Six words that can ruin your sentence by Dictionary.com. Slideshow Six words that can ruin your sentence [ak-choo-uh-lee] Crutch words are words that we slip into sentences in order to give ourselves more time to think, or to emphasize a statement.
Over time, they become unconscious verbal tics. Know These 9 Commonly Confused Pairs? by Dictionary.com. Slideshow Know These 9 Commonly Confused Pairs?
[im-uh-nuhnt] Though these three words may sound exasperatingly similar, they have three very different meanings. When something is imminent, it is destined to happen e.g. "the imminent sunset. " 8 Offbeat Literary Genres to Get Lost In by Dictionary.com. Slideshow 8 Offbeat Literary Genres to Get Lost In [bil-doongz-roh-mahn] The Bildungsroman explores the education, development and coming of age of a young protagonist.
The term comes from the German Bildung + Roman literally meaning "formational novel. " Examples of this genre: The History of Tom Jones, Jane Eyre, and Black Boy. Popular in Victorian times, the cheaply made penny dreadful featured serialized tales of adventure, crime and horror. Decode the pieces of our favorite portmanteaus by Dictionary.com. Batman A death in the family 01 04 GetComics. Beyond Leprechauns: 7 Creatures of Irish Folklore by Dictionary.com. Slideshow Beyond Leprechauns: 7 Creatures of Irish Folklore [ban-shee, ban-shee] In Irish folklore, a banshee is a spirit in the form of a wailing woman who appears to family members to foretell the death of one of their own.
This term came to English from the Old Irish term ben side meaning “woman of the fairy mound.” In this context, a mound is the raised earth over a grave. According to the 1875 volume of The Origin and History of Irish Names and Places by historian Patrick Weston Joyce, the abhartach (or avartagh) is not to be taken lightly. The cluricaun (or cluricaune) is an Irish elf, or perhaps a fairy, in the form of a tiny old man. The far darrig (or fear dearg) is another supernatural being that may or may not be a leprechaun, according to Yeats.
Fear gorta literally means “man of hunger” in Irish. The sluagh (or slua) are ghosts of sinners, who, unwelcome in heaven or hell, must haunt the realm of the living. Love our Slideshows? Sign up for our weeklySlideshow Snapshot email! Got Spring Fever? Learn the Lexicon of Spring by Dictionary.com. Slideshow Got Spring Fever?
Learn the Lexicon of Spring. Words on the Move: Nazi and Fascist. Linguists have a good number of fancy words to describe language evolution.
When a word’s meaning becomes more negative over time it is referred to as pejoration. When the meaning changes to be closer to a more approved meaning, it is called melioration. It is quite common to see a word change in one direction; some words even manage to change in both directions. Two such words that have managed to see-saw like this are Nazi and fascist. Both of these words began as descriptors, rather than epithets. So there we have the initial movement, pejoration. Fascist began its melioration much sooner than Nazi did. In the relatively recent past Nazi (often spelled with a lowercase n), has been working its way into general language. It must be said that many people find the modified use of these words (and especially that of Nazi) to be awkward at best, and extremely insensitive at worst.
Grammar Nazis, however much they might annoy with their protestations of correctness, are not actual Nazis. 15 Shades of Green: Emerald Etymologies by Dictionary.com. Slideshow 15 Shades of Green: Emerald Etymologies [em-er-uhld, em-ruhld] Emerald is a brilliant, deep green, like that of the gemstone from which it takes its name.
William Shakespeare was one of the early adopters of emerald as a color name in the 1600s; prior to that, the term, which comes to us from the Greek smaragdos meaning "green gem," was bound to the precious green stone of beryl. Perhaps because of the rarity of the gemstone, emerald as a color name is often used to connote an exquisite or precious quality, as in Emerald Isle, a poetic name for Ireland made popular by the Irish writer William Drennan in his poem "When Erin First Rose. " 6 Words That Broke Through on the Big Screen by Dictionary.com. Slideshow 6 Words That Broke Through on the Big Screen [twit-er-pey-tid] The wonderfully fun word twitterpated comes to us courtesy of the owl in Bambi, who describes it as a state of feeling light as a feather and knocked for a loop due to seeing a pretty face.
Denotation and Connotation. If you want to discuss the meaning of a word, it helps to know the difference between denotation and connotation.
These two terms are easy to confuse because they describe related concepts. Additionally, both denotation and connotation stem from the Latin word notāre, meaning “to note.” The denotation of a word or phrase is its explicit or direct meaning. Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Common Sign-Offs by Dictionary.com. Slideshow Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Common Sign-Offs [ri-gahrd] The word regard comes to us from the Old French regarder meaning "to look at.
" Synonyms for the Season: Valentine’s Day. Are you tired of filling out your greeting cards with “Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart!” Every year? Are you one clichéd love note away from throwing in the towel altogether? We understand your pain and are here to help you woo that special someone without triggering their gag reflex. Every Valentine’s Day, people flock to Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com to explore new words to use in their love letters (and possibly their breakup letters, too). The synonyms that spike in look-ups around this holiday are particularly interesting. Verve. Head Over Heels in Puppy Love? by Dictionary.com. Slideshow Head Over Heels in Puppy Love? [fan-see] This chiefly British way of expressing admiration entered English in the mid-1500s. Fancy implies a strong liking for another person, though it's not as loaded with emotions as the word love.
Speakers use the word like to represent this same feeling in American English. 7 Chinese Loanwords to Expand Your Vocabulary by Dictionary.com. Slideshow 7 Chinese Loanwords to Expand Your Vocabulary [fuhng shwey] Feng shui is the Chinese art of creating harmonious surroundings that enhance the balance of yin and yang, or negative and positive forces in the universe. This term comes from the Chinese words literally meaning “wind” and “water.” Architects and designers have been using the principles of feng shui to help situate buildings and graves and arrange rooms since ancient times, though the word did not enter English until the late 1700s. A Look at 8 Expressions with Heart by Dictionary.com. Slideshow A Look at 8 Expressions with Heart [hahrt] If you know something by heart, you’ve learned it so well you know it from memory, maybe even word for word.
For example, in Anne of Green Gables the title character loves Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shalott” so much that she knows it by heart. This term, which surfaced in English in the late 1300s, likely comes from the Old French phrase par coeur which literally translates to “by heart.” If you do something to your heart’s content or desire, you do that thing until you are satisfied. You might yell the slightly morbid phrase “Eat your heart out!” Another macabre expression, have your heart in your mouth, refers to a heightened state of anxiety or fear. There's a Word for That? 8 Fun Words About Words by Dictionary.com. Slideshow.
13 Essential Literary Terms by Dictionary.com. Normalcy and Squirmishes: Misunderestimating the Words of Politicians. Most of the time when we talk about someone creating a new word we speak of the inventor with admiration, or even awe. We think of the linguistic creations of long-dead writers, such as Shakespeare, as signs of their genius, or evidence that they singlehandedly chiseled a new life form out of granite and bequeathed it to the English-speaking people. Hot off the Letterpress: Words from the Print Shop by Dictionary.com. Slideshow. Of Man Buns and Moms: New Words of 2015. Since 1990, the American Dialect Society has held a Word of the Year vote, which is open to the public. This year’s vote takes place on January 8, 2016 in Washington DC. 9 Words About Beginnings by Dictionary.com. 8 Words for Celebration by Dictionary.com. Do you prefer to give gifts or presents? Drake - Hotline Bling. 10 Merry Words for Happiness by Dictionary.com.
You Didn’t Invent That: Charles Dickens and Boredom. Charles Dickens is often given credit for inventing words that he was not the first to use. This is not surprising, if only because he was much more widely read than some of the people who had used these words before him. Dickens was also far more attuned to the language of the streets than were most of his contemporaries, and so his writing contains many examples of recently-invented terms.
Speak the Season: 7 Essential Words of Fall by Dictionary.com. Be Very Afraid: 8 Monsters of Literature and Folklore by Dictionary.com. What’s the Origin of the Term Hipster? A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls by Dictionary.com. Odd Jobs or Dream Jobs: 10 Well-Named Careers by Dictionary.com. 8 Tantalizing Terms for Eating by Dictionary.com. Lay vs. Lie. 9 Internet Abbreviations Decoded by Dictionary.com. 12 Essential Types of Poetry by Dictionary.com. What's Your Sign? 14 Astrological Terms Defined by Dictionary.com. 20 Words That Mean More Than They Did 20 Years Ago. Who Is the “Jack” in “Jack-o’-Lantern”? Feels, Facepalm & Fleek: New Words Added to the Dictionary. Is It “Different From” or “Different Than”? 11 Wily Whiskers by Dictionary.com. 7 Spooky Words for Halloween by Dictionary.com.
All the World's a Stage: 8 Theatrical Terms by Dictionary.com. The 50 most useful Idioms and their Meaning - A list on 1 page. 100 Exquisite Adjectives.