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Mickey Finn and mickey

A Mickey Finn is a drug that someone secretly puts into a drink in order to render the drinker unconscious. This is slipping someone a Mickey Finn, related phrases are slip someone a Mickey Finn, slips someone a Mickey Finn and slipped someone a Mickey Finn. Obviously, slipping someone a Mickey Finn is a severe crime. The phrase seems to have originated sometime in the 1890s, taken from the name of a bartender at the Lone Star Saloon and Palm Garden in Chicago at the turn of the last century. … [Read more...]

Minimum vs minimal

Minimum means the least amount possible, the smallest possible amount required, recorded or attainable. Minimum may be used as a noun or an adjective, the word comes from the Latin word minimum which means smallest thing. The plural form of minimum may either be minimums or minima, minimums is the most prevalent. Minimal also means the least amount possible, the smallest possible amount required, recorded or attainable. However, minimal may also mean a small or negligible amount, not … [Read more...]

Milquetoast vs milktoast

A milquetoast is a person who is skittish, unassuming, timid, weak. Milquetoast is mainly an American term, coming from an American cartoon drawn by Harold T Webster in the 1920s through the 1950s called The Timid Soul. The cartoon revolved around a character called Caspar Milquetoast. Milktoast is an eggcorn of milquetoast. An eggcorn is a misheard or misspelled version of a word. Interestingly, the name of the character Caspar Milquetoast is inspired by the American dish milk toast, an … [Read more...]

Make no bones about it

Make no bones about it means 1.) to state something plainly, to speak frankly without holding back and with no equivocation 2.) to accept something without objection. Make no bones about it is an interesting and very old idiom. It goes back to fifteenth century England and finding bones in one's soup. Bones in one's soup makes the soup difficult to eat, and finding bones in it came to mean finding something objectionable in a situation. If one found no bones, then there was nothing objectionable … [Read more...]

Millennia vs millenniums

A millennium is a time period that spans one thousand years or the one-thousand-year anniversary of something. The plural of millennium may be rendered as millennia or as millenniums. Millennium is a Modern Latin word, derived from the Latin word mille which means thousand and the Latin word annus, which means year. As a Latin word, the plural of millennium is rendered as millennia. However, since millennium is now an appropriated English word, it is also correct to render the plural form as … [Read more...]

Malarkey

Malarkey means foolish talk, nonsense. Malarkey, sometimes spelled as malarky, is an American word. The exact etymology of the word malarkey is unknown. Many assume malarkey is an Irish-American word that is somehow related to the Irish surname, Mullarkey, but a direct link is yet to be established. In any case, the word malarkey appears in the United States in the 1920s and is made popular by the cartoonist T A Dorgan, an Irish-American. Interestingly, his original spelling of the word was … [Read more...]

More vs moor

More means to a greater degree, an additional amount, to a larger extent. More is  the comparative of much or many. More may be used as a determiner, which is a word placed in front of a noun to clarify what the noun refers to. More is also used as a pronoun and as an adverb. More is one of the top one thousand frequently used words in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. More is derived from the Old English word mara, which means greater, more, stronger, … [Read more...]

Mint condition

Mint condition means in pristine shape, in an unmarred condition. Mint condition is used to describe used or pre-owned goods that have an excellent, like-new appearance and are in good working order. The word mint in mint condition refers to a coin that is newly stuck or newly minted and uncirculated, and therefore in pristine condition. Mint condition is first used in the 1880s to describe coins fresh from the mint and uncirculated, in the 1890s mint condition is used to describe rare postage … [Read more...]

Might as well

Might as well is a phrase used when one makes a suggestion that one is not entirely enthusiastic about. Might as well is also used to compare the equality of a given situation to a hypothetical situation. The origin of the phrase might as well is murky. It may stem from idioms such as you might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb and you might as well be hung for a goat as a lamb, eventually dropping the last half of the idiom. Examples The cellphone lot for O'Hare International Airport … [Read more...]

Makeup, make-up or make up

Makeup is 1.) cosmetics 2.) the composition of something 3.) in American English, a special test or assignment given to a student who has missed a test or assignment. Make up is used as a noun or an adjective. Makeup may also be rendered as the hyphenated make-up, though since the 1980s the hyphen has been dropped for the most part. The word makeup was coined in 1821 to mean manner in which something is put together, it was first used to mean cosmetics in 1886. Make up is a verb phrase which … [Read more...]

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