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...]

Hooves or hoofs

Hooves is the plural form of hoof, the horny part of an animal's foot, especially, a horse.  Hoof comes from the Old English word, hof. The plural of hof is hofas, which when pronounced, would have sounded like hooves. Hoofs is also a plural form of hoof, the horny part of an animal's foot. Hoofs is a much older rendering of the plural form of hoof.  While still considered correct by many dictionaries, the actual use of the word hoofs is rare. Hooves has become the much preferred plural … [Read more...]

Kneeled vs knelt

Kneeled is the past tense of kneel, a verb which means to bend the knees and rest upon them. Kneeling is often a position employed when praying or abasing oneself before another. Knelt is also the past tense of kneel, it is a form that gained prominence in the 19th century and is common today. The words kneeled and knelt are equally correct and interchangeable. A kneeler is a bench with a shelf designed to make it easier for one to kneel. A kneeler is also known as a prie-dieu, a French … [Read more...]

No love lost

No love lost between two people means that they are not friends, they dislike each other intensely. No love lost may describe any two people, male or female. The phrase no love lost has interesting origins. In the sixteenth century, no love lost could mean that the couple either hated each other equally or loved each other equally. Unrequited love was considered love lost, so if two people's sentiments matched in intensity and amount of regard, whether love or hate, then there was no love … [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...]

Strategy vs tactic

A strategy is an overall plan for success directed toward a desired result. Strategy incorporates concepts and philosophy in order to advance broader goals, it may involve several different tactics. A tactic is a short-term plan, task or procedure aimed at a specific outcome. A tactic pin-points one aspect of an overall problem or goal, the results arrive quickly. Strategy comes from the Greek word strategia, which means generalship. The plural of strategy is strategies, the verb form is … [Read more...]

Training wheels vs stabilisers

Training wheels are a set of small wheels on a pair of brackets which are attached parallel to the rear wheel of a bicycle to help a child balance the bike, while learning how to ride. It is a a term used in the United States, Canada and Australia. Stabilisers are a set of small wheels on a pair of brackets which are attached parallel to the rear wheel of a bicycle to help a child balance the bike, while learning how to ride. It is a term used in Great Britain. The spelling stabilizers is … [Read more...]

Minimize vs minimise

Minimize means to reduce to the smallest possible amount, to estimate to the least possible degree, to belittle or represent as worth less than is actually true. Minimize is a transitive verb which takes an object. The North American spelling is minimize, related words are minimizes and minimized, and the nouns minimizing, minimizer and minimization. Minimise is the preferred British spelling. Related words are minimises and minimised, and the nouns minimising, minimiser and minimisation. The … [Read more...]

Tween or teen

Teen is an abbreviation of teenager, an adolescent between the ages of thirteen and nineteen, so-called because all of these ages end in the suffix -teen. Tween is a combination of teen and between, it describes the ages of older children who are not yet teens. Generally, the ages ten through twelve are considered the tween years, but some sources consider tweens to be as young as eight. Tween is a term used by J.R.R. Tolkien in his first "Lord of the Rings" novel to refer to Hobbits in … [Read more...]

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