Category Archives: word choices

Words that “Snarl” and Words that “Purr”

My undergraduate degree was a comprehensive major (no minor) that covered English, speech, journalism, and theatre. As such, many years ago, I came across these terms: snarl-words and purr-words in a book on rhetoric that was one of my textbooks. … Continue reading

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Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

Go Through Fire and Water ~ English for Students tells us, “Go through fire and water means to face any peril. This phrase originally referred to the medieval practice of trial by ordeal which could take the form of making an accused … Continue reading

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Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

 Jumping the Broom/Broomstick – This is a ceremony dating back to the 1600s and derived from Africa. Dating back to slave days, jumping the broom together has been part of weddings for couples who want to honor that tradition. It also … Continue reading

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Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

Inexpressibles ~ Etymology Compare to unmentionables ‎(“underwear”). Geri Walton at her Unique Histories from the 18th and 19th Centuries tells us “That part of the dress which it is now unlawful to name, seems of old to have had the … Continue reading

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The Lovely World of the English Language ~ Do You Know These Idioms?

Are you like me? Do you wonder from where a particular phrase originates? I am often in a position to search out a phrase or a word to determine whether it is too modern for my writings set in the … Continue reading

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Are You Familiar With These Words and Phrases?

Spillikin ~ The Oxford Living Dictionaries gives us: [treated as singular] A game played with a heap of small rods of wood, bone, or plastic, in which players try to remove one at a time without disturbing the others, while Wikitionary … Continue reading

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Are You Familiar with These Words and Phrases?

Bell the Cat ~ To hang a bell around a cat’s neck to provide a warning. Figuratively, the expression refers to any task that is difficult or impossible to achieve. This explanation comes from Phrase Finder. This expression ultimately derives from the … Continue reading

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