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A leopard can’t change its spots

A leopard can't change its spots is a proverb. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase. It particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth, or imparts wisdom. Synonyms for the word proverb that may be found in a thesaurus include adage, sayings, and byword, which can also be someone or something that is the best example of a group. Often, a proverb is so familiar that a speaker will only quote half of it, relying on the listener to supply the ending of the written or spoken proverb … [Read more...]

Frog in one’s throat

The phrase a frog in one’s throat 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 … [Read more...]

Eavesdrop

Eavesdrop is a compound word. A compound word is a word derived from two separate words used together. New compound words usually consist of two, separate words, and are called open compound words. Midway through their evolution, compound words may acquire hyphens between the two words. When a compound becomes a closed compound word, which consists of two words joined without any hyphen or space, it has usually been in use for a long time. The advent of the internet has sped up the process of … [Read more...]

Molotov cocktail

A Molotov cocktail is not an alcoholic drink, and is a confusing term to some people. We will examine the definition of the term Molotov cocktail, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A Molotov cocktail is a sort of homemade bomb or incendiary device, which creates an explosion and fire. Other names for the Molotov cocktail are bottle bomb, gas bomb, or poor man's grenade. A Molotov cocktail is created by pouring a flammable substance into a glass bottle. This … [Read more...]

Go to the mat and take it to the mat

Go to the mat and take it to the mat are different forms of the same 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, … [Read more...]

Nay vs neigh

Nay and neigh are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when sp0ken aloud but are spelled differently and have different meanings, 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...]

Personification vs anthropomorphism

Personification and anthropomorphism are two literary devices that are somewhat similar, but with a subtle difference. A literary device is a tool used by speakers and writers in order to produce a certain effect by manipulating words and using them in unique and unexpected ways. We will examine the definitions of the terms personification and anthropomorphism, their etymology and some examples of their use in sentences. Personification is a literary device that ascribes human attributes to … [Read more...]

Penny for your thoughts

A penny for your thoughts is an idiom that goes back 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 literal meaning, even … [Read more...]

Retronym

Retronym is a term that was coined in the 1980s and takes a bit of description. We will examine the meaning of the term retronym, who coined it, and some examples of its use in sentences. A retronym is a term that is created by pairing a modifier with an existing word to denote what the original version of the modified word meant. The modifying word may be an adverb if the retronym is a verb, but a retronym is almost always a noun, and the modifying word is an adjective. Evolving technology … [Read more...]

Apple-polish

Appple-polish is an idiom and a compound word. 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...]

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