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Tmesis

Tmesis is an interesting word that is seldom used, though most of us have used a tmesis, or at least heard someone else use a tmesis. It is considered a literary device, which is a tool used by speakers and writers in order to produce a certain effect. We will examine the definition of tmesis, where the word came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A tmesis is a word that includes another word inside it. When constructing a tmesis, the speaker splits a word in order to insert … [Read more...]

Pentagon

The word pentagon may be rendered with a lowercase p or an uppercase P. Capitalizing or not capitalizing the word pentagon changes its meaning. We will examine the difference between the words pentagon and Pentagon, where the terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A pentagon is a figure in plane geometry consisting of five straight sides and five angles. The sum of the angles of a simple pentagon is 540 degrees. The word pentagon is derived from the Greek word pentagonon … [Read more...]

Idiot savant or savant syndrome

The terms idiot savant and savant syndrome are psychological terms that refer to the same diagnosis, but one is preferred over the other. We will look at the definitions of the expressions idiot savant and savant syndrome, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. An idiot savant is a person with an intellectual deficit, but who is incredibly gifted in one area. This gift may be of a mathematical, spacial, musical, artistic or other type of talent, or may … [Read more...]

Loophole

The word loophole is commonly used, especially in regards to tax law. Few people know the origin of this term. We will examine the meaning of the word loophole, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A loophole is a miswritten law or ambiguity in the law or a set of rules that allows someone to circumvent the law or a set of rules. The plural form of loophole is loopholes. Interestingly, the word loophole goes back to the sixteenth century and refers to an architectural … [Read more...]

Quicksilver

Quicksilver is a word with a literal meaning which has mostly fallen out of favor, as well as a figurative meaning. We will examine the definition of the word quicksilver, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Quicksilver is another word for mercury, a metallic chemical element that is liquid under standard conditions. The chemical symbol is Hg. The word quicksilver is also used figuratively to mean something that changes quickly and in an unpredictable manner. The … [Read more...]

Au courant

Au courant is a borrowed or loan word from the French. Borrowed words or loan words are terms that have been taken from other languages and used as English words. We will examine the meaning of the term au courant, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Au courant means to be up-to-date, to be abreast of current trends, fashion or ideas. Au courant may also mean stylish. The term au courant may be applied to situations as diverse as philosophy, politics, or art. It was … [Read more...]

Factotum

The word factotum may be confusing, as it has nothing to do with facts or veracity. We will examine the meaning of the word factotum, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A factotum is an employee who has many responsibilities and does all types of work. The original phrase, coined in the mid-1500s, was magister factotum, which means master of everything. In fact, the meaning of the word factotum is better understood as a Jack of all trades, or a handyman. Such a … [Read more...]

Jitney

Jitney is an American word that first appeared in the early twentieth century. We will examine the definition of the word jitney, where it may have come from and some examples of its use in sentences. A jitney is a vehicle, usually a bus, that carries passengers for a very low fare. The term originated in the early 1900s to describe a private bus or car that ferried people between a city bus and a taxi. The name came from the slang term, jitney, meaning a nickel. Any length of ride on a … [Read more...]

Pin money

Pin money is a term that has had an interesting evolution in meaning. We will examine the definition of the term pin money, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Pin money is a small amount of money that is spent on extras or fun things that are not considered necessary. Pin money is often used to describe wages that someone earns on the side to supplement his income, in order to afford small splurges. Interestingly, pin money is a term that dates from the 1500s and … [Read more...]

Antifa

Antifa is a word that originated in the time before World War II, but has enjoyed a surge in usage today. We will examine the definition of Antifa, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Antifa describes a movement or group that is opposed to fascism. Generally, it is a political movement that fights fascism through protest, sometimes resorting to violent methods. Someone belonging to an Antifa movement is usually considered militant or extreme, as he often also opposes … [Read more...]

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