Slap-happy is a compound word which has retained its hyphen, though it is sometimes seen rendered as two words without the hyphen. We'll look at the meaning of slap-happy, where the term came from, and its use in several sentences. Slap-happy describes someone who is overly giddy, someone whose intellect or self-control is impaired. A person might be slap-happy due to being overly stressed, overly tired or overly worked. Slap-happy may also describe someone who is irresponsibly happy and … [Read more...]

Blather vs blabber

Blather and blabber are two words with meanings that overlap in many ways. However, there is one meaning that is specific to only one of these words. We'll compare the words blabber and blather, look at their origins and a few examples of their use in sentences. Blather means to speak foolishly, to go on and on without making any sense, to speak long-windedly about inconsequential matters. The word blather has its origins in Scotland. During the eighth through fifteenth centuries, Vikings … [Read more...]

Can’t vs cant

Can't and cant are pronounced in the same way and almost spelled the same way, but the meanings are very different. We will discuss the meaning of can't and cant, their origins and look at a few examples used in sentences. Can't means cannot. Can't is a contraction, which is two words that are combined by eliminating a vowel and replacing it with an apostrophe. Contractions have been used in English since the fifth century, when Saxons and Angles brought them into the language. Can't is a … [Read more...]

Acronym vs anacronym

Acronym and anacronym are two words that are spelled and pronounced in a similar manner, but have slightly different meaning. In this post we'll look at the difference between these two words, their origins, and some example of their use. An acronym is an abbreviation that is formed by taking the initial letters of the words in a phrase and creating a new word that is pronounceable. Examples of acronyms are UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) and NASA (National … [Read more...]

Vim and vigor

Vim and vigor is a plural noun known as a tautology. We'll look at the meaning of the term vim and vigor, its origin and some examples of how to use it in a sentence. In addition, we'll define the word tautology. The term vim and vigor means vitality, energy, robust health. The first word, vim, means high energy, great enthusiasm. The word vim seems like it would be much older than it actually turns out to be. Vim first appeared in the United States in 1843. Some etymologists believe that vim … [Read more...]

Apiary vs aviary

-- Apiary and aviary are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation but have very different meanings. In this post, we will look at the difference between apiary and aviary, the origin of the two words and some examples of usage. An apiary is a place where bees are kept in beehives. These beehives are man-made and afford a place for bees to build honeycombs to fill with honey. Apiaries date back to Ancient Egypt. The sun temple of Niuserre, an Egyptian pharaoh who … [Read more...]

Sarcophagus vs mausoleum

- The words sarcophagus and mausoleum are often used interchangeably, but in reality, there is a difference between the two terms. We will explain the similarities and differences between the words sarcophagus and mausoleum, explain the origins of these two terms, and show a few examples. A sarcophagus is a tomb composed of stone or marble, it is above ground. A sarcophagus is usually inscribed or decorated. Many tombs in Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece included a sarcophagus. Today, a … [Read more...]


Poppycock is a word that originated in the United States in the mid-1800s, though England embraced the word soon after. We'll look at the meaning of the word poppycock, its origins, how it is used today. We'll offer a few examples. Poppycock means nonsense, rubbish, something that is ridiculous or nonsensical. Poppycock comes to us from Dutch immigrants to America who brought with them the word pappekak, which reputedly means soft dung. As one may imagine, the term lost its original dung … [Read more...]

Photogenic vs photographic

- Photogenic and photographic are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation but have very different meanings. Both words are related to photography. We will look at the difference in meaning between photogenic and photographic, as well the common roots of the two words. In addition, we will provide examples. Photogenic describes someone who has physical attributes that appear attractive in photographs. Photogenic may also refer to a place or thing that appears attractive in … [Read more...]

Morbid vs moribund

- Morbid and moribund are two words that very close in pronunciation and spelling, but mean two different things. We will look at the difference between the words morbid and moribund, and look at their common roots. In addition, we will provide examples to show the difference in their use. Morbid is an adjective which describes someone who has an abnormally intense interest in unpleasant or gruesome subjects such as suffering, disease and death. Being morbid may be a lifelong mindset or only … [Read more...]

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