Strange Words Only Millennials Could Think Up - Everything After Z by Dictionary.com. How to Name Your Beard - Everything After Z by Dictionary.com. Far Out! Freaky 60s Slang Explained - Everything After Z by Dictionary.com. 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. Most often, crutch words do not add meaning of a statement. Actually is the perfect example of a crutch word. It is meant to signify something that exists in reality, but it is more often used as a way to add punch to a statement (as in, "I actually have no idea").
[lit-er-uh-lee] This adverb should be used to describe an action that occurs in a strict sense. [bey-sik-lee] This word is used to signal truth, simplicity, and confidence, like in "Basically, he made a bad decision. " [on-ist-lee] This crutch word is used to assert authority or express incredulity, as in, "Honestly, I have no idea why he said that. " [lahyk] [ob-vee-uhs] This word should signify an action which is readily observable, recognized, or understood. Love our Slideshows? 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.
" [reeth] A wreath is a circular band of flowers or leaves that can be placed on a door or a head. [feynt] We're all familiar with the verb to faint (to temporarily lose consciousness) and the adjective faint (lacking in brightness), but what is a feint? [stey-shuh-ner-ee] Stationary or stationery? [kap-i-tl] From a capital city to a capital letter, this word distinguishes the best and brightest. [awl-tuh-geth-er, awl-tuh-geth-er] Though they're both adverbs, altogether and all together have very different meanings. [tawr-choo-uhs] Mixing up these words can have some very unpleasant results. [in-soh-leyt] Insolate and insulate are the hottest words on this maddening list. [en-shoor, -shur] Love our Slideshows? Sign up for our weeklySlideshow Snapshot email! 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. Also called dime novels, these sensationalized stories could be purchased with loose pocket change. This historical-fiction subgenre focuses on the warriors of China.
[pik-uh-resk] The picaresque genre showcases humorous tales of adventure, focusing on the antics of knavish-yet-attractive heroes. [sahy-ber-puhngk] Often set in futuristic industrial dystopias, the sci-fi subgenre cyberpunk highlights stories of computing, hacking and large corrupt corporations. [sah-guh] Sagas are medieval narratives hailing from Iceland or Norway. [greem-wahr] 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 [prim-rohz] Primrose ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin prima rosa literally meaning "first rose," because it blooms so early in the springtime. Despite the literal translation of its name, the primrose, which entered English in the first half of the fifteenth century, is not a rose at all. In the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical State Fair, the love-sick ingenue sings, "Oh, why should I have spring fever, when it isn't even spring? " Pranks executed on the first of April began occurring in continental Europe as early as the mid-1600s, crossing over to the English-speaking world in the late seventeenth century. [ee-kwuh-noks, ek-wuh-] Equinox came to English from the Medieval Latin equi- + noct meaning "equally of night (and day).
" [bel-teyn, -tin] Beltane, an ancient Celtic festival, comes to English from the Gaelic word bealltainn which literally means "May 1st. " [mey] [prahy-muh-veer-uhl] Love our Slideshows? 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. Each one referred to a political party; Nazi is a shortened form of Nationalsozialist (the National Socialist German Workers’ Party), and fascist came from the Partito Nazionale Fascista (the National Fascist Party in Italy).
The actions of each of these groups during the Second World War caused their names to become synonymous with ruthless authoritarianism and unparalleled brutality. So there we have the initial movement, pejoration. 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.
" Emerald can also refer to a size of type in printing and a small, bright green hummingbird. [sel-uh-don, -dn] This color name can be traced to French literature of the 17th century. [shahr-trooz, -troos] [jeyd] Kelly green is a strong and vibrant yellow green. [mint] The color name mint is borrowed from the name of the bright green aromatic plant. 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.
We've distilled Friend Owl's definition to "excited as overcome by romantic feelings" or "smitten. " The word is a combination of twitter, as in "tremulous excitement," and pate, as in "head" or "brain. " [bom-shel] Many of us know this term to mean "an attractive girl or woman," but lesser known is that this sense was popularized by the 1933 movie titled Bombshell starring Jean Harlow.
[sheek, sheyk] Another word that was influenced by the appearance and charisma of an actor is sheik. [boh-gahrt] When he got into the business, Humphrey Bogart was likely more intent on seeing his name in lights than seeing it in the pages of a dictionary. [soo-per-kal-uh-fraj-uh-lis-tik-ek-spee-al-i-doh-shuhs] [god-fah-ther] Love our Slideshows? 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. Another way to think of it is as the associations that a word usually elicits for most speakers of a language, as distinguished from those elicited for any individual speaker because of personal experience.
The connotation of a word or phrase is the associated or secondary meaning; it can be something suggested or implied by a word or thing, rather than being explicitly named or described. For example, the words home and house have similar denotations or primary meanings: a home is “a shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household,” and a house is “a building in which people live.” Like this Word Fact? 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.
" This definition is still evident in its senses today, which range from "to look upon or think of with a particular feeling" to "respect, esteem, or deference. " When used as a valediction, regards is intended to indicate sentiments of esteem or affection, and often follows kind, warm, or best. [cheer] This term gained popularity in British English as a salutation before drinking in the early 1900s, but is now commonly used as a sign-off on both sides of the pond. [kawr-juhl or, esp. When English speakers first started using the term cordially, it carried a more impassioned sense than it does today. [thangk] As a sign-off, this simple expression of gratitude offers a range of interpretations, such as "thanks for your attention and time while reading this e-mail" or "thanks in advance for tending to the request that I outlined in this e-mail. " 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. Here are a few of the top trending love look-ups from Thesaurus.com you need to know before composing your own sweet nothings this year: Verve If you approach your love life with verve, you’re doing something right.
Sly Your partner is smart, and you desperately want to sound as smart as her. Invigorate Maybe you are missing some verve of your own and rely on your partner to pump you up. Aplomb Ardent Pigsney What are your favorite love letter words? 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. This sense of fancy is not to be confused with a different, more obscure sense: "animal breeder. " [flurt] When a person fancies someone, the next step is flirting. In the process of flirting, sweet nothings are often whispered. [hed] After sweet nothings have been whispered, it's time to go head over heels. If it were the first half of the 20th century, and both parties were head over heels for each other, they might decide to go steady. A couple that is in a relationship, or that is at least seeing each other, might be colloquially called an item, or less commonly, a thing. Puppy love has been around since the mid-1600s. [luhv-ee-duhv-ee] [pop] Love our Slideshows?
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.” [chœ] Scrabble players are sure to recognize the term qi but are less likely to know its meaning. [guhng-hoh] Gung-ho was introduced into English in 1942 via US Marine officer Evans F. [kech-uhp, kach-] Though the ultimate origin of ketchup is unknown, it is widely believed that it comes from the Cantonese kéjāp or Amoy ke-tsiap.
The yin-yang is the black and white symbol that is familiar to many English speakers. [kuhm-kwot] In addition to being one of Will Shortz’s favorite crossword answers thanks to its unusual combination of letters, the term kumquat is a popular Chinese loanword in English. [dou, tou] Love our Slideshows? Sign up for our weeklySlideshow Snapshot email! 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. If you verbally cross your heart, you do it to maintain the truth of what you just said. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago states: “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve / for daws to peck at.”
If you break someone’s heart, you cause them great disappointment or sorrow. Love our Slideshows? There's a Word for That? 8 Fun Words About Words by Dictionary.com. Slideshow There's a Word for That? 8 Fun Words About Words [law-guh-fahyl, log-uh-] Does discovering a new word fill you with a glee that borders on rapture? You might be a logophile, or "lover of words. " If your word zeal transcends delight to the point that you're considering building a temple in honor of your favorite term, you might subscribe to epeolatry, or the worship of words. [dem-uh-nim] Kiwi, Nutmegger and Cornhusker might sound like items you buy at the supermarket, but in this case they are all informal demonyms, or names used for the people who live in a particular country, state, or other locality. [ses-kwi-pi-dey-lee-uhn, -deyl-yuhn] Language innovation is a cornerstone of the Twitter era, but keeping it to 140 characters or less likely cramps the style of those with sesquipedalian tendencies.
[vur-buh-sahyd] [dis-fuh-miz-uhm] Euphemisms help us dance around impropriety and bluntness in speech and writing, but what if our communication needs are of a more bawdy nature? 13 Essential Literary Terms by Dictionary.com. Normalcy and Squirmishes: Misunderestimating the Words of Politicians. Hot off the Letterpress: Words from the Print Shop by Dictionary.com. Of Man Buns and Moms: New Words of 2015. 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. 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.