Monthly Archives

March 2018

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: egg

You probably know that an egg is the roundish reproductive body produced by female birds and most reptiles and, perhaps, that it is also the cell produced by female mammals that, when joined with a male cell, forms a baby. However, did you know that egg is used informally to refer to a person, normally with a descriptive adjective? This sense is…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: squeal

A squeal is a long, sharp cry, as of pain, surprise, fear, or excitement or a screeching sound. Informally, in US English, a protest or complaint about something can be called a squeal. As a verb, squeal obviously means ‘to make such a sharp cry or sound’ and, informally, ‘to complain.’ As a slang term, it also means ‘to give…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stow

To stow means ‘to put away’ as for storage or reserve, usually in an orderly fashion, and ‘to fill a place by packing.’ In naval terms, to stow means ‘to put sails, gear, or cargo away.’ As a slang term, although dated now, stow means ‘to stop’ or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: ridge

A ridge is a long, narrow elevation of land or a chain of hills or mountains, and also the long and narrow upper edge or crest of something. Any raised strip on clothing or any raised margin on a bone, tooth, or membrane is also a ridge. The back of an animal can be called a ridge and, in meteorology, a narrow, elongated area of…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: flop

To flop means ‘to drop or fall in a heavy or clumsy way’ or ‘to swing loosely.’ In US English, if someone changes suddenly from one opinion or party to another, that’s also to flop. Informally, to flop means ‘to fail badly.’ Also informally and mainly in US English, to sleep at someone’s house is to flop. As a noun, a flop is…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: cock

A cock is a male chicken, or generally the male of any bird. You might not hear this so often because, as a slang term, cock means ‘penis’, and this is why most people in the US say rooster and most people in the UK say cockerel (strictly speaking, a young cock) instead of cock. As a verb, if you cock a gun it means that you…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: fink

Fink is a US slang term. It can be an informer, someone who gives information to authorities, a strikebreaker, or a labor spy. A contemptible or unattractive person can also be called a fink, though this sense is now obsolete. As a verb, to fink means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: clout

A clout is a blow or hit, especially one given with the hand. Informally, as an uncountable noun, clout means ‘strong influence.’ In baseball, a clout is a long hit and, in archery, the mark or target shot at from a long distance. As a verb, to clout…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: reel

A reel is a cylinder or other device that spins and is used to wind up or let out wire, rope, or film, such as the ones used on fishing rods or kites or movie projectors. The amount of something wound on a reel is also called reel, and the verb to reel means ‘to wind on a reel’ or, followed by either in or out, ‘to pull by winding on a reel.’ To reel also means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: grub

A grub is the thick-bodied, sluggish young of certain insects such as the beetle. As a slang term, grub means food. The verb to grub means ‘to dig out of the ground,’ in this sense it is often used with up, or ‘to have a laborious life or do laborious work.’ Informally, it means ‘to…

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