Monthly Archives

June 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: rig

To rig is to fit out a ship with ropes, chains, sails, etc. More generally, usually followed by out, it means ‘to equip’ and, usually followed by up, to prepare or assemble something. In a negative sense, rig means ‘to manipulate in a dishonest way.’ As a noun, a rig is any equipment used for a specific purpose, the arrangement of the sails and masts on a ship, and also, mainly in US English, a tractor-trailer truck. Informally, a rig is a costume or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: twine

A twine is a strong thread made of several threads twisted together and a knot or tangle. As a verb, to twine means ‘to twist something together with something else,’ ‘to insert with a twisting motion,’ ‘to form by twisting together.’ It also means ‘to wrap’ and, usually followed by around or about, ‘to clasp something around something else’…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: cross

A cross is a figure with two lines drawn across each other and also a mark, usually an x. It’s also a Christian symbol. Figuratively, a cross is a cause of suffering or trouble, a person or thing having some characteristics of two different things or people. As a verb, to cross means ‘to move from one side to the other side of something,’ like a street, ‘to cancel by marking something with a cross or by drawing a line through a portion of text,’ in this sense…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: piss

Piss is the vulgar word we use for urine or the act of urinating. As a verb, it means ‘to urinate.’ But piss has many other meanings, depending on the adverb we use it with. For example, piss away means ‘to waste’ something, such as money, time, or an opportunity. In the UK, piss off means ‘to leave a place,’ but to piss someone off is to make them angry, in both the US and the UK. Mostly in the UK, people also use piss to intensify…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: noodle

A noodle is a dried strip of egg or other dough, a bit like pasta, that is boiled and mostly served in soups or with stir fries; it is very common in Asian cuisine. As a slang term and, figuratively, noodle means ‘head’ and it also describes a foolish person. Used originally as a jazz term, to noodle means to play music in improvisatory way, often as a warm-up exercise. Figuratively, in US English, it also means ‘to experiment,’ ‘to think…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: tie

To tie means ‘to bind something with a cord’ or ‘to fasten something by making a knot.’ Figuratively, it can mean ‘to join firmly’ and, with negative connotations, ‘to restrict.’ In games, sports, or contests, when you tie it means that you get the same score as your opponent. As a noun, a tie is a cord or string used for tying, a knot or bow, and broadly, an affectionate bond with someone or something. In games, a tie is a state in which…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: clutch

To clutch means ‘to seize or hold tightly.’ As a slang term, in US English, usually followed by “up,” it means ‘to panic and become tense.’ This use was more common a few decades ago. A clutch, as a noun, is a tight grip or hold and, often in the plural form clutches, it means power or control that is difficult to escape. In US English, clutch can also be used as an adjective to refer to something done in a critical situation or something or someone that…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: pad

A pad is a piece of soft material used for comfort, protection, applying ointments or creams or cleaning, or for stuffing. It is also the soft cushion of flesh under the end of each finger and toe, in humans, or on the underside of an animal’s paw. A number of sheets of paper glued together at one edge is also a pad. As a slang term, pad means the place where you live. To pad means ‘to provide with or have pads or stuffing’ and ‘to expand…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: mop

A mop is a device used for cleaning floors, consisting of an absorbent material, such as a sponge, fastened to a handle. A thick mass of hair is also called a mop. To mop, as a verb, means ‘to clean or wipe with a mop,’ or ‘to clean as if with a mop,’ even if you don’t actually use one. Unrelatedly, to mop means ‘to make an unhappy face,’ usually in the expression ‘to mop and mow,’ and the noun mop is an unhappy face…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bucket

A bucket is a round container with a flat bottom, an open top, and a handle, usually used for carrying liquids or other things. Anything with that shape can also be called a bucket, as well as the amount held by one. Informally, usually in the plural, large amounts of something (usually rain or tears) can be referred to as buckets. As a verb, often followed by out or up to bucket means ‘to carry or transfer in a bucket,’ although this sense is now rare, and, informally, usually followed by along, it means to ‘hurry,’ especially ‘to drive or…

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