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Daily grind

The expression the daily grind has been in use for over a hundred years. We will examine the definition of the term the daily grind, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The daily grind is one’s daily routine, one’s usual scope of work and activity that is boring and routine. The term daily grind is usually designated with the definite article, the. The term daily grind first appeared in the Illustrated London News in the mid-1800s. There is an apocryphal story that … [Read more...]

Beau vs bow

Beau and bow are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of beau and bow, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A beau is a lady’s boyfriend, a suitor or sweetheart of a lady. Beau may also mean a fashionable young man, though it is rarely used. The plural form of beau may be rendered as beaux or beaus. The word beau is a … [Read more...]

Houndstooth

Houndstooth is a term that first came into use in the 1930s, though the item it represents has been around since at least 100 B.C. We will examine the meaning of the term houndstooth, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Houndstooth is a two-tone textile pattern made up of broken checks. Most often, houndstooth is rendered in white with black broken checks, though it may consists of other colors. The first known example of houndstooth was found in the Gerum Cloak, a … [Read more...]

Whipsaw

Whipsaw is a word with a literal meaning that has come to also have a figurative meaning. We will examine the definitions of the word whipsaw, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The literal meaning of the word whipsaw is a handsaw that is used by two people in order to cut a log. Whipsaw has also come to mean to be pulled in alternate directions in a rapid manner, first used in the 1800s. This may a physical event or a figurative event. The term whipsaw has come to … [Read more...]

Bellyache

Bellyache is a term with a literal meaning and a figurative meaning. We will examine the definitions of bellyache, where the word came from and some examples of its use in sentences. When used as a noun, the word bellyache refers to a pain in the gut. However, bellyache is often used as a verb to mean to complain, especially in an annoying manner, to whine. People are often admonished to quit bellyaching. Related words are bellyaches, bellyached, bellyaching. The word bellyache first appeared … [Read more...]

Jilt vs gilt

Jilt and gilt are two words that are close in pronunciation and spelling, and are sometimes confused. We will examine the difference between the words jilt and gilt, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Jilt means to reject someone that you are in a romantic relationship with, to abandon a romantic partner. Increasingly the word jilt is used to mean one party breaking up a relationship with another, such as an athlete leaving a team.  Jilt is a transitive verb, … [Read more...]

Slave driver

Slave driver is a term that has been in use since the 1790s. Like most idioms, it was first used in a literal sense. An idiom 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 term slave driver, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A slave driver is someone such as a manager, teacher or parent who forces others to work extremely hard. The term slave driver … [Read more...]

Misology vs mixology

Misology and mixology are two words that are very close in pronunciation and spelling, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of misology and mixology, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Misology is a hatred of reason, a hatred of debate or a hatred of being free of ignorance. A misologist is one who hates reason or debate. The word misology is derived from the Greek word misologia, meaning hatred of words. The idea of misology is … [Read more...]

Momager

Momager is a new word that has come into use in the last decade, originating in the United States. We will examine the definition of momager, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A momager is a mother who is also the business manager for her son or daughter. For the most part, momagers manage entertainment or sports careers for their children. The word momager is a portmanteau of the words mom and manager. A portmanteau is a word constructed by blending the sounds and … [Read more...]

Over the hill

Over the hill is an idiom that has been in use at least since the 1900s. An idiom 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 meaning of the phrase over the hill, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Over the hill is a phrase that describes someone old, someone worn out, someone who is past his prime. The idea is to think of one’s life as a hill. At the top of the hill, … [Read more...]

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