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Doggerel

Doggerel is a term that has been in use since the fourteenth century, with virtually the same definition that it carries today. We will examine the meaning of the literary term doggerel, where it most probably came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Doggerel is irregular poetry, poorly written with irregular meter and rhyme, concerning trivial matters. Doggerel is sometimes written as a parody of more serious poetry. Many poems, rhymes and songs written for children are referred … [Read more...]

Difference vs deference

Difference and deference are two words that are pronounced and spelled similarly, but have different meanings. They are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of difference and deference, where these words came from and some exmples of their use in sentences. Difference describes the way in which two or more people or things are unalike, the condition of being dissimilar. Difference might also mean a disagreement. Difference is a noun, the verb form is differ, related words are … [Read more...]

Derision vs decision

Derision and decision are two words that are sometimes confused. They are very close in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of derision and decision, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Derision means mockery, scorn or ridicule delivered contemptuously. Derision is a noun, the verb forms are deride, derides, derided, deriding. Deride is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. The … [Read more...]

Diffidence vs difference

Diffidence and difference are two words that are sometimes confused. We sill examine the definitions of diffidence and difference, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Diffidence is shyness or excessive modesty stemming from a lack of self-confidence. Diffidence is a noun, the adjective form is diffident. The word diffidence is derived from the Latin word diffidentia, which means a lack of confidence, mistrust, failure to trust. Difference describes the … [Read more...]

Drum someone out

Drum someon out is a term with its roots in military vocabulary. We will examine the meaning of the phrase to drum someone out, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To drum someone out means to dismiss them from an organization, to force them out, to expel them. When someone is drummed out of an organization, it is unwillingly and with shame. Related terms are drums someone out, drummed someone out, drumming someone out. The phrase to drum someone out is derived from … [Read more...]

Dumb waiter and dumbwaiter

Dumb waiter and dumbwaiter are two words that are used interchangeably for an invention that has been around since Roman times, though the terms dumb waiter and dumbwaiter date back to the 1700s. We will examine the definition for dumb waiter and dumbwaiter, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A dumb waiter or dumbwaiter is a small freight elevator used to transport food or dirty dishes from meals between floors in a house or other building. Today, dumb … [Read more...]

Depravation vs deprivation

Depravation and deprivation are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation which are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of depravation and deprivation, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Depravation means the act of corrupting someone, of causing them to become bad or depraved, the act of making someone wicked or perverted. The word depravation is related to the word deprave, a fact which makes remembering the correct … [Read more...]

Dystopia or utopia

Dystopia and utopia are two words that mean the opposite of each other, which makes them antonyms. We will examine the definitions of dystopia and utopia, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A dystopia is an imagined or fictional place in which things have gone wrong. Dystopias are frequently written about in literary works to illustrate current issues in a more extreme context. Some examples of dystopian tales are Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and … [Read more...]

Doodle

Though the word doodle dates back to the 1600s, its meaning has changed over the years. We will examine the current definition of the word doodle, its evolution in meaning and origin and some examples of its use in sentences. A doodle is a rough drawing usually made absent-mindedly. Doodles may be small pictures or abstract patterns. A secondary meaning of doodle is to play music in a free form manner. The original meaning of the word doodle, when coined in the 1600s, was a person who is … [Read more...]

The dogs of war

The dogs of war is a phrase from a play first performed in 1599. We will examine the meaning of the phrase the dogs of war, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The dogs of war is a way to describe the destruction and chaos caused by war. The term comes from the play Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare. The entire line, uttered by Mark Antony, is: "Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war..." At this time, Havoc was in fact a military command that told the … [Read more...]

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