Monthly Archives

July 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: thread

A thread is a long, thin cord or fiber. In a narrative or in speech, it is something that connects parts of a sequence, running through the whole thing, you might know that meaning from emails or Internet posts as well, meaning ‘a series of messages dealing with the same topic.’ Threads, always in the plural, is an informal term for clothes, although this is a little dated now. As a verb, to thread means ‘to fix something on a thread’ and ‘to pass the…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: tow

To tow means ‘to pull or haul with a chain, rope, or other device’ and the noun tow refers to the act of towing, to the thing being towed (especially when it is a boat or boats), and also to the vehicle that tows something. More broadly, a rope, chain, or metal bar used for towing can also be called a tow. Unrelatedly, tow is the fiber of flax, hemp, or jute prepared for spinning, or any synthetic filaments prepared for spinning. As an adjective, tow refers…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: nibble

To nibble means ‘to bite off a small piece of something’ or ‘to eat or chew in very small bits.’ It also means ‘to bite lightly’, as some animals do when they’re playing or as people might do affectionately. As a noun, a nibble is a small piece of food and the act of nibbling. In fishing, the nibble is the response of a fish to bait. Figuratively, and related to this sense, a nibble is also a show of…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hitch

To hitch means ‘to tie or fasten something with a rope or strap’ and, more specifically, to put a harness on an animal and tie it to a vehicle. Hitch also means ‘to move up or raise.’ As an informal term, if you get hitched it means that you marry someone. As a noun, a hitch is a knot to hitch something. An unexpected problem can also be called a hitch. Informally, in US English, a hitch is also a period of military service, though…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: calf

A calf is a young domestic cow, or the young of other animals like elephants, seals, and whales. In clothing, calf refers to calfskin leather. Informally, a silly man or boy can also be called a calf, although this meaning is rarely heard now. Unrelatedly, a calf is also the fleshy part of the back of the leg below the knee…

Continue Reading