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IDIOMS: And Bob’s your uncle!

Have you ever thought about how strangely some of the English idioms may sound to non-native speakers? Here’s a great example! “And Bob’s your uncle!” is a phrase used to conclude something, usually a set of instructions. Non natives would perhaps use a non-idiomatic expressions like “and it’s done” or “and there you have it”. […]

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IDIOMS: All mouth and no trousers

“All mouth and no trousers” is another phrase used mainly and heard primarily on the British Islands, meaning empty boasting. We use this phrase to describe someone who is boastful, arrogant, full of shallow talk, or someone who is just showing off. It’s commonly used when someone says they’re going to do something (usually something […]

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IDIOMS: A piece of cake

This phrase is most commonly used to point out that something is really easy or easy to accomplish. It’s a piece of cake! The origin of this idiom dates back to 1800s when cakes were given out as prizes for winning competitions. Unlike most bizarre idioms, this one probably originates in the United States. Slaves […]

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Antonyms

Antonyms are words with the opposite meaning, unlike synonyms which are words that share the same meaning. There are many more words with synonyms than there are words with antonyms. In the English language many words just don’t have an opposite, such as hamburger or tree or dog (and no, the opposite word is not […]

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Homographs – meaning

The word “homograph” comes from a couple of Greek words, namely homos and grapho, literally meaning “same writing”. A homograph is a word which is spelled the same way as another word but may not be pronounced the same way, plus has a different meaning. The difference in pronunciation might be very slight, though, sometimes […]

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Homonyms – meaning

The word “homonym” comes from the Greek homonymos, meaning “having the same name”. A homonym is a word that not only sounds like another word but is also spelled the same, thus has the same name or signifier as another word. These words sound the same and look the same, their meaning, however, is completely […]

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“Pull out all the stops” meaning

To do everything you can to make something successful. Examples: The kids pulled out all the stops and organized a really great party. Republicans pulled out all the stops to ensure that the seat in the ruby red state didn’t fall into Democratic hands, including two rallies from President Donald Trump on Monday to help […]

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Homophone meaning

Homophone is a word that sounds alike another word but has a completely different meaning. Homophones can be problematic not just for foreign speakers of English, but for native speakers as well. Since these pairs of words are usually pronounced the same (to some varying extent), it can be difficult sometimes to remember the correct spelling. Here’s an example […]

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What does wtw mean in text

What’s the word This acronym is most frequently used in text to replace the complete spelled out phrase “what’s the word?“. It is similar to asking the questions “what’s up?” or “what’s going on?” Acronyms for WTW: What’s up? What’s new? What’s happening? Hey, What’s up? How’s everything? How are things? What’s happening How’s it […]

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