Words and Phrases
Meanings of the many words and phrases we run across in reading and writing.
Commonly Misused Words
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” That is a line, said by Inigo Montoya in one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride.
When writing, when we need to be sure of the meaning of the words we use.
Eat Your Heart Out
You've probably heard the phrase eat your heart out. Either someone has directed this phrase at you, or you've said this phrase to someone else. Where did this phrase come from, and what does it actually mean?
Following are some spooky words associated with this time of year. Maybe you could put some of these words to use in the Halloween writing prompts I have suggested in previous articles.
Happy as a Clam
An idiom is a group of words or expression whose meaning cannot be taken from the literal meaning of the individual words in the expression.
What does it mean if one is happy as a clam, happy as a clam at high tide, or happy as a clam in mud at high tide?
A treasury of words that sound alike, yet are spelled differently and have different meanings.
Horse Words and Phrases
Horses were once very important in our economy. People depended upon them for transportation. Since they were once our mode of transportation, there were also people who sold horses to make a living.
Kaffeeklatsch & Other German Words
German is a difficult language to learn, but many German words have been borrowed by the English language. Have you ever thought about working any of these words into your writing? Maybe you could create a character that has a tendency to throw German words into everything he says.
More Commonly Misused Words
I am constantly amazed by how many people (including myself) misuse words. Meanings, as well as pronunciations, are always misunderstood. In this article I’m going to talk about some of the words that are commonly misused in writing, as well as in speaking.
In speaking and in writing, there are many phrases that are used. But where did these phrases originate? What are their meanings? Researching phrases and how they originated is one way to come up with ideas for stories.
Redundant Expressions that we commonly use.
Sweat Like a Pig
Have you ever heard anyone say that he is sweating like a pig? What goes through your mind when you hear this said? Do you picture Porky Pig roasting out in the sun with a headband on to catch the sweat before it drips into his eyes?
Vocabulary, Why Bother?
Words are magical and just the right word can make a story come to life. The English language is complex, yet beautiful.
Words That Make Noise A-C
Onomatopoeia literally means ‘the name of sound I make’. Onomatopoeic words are imitations of the sounds made by objects or animals. This would include words such as achoo, sizzle, or clang. What are some other examples of these words to use in your writing?
Words That Make Noise D-H
There are ways to tell what kind of sound a word is imitating just by the letters it begins or ends with. What letters do onomatopoeic words that have to do with water normally begin with What about the words that have to do with collisions?
Words That Make Noise J-K
Does your story have automotive noises? Perhaps the cries of birds fill the air. Or maybe it is full of explosions, fighting, and people running. Whatever type of noises are in your story, chances are there is a word that makes just the type of noise you need.
Words That Make Noise L-N Fiction Writing Homepage | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Fiction Writing Site Map
Is there a child in your story who delights in taunting others? Or maybe there is a car in your tale that has a broken power steering pump. Are you writing about an evil scientist who loves to laugh in an evil, maniacal manner? How would you make the sounds for all of these in your writing?
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