Category Archives: word choices

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

Posted in word choices, word origins, word play | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Are You Familiar with These Words and Phrases?

Are You Familiar with These Words and Phrases?

I love unusual words and phrases and often make note of them as I read. Today, we have a nice mix.  “As Nice as Ninepence“ means neat, tidy, well-ordered. Phrase Finder tells us that the origin of the phrase may … Continue reading

Posted in etymology, word choices, word origins | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Author’s Voice

Years ago, when I was still beating my head against the wall while teaching English in the public classrooms of three different states, I attempted repeatedly to explain “author voice” to my students. I encouraged my students to write with … Continue reading

Posted in vocabulary, word choices, word origins, writing | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Author’s Voice

Are You Familiar with These Words and Phrases?

The words and phrases below are ones I can across in a “more traditional” Regency romance I was reading leisurely, and thought I would share some of the less common ones. Enjoy! Here and Thereian is one who has no … Continue reading

Posted in vocabulary, word choices, word origins, word play, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Colorful, Colored, and Colorless Words: Fixing Writing Errors

Do you recall the dreaded 500-words’ essay often assigned by English teachers? Do you also recall the sinking feeling of coming up with 500 words on a subject for which you held no opinion? Do you also recall writing something … Continue reading

Posted in eBooks, editing, language choices, publishing, word choices, word choices, word play, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Are You Familiar with These Phrases and Words?

Today we will look at phrases/words we have inherited from England. Go to the Dickens! (or) What the Dickens! Believe it or not, neither phrase has anything to do with the Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens. Actually, “dickens” comes to us … Continue reading

Posted in word choices, word origins, word play | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

“X” Does Not Always Mark the Spot

Recently, I spent a delightful morning counting words in Pride and Prejudice. Why? You may ask: Regina, do you not have enough to do with your retirement years than to sit around counting how many times Jane Austen used the word … Continue reading

Posted in book excerpts, British history, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Jane Austen, Living in the Regency, word choices, writing | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Do You Know The Origin of These Words and Phrases?

Three Sheets to the Wind – Urban Dictionary defines this phrase to mean “to be explicitly drunk; inebriated.” The origin is likely found in practicality: Sheets actually refer to the ropes that are used to secure a ship’s sail. If the … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Chaucer, Canterbury tales, etymology, history, Jane Austen, real life tales, tall tales, word choices, word origins, word play, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

Dead as a Doornail. The “doornail” is the plate or knocker upon which the hammer of a door knocker strikes. Phrases.org gives us this explanation on the origin of the phrase. In 1350,  William Langland used the phrase in a translation … Continue reading

Posted in language choices, vocabulary, word choices, word choices, word origins, writing | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

These are some of the words and phrases I have encountered of late while reading. Some I knew the meaning and some I did not. Even when I knew the meaning, I was interested in the word’s origin or how … Continue reading

Posted in language choices, vocabulary, word choices, word choices, word origins, word play | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment