]

Licker vs liquor

Licker and liquor 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 licker and liquor, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Licker describes someone or something that caresses things with its tongue, that passes its tongue over something in order to taste it or moisten it. The word licker is an agent noun, which is a noun that … [Read more...]

Call the shots

Call the shots is an idiom that seems to have first appeared in the twentieth century. 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 the phrase call the shots, where it most probably came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To call the shots means to be the person in charge, to have control over the progress of a situation or a course of action. The term call the … [Read more...]

The handwriting on the wall or the writing on the wall

The phrases the handwriting on the wall and the writing on the wall are idioms that have their roots in a story that is thousands of years old. 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 meaning of the phrases the handwriting on the wall and the writing on the wall, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. The handwriting on the wall and the writing on the … [Read more...]

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