Fair dinkum

Fair dinkum means fair play, genuine, fair dinkum is sometimes used as a question to confirm the truth or genuineness of something. A fair-dinkum Aussie is an Australian who demonstrates the nation's values. Dinkum first appears in England in the nineteenth century, meaning honest toil. When miners brought the word to Australia in the late 1800s, fair was added to create the term fair dinkum, extending the meaning to honesty or fair play. Fair dinkum is now primarily used in Australia and New … [Read more...]

Draughts and checkers

Draughts is a British game played by two people on a square board, the draughts are red and black. English Draughts is played on an 8x8 board with twelve pieces for each player, black moves first. Each side attempts to capture the men of the other side by jumping, the first to capture all the men from his opponent wins. International or Polish Draughts are played on a 10x10 board with twenty pieces per player, the red or lighter-colored men move first. Checkers is the American name for the … [Read more...]

Ditto and ditto mark

Ditto means the same as what has already been said, the same as what has been written above, the same as what has been written before. Ditto may be a noun, the plural is dittos. Ditto may also be an adverb. As a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object, ditto means to make duplicates or to do again. Related words are dittos, dittoed, dittoing. Ditto comes from the Italian detto in the early 1600s, and was originally used to avoid repeating the month and year in writing a series of … [Read more...]

Desert vs dessert

Desert may be pronounced two ways, when the first syllable is stressed, as in DEsert, it is a noun or adjective meaning a dry, desolate area, especially one covered in sand, waterless and usually hot during the day and chilly at night. Related words are desertic and desertification. Desert comes from the Late Latin desertum meaning thing abandoned. When pronounced as deSERT, the word means 1.) to abandon, to leave someone, to abandon a military post without permission, to leave a place so as it … [Read more...]

Devil’s food cake

Devil's food cake is a chocolate cake that is baked mainly in the United States and Canada. A devil's food cake differs from a chocolate cake in its ingredients. A chocolate cake normally calls for melted chocolate, a devil's food cake calls for cocoa with the main liquid ingredient being boiling water with baking soda. These ingredients create a richer, more moist devil's food cake. Presumably, devil's food cake was created to be the antithesis of the angel food cake, which is extremely light … [Read more...]

Dingo’s breakfast

Dingo's breakfast has recently been added to the Oxford English dictionary. Dingo's breakfast is an Australian phrase that actually means no breakfast at all. A dingo's breakfast originated with stories of the Australian swaggy, or transient worker, who crossed the land looking for work to pay for his next meal, often he was without provisions in the morning. Just like the dingo who lived on a subsistence diet, the swaggy would rise and find nothing to eat, so his "breakfast" consisted of "a … [Read more...]

Duck tape or duct tape

Duct tape is a silver-colored strong adhesive tape, usually a few inches wide, that is used to repair a multitude of things. It is specifically manufactured to join heating and air conditioning duct work, though the uses for duct tape are uncountable. Duct tape is a noun that has also come into use as a verb, related words are duct tapes, duct taped and duct taping. Duck tape is a name brand of duct tape. The company history states that this tape was originally manufactured as a waterproof … [Read more...]

Daylight Saving Time or British Summer Time

Daylight Saving Time is the practice of adjusting clock time to achieve longer evening daylight, usually in summer. Clocks are set an hour ahead in the spring, then set back an hour in the autumn. The mnemonic "Spring forward, fall back" helps those who live in Daylight Saving Time areas to remember which way to set their clocks. The term Daylight Savings Time, with an "s" added to the end of Saving, is technically incorrect, though it is in usage. Daylight Saving Time was first proposed by … [Read more...]

Dire straits

To be in dire straits means to be in desperate trouble or impending danger. Dire means extremely serious. Straits are narrow passages of water which connect two larger bodies of water, navigating them may often become perilous. In the mid-sixteenth century, straits came to mean any difficult situation, one that carries a high degree of trouble. A newspaper column in the Rome News-Tribune in September of 2000 cites United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the first known user of the … [Read more...]

Deer vs deers

Deer is the preferred plural form of deer, a hoofed mammal. Deer are ruminants. In most types of deer, only the males produce antlers. Deer antlers are shed annually. Some species of deer are white-tailed deer, red deer, caribou, moose, fallow deer, mule deer, roe deer and elk. Deers is an accepted plural, but it is rarely used. The word deer comes from the Old English word, deor, which means four-legged animal, beast. Also the Dutch word, dier and the German word, tier. Deer is one of … [Read more...]

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