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Muckamuck, mucky-muck and muckety-muck

The terms muckamuck, mucky-muck and muckety-muck are different variations of the same term. We will look at the words muckamuck, mucky-muck and muckety-muck, their definition and where they come from. We will also look at a few examples of their use in sentences. Muckamuck, mucky-muck and muckety-muck describe someone important, especially someone who is self-important. The term is most often modified with the word high, as in high muckamuck, high mucky-muck and high muckety-muck. Mostly a … [Read more...]

Epitome vs epiphany

Epitome and epiphany are two words that are similar in pronunciation and spelling, and they are often confused. We will look at the definitions of epitome and epiphany, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. Epitome indicates a thing or person that is a perfect example of its category, something that is the perfect example of its type. It may also mean an abstract or summary of a written work. Epitome is derived from the Greek word epitomē, which means an … [Read more...]

Gamut vs gambit

Gamut and gambit are two words that are spelled similarly and pronounced very similarly, they are easily confused. We will look at the difference in meaning between the words gamut and gambit, where the terms come from and some examples of their meaning in sentences. Gamut refers to the full scope of something, the entire range of something. Gamut also has a musical definition. In medieval musical terms, gamut is the range of notes on the scale that covers the nearly three octaves starting … [Read more...]

Jack-in-the-box

Jack-in-the-box is a compound word which is a word formed by joining together two unrelated words to create a word with a new meaning. We will look at the current definition of the word jack-in-the-box, some of the early meanings of the term and where it may have come from and some examples of its use in sentences. A jack-in-the-box is a children's toy. This toy consists of a box loaded with a puppet on a spring that pops up when the lid is opened. Most jack-in-the-boxes are propelled by … [Read more...]

Jet lag

Jet lag is a phenomenon that is fairly recent to the human experience. We will look at the definition of the compound word jet lag, where the term comes from and some examples of its use in sentences. Jet lag describes the physical sensations and consequences felt by someone who has rapidly traveled across time zones in a short period of time. Also referred to as desynchronosis, the symptoms of jet lag include sleep disorders, headaches, irritability, exhaustion, decline in mental function … [Read more...]

Dirigible or blimp

A dirigible and a blimp are both airships, but with different characteristics. We will look at the difference between the terms dirigible and blimp, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. The word dirigible literally describes something that is capable of being directed or steered. The word dirigible is an adjective, though it is rarely used as an adjective anymore. It has come to mean a steerable airship. Originally the term was dirigible airship or steerable … [Read more...]

Hanker vs hunker

Hanker and hunker are two words that are spelled similarly and also pronounced similarly, but have very different meanings. We will look at the definitions of the words hanker and hunker, where the terms come from and some examples of their use in sentences. Hanker means to desire something, to yearn for something. Hanker is often used with a paired preposition such as hanker after and hanker for. Hanker is an intransitive verb which is a verb that does not take an object, related words are … [Read more...]

Resemble vs reassemble

Resemble and reassemble are two words that look and sound similar, but have very different meanings. We will look at the definitions of the words resemble and reassemble, where the terms come from and some examples of their use in sentences. Resemble means to have the same appearance as something else, to have the same qualities as something else. Resemble is a transitive verb which is a verb that takes an object, related words are resembles, resembled, resembling, resemblance. The word … [Read more...]

Magical realism

Magical realism is a literary term that has its roots in German art. We will look at the meaning of the term magical realism, its characteristics, where the term comes from and some examples of its use in sentences. Magical realism is a literary term that describes stories in which magical or fantastic elements are woven into everyday life and accepted as a normal occurrence. In general, the characteristics of a literary work in the magical realism genre include a real world setting, … [Read more...]

Gild the lily

Gild the lily is an idiom that is a result of misquoting a famous literary passage. We will look at the meaning of the term gild the lily, where it comes from and some examples of its use in sentences. Gild the lily describes the process of adorning or embellishing something that is already beautiful or already perfect. The idiom alludes to the fact that the flower of a lily is already perfect and needs no superficial embellishment to enhance it. The term gild the lily comes from a misquoting … [Read more...]

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