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Muggle

Muggle is a relatively new word with some interesting history. English is a living language, which means it changes over time. New words are constantly entering the language, evidenced by the Oxford English Dictionary’s policy of adding English words to their lexicon quarterly. There are many avenues for a word to enter into use. New words may be coined from existing words. Compound words are words constructed from two existing words that when put together, form a new meaning. Portmanteaus are … [Read more...]

Deviser vs divisor

Deviser and divisor are are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and mean different things, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language, and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener … [Read more...]

Flesh and blood

Flesh and blood is an idiom that is hundreds of years old. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the … [Read more...]

Helicopter parent and lawnmower parent

The terms helicopter parent and lawnmower parent are recent editions to the lexicon that are used to describe a change in social mores. We will examine the definitions of helicopter parent and lawnmower parent, where these expressions came from, and some examples of their use in sentences. A helicopter parent is a mother or father who is prone to hover over his or her child, to be overprotective or to be overly invested in his or her child's life and feelings. Helicopter parents are an … [Read more...]

Neck of the woods

Neck of the woods is an idiom that is primarily used in the United States. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, … [Read more...]

The worm has turned

The idiom the worm has turned dates back at least to the 1500s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when … [Read more...]

Newbie vs noob or n00b

Newbie and noob or n00b are words that may be found in the dictionary with similar meanings, but very different connotations. We will examine the difference between the definitions for newbie, noob and n00b, their etymology, and some examples of their use in sentences. A newbie is a person who is inexperienced in a particular realm, someone who is new to a situation or organization. The term newbie is believed to have been derived from the word newie that was popular in the 1850s in the … [Read more...]

Sweep something under the rug and sweep something under the carpet

Sweep something under the rug and sweep something under the carpet are idioms. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal … [Read more...]

Rancor vs ranker

Rancor and ranker are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and mean different things, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language, and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish … [Read more...]

Wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve

Wear one's heart on one's sleeve is an idiom with an uncertain origin. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even … [Read more...]

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