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Salvage vs selvage or selvedge

Salvage and selvage or selvedge are words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of salvage and selvage or selvedge, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Salvage means to save something that is damaged. The damage may come from fire, flood, hail damage, theft or collision. When damages are sustained that make restoration of the property impossible, owners salvage pieces that have not been … [Read more...]

Spartan

The word spartan as it is used today first appeared in the 1600s, though the term reaches back to the time of ancient Greece. We will examine the meaning of the word spartan, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The word spartan describes something that lacks creature comforts, something that is austere and without ornament or luxury. Something that is spartan is very basic, without frills, simple. Spartan is an adjective. The word Spartan may also be used to signify … [Read more...]

Yiddish

Yiddish is a word that has been in use since the latter nineteenth century. We will examine the definition of the word Yiddish, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Yiddish is a language developed and used by Jews. Yiddish is a combination of Hebrew, Aramaic, High German and Middle German as well as other modern Romance languages. The Yiddish language began in the ninth century, primarily in eastern Europe and central Europe as a language used for commerce and … [Read more...]

Burn one’s bridges and burn one’s boats

The idioms burn one's bridges andburn one's boats are reputed to have their origins in ancient Rome, though these phrases did not come into common use until the 1800s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the meaning of the expressions burn … [Read more...]

Repatriation vs reputation

Repatriation and reputation are two words that somewhat close in spelling and pronunciation, and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of repatriation and reputation, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Repatriation means to return someone or something to its home country. This is a controversial subject in many countries, as refugees challenge the ability of authorities to cope with their situations. Immigration occurs for many reasons, … [Read more...]

A cog in the wheel and a cog in the machine

The idioms a cog in the wheel and a cog in the machine are two phrases that mean the same thing. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the definition of a cog in the wheel and a cog in the machine, where these terms came from and some … [Read more...]

Turn over a new leaf

The idiom turn over a new leaf dates to the 1500s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the meaning of the expression turn over a new leaf, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To turn over a new leaf means to … [Read more...]

Green thumb and green fingers

Green thumb and green fingers have been in use for an indeterminate amount of time, though the popularity of these two idioms peaked in the mid-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. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the meaning of the expressions green thumb and green … [Read more...]

Save something for a rainy day

To save something for a rainy day is an idiom that may be traced back to the 1500s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the meaning of the phrase to save something for a rainy day, where it came from and some examples of its use in … [Read more...]

Navel-gazing

The term navel-gazing came into use in the mid-twentieth century, though the practice that this idiom is based on stretches much farther back in time. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. We will examine the definition of the term navel-gazing, where it … [Read more...]

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