Monthly Archives

June 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bull

A bull is, as you may know, the male of a cow and it is also a male elephant or moose. In religion, a bull is a document issued by the pope. Unrelatedly, and as a slang term, bull is a synonym for ‘lies’ or ‘exaggerations’ and, in US English, if you bull someone, it means that you try to impress them by telling lies…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: itch

When your skin itches, it means that you feel a tingling irritation that makes you want to scratch. Everything that causes that feeling, like clothes for example, also itches. A bit confusing perhaps, but, informally, to itch also means to scratch something that itches. Figuratively, it also means ‘to have a strong desire to do something.’ As a noun, an itch is the sensation…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: crap

You might have heard that crap is used as an interjection when something goes wrong. This is because, colloquially and somewhat vulgarly, crap means ‘excrement’ or ‘the act of defecation,’ and ‘junk or litter.’ Also very colloquially, crap can mean ‘nonsense’ or ‘a lie’. As a verb, it means ‘to defecate.’ However craps, always with the “s” on the end, is also a dice game….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: boost

To boost means ‘to lift something or someone by pushing from below’ and ‘to increase.’ It also means ‘to speak well of someone or something in order to help.’ As a US slang term, to boost means ‘to shoplift.’ As a noun, a boost is an upward raise, an increase, and a remark that helps someone…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: peg

A peg is a wooden or plastic pin driven into something and used for fastening or support. In British English, a pin used to fasten washing to a line is a peg (in US English, this is called a clothespin), and informally, a leg can be called a peg, although this is now dated. A peg is also a degree or level and, in US English, it is a hard throw, especially in baseball. As a verb, to peg means ‘to fasten with pegs,’ ‘to keep at a set level,’ and, in US English, ‘to throw hard.’ Informally, if you peg someone…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: buck

A buck is the male of an antelope, deer, rabbit and other animals and, in US English, the skin of buck deer used as leather (in UK English, this would be “buckskin,” which can also be used in US English). Also in US English, shoes made with buckskin are called bucks. Figuratively, we can call a young and spirited man a buck, although this sense is now dated. As a verb, if an animal bucks, it means that it leaps with its back arched and lands with its head low and its forelegs stiff, as horses do. It also means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: grant

To grant means ‘to give,’ ‘to accord,’ or ‘to agree to a proposal or request.’ To grant can also mean that you accept something, such as someone else’s point in an argument. It also means ‘to transfer or convey,’ especially by deed or writing, as done with a property for example. As a noun, a grant is something given or granted, such as money, a privilege,…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bait

Bait is food, such as worms or bread or some substitute put onto a hook and used for fishing and, figuratively, anything used for tempting someone. In some parts of the US, a bait is a large quantity of something. As a verb, to bait means ‘to prepare a hook with bait,’ ‘to entice by deception,’ ‘to tease,’ and also ‘to torment with vicious remarks’…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bat

We’re sure you know that a bat is a heavy stick or club used in sports, such as baseball or cricket, and the related verb means ‘to strike with a bat’ or ‘to take your turn as a batter.’ In UK slang, a bat is speed or pace, although this sense is now dated. Unrelatedly, a bat is a nocturnal mammal that you also probably know. There are also a lot of idioms associated with bat;…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: clash

To clash means ‘to produce a very loud noise by collision’. It also means ‘to disagree’ or ‘to engage in physical conflict, whether in game or battle.’ If colors clash, it means that they don’t combine well. As a noun, a clash is a loud harsh noise, a conflict of interests, and a fight or contest.

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