Dudgeon vs dungeon

Dudgeon and dungeon are pronounced and spelled in a similar fashion, but mean two very different things. We'll discuss the difference between the words dudgeon and dungeon, their origins, and examine a few sentences using these words. Dudgeon means a state of extreme indignation, the feeling of being deeply offended. An archaic meaning of the word dudgeon is the wood used in the hilt of a dagger, though this definition does not seem to have any relation to the current meaning of the word … [Read more...]

Do the math

Do the math is a fairly recently coined slang phrase that has entered the mainstream rather rapidly. Though it is unknown who first used the term do the math, we'll look at the meaning of the idiom, when it was coined, and a few examples of its use in sentences. Do the math means to add up facts and figures in order to come to a conclusion. Do the math might quite literally be a demand to analyze numbers in order to make a decision on whether to proceed on a project. It may also be used to … [Read more...]

Deus ex machina

- Deus ex machina is a Latin phrase that is most often used to discuss literature. While the term dates from around 1690, the idea is much older. We'll discuss the meaning of the phrase deus ex machina, its origins, and look at some examples of the term's use.. Deus ex machina describes an event that occurs unexpectedly in order to intervene in a seemingly hopeless situation. Most often, deus ex machina is used to describe a plot device that comes out of nowhere in order to move the story … [Read more...]

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...]

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