Anymore or any more

Anymore is an adverb that means a general amount of time, usually the present or near past. Usually it is used to say if an action or event still happens or exists. This construction is the preferred in the US, while outside the country the standard is to keep the two words separate, any more. It is interesting to note that when we did find instances of the one word form outside the US, it was almost always in the form of a quote, but it was not always an American quoted. One possibility … [Read more...]

Dumpster vs dumpster

Dumpster is the name, for North America (including both United States and Canada), for a large metal container for trash. Outside the United States the receptacle is called either a skip or a front load container. This term was created by a business for their specialized containers that let a truck empty them without any manual labor required. The name was formed from the word dump, the place were all trash is taken. For years the word was so popular that all containers were … [Read more...]

Black out vs blackout

To black out something is to delete or obscure it. The verb can also be used to put something in complete darkness, either by blocking the light or disabling electricity. A person can black out if he or she loses consciousness or vision for a period of time. The verb also means to institute a blackout on something. A blackout can be a precaution against an enemy, where the lights are kept off to keep a people's presence hidden. It can also be the period of time where electricity has failed in … [Read more...]

Pooh-bah or poobah

A pooh-bah is a person who has a lot of power in government, usually by holding several positions or offices at the same time. Sometimes the pooh-bah knows that he or she has this power and is pompous or overemphasizes his or her worth. The plural is pooh-bahs. The term is sometimes capitalized because it started out as a proper noun. Pooh-Bah comes from a fictional work written in 1885, where the Grand Pooh-Bah acts much like the definition listed above. In our research, we found that it … [Read more...]

Access

Access, as a noun, has been established since the fourteenth century. It means the ability or permission to enter or go through an area or communicate with a person. One would gain access or have access to something. As a verb, however, access has only been around since the 1960s. It has almost the same meaning as the noun form, to gain access to something or someone. It does also mean specifically to load or open something digitally. We presume its origin and rise in popularity are tied to … [Read more...]

Never mind vs nevermind

Never mind, as two words, is a conjunction. It is usually used between two options, ideas, or situations, with the latter being the less probable. It is synonymous with much less or let alone. Another definition for never mind is when the words are used almost as an interjection to tell the listener not to worry. Most commonly it is used when the audience is trying to figure out a concept or idea, or even simply what the speaker said. It is almost synonymous with forget about it or it doesn't … [Read more...]

Agreement vs agreeance

  An agreement is an understanding, a compromise to get two sides to find common ground. For things to be in agreement they are harmonious or do not contradict each other. Agreeance is the act of agreement. It is an archaism that is now rarely used correctly. Most often it is incorrectly found in the phrase in agreeance instead of in agreement. So instead of saying that things agree with each other, the user is saying that things are in the act of agreeing with each other, it is … [Read more...]

Christmas Adam

Christmas Adam is a colloquialism for the day before Christmas Eve or December 23rd. It is a rather new term. An online slang dictionary created a listing for it only nine years ago. Christmas Adam is not listed in any formal dictionaries and we had a hard time finding formal writing examples of its use. The general consensus of the origin of the name is that in anticipation for Christmas to come, people were looking for a name for the day before Christmas Eve. Some were calling the 23rd … [Read more...]

Even keel

Even keel is technically an idiom which means everything is stable or under control. A related idiom is smooth sailing. Both idioms have their origin in boating or sailing. For a ship to be on an even keel is for it to be level in the water and sailing smoothly. Even keel may be used on its own or in the phrase on an even keel. The second phrase is found in some dictionaries, while the first is not. It is always spelled as two words with no hyphen. Alternatively, even-keeled is listed in some … [Read more...]

Hijinks or high jinks

  High jinks is a plural noun referring to loud chaotic play, specifically characterized by its high energy and wildness. It can also be spelled hijinks. Some say that high jinks is used within the United States, while hijinks is found outside. However, we found that there is a good mix of either spelled used in all locations. And while the dictionaries list hijinks as the variant spelling, it is growing in popularity as the preferred spelling. The term seems to come from the … [Read more...]

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