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Dance on someone’s grave

Dance on someone's grave is an idiom of 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 or metaphors, 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...]

Self-quarantine vs self-isolation

Self-quarantine and self-isolation are two terms that have come into much more frequent use recently and mean two different things. Self-quarantine and self-isolation are compound words, which are words that are derived from two separate words joined together. A hyphenated compound word is a compound word that is composed of two or more words linked by hyphens. In general, hyphenated compound words are midway on the journey between being rendered as separate words, or an open compound word, to … [Read more...]

It’s not rocket science

It's not rocket science is an American idiom. 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 or metaphors, 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...]

Cattle vs chattel

Cattle and chattel are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and are often confused. We will look at the difference between the definitions of cattle and chattel, the etymology for these two words, and some examples of their use in sentences. Cattle is a plural noun for cows, bulls, steers, yearlings or calves. Cattle are farm animals that are domesticated ruminants and herbivores with cloven hooves and horns that are bred for meat production or dairy production. The … [Read more...]

Cute as a button

Cute as a button is an idiom with a cloudy etymology. 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 or metaphors, 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...]

Epidemic vs pandemic

Epidemic and pandemic are two words that are easily confused. We will examine the meanings and origins of the words epidemic and pandemic and the difference between the two. An epidemic is a widespread outbreak of disease in a particular area. Most diseases that cause an epidemic are spread through the sharing of bodily fluids from person to person. Diseases spread when contagious people come into contact with people who are well; sick people often do not know they are ill because of the … [Read more...]

Roll up one’s sleeves

Roll up one's sleeves is an idiom that has been in use for over 150 years. 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...]

Sitting on a powder keg

Sitting on a powder keg is an idiom. 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 etymology or origin of … [Read more...]

Permit vs permit

Permit and permit are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. These word pairs are often misused words. Heteronyms exist because of our ever-changing English language, and these words with the same spelling and different pronunciation and meaning are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that look the same but are not pronounced the … [Read more...]

Hold someone’s feet to the fire

Hold someone's feet to the fire is an idiom that has been in use for hundreds of years. 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 … [Read more...]

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