Aberrant describes something as deviating from the norm. Another form is aberrational, which has a slightly different meaning as it is relating to the word aberration. A rare form is aberrative or tending to deviate from norms. Examples Durst family outcast Robert Durst’s aberrant behavior … [Read more...]

Bough vs. bow

A bough (pronounced /bau/) is a main branch of a tree. Its homonym bow has several meanings including: to quit a competition, to bend the body in an act of submission or reverence, to acknowledge applause, or debut. Bow can be pronounced /bo/ and has an alternate meaning. It can be a tie of a … [Read more...]

Chips vs. fries

North American fries (or French fries) are sticks of fried potato served hot. Outside of North America, namely the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, these fried pieces of potato are called chips. (Side note: a chippy is a place that sells fish and chips.) However, to North … [Read more...]


A firebrand is someone who is passionate and enacts change in a particular cause. It can also be a piece of burning wood. Examples Firebrand figures with extremist views about abortion laws, women’s rights and the family unit are controversially backing a families’ forum that three federal … [Read more...]


The dictionary lists America is the landmass consisting of North and South America. However, we were not able to find one example if it being used in this way, so it is our belief that this definition will become obsolete sooner rather than later. America is commonly used as a name for the United … [Read more...]


A patriot is someone who supports his or her country, even to defending it against enemies. It is also the trademark name of a missile designed for preemptive strikes. History Patriot comes from the Latin patriota or fellow countryman, and the Greek patris or fatherland. Examples One could be … [Read more...]



Grammarist is not a dictionary-approved word. The term for a person who specializes in grammar is a grammarian. As you can see by this n-gram, its usage has dwindled over time. Examples The grammar debate in marketing is not new. The Winston cigarette brand was famously taken to task for … [Read more...]

Psychopath vs. sociopath

While there is some debate in the world of psychology, clinically the terms psychopath (or its abbreviation psycho) and sociopath are relatively interchangeable. Both refer to a clinical diagnosis of someone without guilt, who also has violent tendencies and disregard for others and laws. It is … [Read more...]


As a verb, pooped has three meanings. First, to defecate; second, the act of a wave coming over the side of a ship, perhaps capsizing the ship; and third, to be very tired. A related but separate phrase is for something to poop out or stop working suddenly. History The second definition came … [Read more...]

Civic vs. civil

Civic means of or relating to the city, while civil means relating to citizenship or citizen (as opposed to the military). Civil also means to be polite or courteous. Examples The veteran pop star was due to be handed the keys of Albufeira - the city's highest civic honour - but decided over the … [Read more...]

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