Word of the week


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October 11, 2017

adverb | hoh-lus-BOH-lus  

Definition: all at once

Examples of HOLUS-BOLUS


If you shout your questions at me holus-bolus, instead of asking them one at a time, then I won't be able to hear any of them.


"Grasses are a conundrum. If you plant too many, you end up with a hayfield—not a great look in a garden…. Lazy landscapers shove them in holus-bolus because they will survive just about anything."

— Marjorie Harris, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 30 May 2017


June 25, 2017

noun | WER-lih-gig  




1 :

a child's toy having a whirling motion


a :

one that continuously whirls or changes

b :

a whirling or circling course (as of events)

Did You Know?


English speakers, and particularly children, began spinning whirligigs as early as the 15th century. Since then, whirligig has acquired several meanings beyond its initial toy sense. It even has a place in the common name of the whirligig beetle, a member of the family Gyrinidae that swiftly swims in circles on the surface of still water. The word whirligig comes to us from Middle English whirlegigg ("whirling top"), which is itself from whirlen, meaning "to whirl," and gigg, meaning "(toy) top."

Examples of WHIRLIGIG


"As 2016 draws mercifully to a close, just what, exactly, are we to make of this bewildering whirligig of a year?"

— Brian Chasnoff, The San Antonio News-Express, 30 Dec. 2016


"The whirligig, an object that spins or whirls, may have started as a farmer's weathervane, but it evolved into a recognized piece of American folk art."

— Michelle Galler, RappNews.com (Rappahannock County, VA), 8 Dec. 2016




Definition : a small amount : bit, smidgen

The word skosh comes from the Japanese word sukoshi, which is pronounced "skoh shee" and means "a tiny bit" or "a small amount." The Japanese word was shortened by U.S. servicemen stationed in Japan after World War II.  In civilian-speak, skosh can be used by itself as a noun (as in our first example sentence) or in the adverbial phrase "a skosh" (as in our second example).


Examples of SKOSH


The barista sprinkled a skosh of fresh ginger onto the milky surface of the latte.


"… I learned that the Turbo S is livable as an everyday car, with a ride quality a skosh firmer than a standard 911."

— Tom Voelk, The New York Times, 16 Sept. 2016


June 02, 2017

A person who is a bore or nuisance.


February 12, 2017


definition : to invoke evil on : curse. It may surprise you to learn that a word that refers to wishing evil upon someone has its roots in praying


February 05, 2017

adjective |  pronounced - LOO-kyuh-lunt  


Definition : clear in thought or expression. Example : the interviewee was luculent and personable.


January 22, 2017

Definition : marked by restraint especially in the consumption of food or alcohol; also : reflecting such restraint.Abstemious and abstain look alike, and both have meanings involving self-restraint or self-denial.


January 01, 2020

Definition: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.

Scholars have long maintained that each era has a unique spirit, a nature or climate that sets it apart from all other epochs. In German, such a spirit is known as Zeitgeist, from the German words Zeit, meaning "time," and Geist, meaning "spirit" or "ghost." Some writers and artists assert that the true zeitgeist of an era cannot be known until it is over, and several have declared that only artists or philosophers can adequately explain it. We don't know if that's true, but we do know that zeitgeist has been a useful addition to the English language since at least 1835.


December 19, 2016

Nosocomial is a word that usually occurs in formal medical contexts—specifically, in reference to hospital-acquired sickness. We hope you never encounter nosocomial as part of your own medical diagnosis,


December 11, 2016

DEFINITION : darken,  to make obscure,  confuse,  to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

To obfuscate something means to make it so that it isn't clear or transparent, much like dirty water makes it hard to see to the bottom of a pond.

cabbage - not the eating kind

December 05, 2016


steal, filch


Did You Know?


Does the "filching" meaning of cabbage bring to mind an image of thieves sneaking out of farm fields with armloads of pilfered produce? If so, you're in for a surprise. Today's featured word has nothing to do with the leafy vegetable. It originally referred to the practice among tailors of pocketing part of the cloth given to them to make garments. The verb was cut from the same cloth as an older British noun cabbage, which meant "pieces of cloth left in cutting out garments and traditionally kept by tailors as perquisites." Both of those ethically questionable cabbages probably derived from cabas, the Middle French word for "cheating or theft." The cabbage found in coleslaw, on the other hand, comes from Middle English caboche, which meant "head."

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