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Tag Archive | thesaurus

C’mon, Get Happy: 7 Happy Expressions Defined


Happy as a clam

happy-as-a-clamCute as they are, clams are not the most emotive creatures in the animal kingdom, so why do we say happy as a clam? Some have speculated it’s because a partially opened clam shell resembles a smile. But the expression is a shortening of the longer happy as a clam in mud at high tide or happy as a clam at high water, both of which were in usage by the mid-1800s and serve to mean “happy as a critter that’s safe from being dug up and eaten.” The longer expressions evoke a sense of relief more than the shorter happy as a clam, which is widely used to mean “extremely happy.”

Happy hour

happy-hourPeople were using the word happy to mean “intoxicated” as early as the mid-1600s, alluding to the merrymaking effect of alcohol. But the phrase happy hour didn’t catch on until the early 1900s. This expression originally referred to a time on board a ship allotted for recreation and entertainment for a ship’s crew. Nowadays the expression refers to cocktail hour at a bar, when drinks are served at reduced prices. This definition caught on around the era depicted in the well-lubricated offices of TV’s Mad Men.

Slaphappy

 

slaphappyAround the time of World War II, the word happy began appearing in words to convey temporary overexcitement. Slaphappy is one of these constructions, suggesting a dazed or “happy” state from repeated blows or slaps, literal or figurative. Slaphappy can mean “severely befuddled” or “agreeably giddy or foolish” or “cheerfully irresponsible.”

Trigger-happy

 

trigger-happyMuch like slaphappy, the happy in trigger-happy indicates a kind of temporary mental overstimulation. But in this construction, happy means “behaving in an irresponsible or obsessive manner.” The term trigger-happy entered English in the 1940s with the definition “ready to fire a gun at the least provocation.” Over time, it has taken on figurative senses including “eager to point out the mistakes or shortcomings of others” and “heedless and foolhardy in matters of great importance.”

Happy-go-lucky

 

happy-go-luckyThe word happy comes from the Old Norse happ meaning “chance” or “luck.” The wildcard nature of chance is reflected in the wide range of words that share this root. While the adjective happy-go-lucky, meaning “trusting cheerfully to luck” or “happily unconcerned or worried,” is widely used in positive contexts, its etymological cousin haphazard, carries a more negative connotation. The expression happy-be-lucky entered English slightly earlier than happy-go-lucky, but fell out of use in the mid-1800s.

Happy medium

happy-mediumThe phrase happy medium refers to a satisfactory compromise between two opposed things, or a course of action that is between two extremes. The notion of the happy medium is descended from an ancient mathematical concept called the golden section, or golden mean, in which the ratios of the different parts of a divided line are the same. This term dates from the 1600s, though is still widely used today.

Happy camper

happy-camperA happy camper is a person who is cheerful and satisfied, although the expression is frequently used in negative constructions, as in “I’m not a happy camper.” The word camper was widely used to refer to a soldier or military man when it entered English in the 1600s. It took on a more generic sense of one who camps recreationally in the mid-1800s, paving the way for the expression happy camper to emerge in the 1930s. Interestingly, use of the phrase happy camper skyrocketed in the 1980s.

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Essential Sites for Writers

http://aroundtheredmap.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/do-not-disturb.jpg

MG Mason, in his wonderful blog Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink, has compiled a great list of resources.


Writing & Language Tools

  1. Blabla meter for when you really need to be told that there’s too much waffle in your writing
  2. FreeMind: a brainstorming tool
  3. English Stack Exchange. A very nerdy linguistics resource
  4. Evernote: A cloud application that makes for a good tool for storing and sharing research and notes across multiple devices
  5. Onomatopoeia dictionary Ta-dah! needs no explanation
  6. Oxford Dictionaries British-American English Comparison. Want to know your pavement from your sidewalk or your aubergine from your eggplant? And what is a courgette anyway?
  7. Synonym Finder (and antonyms) for all of your word finding needs
  8. VisuWords is a clever dictionary/thesaurus/wordfinder/word association tool that uses a graphical interface
  9. Wordnik: An encyclopaedia of words. Antonyms, synonyms, etymology, demonstrated use. Create lists of your favourites
  10. Write or Die: Creative writing sadism with punishment for not keeping up

Writing prompts

  1. Creative Writing Prompts. Some simple ideas to get you started
  2. With Painted Words: Picture prompt. Earn money too!

eBooks

Edited by Zoe

600 free books for kindle iphone ipadfree-books2


Other

  1. Book Crossing: Give a book away but first put a label on containing a unique code from this website. Then watch it travel the world.
  2. Rare Book Room: HQ digital photographs of some of the rarest books on the planet. Examine them without having to visit the national library in another country and more importantly, without damaging them
  3. Read It Swap It: Have lots of books in storage that you don’t want to give away, can’t sell and will never likely read again? How about swapping it for another book? Simple premise and it works. I’ve acquired three books through this site already.
  4. Librivox: Download free audiobooks voiced by volunteers. Or perhaps you might want to volunteer yourself

20 book sites audio books download free

Check his blog at:

Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink


5 Fun Ways to Say Boring

Ennui

[ahn-wee, ahn-wee]

ennuiNot all boredom is created equal: some of it is fleeting and circumstantial, and some of it teeters on existential crisis. Ennui tends toward the latter–or at least it used to. Derived from the French verb enuier meaning “to annoy,” its peak usage was in Victorian and Romantic literature to express a profound sense of weariness, even a spiritual emptiness or alienation from one’s surroundings and time. Nowadays it’s used at both ends of the boredom spectrum, but its deep literary history lends even the most shallow disinterest a grandiose air.

Bromidic

[broh-mid-ik]

bromidicBromide is a chemical compound that was commonly used in sedatives in the 1800 and 1900s. It took on a figurative sense to mean a trite saying or verbal sedative, or a person who is platitudinous and boring, in the early 1900s with help of the U.S. humorist Frank Gelett Burgess, who published a book titled Are You a Bromide? in 1907. The next time a particularly bland work meeting lulls you into a near coma, remember to mentally log it as bromidic just before nodding off.

Prosaic

[proh-zey-ik]

prosaicIf your personal brand of boredom stems from a deficit of literal or figurative poetry in your life, this is the word for you. Now commonly used to mean dull, matter-of-fact, or unimaginative, prosaic entered the lexicon as the adjectival form of the word prose–as in not poetry. Its evolution to mean uninspired and commonplace in a broader context feels in many ways like a love letter to the oft-neglected literary genre.

Insipid

[in-sip-id]

insipidMuch like bland and flavorless, insipid is commonly used to describe food that leaves your tastebuds wanting more, but it’s also used in an abstract sense to describe a person, place or thing that lacks distinction, depth or intrigue. Its versatility can be attributed to its root word, the Latin sapidus, which translates to well-tasted, wise, or prudent. The next time you find yourself surrounded by droning company and uninspired cuisine (perhaps on your next flight?) liven things up with this handy twofer.

Platitudinous

[plat-i-tood-n-uhs, –tyood-]

platitudinousStemming from the French word for flat, plat (think plateau), platitudinous is used most frequently to refer to lackluster or trite use of language. A political speech brimming with tiresome rhetoric and cliches can be said to be platitudinous, but with this illuminating descriptor in your word arsenal, your bemoaning of the speech doesn’t have to be.

Source and images

168 Color terms in English

Compiled by Stephen Chrisomalis

This list contains 168 definitions of obscure colour terms using combinations of ‘normal‘ colours of the rainbow and descriptive adjectives; e.g. cardinal = deep scarlet red; russet = reddish brown. Note that most English speakers outside the U.S. spell colour with the added British ‘u’ rather than the American version color. Don’t worry if the colours (or colors) in your universe don’t match up with the definitions I’ve given for these words, though – I’ve been known to have skewed perceptions of reality … Read More…

Synonyms for the 96 most commonly used words in English

Amazing incredible, unbelievable, improbable, fabulous, wonderful, fantastic, astonishing, astounding, extraordinary

Anger enrage, infuriate, arouse, nettle, exasperate, inflame, madden

Angry mad, furious, enraged, excited, wrathful, indignant, exasperated, aroused, inflamed

 

Read More…

50 Most Challenging Words

Back in 2010 The New York Times published a list of 50 fancy words that most frequently stump their readership.

The New York Times 50 Fancy Words

(defined and used)

 

1. Inchoate: just begun and so not fully formed or developed

I am glad your inchoate proposals for integrating the company were not accepted this time, thus saving us face. Read More…

Positive Personality Adjectives List

List of 100 common personality adjectives that describe people positively
You may use them for inspiration or to enhance your resume.

In reply to Important Infrequently Used Words To Know Rochelle commented that she would like to to see a list of joyful words she should learn as well. 
So, let us have them:

A

adaptableadj able and usually willing to change
Synonyms: compliant, flexible, malleable, resilient, versatile

adventurousadj daring, risk-taking
Synonyms: adventuresome, audacious, bold, courageous, enterprising, intrepid, risky, brave

Click on the word below to follow the thesaurus link.

affable
affectionate
agreeable

Read More…

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