Doomsday vs Domesday

Doomsday is the last day of existence for the world. In Christianity, doomsday is the day of the Last Judgement. Doomsday is also used as a modifier to indicate a dangerous or disastrous time. The word doomsday is derived from the Old English words dōmes meaning doom and dæg which means day. Domesday is a proper noun that is used to describe a certain document known as the Domesday Book. The Domesday Book is an enormous survey that was ordered by William I in 1085. This survey enumerated all … [Read more...]

Dire vs dyer

Dire means extremely urgent, severe or serious. Dire also means something ominous or foreboding, predicting disaster. Dire is an adjective, related words are direly and direness. The word dire is derived from the Latin word dirus  which means, awful, fearful, threatening. A dyer is someone who makes his living staining clothing or other fabrics with color. Related words are dye, dyes, dyed, dyeing, dyable. The word dyer is derived from the Old English words deah and deag, which mean tinge, … [Read more...]

Decathlon, heptathlon, pentathlon, triathlon and biathlon

The decathlon is a summer sporting event that consists of ten track and field events over two days. The events in the decathlon are held in this order: 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, 110 meters hurdle, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, 1500 meters. The Olympic decathlon is a male event, the winner is often considered the unofficial greatest all-around athlete in the world. The modern Olympic decathlon was first run at the 1912 games. The heptathlon is a summer … [Read more...]

Dog and pony show

A dog and pony show is a presentation that is overly elaborate, consisting of many attention-getting elements. The phrase dog and pony show is usually a pejorative, it is a reference to a presentation that employs distracting techniques to make the performance appear grander than it truly is. The term dog and pony show first appeared in the United States in the 1880s, referring to small, traveling circuses that largely consisted of acts involving trained dogs and ponies. In the 1960s the idiom … [Read more...]

Diamond in the rough

A diamond in the rough is someone who has potential, a person who will achieve success with the right care and polish. When a diamond is found in nature or in the rough, it needs the right care, cut and polish in order to achieve its potential. A diamond in the rough is a metaphor, or a figure of speech that is symbolic of an abstract idea. There is a similar saying in Japanese, tama migakasareba hikari nashi, which translates as a jewel, unless polished, will not sparkle. The term diamond in … [Read more...]

Delusions of grandeur

Delusions of grandeur is a phrase that describes someone who has an inflated view of his importance, someone who believes that he is more powerful than he really is. The term delusions of grandeur originated some time in the mid-1800s to describe someone who is mentally imbalanced, someone who believes that he is more important, powerful or successful than he really is. Today we know that such grandiose delusions are often a symptom of schizophrenia, narcissism, bipolar disorder and other … [Read more...]

Dumpster fire

Dumpster fire describes a situation which has been terribly mishandled, resulting in a disastrously chaotic outcome. Dumpster fire describes a situation that is already a mess, then is made worse by being set afire, figuratively. The origin of the term dumpster fire is uncertain. Many believe that it was first used on American sports talk radio around 2009, though a 2003 movie review in The Arizona Republic uses the term to mean something "stinky but insignificant". The term dumpster fire has … [Read more...]

Dialogue vs dialog

A dialogue is a conversation between two or more characters in a book, play or movie or a conversation between two or more people in real life, especially when they are working together on a particular project or problem. In North America, dialogue is also used as a verb to mean to take part in a conversation in order to work toward a resolution of a particular problem or particular project. Related words are dialogues, dialogued, dialoguing. Dialog is an alternative spelling of the word … [Read more...]

Dollars to doughnuts

Dollars to doughnuts means something that is certain. The phrase dollars to doughnuts is an American idiom that originated in the middle 1800s and is still mostly seen in American English. The idea behind the shorthand phrase dollars to doughnuts is the sentiment that the speaker is so confident that he is right about something, he will put forth his dollars against the listener's doughnuts in a wager, the dollars having much higher value than the doughnuts. The idiom dollars to doughnuts … [Read more...]

Democracy vs republic

A democracy is a type of government that enacts the will of the majority. In a democracy, all the citizens have a vote. The will of the majority rules the country, there is no limit to what that will may be. Even laws that deny certain basic human rights may be enacted as long as it is the will of the majority. The minority must acquiesce to the rule of the majority, there is no protection for the minority in a strict democracy. Related words are democrat, democratic, democratization. The word … [Read more...]

About Grammarist
Contact | Privacy policy | Home
© Copyright 2009-2014 Grammarist

Sign up for our mailing list