Rail vs rale

A rail is 1.) a horizontal bar with supporting vertical posts that acts as a barrier or fence 2.) a horizontal bar affixed to a wall from which one may hang things 3.) the inside fence boundary of a racecourse 4.) a stile 5.) the tracks upon which a train runs 6.) sending something or traveling by train 7.) to complain about something loud and long or protest something loud and long 8.) a small wading bird. Rail is used as a noun or a verb, related words are rails, railed, railing, railer, … [Read more...]

Gallon vs galleon

A gallon is a unit of liquid measurement used in America and in Britain, though the U.S. gallon and British or Imperial gallon are not equivalent. A U.S. gallon consists of four quarts, or 3.79 liters. An Imperial gallon is equal to 1.2 U.S. gallons or 4.55 liters. The word gallon may also be used to describe a large volume of something. The word gallon comes from the Old French word jalon, which was an Old French liquid measurement somewhat equivalent to today's gallon. A galleon is a type … [Read more...]

Apartment and flat

An apartment is a single-family suite of rooms including a kitchen and at least one bathroom, situated in a building with multiple such suites, apartments are generally rental property. Apartment is mostly the North American term for such housing. The word apartment comes from the Italian word appartamento, originally used to describe a set of rooms in a house that are used exclusively by one person. A flat is the British English equivalent of the word apartment. A flat is a single-family … [Read more...]

Monday morning quarterback and armchair quarterback

A Monday morning quarterback is someone who second-guesses a decision someone else has made after the event is finished. A Monday morning quarterback criticizes from the comfort of 20/20 hindsight. The term comes from the fact that most American football games are played on Sunday, and it is easy to criticize a quarterback's decisions in the heat of the moment from the vantage point twelve or more hours after the football game has ended. Monday morning quarterback is a pejorative term, first … [Read more...]

Peeping Tom

A peeping Tom is someone who secretly watches people as they undress or engage in sexual activity in order to obtain gratification. A peeping Tom is a voyeur. The term peeping Tom is derived from the story of Lady Godiva. Lady Godiva reputedly rode naked through the town of Coventry in the 1000s to protest the high taxes her husband had imposed. The townsfolk of Coventry agreed to avert their eyes in order to preserve Lady Godiva's modesty, but one man named Tom peeked as Lady Godiva rode past. … [Read more...]

Fount of knowledge or wisdom vs font of knowledge or wisdom

A fount of knowledge is a term used to describe something, but usually someone, who contains all the answers, something or someone that has a large aggregate of information.  A fount of wisdom is also a term used to describe something, but usually someone, who contains all the answers or has a large aggregate of information. While the phrases are interchangeable, fount of wisdom may also be used in a sarcastic manner. Fount is a shortened form of the word fountain, just as mount is a shortened … [Read more...]

Leotard vs tights

A leotard is a tightly-fitted article of clothing made of stretchy material that covers from the shoulders to the top of the thighs, a leotard may be sleeveless or have short sleeves or long sleeves. Leotards are worn by dancers, acrobats and others who are engaging in vigorous activity. The leotard was named in 1888 for the French trapeze artist Jules Léotard. The correct singular form of the word is leotard, the plural form is leotards. Tights are a tightly-fitted article of clothing made … [Read more...]

Bain-marie vs double boiler

A bain-marie is a cooking container filled with water in which another pan or dish is placed in order to cook food more slowly or with more moisture. The term bain-marie is taken directly from the French, it literally translates as Mary's bath. Note that when cooking with a bain-marie the pan or dish that contains the food is put directly into the hot water bath. The plural form is bains-marie. Bain-marie is often seen unhyphenated as in bain marie, but the Oxford English Dictionary only lists … [Read more...]

Spoonerism vs malapropism

A spoonerism is a verbal mistake in which the initial consonant sounds of two words are transposed, often to comedic effect. The word spoonerism was coined after a Warden of New College, Oxford, Reverend William Archibald Spooner. The term spoonerism was used at Oxford as early as 1885, entering into the lexicon of the general English-speaking public around 1900. Many spoonerisms attributed to Spooner are apocryphal, though Spooner himself admitted to uttering,  "The Kinquering Congs Their … [Read more...]

Explicate vs expletive

Explicate means to examine something methodically and develop a theory or to explain it clearly. Explicate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are explicates, explicated, explicating, explication, explicative, explicator, explicatory. Explicate is derived from the Latin word explicatus, which means explain, unravel. An expletive is a swear word or oath exclaimed in an emotional fashion. Expletive may also be used as an adjective to describe a syllable or … [Read more...]

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