Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, December 24, 2017)
Word of the Day

portentous

Definition:(adjective) Marked by pompousness; pretentiously weighty.
Synonyms:overblown, pompous, grandiloquent, pontifical
Usage: His hands, large and coarse, were plentifully bedecked with rings; and he wore a heavy gold watch-chain, with a bundle of seals of portentous size, and a great variety of colors, attached to it.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using Absolute Phrases

We generally use absolute phrases at the beginning of a sentence to introduce additional information, or at the end of a sentence to provide a final comment on the sentence as a whole. It is also possible to use an absolute phrase in the middle of a sentence. What does that placement add to the sentence? More...
Article of the Day

Cyrus the Great

Better known as Cyrus the Great, Cyrus II was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. In around 550 BCE, Cyrus united the kingdoms of Media and Persia, forming the beginnings of an empire that would eventually spread from Egypt to the Indus River and become the largest state the world had yet seen. Because he respected the customs and religions of each part of his empire, Cyrus was often seen as a liberator rather than a conqueror. How does the Bible treat Cyrus? More...
This Day in History

Christmas Island Discovered by Captain James Cook (1777)

Though Captain James Cook was certainly not the first person to set foot on Christmas Island—the atoll had been visited by native Pacific Islanders in the past—it was uninhabited when he found it. Both the UK and US later laid claim to the atoll, and they vied for power there for the next 100 years or so, until it gained independence as part of the 33-island Republic of Kiribati and was renamed Kiritimati. Before it gained independence, the US and UK used the atoll as a testing ground for what? More...
Today's Birthday

Georges-Marie Guynemer (1894)

A top French fighter ace during World War I and a national hero, Guynemer shot down 53 enemy planes and survived being shot down several times before he presumably died in a firefight on September 11, 1917. During an engagement that fateful day, Guynemer's plane disappeared, reportedly shot down by a German pilot who was himself killed in action weeks later. To ease the blow of the loss of their young hero, French schoolchildren were taught that what had happened to him? More...
Quotation of the Day
Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradles. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Idiom of the Day

the moral high ground

A position of moral authority or superiority that one's arguments, beliefs, ideas, etc., are claimed or purported to occupy, especially in comparison to a differing viewpoint. (Used especially in the phrase "take/claim/seize/etc. the moral high ground.") More...
Today's Holiday

Tolling the Devil's Knell (2021)

To celebrate the birth of Christ and the death of the Devil, All Saints Minster Church in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, rings its bell the same number of times as the number of the year (for example, 2,014 times in 2014) on Christmas Eve. The tolling starts at 11:00 PM, stops during the church service from midnight to 12:45, and then resumes until the years have been tolled away. The custom has been going on for almost 700 years. The bell has been called "Black Tom of Soothill" since the 13th century, and Tolling Black Tom is supposed to keep the parish safe from the Devil for another 12 months. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: thigh

ham, hamstring - Originally, the part of the leg behind the knee was called the ham, and then the tendon near the ham was the hamstring; by extension, the ham became the thigh and buttock together. More...

haunch - The buttock and thigh together. More...

hockshin, gambrel - The underside of the thigh is the hockshin or gambrel. More...

thigh - Etymologically, the "plump" part of the leg, from an Indo-European base meaning "swell" or "fat." More...

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