Category Archives: Language & Terms

That’s a Contronym. Yes it is. No it’s not.

The English language is full of quirks (strange things). One of them is contronyms. Contronyms are words with two opposite meanings. Knowing which of its meanings is being used depends on the context (the words around it). Here are two contronyms … Continue reading

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Yiddish Words in Daily English

The Yiddish language originated in Central Europe in the 9th century A.D., spoken largely by the Jewish communities there. It spread to other parts of Europe (especially Germany), and was widely spoken in several countries prior to World War II. … Continue reading

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Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?

*punk: a worthless person; a young and inexperienced person, who believes he or she is very skilled and knowledgeable –> “Who is that punk? He says he can beat anyone in a game of tennis.” *to have (got) nothing on … Continue reading

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How to Cross the Street (in English)

Yes, you already know how to cross the street. You don’t need an English lesson for that. But what about understanding the language on a crosswalk sign? Watch the short video explanation below. It could save your life someday! Jeff … Continue reading

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Thick as Thieves

When I was growing up, my best friend was Marlene. We became friends in the third grade when we were about 10 years old. We hung around (spent free time) with each other all the time. In fact, we were practically … Continue reading

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You Think You’re a Genius? Ditto.

You will sometimes hear Americans use the word “ditto” in a conversation. Ditto is used as a response to what someone else has said to mean “That is true for me, too” or “The same with me,” as in: Edmund: … Continue reading

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Are You a Pig, Owl, Beaver, or Clam?

Animals and people have a lot in common, if language is any indicator (something that shows the current state or level of something). We compare people to animals all the time, whether it’s because of their appearance (how they look), … Continue reading

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A Rock versus a Stone: A One-Minute Video Lesson

Here’s a one-minute video lesson on the difference between a rock and a stone in English. Enjoy! -Jeff  

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Color or Colour? Spelling as a Political Act

If you’re an English learner, you may be annoyed  at (bothered by) the differences in spelling in American English and British English. We Americans use “color” and the British use “colour.” We write “realize” and they write “realise.” You might think … Continue reading

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Things That Stick Out

“Stick out” is an interesting little expression. It describes something that is easy to see, or is noticeable, because it comes out farther than the rest. For example, “He’s so tall that he sticks out in a crowd (large group … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms, Life in the United States | 8 Comments