Personality vs personage vs persona

Someone's personality is the specific set of qualities and interests that make him or her unique and unlike others. If someone has personality, he or she is lively or engaging in some way that appeals to others. A personality can also be a famous person or celebrity. Personage is a fancy word for person and because it is fancy, the person is seen as fancy or deserving of a higher respect. It can also mean characters in books or paintings. A persona is the part of a person that is seen by … [Read more...]

Prodigal and prodigy

Prodigal can be an adjective used to describe something as producing or owning a quality or item in overabundance, in other words, lavishly or extravagantly. A person who is described as prodigal is someone who is extravagant with his or her money or some other resource. This word is always used with the feeling of wastefulness. It can also be a noun, so someone could be a prodigal. In the Bible this term was used in a parable by Jesus. The story is normally referred to as the prodigal son … [Read more...]

Cottage industry

Cottage industry is a term used to describe a venture or manufacturing business that relies on people doing the work in their own homes. This can either be someone's individual home business in which he or she sells the items. Or it can refer to a large company that uses individuals to make and sell the product, instead of factories. It can also be used to describe a topic or activity that is restricted but those that do engage in it are very excited about it. The singular can also be a … [Read more...]

Celebrant or celebrator

A celebrant is someone who officiates at a rite or ceremony. It is specifically for someone presiding over the Eucharist, a bread and wine sacrament. A celebrator is someone who celebrates or recognizes a special event by having a party or some other unique activity. As a side note: the adjective form of celebrate is celebrative and one definition of celebrate is to officiate or perform a rite. In the United States celebrant is an accepted synonym for celebrator. This accepted usage is … [Read more...]

Center around or center on

To center on something or center around something is to focus on it or for that something to be an integral part of the process. Technically one can't center around since the center is a specific point; however, this is an idiom and anything goes with idioms. Outside the United States the phrases centre around or centre on are listed as interchangeable in dictionaries. Note the spelling change, however. Both inside and outside the US center on is the more popular phrase. This possibly … [Read more...]

In a manner of speaking

In a manner of speaking is an idiom that means the same as 'in other words' or 'so to speak'. It is used usually after a statement to clarify a subtext or alternative meaning to the previous statement. Many people confuse this phrase by saying in a matter of speaking. This phrase builds off of one of manner's definitions as a type or kind of something (e.g., manner of men, manner of style). So one can think of manner of speaking as a way of saying something. The related idiom is as a matter … [Read more...]


Penultimate is an adjective that describes something or someone as almost the final in a set or series, more specifically the one right before the last one. The adverb form is penultimately. This version is uncommon, though it is logical and necessary in some instances. An even more rare, and questionable, form is the noun form of penultimateness. This form should be avoided in formal writing. The noun form is penult, which is more specifically used for the second-to-last syllable in a … [Read more...]

Fulminate vs culminate

Fulminate is a verb that means to be severely against something and extremely vocal about one's opinion. It can also be used to describe something exploding suddenly or be instantly violent. In medical terminology it is used as an adjective in the form fulminating to describe a disease that came on quick and strong. The noun form is fulmination. In science it is also the name of a compound using fulminic acid. Incidentally these compounds usually are highly explosive. Culminate is a … [Read more...]

Indolence vs insolence

Indolence is a noun encompasses the attitude of being sedentary or going out of one's way to avoid work. In general to be lazy or slothful. The adjective form is indolent and the adverb form is indolently. Side note: Indolent is used in medical terminology to describe something that causes no pain or is progressing or growing slowly. Insolence is a noun for impolite or disrespectful attitudes and behavior. A child or underling could show insolence to a guardian or supervisor, … [Read more...]

Bunk vs debunk

Bunk can be a narrow bed or, mainly in the United States, a verb which means to room with another person. It can also be a mass noun for foolishness or nonsense. This is a shortened version of the word bunkum, which has the same meaning. Side note: bunkum may also be spelled buncombe because the term originated from a politician in Buncombe, North Carolina. Outside of the United States, there is a phrase do a bunk that means to hastily leave or escape. Debunk is a verb that means to prove … [Read more...]

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