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Finders keepers

  Finders keepers is half of an adage which dates back to the mid-1800s. Like many idioms and adages, the first half of the phrase is often quoted with the assumption that the listener knows the second half of the phrase. An adage is a common saying or phrase that shares advice or a universal truth. We will examine the meaning of the phrase finders keepers, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Finders keepers is a statement one makes asserting the right of … [Read more...]

One for the money, two for the show

One for the money, two for the show is part of an expression sometimes used in English. We will examine the meaning of the expression one for the money, two for the show in its entirety, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. One for the money, two for the show is half of a rhyme used as a countdown to begin a task. The entire rhyme is: one for the money, two for the show, three to make ready and four to go. Children have used this little poem since the mid-1800s as a … [Read more...]

Extricate vs extirpate

  Extricate and extirpate are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of the words extricate and extirpate, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Extricate means to remove someone or something from a hard position, to free someone from a difficulty. Extricate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are extricates, extricated, extricating. The word extricate is derived from the Latin … [Read more...]

Go for the jugular

Go for the jugular is a idiom that some may find confusing. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the phrase go for the jugular, where it comes from and some examples of its use in sentences. To go for the jugular means to attack quickly and savagely in the most vicious and effective way possible. This idiom comes from the fact that one very effective way to kill … [Read more...]

A method in one’s madness

The expression a method in one's madness dates back to the turn of the seventeenth century. We will examine the definition of the expression a method in one's madness, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A method in one's madness is a phrase used to assure someone that one's actions have a purpose, though they may seem foolish or crazy. Sometimes it is not prudent or expedient to explain a plan in full. Telling someone "there is a method in my madness" is a way of … [Read more...]

Turn a blind eye

The idiom turn a blind eye has been in use at least since the early 1800s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of the phrase turn a blind eye, where it may have come from, and some examples of its use in sentences. To turn a blind eye means to ignore something, to pretend that one does not notice something. While turning a blind eye might mean ignoring a problem that … [Read more...]

Canny vs uncanny

Canny and uncanny appear to be antonyms, but they are not. Antonyms are two or more words that have opposing meanings. We will examine the definitions of the words canny and uncanny, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Canny means shrewd, prudent, clever, astute, thrifty. The word canny is originally Scottish, and is derived from the word can in the sense of knowing. Related words are cannier, canniest, cannily, canniness. Uncanny describes something that is … [Read more...]

Nefarious

The word nefarious has been in use since the turn of the seventeenth century. We will examine the meaning of the word nefarious, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Nefarious means a thought or especially an action that is evil, wicked, unlawful, immoral or villainous. The word nefarious carries a connotation of underhandedness or of circumventing that which is proper. Nefarious is often used to describe a criminal or notorious official of some sort. Related words … [Read more...]

Put up your dukes

The term put up your dukes is an idiom that was first used in the mid-1800s. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the phrase put up your dukes, where it most probably came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Put up your dukes is an admonition to get into a fighting stance and defend yourself. In this case, the word dukes is … [Read more...]

Scrip vs script

Scrip and script are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. They are often confused. We will examine the differing definitions of scrip and script, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Scrip is a certificate which entitles the bearer to something, such as stock shares or dividends. Scrip may also mean a currency issued by a company or the military that may be used in the company store or at the military … [Read more...]

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