Grassroots vs grass roots

Grassroots means at the most basic level. As a noun it refers to the common people, as opposed to the elite, in a political party, group or organization. As an adjective, grassroots means the most basic or fundamental members of an organization or an initiative starting at ground level. The impetus is from the bottom up, not the top down. Grass roots is a variant that is sometimes seen in European countries, but the American form, grassroots, is quickly becoming the norm. The word was coined … [Read more...]


Surprisingly, tween has differing definitions depending on the dictionary. All agree that the term is referring to adolescents, either boy or girl, ages eleven and twelve. However, some dictionaries say tween is an abbreviated form of preteen, while others say it is an abbreviated form of tweenager. A tweenager is listed as a child between the ages of ten and fourteen, someone who is almost a teenager or a new teenager. An alternative for tween is listed as tweenie. A preteen has … [Read more...]

Riffle vs rifle

To riffle, pronounced with a short i sound, is to peruse something quickly, usually by flipping through the items. It can also be used for shuffling playing cards or flipping the pages of a book or stack of papers. Common synonyms are ruffle and shuffle. A riffle is anything that causes water to ripple, either on a riverbed or in a machine, this is mostly in North America though. It can also be a group if ripples or the act of shuffling. To rifle, pronounced with the long i sound, is to … [Read more...]

Chunder or chunter

Chunder is a verb, slang that originated in Australia. It means to throw up or vomit. It can also be used as the noun for what is thrown up or the vomit itself. Chunter is a little more well known. It is also a verb and slang, from British English. It can mean either to mumble or murmur about one's troubles, or it can mean to lumber along making noise. It can also be a noun for the actual complaint given. Examples The young man is seen becoming visibly ill as the clock ticks, before a … [Read more...]

Arcane and obsolete

Arcane is an adjective that describes someone or something as being less known or hard to understand except for a few people. Arcane things are hidden or secretive. Obscure is another good synonym. This is not always a good thing. The adverb form is arcanely. Obsolete is an adjective that describes something or someone as being out of use because of a new version or more popular item. It can also mean something that is not current or old-fashioned. The adverb form is obsoletely, though … [Read more...]


Scrummy is an adjective in British English to describe something or someone as tasty or good to eat. It is slang and informal. The object can also be scrummier and scrummiest. It is a shortened version of scrumptious, another adjective which describes something or someone as appealing or desirous. This can be towards food that looks or tastes delicious, or it can be used for people or ideas that are especially beautiful or attractive. The noun form of scrumptious is scrumptiousness. The … [Read more...]

Bollocks vs bollocking

Bollocks or ballocks is a British English term that is from the old German word for ball. The term is vulgar and is considered a swear word. It can be an interjection that describes something as nonsense or garbage, rubbish. However, the term can also mean a male's testicles. This term is always used in the plural form. Bollock or ballock is a verb. It is also British English slang and is extremely informal. It means to scold someone or to harshly criticize a … [Read more...]

Assignation or assignment

An assignment is a task given to a specific person or group to complete. It can also mean the act of assigning. In some legal fields it can refer to the transferring of ownership of property. An assignation is the act of assigning or the actual assignment. But it also means a secret rendezvous for lovers, most especially for affairs or illicit relationships. Sometimes this is used to mean a secret meeting or a regularly set meeting, but it would be confusing in this sense to those who are … [Read more...]

Corn flour vs cornmeal

Corn flour is another name for cornstarch, which is basically just corn ground into a very fine powder. It is typically used to thicken liquids in cooking. Note: the two word formation for corn flour is the preferred spelling inside the United States. Outside it is cornflour. Also be aware that cornstarch is a North American term Cornmeal is also just corn ground into a powder, but this is more coarse and not as fine as corn flour. This is logical since one definition of meal is coarsely … [Read more...]

Brain trust vs think tank

Brain trust is a North American term for  a committee of persons who are in charge of advising someone about planning and strategy. This can be official or unofficial and is usually used in the realm of politics and governments. The noun for a person in this group is a brain truster. Outside the US, the term is brains trust and signifies a group, usually experts in their occupations, who field questions in a forum, either on the radio or in person. The noun form for a person in a brains … [Read more...]

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