Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, December 28, 2020)
Word of the Day

blowhard

Definition:(noun) A very boastful and talkative person.
Synonyms:braggart, line-shooter, vaunter
Usage: If I have to listen to that blowhard brag about his latest project for one more minute, I am going to lose my mind!
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using the Subjunctive Mood

When we use the subjunctive mood to express actions that we demand, suggest, or request that someone else take, or describe something that must be the case, we use the base form of the verb. What does that mean? More...
Article of the Day

Winklepickers

A staple of rock-and-roll fashion in Britain from the 1950s onward, winklepicker shoes and boots are noted for their extremely pointed toes. They were originally worn by both male and female rock-and-roll fans, and later became popular with the mod and punk subcultures as well. Their association with the music scene continues to this day, as they are worn by members of bands such as Kings of Leon and The Horrors. From what kitchen utensil did winklepickers derive their unusual name? More...
This Day in History

The Messina Earthquake (1908)

Messina is a busy seaport and commercial center in northeastern Sicily, Italy, opposite the Italian mainland. On the morning of December 28, 1908, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Messina, followed by a 40-foot (12-meter) tsunami. About 80,000 people were killed, and at least 90 percent of Messina's buildings, including its churches and palaces, were destroyed. Afterward, the city was completely rebuilt under standards for quake-resistant construction. What happened to the survivors? More...
Today's Birthday

Pío Baroja y Nessi (1872)

Considered the foremost Spanish novelist of his time, Baroja was part of the Generation of '98, a group of writers who, in the face of defeat in the Spanish-American War, proclaimed a moral and cultural rebirth for Spain. He wrote almost 100 novels, including 11 trilogies and, perhaps his most ambitious project, a 22-volume cycle about a 19th-century insurgent. Baroja's writings largely concern the intellectual and political climate of his homeland. What career did he give up to be a writer? More...
Quotation of the Day
To note an artist's limitations is but to define his talent. A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.

Willa Cather (1873-1947)

Idiom of the Day

the nosebleeds

A seating area very high up in a stadium or theater, as for a sporting event, musical performance, play, etc., which typically costs less money but has a restricted view. "Nosebleed" refers jocularly to the effects of extremely high altitudes on the body, which can often cause nasal hemorrhaging, among other symptoms. More...
Today's Holiday

Holy Innocents' Day (2021)

Also known as Innocents' Day or Childermas, this day commemorates the massacre of all the male children two years and younger in Bethlehem as ordered by King Herod, who hoped that the infant Jesus would be among them. Not surprisingly, this day has long been regarded as unlucky. In ancient times, the "Massacre of the Innocents" was reenacted by whipping the younger members of a family. But over the years, the tables turned, and in some countries it has become a day when children play pranks on their elders. In Mexico, Childermas is the equivalent of April Fools' Day. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: simpleton

dodo - Comes from Portuguese doudo, "fool, simpleton," from the bird's awkward appearance. More...

doodle - Originally a noun meaning "fool, simpleton," from German dudeltopf, it came to mean absent-minded scribbling. More...

gullible - A derivative of archaic gull, "dupe" or "simpleton." More...

half-wit - Originally was "a would-be wit whose abilities are mediocre"; the sense of "simpleton" (one lacking all his wits) is attested to 1755. More...

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