Monthly Archives

November 2022

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: duff

Duff is a colloquial and slang term with many different and unrelated meanings. As a noun, duff is a slang term for ‘the buttocks.’ It is also a stiff flour mixture boiled or steamed in a cloth and flavoured with currants and spices (this meaning came about as a variant of the word “dough”). In US, Scottish, and Irish English, duff is also a term used in ecology…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: screw

A screw is a metal fastener, similar to a nail but with a spiral body. As a verb, to screw means ‘to turn a screw’ or ‘to fasten something with a screw’ or ‘to adjust something with a twisting movement.’ Screw also means ‘to distort something by twisting it’ and ‘to strengthen’ …

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bow

To bow is ‘to bend the knee or incline the head’ to show respect. It also means ‘to bend downwards’ and, figuratively it means to give in to something. The related noun bow describes the movement made to show respect. However, bow, with the second pronunciation above, has another noun meaning, ‘a flexible strip of wood bent by a string and used for shooting arrows,’…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: tweak

To tweak means ‘to pinch and pull with a jerk and twist’ or ‘to pull the nose gently and with care.’ It also means ‘to adjust a little bit.’ As a noun, a tweak is a sharp twist or jerk, as well as the act of tweaking. Also, a tweak is a minor adjustment. Informally, and mostly in the US, to tweak also means ‘to get high on drugs,’…

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