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Slipshod

Slipshod is a term that has its origins in the 1500s, from a very literal source. We will examine the definition of the term slipshod, its origins and some examples of its use in sentences. Slipshod describes something that is done carelessly, something that is done with a lack of concern, something slovenly. The original phrase from which the term is derived is slip-shoe, denoting a type of slipper worn in the 1500s. A slip-shoe did not fit well and was not considered proper foot attire in … [Read more...]

Johnny-on-the-spot

Johnny-on-the-spot is an American term that first appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. It is an idiom, which 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 definition of the term Johnny-on-the-spot, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Johnny-on-the-spot describes a person who is close at hand and readily available at all times. Interestingly, the term … [Read more...]

Expedite vs expedient

Expedite and expedient are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the differing definitions of expedite and expedient, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Expedite means to make something happen faster, to speed up a process or project. Expedite is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are expedites, expedited, expediting, expediter. The word expedite is derived from the Latin word expedire, which means to … [Read more...]

Gregarious vs garrulous

Gregarious and garrulous are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the differing definitions of the word gregarious and garrulous, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Gregarious describes a person who is outgoing, who enjoys the company of others, who is sociable. A gregarious person is friendly. The word gregarious is also used scientifically to describe animals that live in herds or plants that grow close together. The word gregarious is … [Read more...]

A piece of work

A piece of work is a phrase that dates back to Shakespeare's time, however, it has taken on an idiomatic meaning in addition to its literal meaning. We will examine the definitions of a piece of work, where this term came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The literal meaning of the term a piece of work is a work is the product produced through someone's efforts. However, a piece of work is also used as an idiom to describe someone who is unpleasant, dishonest, hard to deal with, … [Read more...]

Shotgun wedding

Shotgun wedding is an American idiom that first appeared sometime around the turn of the twentieth century. 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 term shotgun wedding, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A shotgun wedding is a marriage ceremony in which the participants are forced to marry, presumably under the threat of being shot with a … [Read more...]

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

If it ain't broke don't fix it is an idiom that has only been documented since 1977, though many believe that it is a bit older than that. 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 term if it ain't broke don't fix it, where the idiom came from and some examples of its use in sentences. If it ain't broke don't fix it means don't attempt to alter or improve something that is … [Read more...]

Meat, meet or mete

Meat, meet and mete are three words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different definitions of meat, meet and mete, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Meat is the flesh of an animal, usually referring to the flesh of an animal that is eaten by human beings. Meat is sometimes used to mean the edible part of a nut. Meat is also used figuratively to … [Read more...]

Jingoism

Jingoism is a word that may be traced to a song that was popular during the 1800s. We will examine the meaning of the term jingoism, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Jingoism refers to a type of extreme nationalism, to the point of aggression against others and other nations. Jingoism is a type of nationalism that has gone beyond patriotism and is considered toxic and perhaps even dangerous. The term jingoism comes from a pub song that was popular in Britain in … [Read more...]

Vegetarian vs vegan

Vegetarian and vegan have similar meanings, but with some important differences. We will examine the difference between the definitions of vegetarian and vegan, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A vegetarian is a person who eats vegetables to the exclusion of the flesh of animals, poultry and fish. People become vegetarians for a variety of reasons, including health, availability of resources or objection to the treatment of farm animals. The term … [Read more...]

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