Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, November 22, 2015)
Word of the Day

phylactery

Definition:(noun) Either of two small leather boxes, each containing strips of parchment inscribed with quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures, one of which is strapped to the forehead and the other to the left arm; traditionally worn by Jewish men during morning worship, except on the Sabbath and holidays.
Synonyms:tefillin
Usage: Just before his bar mitzvah, David got a brand new set of phylacteries.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Demonstrative Adjectives

Like all adjectives, demonstrative adjectives modify nouns or pronouns. There are four common demonstrative adjectives in English: "this," "that," "these," and "those." Where do they always appear in a sentence? More...
Article of the Day

The Tar

The tar is a long-necked lute found in Iran and throughout the Caucasus region. Its music was believed to cure a number of physical maladies and induce philosophical moods that compel listeners to reflect upon life. The tar's double-bowl shape is carved from mulberry wood, and a thin membrane of stretched lambskin covers the top. It has a number of adjustable frets as well as three double courses of strings. Tar, Persian for string, is the root for the names of what other instruments? More...
This Day in History

Cutty Sark Is Launched (1869)

The tea trade in the 1860s and 70s was intensely competitive, with merchant ships racing to be the first to arrive in London with that year's crop from China. It was for this purpose that the three-masted clipper Cutty Sark was originally built. She became one of the swiftest and most celebrated British clippers, but within a few years of her launch, steamships had largely supplanted clippers in the tea trade, so she began carrying other cargos. What is the origin and meaning of her name? More...
Today's Birthday

George Eliot (1819)

Eliot, born Mary Ann Evans, was raised with a strong religious piety but broke with orthodoxy in her 20s and turned to fiction, writing such classic Victorian novels as Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda, and Middlemarch, in which she developed a method of psychological analysis that would become a characteristic of modern fiction. Although her novels are serious in tone, they still contain humorous moments. With which philosopher did Eliot have a lengthy, scandalous affair? More...
Quotation of the Day
Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are your own fears.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Idiom of the Day

take a breather

To take a short pause or hiatus (from something). More...
Today's Holiday

Thanksgiving (2018)

The first American Thanksgiving was entirely religious, and took place on December 4, 1619, but most Americans think of the first "official" Thanksgiving as the one that took place at Plymouth Colony in October 1621, a year after the Pilgrims first landed on the New England coast. Today, Thanksgiving is a time for family reunions and traditions, most of which center around the preparation of an elaborate meal featuring turkey and a dozen or so accompanying dishes. The widespread sales that begin in stores the next day mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: repeat

recap, recapitulate - Recap is short for recapitulate, literally "repeat the headings." More...

trackway - A path formed by the repeated treading of animals or people. More...

frequent - From Latin frequens, "crowded" or "regularly repeated." More...

spam - As in e-mail, it gets its name from the Monty Python sketch in which the word is repeated many times. More...

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