Monthly Archives

August 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: ham

You might know already that ham is ‘a cut of meat that comes from the hind quarter of a hog’ (a pig raised for eating). It is also used for human anatomy, often in the plural form hams, and it means ‘the back of the thigh, or the thigh and the buttock together.’ Unrelatedly, ‘an actor or performer who performs in a exaggerated way or overacts’ is also called a ham and so is ‘an amateur radio operator.’ The verb to ham means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: nap

To nap means ‘to sleep for a short period of time,’ especially during the daytime. Figuratively, it means ‘to be off your guard.’ As a noun, a nap is a short period of sleep. Unrelatedly, a nap is the raised fuzzy end of fibers on the surface of cloth and the verb to nap means ‘to raise the nap.’ Nap is also used as a shortened version of…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hint

A hint is ‘a clue or an indirect or helpful suggestion.’ It is also ‘a very small amount of something’ or ‘an indication of something.’ As a verb, it means ‘to give a hint of something,’ ‘to imply,’ or ‘to suggest indirectly.’

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: draft

You might know from your email account, a draft is ‘the first version of a piece of writing, a drawing, or a sketch.’ In US English, a draft is also ‘a current of air in a closed space’ and ‘a device for regulating air in a fireplace’ (in the UK, we use draught, but the pronunciation is the same). It is ‘the act of inhaling or drinking’ as well (UK: draught). ‘A portion of something to be drunk or a beer from a keg’ are also called a draft (UK: draught). As a verb, spelled as draft in both US and UK English, it means ‘to sketch’ or ‘to compose.’ As an adjective, still with the same spelling in both UK and US English, it refers to…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: wag

To wag means ‘to move up and down or from side to side,’ as dogs do with their tails when they’re happy. When we are talking about someone’s tongue, we mean that they are moving it in idle chatter. If you shake your finger at someone in reprimand, you’re also wagging it, as you are your head if you shake or nod it. To wag also means ‘to travel or get along,’ although this sense is rarely heard these days, and, originally in British English, but now mainly used in Australian English, it means ‘to be absent from school…

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