Hand-wash

Hand-wash is a verb meaning to wash something by hand. Hand soap can sometimes be referred to as handwash or hand wash. When talking about the act of washing one's hands, there is not a official listing in most dictionaries. Medical reference books use the spelling of handwashing, but most other … [Read more...]

Minks vs. minx

A mink is a weasel-like carnivore native to North America, known for its lustrous fur. The plural form is minks. A minx is a promiscuous, impudent, or flirtatious young woman who causes trouble. The term carries a sexist connotation.  Examples The American mink was first introduced to … [Read more...]

Gist vs. jist

A gist is the main part of something, usually used with a direct object. It can also be the ground for legal action. Gist comes from the French word gist. Often misspelled as jist.  Jist is the common phonetic spelling of a United States Southerner's way of saying 'just'.  Interestingly, the … [Read more...]

Battle royal

A battle involving many fighters can be called a battle royal. It is not spelled battle royale unless you are specifically referencing a book, game, or movie by that name. The plural form can be either battle royals or battles royal. History Battles royal were common in England in the 17th and … [Read more...]

Consultative

Consultative is an adjective that describes something that gives advice, or only gives advice but cannot take action. A common misspelling is consultive. Consultative status is a noun phrase created by the United Nations to refer to non-governmental organizations that were consulting the Economic … [Read more...]

Sarcophagus

A sarcophagus is a stone coffin. The plural form in Latin is sarcophagi, and in English it is sarcophaguses. Both are correct, though sarcophagi is by far the more accepted spelling. History The original Greek word sarkophagos meant "eating flesh", and was usually paired with the word lithos or … [Read more...]

Smokey vs. smoky

Smokey is a proper noun and first name, whereas smoky is an adjective referring to an object being filled with or smelling of smoke. Until recently smokey was an accepted spelling of smoky in the Oxford English Dictionary. However, it is now thought of as … [Read more...]

Headwind

Headwind is a wind that blows directly opposite of forward motion, or from the front. Headwind can also be used to describe anything that opposes growth or movement. It should always be spelled as one word, but can be singular or plural depending on context. The antonym for headwind is tailwind, … [Read more...]

Machine gun vs. machine-gun

Machine gun is a noun phrase that is defined as a weapon that fires bullets rapidly as long as the trigger is held down. When hyphenated, as machine-gun, the word becomes an adjective used to describe things that happen very quickly. Machine-gun can also be a verb, to shoot something with a machine … [Read more...]

Absorption vs. adsorption

Absorption is the process by which things are absorbed. Adsorption, on the other hand, describes the act of gas or liquid molecules adhering to a surface. Both words are commonly misspelled as absorbtion and adsorbtion. This spelling error is usually corrected automatically by a computer's … [Read more...]

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