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Man’s best friend

Man's best friend is a phrase from a proverb that is attributed to King Frederick of Prussia. We will examine exactly who is considered man's best friend, where the expression came from and some examples of its use in sentences.The phrase man's best friend is part of the proverb "A dog is man's best friend." The dog has undergone an interesting evolution in the minds and hearts of human beings. For a long time the dog was considered little more than a tool to be used for hunting and guarding … [Read more...]

Mutually exclusive

Mutually exclusive is a phrase that may be confusing. We will examine the meaning of the term mutually exclusive, when it first appeared and some examples of its use in sentences.Mutually exclusive describes two events, ideas, goals, etc., that may not both be true or both exist. In a situation in which two things are mutually exclusive, one thing precludes the other from occurring or from being true. The phenomenon of mutual exclusivity is prominent in logic and probability theory, which … [Read more...]

Mogul

The word mogul has two very different meanings, which can be attributed to two different origins of the term. We will examine the definitions of the word mogul, where the word came from and some examples of its use in sentences.Most often, the word mogul is used to mean a powerful and important businessman, usually within the film, television or news industries. This meaning of mogul is derived from the Indian emporers who ruled during the sixteenth through nineteenth century. The Mogols … [Read more...]

Straw man and man of straw

The terms straw man and man of straw are two idioms that mean the same thing, but one is primarily a British term and one is primarily an American term. 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 meanings of the terms straw man and man of straw, where these idioms came from and where they are primarily used, as well as some examples of their use in sentences.A straw man or a man of … [Read more...]

Out of whole cloth

Out of whole cloth is an American idiom that entered the English language in the early 1800s. 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 phrase out of whole cloth, the correct grammatical use of the term and some examples of its use in sentences.Out of whole cloth describes something that is untrue and has no grounding in the facts. The expression is generally used in the phrases made out … [Read more...]

Metaphor

A metaphor is a figure of speech that is not meant to be understood by its literal meaning, and is a favorite device of poets. We will examine the definition of the word metaphor, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.A metaphor is a word or phrase in which one thing is referred to as another, different thing. A metaphor is a comparison or a symbol that is used to describe imagery.  Using a metaphor allows the writer to convey a vivid comparison in a small number of … [Read more...]

Mutually assured destruction or mutual assured destruction

Mutually assured destruction and mutual assured destruction are phrases that were first used in the 1960s. We will examine the definitions of the phrases mutually assured destruction and mutual assured destruction, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Mutually assured destruction and mutual assured destruction are terms for a doctrine of national security. Mutually assured destruction is a doctrine that depends on two or more countries possessing the means … [Read more...]

Massage vs message

Massage and message are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of the words massage and message, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Massage is the act of kneading muscles or manipulating muscles in order to relieve pain or tension. Massage is also used figuratively to mean to manipulate facts and figure in order to come up with the conclusion one is looking for. Massage may … [Read more...]

Make ends meet and make both ends meet

Make ends meet and make both ends meet are idioms that date back to the mid-1600s. 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 definition of make ends meet and make both ends meet, where these terms may have come from and some examples of their use in sentences.Make ends meet and make both ends meet are phrases that mean to acquire the minimum amount of money necessary to live on. The … [Read more...]

Manic vs maniac

Manic and maniac are two words that are very close in spelling and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of manic and maniac, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Manic is an adjective which is a description of wild, excited and perhaps deranged behavior. Manic may be used as a psychological term or simply to mean something or someone behaving at a frantic pace. The word manic is derived from the Greek word mania which means insanity … [Read more...]

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