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Baby blues

The baby blues is a phenomenon common to nearly all new mothers who have given birth. We will examine the meaning of the term baby blues, its original meaning, and some examples of its use in sentences. The baby blues is a slight depression that occurs to most new mothers after they give birth. The baby blues is brought on by fluctuating hormones after the birth of a baby and lasts for a matter of hours to a few weeks. If the baby blues lasts longer then that, then it is most probably … [Read more...]

Parol vs parole

Parol and parole are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different spellings and different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the difference between the definitions of parol and parole, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Parol means communicated orally, a statement uttered, evidence given with an oral statement. Parol is also a traditional Filipino Christmas lantern. The word parol is derived from the Old French word … [Read more...]

Erratum, addendum and corrigendum

Erratum, addendum and corrigendum are all terms that are used in publishing, legal documents and computer programs. We will examine the difference in meaning between erratum, addendum and corrigendum, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Erratum refers to an error in a published material, a legal document or a computer program. The plural form of erratum is errata. Generally, errata is added to a recently published book in the form of inserted pages or at … [Read more...]

Upper hand

Upper hand is an idiom with an uncertain etymology. 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 meaning of the term upper hand, some possible sources of its origin, and a few examples of its use in sentences. Upper hand means the position of dominance, being in charge, being in control or having the advantage. It is most often used as get the upper hand or gain the upper hand. Some believe … [Read more...]

Chump change

Chump change is an American idiom that appeared in the mid-1900s. 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 meaning of the term chump change, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Chump change refers to a miniscule amount of money, an insignificant sum of money. The term chump change was coined in the African-American community in the mid-1960s, based on the … [Read more...]

Quire vs choir

Quire and choir are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the definitions of quire and choir, where each of these words comes from and some examples of their use in sentences. A quire is one twentieth of a ream of paper, consisting of twenty-four or twenty-five sheets. Quire may also refer to a unit of paper used in medieval manuscripts, consisting of four large sheets of paper folded … [Read more...]

Protean vs protein

Protean and protein are two words that are often confused. We will examine the difference in meaning between the words protean and protein, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Protean describes something that is versatile, something that changes easily or frequently. The word protean is derived from the Greek god, Proteus. Proteus, also known as the Old Man of the Sea, was subject to Poseidon. Proteus' job was to herd seals. He was known for his ability to … [Read more...]

Bought the farm and gone for a Burton

Bought the farm is an American idiom which originated during World War II, gone for a Burton is the British equivalent. 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 meaning of the terms bought the farm and gone for a Burton, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Bought the farm is a term used to mean someone has died. This euphemism for dying became popular among … [Read more...]

Peccadillo

Peccadillo is a loanword. Loanwords and loan phrases are terms that have been taken from other languages and used as English words and phrases. Another term for a loanword is a borrowed word. Loanwords and loan phrases come into the English language when English speakers come into contact with other languages and cultures. We will examine the definition of the word peccadillo, where the term came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A peccadillo is a minor indiscretion or a small … [Read more...]

First World problem

The term First World problem was first coined in the late 1970s, but it was popularized by an internet meme in the early 2000s. We will examine the meaning of the phrase First World problem, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A First World problem is an inconsequential frustration, an unimportant annoyance that is blown out of proportion due to the sufferer's lack of real and important problems. An example of a First World problem is a smart phone that only receives … [Read more...]

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