Monthly Archives

October 2016

Word of the Day: dike

A dike, also spelled dyke in UK English, is a thick wall used to hold back water from a river or ocean and also a ditch. In Scottish English, a dyke is a wall, usually made out of stones, that divides or encloses land, and more generally, in UK English, an obstacle or barrier…

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Word of the Day: craft

A craft is an art that requires hand skills and it is also the ability to use your hands well or, negatively, a skill used for bad purposes, such as cunning or deceit. Crafts (or handicrafts), in the plural, are objects made by hand. A craft is also a ship or an airplane, or ships and airplanes thought of as a group…

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Word of the Day: fiddle

A fiddle is a violin. As a verb, to fiddle means not only ‘to play the violin,’ but also ‘to make fussy movements with your hands.’ Figuratively, to fiddle means ‘to manipulate something in order to adjust it.’ Colloquially, and often followed by the preposition around, to fiddle means ‘to waste time’…

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Word of the Day: duff

Duff is a colloquial and slang term with many different and unrelated meanings. As a noun, duff is a slang term for ‘the buttocks.’ It is also a stiff flour mixture boiled or steamed in a cloth and flavoured with currants and spices (this meaning came about as a variant of the word “dough”). In US, Scottish, and Irish English, duff is also a term used in ecology…

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Word of the Day: screw

A screw is a metal fastener, similar to a nail but with a spiral body. As a verb, to screw means ‘to turn a screw’ or ‘to fasten something with a screw’ or ‘to adjust something with a twisting movement.’ Screw also means ‘to distort something by twisting it’ and ‘to strengthen’ …

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Word of the Day: bow

To bow is ‘to bend the knee or incline the head’ to show respect. It also means ‘to bend downwards’ and, figuratively it means to give in to something. The relative noun bow describes the movement made to show respect. However, bow, with the second pronunciation above, has another noun meaning, ‘a flexible strip of wood bent by a string and used for shooting arrows,’…

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Word of the Day: tweak

To tweak means ‘to pinch and pull with a jerk and twist’ or ‘to pull the nose gently and with care.’ It also means ‘to adjust a little bit.’ As a noun, a tweak is a sharp twist or jerk, as well as the act of tweaking. Also, a tweak is a minor adjustment. Informally, and mostly in the US, to tweak also means ‘to get high on drugs,’…

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Word of the Day: ginger

Ginger is a plant, originally from Asia, with a strong smelling and spicy root used for cooking and medicine. It’s also the name for a yellow-brownish color, similar to the color of the plant. In British English, we call red hair people ginger and you’d also call a cat with orange fur ginger. As an adjective, ginger refers to everything that tastes like ginger or that is made with ginger…

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Word of the Day: wave

A wave is most commonly a movement in the surface of water, the hand movement we use for greeting, or any other gesture resembling that. In physics, a wave is a a disturbance sent out or across from one point to another in a medium. Figuratively, a wave is any sudden emotion or rush of feelings or a period of extreme heat or cold…

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