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Nomenclature

Nomenclature is a word that has been in use since Ancient Rome, though the meaning has changed slightly. We will examine the definition of the word nomenclature, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Nomenclature is a system of naming things, or a set of symbols.  Nomenclature is usually particular to a certain discipline, art or science. Nomenclature also involves the rules for applying names or terms in a particular field. The word nomenclature is derived from the … [Read more...]

Tariff

The word tariff has been in use since the 1590s. We will examine the meaning of the word tariff, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A tariff is a tax on items that are coming into a country. Tariffs are categorized in schedules, and may be imposed because goods are coming from a specific country or because the items fall into a certain category of goods. Tariffs may be imposed as punishments, but are most often used to protect the production of those goods in the … [Read more...]

Rebus

The word rebus goes back to the 1500s, and may be confusing. We will examine the definition of the word rebus, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A rebus is a puzzle, consisting of pictures or images that are used to signify the sounds of words or parts of words. For instance, a rebus consisting of a picture of an eye and a picture of a can of soup would translate to "I can." The first book of rebus puzzles was published in France in the mid-1500s by poet Etienne … [Read more...]

Beat a dead horse and flog a dead horse

Beat a dead horse and flog a dead horse are two idioms that mean the same thing. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the phrases beat a dead horse and flog a dead horse, where these terms may have come from and some examples of their use in sentences. To beat a dead horse or to flog a dead horse means to belabor a point, to continue in a … [Read more...]

Prom and The Proms

The word prom has a very different meaning in the United States and Britain. We will examine the various meanings of the word prom, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. In the United States, a prom is a semi-formal dinner/dance held at the end of the year in high schools. The word prom is derived from the word promenade, which is a term for an informal parade at the beginning of a formal dance. The American prom began as a college semi-formal dance at the end of the … [Read more...]

Debauchery

The term debauchery dates back to the 1640s. We will examine the definition of the word debauchery, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Debauchery is an excessive participation in physical pleasure, especially sex, drugs and alcohol. Debauchery is immoral behavior, though not necessarily illegal behavior, and is extreme.  The plural form of debauchery is debaucheries. The verb form is debauch, which means to corrupt someone by means of sex, alcohol, drugs or other … [Read more...]

Until one is blue in the face

The phrase until one is blue in the face is an idiom that some find confusing. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of until one is blue in the face, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Until one is blue in the face means until one is totally exasperated; to argue, shout or talk to someone, especially trying to … [Read more...]

Scion

The word scion came into use in the 1300s. It has both a literal and a figurative sense. We will examine the definition of the word scion, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The original meaning of the word scion is a shoot of a plant or a twig of a plant that may be used as a rooting or for grafting purposes. However, the word scion took on a figurative meaning in the early 1800s, to denote a young heir or a descendent of an influential family. The idea is that the … [Read more...]

Inflict vs inflect

Inflict and inflect are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of inflict and inflect, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Inflict means to impose something painful, harmful or unpleasant upon someone, to mete out a punishment or to wound someone. Inflict is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are inflicts, inflicted, inflicting, inflicter. The … [Read more...]

Monetize vs demonetize

Monetize and demonetize are antonyms. Antonyms are two or more words that have opposing meanings. We will examine the definitions of monetize and demonetize, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Monetize means to convert something into money, to generate revenue from something, to earn a profit from a good or service. The word monetize is often used in business to describe turning a service that is initially offered to the public for free, into a … [Read more...]

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