Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, May 23, 2018)
Word of the Day

buttonhole

Definition:(verb) Detain in conversation by or as if by holding on to the outer garments of; as for political or economic favors.
Synonyms:lobby
Usage: It is not easy to buttonhole her for an interview.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Modal Auxiliary Verbs - Can

The modal auxiliary verb "can" is most often used to express a person or thing’s ability to do something. When is "can do" used? More...
Article of the Day

Fisticuffs

Alternately known as fisticuffs, bare-knuckle boxing is the original form of boxing and involves two combatants fighting without gloves or padding on their hands. Though closely related to ancient combat sports, it differs from street fighting in that there are specific rules that participants must observe, such as not striking an opponent who is already down. John L. Sullivan, who won a 75-round match in 1889, was one of the last great bare-knuckle boxers. Who are some other notable pugilists? More...
This Day in History

Girolamo Savonarola Executed for Heresy (1498)

Savonarola was an Italian preacher and religious reformer. After the overthrow of the Medici family, he became the ruler of Florence, setting up a democratic but severely puritanical government. He was opposed by the allies of the Medici and by Pope Alexander VI, who attempted to restrain Savonarola's unusual interpretations of scripture and his claim of prophecy. He was tried, convicted of heresy, and hanged. His government was known for its "bonfire of the vanities," which was what? More...
Today's Birthday

Artie Shaw (1910)

Considered one of swing's two great clarinetists—along with his rival, Benny Goodman—Shaw was a virtuoso at his instrument. He began playing professionally as a teen before becoming leader of one of the most popular big bands of the swing era. In 1935, he performed with a string quartet that he later expanded into a more conventional dance band. He led a US Navy band during World War II and various ensembles later on, retiring in 1954. How many times was Shaw married? More...
Quotation of the Day
I am tempted to think that to be despised by her sex is a very great compliment to a woman.

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

Idiom of the Day

Give me liberty, or give me death!

A set phrase indicating stark and unyielding refusal to submit to authoritarian measures or domination. The phrase is attributed to American politician Patrick Henry (1736–1799) from a speech he made to the Virginia Convention in 1775, calling for Virginian troops to assist in the Revolutionary War. Any number of alternative nouns can be used in place of "liberty" as a means of humorously or hyperbolically highlighting one's extreme reluctance to part with it. More...
Today's Holiday

Lag B'Omer (2019)

The name of this Jewish holiday means "thirty-three omer," an omer being a sheaf of barley or wheat. In the biblical book of Leviticus, the people were commanded by Jehovah to make an offering of a sheaf of barley on each of the 50 days between Passover and Shavuot. After the evening service, the number of the day was solemnly announced, and in time this ceremony came to be known as "the counting of the omer." Lag ba-Omer represents a break in the otherwise solemn season between Passover and Shavuot. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: retreat

retreatant - A person taking part in a retreat. More...

anabasis, catabasis - An anabasis is a military expedition and a catabasis is the retreat of an army. More...

ivory tower - Suggests elegant detachment in a cool, white aerie, where a poet or philosopher might retreat to think and write. More...

resile, arsle - To resile or arsle is to recoil, retreat, or draw back. More...

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