A fossil word is an obsolete word that has been “fossilized,” or preserved, within an idiom. These words are rarely, if ever, used outside of the idiomatic expressions in which they are embedded. In fact, an English speaker using an idiom containing a fossil word might not even be aware of what the fossil word…

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This week, we’re going to look at another five words whose meanings have changed over time. English, like any living language, continues to grow, change, and evolve. New words are created, old words fall out of use, and existing words take on new meanings. Many common English words have very different meanings now than they…

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English, like any living language, continues to grow, change, and evolve. New words are created, old words fall out of use, and existing words take on new meanings. Many common English words have very different meanings now than they did in older forms of English. Knowing these older meanings can make reading earlier English works…

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