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Play second fiddle

The idiom play second fiddle dates from the 1800s. 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 … [Read more...]

Blow a fuse and blow a gasket

The idioms blow a fuse and blow a gasket came into popular use in the twentieth century. 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...]

Save one’s bacon

The idiom save one's bacon is surprisingly 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 etymology or … [Read more...]

Graze vs grays or greys

Graze and grays or greys 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...]

Comparing apples and oranges

The idiom comparing apples and oranges has its roots in another idiom, popular during Shakespeare's time. 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 … [Read more...]

Sleep with the fishes

The idiom sleep with the fishes has been popular since the 1970s, though it has been in use longer than that. 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 … [Read more...]

Pull the plug

Pull the plug is an idiom that has been in use since the early twentieth century, though its exact origin is unknown. 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 … [Read more...]

Subject vs object

Identifying the nouns and pronouns that are the subject and object of a sentence is an important facet of learning the parts of speech of English grammar. Grammar is the way in which language is structured, the rules that are the foundation of that structure and the study of those rules. At the most basic level, grammar is the way words are used together to form sentences. When a baby learns his native language, those grammar rules are absorbed effortlessly; languages learned later in life take … [Read more...]

Hymn vs him

Hymn and him 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...]

Deadbeat

Deadbeat is a compound word. To form a compound or compound word, two separate words are joined together to form another word. Deadbeat is a closed compound word, which is a word that is made up of two words joined together without a hyphen or space. This type of compound is also called a solid compound word. Deadbeat is also seen in its hyphenated form, dead-beat, but rarely. The preferred spelling in the Oxford English Dictionary is deadbeat. A hyphenated compound word is a compound that is … [Read more...]

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