Shutter vs. shudder

A shutter is a panel attached to a window that can be closed for privacy. Also, it is the part of a camera that opens to expose light to the film. A person can shutter their windows by closing the shutters. To shudder is to shake or quake, usually as a result of fear or disgust. These words … [Read more...]


Draconian describes something as very strict or harsh. It comes from the Athenian lawmaker Draco, whose laws were extreme. For example, theft carried the death penalty. Dragonian, on the other hand, refers to dragons. Below is the ngram for draconian, which has been on a steady rise for the … [Read more...]


One of the newest words to be included in the Oxford online dictionary, amazeballs is slang for something awesome or particularly fantastic. The term originated in 2003. Users should be cautious as spellcheckers and most professional or academic institutions will still consider this word … [Read more...]

Rancor vs. rancour

Rancor is defined as bitterness or resent. It is spelled rancor in the US, and rancour outside the US. Examples It of course also left "a legacy of political rancor and racial hatred so intense" that it guaranteed the world war that would follow 20 years later, which by Keegan's calculation was … [Read more...]


Begrudge means to envy or to give reluctantly. In the common phrase 'you can't begrudge someone something', it can be read as 'you cannot be reluctant to give someone something.' Note that it must be used in the negative form for this meaning to be understood. It is also seen in the adverb … [Read more...]


Chav is something you call a person who is lower class, loud, and may try to act from a higher class by wearing designer clothing. Chav originated in Britain. It is seen as derogatory, though some used the term proudly much as some Americans use redneck. It is used widely outside the … [Read more...]

Chalk up vs. chock

Chalk up is an idiom meaning to give credit to something or to attain something. It comes from the literal act in the 16th century of writing in chalk a debt that was owed to a store. A chock is a wooden block used beneath wheels to prevent movement. Chock-full means completely full. It is … [Read more...]


The verb swashbuckle means to perform adventurous acts in a flamboyant manner, usually using a sword. It also means to act as a swashbuckler. It can also be an adjective in the form swashbuckling. History In the 1500s, swash meant to dash or strike violently and a buckler was a shield. So … [Read more...]

Rejig vs. rejigger

Both rejig and rejigger mean to rearrange an object. Rejigger is the preferred form in the US, and outside the US the standard is rejig. Examples UTI Asset Management Company is keen on a rejig in shareholding so that the mutual fund can become an independent asset management company. [Calcutta … [Read more...]


To niggle is to create small but persistent annoyance or discomfort, or to find unimportant faults. Its adjective form is niggling.  Side note: Another word that shares the same root is niggardly, meaning stingy. But since it sounds so similar to the racial slur, it has slowly become … [Read more...]

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