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McGuffin

A McGuffin is a mysterious object or event in a story that serves as the impetus for the story.  A McGuffin is a plot device, a catalyst to get the story going, but is an object or event that is actually of little or no importance to the story. Alfred Hitchcock used the term in a college lecture in 1939 and is credited with inventing the term McGuffin. However, the true source of the term is a screenwriter named Angus MacPhail, whom he worked with. Alfred Hitchcock spelled the term as MacGuffin, … [Read more...]

Binge-watch

Binge-watch means to watch multiple episodes of a television series in rapid succession. Binge-watch is a verb, related words are binge-watches, binge-watched, binge-watching and binge watcher which is rendered without a hyphen, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Traditionally, episodes of a television series are broadcast live once per week. With the advent of video tapes, DVDs and streaming services such as Netflix, episodes of television series have become available on demand. It is … [Read more...]

Ambulance chaser

An ambulance chaser is a lawyer who solicits representation of accident victims in order to profit from their pain and suffering, it is an American term. An ambulance chaser is not merely a personal injury lawyer, an ambulance chaser is a lawyer who seeks out victims to represent, inciting them to bring a lawsuit when they may have not been inclined to do so. The metaphor employed in ambulance chaser is that of a lawyer chasing an ambulance departing from the scene of an accident in order to … [Read more...]

Coffice

Coffice is a new word coined from the terms coffee shop and office. Coffice refers to the phenomenon of people working remotely on their computers in coffee shops that have wi-fi connections. Increasingly, entrepreneurs and others conduct business meetings on phone lines and over Skype in coffee shops, as well as meeting clients in person in coffee shops. The term coffice also describes the movement to design offices to mimic the energizing yet informal feel of a coffee shop environment. The … [Read more...]

Whole shebang

Whole shebang means the entire thing, the whole matter, all of it. Note that the word shebang is not hyphenated. The word shebang has a long and circuitous history. Shebang first appears at the time of the American Civil War to describe a ramshackle, temporary shelter. Ten years later, shebang was also used to describe a hired coach or vehicle. Fifty years later, in the 1920s, the phrase the whole shebang came to mean the entire thing, the whole matter, all of it. How the word shebang evolved … [Read more...]

Weekend

The weekend is the final two days of the week, Saturday and Sunday, which are non-work and non-school days. Generally, Friday evening is considered the beginning of the weekend, and the the end of the weekend is Sunday night. Weekend may be used as a noun or a verb, related words are weekends, weekended, weekending. Note that weekend is one word. The idea of a workless weekend is not universal. In the United States most employees worked six-day weeks until the 1920s or 1930s. Some enlightened … [Read more...]

Matriculate vs graduate

Matriculate means to be be enrolled in a course of study at a college or university. Matriculate may also mean to admit a student into a course of study at a college or university. Matriculate is usually used as a verb, though it may be used as a noun in Indian English to describe a person who has matriculated. Related words are matriculates, matriculated, matriculating, matriculator, matriculant, matriculation.  Graduate means to complete a course of study at a college, university, secondary … [Read more...]

Fob off

Fob off means to cheat someone by substituting something of inferior quality, to attempt to pass off something of inferior quality as genuine, to set something aside as no longer important. Fob off is a verb phrase, related phrases are fobs off, fobbed, off, fobbing off. Fob off comes from the Middle English word fobben, most probably derived from the German foppen, which means to delude, to impose upon. The term fob off reached its peak of popularity in the mid-1700s, according to Google Ngram … [Read more...]

TMI

TMI is an abbreviation that stands for too much information. The term TMI is usually used when someone is sharing too many intimate details, though sometimes TMI is used to describe when someone is sharing too many boring details. The origin of the abbreviation is murky, it is probably linked to the advent of online communities and the use of abbreviations such as LOL (laugh out loud), BRB (be right back) and AFK (away from keyboard). TMI is one of the few abbreviations that migrated from the … [Read more...]

Brexit and Grexit

Grexit describes the possibility of the country of Greece leaving the European Union. The word Grexit was coined by economists Ebrahim Rahbari and Willem Buiter in 2012, by combining the words Greek and exit. Grexit appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. Brexit describes the possibility of the country of Britain leaving the European Union. The word Brexit was coined by The Economist magazine in 2012, possibly influenced by the creation of the term Grexit. Brexit is a combination of the … [Read more...]

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