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Pie hole

Pie hole is an interesting term that originated in the United States, though it is related to a British term. We will look at the meaning of the term pie hole, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Pie hole is an American term for a person's mouth. Obviously, the idea is that the mouth is where someone puts bites of pie. Interestingly, the term pie hole has only been in use since the 1980s, though there is a British term that was in use before this time. The British … [Read more...]

The quick and the dead

The quick and the dead is a term that has been used as a title for various movies and books, though the phrase actually goes back hundreds of years. We will look at the meaning of the term the quick and the dead, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The quick and the dead is a term that describes all people, alive and dead. In this case, the word quick describes something that is alive, that stirs with life. The term the quick and the dead is found several times in … [Read more...]

Bawdy vs body

Bawdy and body are two words that are pronounced extremely similarly but have different spellings and meanings. They are easily confused. We will examine the difference in meaning between bawdy and body, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Bawdy describes a joke or story, or language that deals with sexual matters in a humorous fashion. Usually, jokes and stories that are bawdy are lewd but not pornographic. Related words are bawdily and bawdiness. The … [Read more...]

Riposte vs repost

Riposte and repost are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine  the meanings of the words riposte and repost, where the words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Riposte means to quickly make a clever reply to a comment, or to perform an action that may be considered a quick reply to another action. Originally, riposte described a fencing move, and it still does. In … [Read more...]

Ad-lib and ad lib

The term ad-lib is derived from a Latin phrase, though the current meaning deviates from the original meaning. We will examine the definition of ad-lib, where the term came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Ad-lib means to do something spontaneously, to do something without prior planning or practice. It may be used as an adjective, adverb, verb or noun, related words are ad-libs, ad-libbed, ad-libbing. People often ad-lib when acting, performing standup or sketch comedy, giving … [Read more...]

Knuckle under vs knuckle down

Knuckle under and knuckle down are two idioms that are similar but have very different meanings. 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 look at the difference between knuckle under and knuckle down, where the terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Knuckle under means to give in, to submit, to yield. The term knuckle under is an American phrase that was first used in the … [Read more...]

Piebald, skewbald, pinto or paint

Piebald, skewbald, pinto and paint are all terms that describe coloration patterns for horses. We will examine the difference between the terms piebald, skewbald, pinto and paint, where the terms come from and some examples of their use in sentences. A piebald horse is a horse with colored splotches on a white background, primarily black splotches on a white background. The skin under the darker splotches may or may not be pigmented, the skin under the white background is not pigmented. … [Read more...]

Have one’s ears pinned back vs pin one’s ears back

To have one's ears pinned back and to pin one's ears back are two phrases that are extremely similar but have very different meanings. We will examine the difference in meaning between these two phrases and where they are most often used, as well as some examples of their use in sentences. To have one's ears pinned back means to be severely scolded or to be bested in an athletic contest, soundly. The idiom have one's ears pinned back is an American phrase that came into use in the mid-1800s. … [Read more...]

Going bananas

Going bananas is an idiom that was originally coined in the United States. 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 idiom going bananas, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Going bananas means going crazy, becoming insane. It may als0 mean to go wild with anger, or to erupt with enthusiasm with accompanying cheering. The term going bananas is not … [Read more...]

Eyelet vs islet

Eyelet and islet are two words that are pronounced in the same way but have different spellings as well as different meanings. These types of words are called homophones. We will look at the meanings of the words eyelet and islet, where these words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. An eyelet is a hole that is punched in leather, plastic or fabric so that string or rope may be laced through it. The metal ring that reinforces such a hole is also called an eyelet. Eyelet is … [Read more...]

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