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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...]

Meat, meet or mete

Meat, meet and mete are three words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different definitions of meat, meet and mete, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Meat is the flesh of an animal, usually referring to the flesh of an animal that is eaten by human beings. Meat is sometimes used to mean the edible part of a nut. Meat is also used figuratively to … [Read more...]

More than one way to skin a cat

There's more than one way to skin a cat is a proverb, which is a short, common saying or phrase that particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth. We will examine the meaning of the peculiar phrase there's more than one way to skin a cat, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. There's more than one way to skin a cat means there are many ways to do something, there are many ways to achieve a goal. The oldest known use of the phrase dates back to 1854, in the … [Read more...]

Boggle the mind and mind-boggling

Boggle the mind and mind-boggling are terms that have their roots in the sixteenth century, though their current use only became popular in the 1950s. We will examine the meanings of the terms boggle the mind and mind-boggling, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. To boggle the mind means to baffle someone, to astonish or overwhelm someone. The term begins with the word boggle, which dates back to the sixteenth century. At that time, boggle was mostly used to … [Read more...]

Mortar board

The term mortar board is not as old as the use of the mortar board itself. We will examine the definition of the term mortar board, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Most often, the term mortar board describes a certain type of academic cap worn by graduating high schoolers and bachelor and master degree candidates. The term is taken from the original mortar board, a type of board used by bricklayers to hold mortar. The comparison of the shape of the academic cap … [Read more...]

Mexican standoff

The term Mexican standoff is most probably a term coined in the United States and is considered a pejorative by many, but not all people. We will examine the meaning of the term Mexican standoff, where it probably came from and its evolution, as well as some examples of its use in sentences. A Mexican standoff is a confrontation in which the opponents are equally matched and neither one may win, in a Mexican standoff neither participant has an advantage. In its first iteration in the 1840s, … [Read more...]

Make a clean breast of it and come clean

Make a clean breast of it and come clean are two idioms that mean the same thing but originated at two different times. 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 phrases make a clean breast of it and come clean, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. To make a clean breast of it means to confess to one's mistakes or transgressions, to tell … [Read more...]

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