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Dichotomy vs discrepancy

Dichotomy and discrepancy are two words that are often confused. We will examine the difference between the definitions of dichotomy and discrepancy, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A dichotomy is a contrast or division between two things that are opposed to each other or are sharply different, a division of a class of something into subclasses that are mutually exclusive. Related words are dichotomous, dichotomic, dichotomously. The plural form is … [Read more...]

A day late and a dollar short

A day late and a dollar short is an American idiom that has been in use for many decades. An idiom is a word, group of words or a phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the meaning of the term a day late and a dollar short, where it most probably came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A day late and a dollar short is another way to say too little too late. When a person is a day late and a dollar short, he has … [Read more...]

Déjà vu

Déjà vu is an interesting term that has been used in the English language since the turn of the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the phrase déjà vu, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Déjà vu is a phrase that means the feeling of having experienced a situation before, the feeling of having already experienced something that is currently happening, the feeling of already having lived through what one is currently living through. The phrase déjà vu is … [Read more...]

Double dog dare

Double dog dare is a term that has been in use since the mid- to late 1800s, though it experienced a renaissance in the 1980s. We will examine the meaning of the term double dog dare, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A double dog dare is a challenge of epic proportions. The term double dog dare is listed in the book The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought by Alexander F Chamberlain, written in 1896. Words and phrases that are found in schoolyards are often in use … [Read more...]

Delegate vs relegate

Delegate and relegate are two words that are similar in spelling and pronunciation but have very different meanings. We will look at the difference between the definitions of delegate and relegate, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Delegate means to authorize a representative to act on your behalf, to entrust a job or responsibility to someone else. A delegate may mean someone who has been authorized as a representative to act on your behalf, often a … [Read more...]

Dredge vs drudge

Dredge and drudge are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation and are often confused. We will look at the difference between the definitions of dredge and drudge, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Drudge means to do menial, hard work or a person who does menial, hard work. Drudge may be used as a noun or an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are drudges, drudged, drudging, drudgery. The word … [Read more...]

Down to the wire

Down to the wire is an idiom that was first seen in print in the 1880s. An idiom is 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 meaning of the term down to the wire, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Down to the wire describes a situation in which the outcome is not known or decided until the very last moment. The term down to the wire once had a fairly literal meaning. In … [Read more...]

Drop-dead vs drop dead!

Drop-dead and drop dead! are two similar terms that have a related meaning but are used in very different circumstances. We will look at the meanings of the terms drop-dead and drop dead!, where these two phrases came from and how they are used, as well as some examples of their use in sentences. Drop-dead means strikingly attractive, spectacular, extremely impressive. Drop-dead is an adjective that is usually used before a noun, though it may occasionally be seen standing on its own. The idea … [Read more...]

Dichotomy vs paradox

Dichotomy and paradox are two terms that are often confused but have different meanings. We will look at the meanings of dichotomy and paradox, where the terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A dichotomy is a contrast or division between two things that are opposed to each other or are sharply different, a division of a class of something into subclasses that are mutually exclusive. Related words are dichotomous, dichotomic, dichotomously. The plural form is … [Read more...]

Donnybrook

The word donnybrook is a bit of an old-fashioned word, but is still occasionally used, especially in North America, New Zealand and Australia. We will look at the definition of the term donnybrook, its interesting origin and finally, some examples of its use in sentences. A donnybrook is an occasion that is a bit of an uproar, a chaotic brawl or a heated disagreement. The word donnybrook is derived from a public fair that was held in Donnybrook, Ireland beginning in the 1200s. By the 1800s, … [Read more...]

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