Cotton candy or cotton floss or fairy floss

Cotton candy is spun sugar that consists of very fluffy, threadlike fibers of melted sugar, usually pink, and almost always wrapped around a paper cone. Cotton candy melts in your mouth, it is sold at circuses, fairs, carnivals, festivals and some sporting events. Cotton candy is made in a machine which melts the sugar into a liquified state and then blows it through tiny holes where it cools and solidifies quickly. The cotton candy machine operator then runs a paper cone around the bin to … [Read more...]


Eschew means to avoid, to shun, to abstain from voluntarily and deliberately, especially because you believe it is the proper thing to do. Eschew is a transitive verb, one that takes an object. Related words are eschewed, eschews, eschewing and the nouns eschewal and eschewance. Eschew came into use in the mid-fourteenth century from the Old French eschiver, meaning shun, dispense with, it is also related to the German words sciuhen meaning to avoid, escape and scheuen which means to fear, … [Read more...]


Finagle means by devious methods. Finagle may take an object and function as a transitive verb, meaning to arrange by craftiness or trickery. Without an object, finagle functions as an intransitive verb and means to use craftiness or trickery. Related words are finagles, finagled, finagling and the noun, finagler. Finagle originated in the United States in the 1920s from the dialectical fainaigue, which means to cheat or renege at cards. Finagle's Law is nearly the same as Murphy's Law. … [Read more...]


Fie is an archaic interjection or exclamation expressing disapproval or disgust. It came into use during the thirteenth century, probably from the Old French fi, which is an exclamation of disapproval. Another influence is the Old Norse word, fy.  A correlating word exists in many languages, fie seems to have evolved as an onomatopoetic word, imitating a natural snort of disgust.  In the nineteenth century, fie-fie was a British slang term for a woman of tarnished reputation. Most English … [Read more...]


A fiat is an official decree issued by an authority. Fiat sometimes connotes arbitrariness, an imperial decree that may not be mitigated. The word fiat comes from the Latin word fiat, meaning let it be done. Fiat was the opening word in Medieval proclamations that were written in Latin. When Fiat is spelled with an uppercase F, it refers to an Italian car brand that is produced by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat is the largest auto maker in Italy, the company traces its roots to 1899 when the … [Read more...]


A pipsqueak is an insignificant person, usually small or young. Pipsqueak is a term of contempt. Slang synonyms are short round, and squirt. Pipsqueak is an echoic word, which imitates a sound. Pipsqueak seems to have first appeared in the 1890s. It comes from the words pip, which refers to a small thing, and squeak, a word which signifies the sound that a small bird or animal makes under duress. Pipsqueak is often used by children to refer to their younger siblings in a derogatory manner. … [Read more...]

Prima donna

Prima donna is Italian for first lady. Prima donna has come to mean a temperamental or demanding person, a diva who insists on special treatment. Traditionally, prima donna refers to the leading female singer in an opera company. The prima donna receives the best roles. The term prima donna began in nineteenth-century Italy to describe the principal soprano of an opera company, these troupe members often had out-sized personalities on and off stage. Unless referring to an actual opera … [Read more...]


A LARP is a live action role-playing game in which participants physically interact with each other, taking on the roles of characters. The word is coined from the first letters of the phrase live action role playing. LARP may be used as a noun or adjective. LARPer is a noun used to describe one playing a LARP and LARPing describes the process of playing. LARP may be spelled lowercase as in larp, but in most cases LARP is capitalized, with the derivatives spelled in uppercase and lowercase … [Read more...]


Nemesis is a noun meaning an agent of retribution or vengeance, an archenemy who is extremely difficult to defeat.  A nemesis is a source of harm and setbacks, the bane of one's existence. The word nemesis comes from the Greek nemein, which means to give what is due. The plural is nemeses. Nemesis was the ancient Greek goddes of divine retribution who would punish any human being who engaged in arrogance in front of the gods. She was often referred to as the Goddess of Rhamnous, a place in … [Read more...]

Hodgepodge vs hotchpotch

Hodgepodge is a North American term that means a mixture of elements from various sources. Hodgepodge often refers to a jumbled assembly of not-quite matching items that come together in a confused fashion. Hodgepodge is derived from the word hotchpotch by associating the name Hodge, which is a British name for a farm laborer. Hotchpotch is a British term that means a mixture of elements from various sources. Hotchpotch also refers to a mutton stew with an eclectic mix of vegetables, such as … [Read more...]

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