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Drop like flies

Drop like flies is an idiom that first appeared 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 definition. We will examine the meaning of the expression to drop like flies, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.To drop like flies means that a number of people are animals are dying, becoming ill or succombing to a situation in some fashion. Related phrases … [Read more...]

Stuffing vs dressing

Stuffing and dressing are two Thanksgiving culinary terms that are often used interchangeably, though technically there is a difference between the two. We will examine the meanings of stuffing and dressing in a culinary sense, where these two terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Stuffing is any mixture that is cooked inside poultry or meat. Usually, stuffing consists of bread or cornbread and vegetables such as celery, onion and fresh parsley, as well as seasonings … [Read more...]

Semi-, hemi-, and demi-

Semi-, hemi- and demi- are all prefixes that mean the same thing for the most part, but are used in different circumstances. A prefix is a set of letters that is affixed to the beginning of a word in order to give it a new meaning. Prefixes are not words that may stand alone.Semi- is a prefix that means half, partially or almost. Semi- may also mean something that occurs twice within a specific amount of time. The prefix semi- is derived from the Latin semi- which means half. Most often, … [Read more...]

Dock vs doc

Dock and doc are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions fo the words dock and doc, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.A dock is an area in a port that is used for loading or unloading ships, or where ships are moored for repair, or it is a platform where a small boat may be tied up, such as a sailboat on a lake. The term dock is … [Read more...]

Dumb down

The term to dumb down was first used in the 1930s. We will examine the definition of the term dumb down, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.The term dumb down means to make something simpler, to put something in simpler words or to advance an idea in intellectually simple terms so that the widest audience will understand it. To dumb down is a phrasal verb, related words are dumbs down, dumbed down, dumbing down. The adjective form, used before a noun, is the … [Read more...]

Dotard

Dotard is a word that is rarely used in the English language, though there is a related word that is well known to most English speakers. We will examine the definition of the word dotard and where it came from, as well as a more common, related word that is often used and some examples of that use in sentences.The word dotard means someone who is old, weak and senile. The word dates back to the 1300s, derived from the verb dote, an even older word meaning suffering from senility, and the … [Read more...]

Devil take the hindmost

Devil take the hindmost is an idiom that first appeared sometime in the sixteenth century. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic expression devil take the hindmost, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.Devil take the hindmost is a phrase that describes a situation in which someone thinks only of himself … [Read more...]

Dregs vs dredge

Dregs and dredge are two words that are close in pronunciation and spelling, but have very different definitions. We will examine the meanings of the words dregs and dredge, where these two terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Dregs are the liquid and sediment left in a receptacle after it has been consumed. Dregs is also used figuratively to mean the lowest, least esteemed part of something, or the leftovers. The singular form, dreg, is listed as acceptable by many … [Read more...]

Down the rabbit hole

Down the rabbit hole is an idiom with its roots in a children's book. An idiom is made up of 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 down the rabbit hole, where it came from, how it is being used today and some examples of that use in sentences. Down the rabbit hole describes the act of journeying into a bizarre or disorienting environment that is difficult to remove oneself from. A … [Read more...]

Diametrically opposed

Diametrically opposed is a phrase that has been in use since at least the mid-1600s, and is still is common use today. We will examine the meaning of the term diametrically opposed, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.The phrase diametrically opposed means to be completely and directly in opposition to something. The reference is to the two opposing points on either end of a diameter line drawn across a circle. The word diametrically is derived from the word … [Read more...]

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