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From Absolution and Ablution to Mute and Moot

Copyright © 2002-2010, 2014-2015, 2017-2020, 2022 by David E. Ross

In the following list, definitions in the right-hand column relate to the context in which the malaprop was found. Where the meaning of the words is quite clear, the definitions might be omitted.

I have also seen some of the listed malaprops reversed. That is, sometimes a word from the right-hand column was used when a word from the left-hand column was meant.

What Was WrittenWhat Was Meant
absolution: forgiveness of sin ablution: washing (e.g., of the hands or body)
accent: giving a syllable more emphasis than other syllables, a mark indicating such emphasis; a characteristic pronunciation, often resulting from regional or social background or from having another primary language assent: agreement, concurrence, consent
accident: mishap; an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss
accept: approveexcept: exclude
access: the approach or entrance to a place (including a virtual place); be able to reach, approach, enteraxis: the imaginary line around which the world (or any mass) rotates
excess: the amount beyond what is needed or can be handled
assess: estimate officially the value of (property, income, etc.) as a basis for taxation, to levy a tax; to evaluate
acceptance: approvalexception: exclusion, omission, something not conforming to the usual
acquiesced: agreed or consented passively and without protest accused: blamed; charged with a criminal offense
addition: not subtractionedition: version of a newspaper (e.g., the Sunday edition)
admits: confessesamidst: among, within
advise: give adviceadvice: strong recommendation, what you get when someone advises you
affect: create an impacteffect: result
affective: emotionaleffective: efficient; impressive; capable of producing an intended result
all ready: completely readyalready: before, by this time
allude: make indirect referenceelude: avoid, escape, hide
allusion: an indirect reference (the result of alluding)illusion: fantasy
ally: a partner in an alliancealley: a narrow street or passageway between or behind city buildings
aloft: in the air far above the ground; [nautical usage] in the upper rigging aloof: indifferent, emotionally distant
a long: not a shortalong: with
amble: stroll with some vigorample: generous, abundant
amendable: changeable, capable of being amendedamenable: willing, agreeable

This is the kind of typographical error that clearly indicates a total lack of proofreading. This is also the kind of error that automated spell-checkers do not catch.

anonym: an assumed or false nameantonym: a word that means the opposite of another word (e.g., hot is an antonym of cold)
a part: one partapart: separated
appliance; a device (e.g., a kitchen appliance is used in cooking) compliance: cooperation, conformity, obedience (e.g., compliance with the law)
aquatinted: printed in monochrome from an acid-etched copper plateacquainted: familiar
archived: [of a document] placed into long-term storageachieved: accomplished
armored: protected against attackarmed: carrying a weapon
aspect: appearance to the eyeaccept: receive as satisfactory
asses: more than one ass (rear end; donkey)assess: determine the amount of a tax or the value of property on which a tax is levied
assessable: capable of being assessed. See asses versus assess above.accessible: easy to reach or enter; readily understandable
attach (as in heart attach)attack
backs (as in sleeping backs)bags
bad mitten:
not good
a covering for the hand enclosing the four fingers together and the thumb separately
Thus, a not-good covering for the hand.
badminton: a game played by volleying a shuttlecock back and forth over a high narrow net by means of a light, long-handled racket
back bag
baking barking
banned: prohibited
Seen in … Janie and Ben have banned together …
?? From the context, the author might have meant banded, bonded, or bounded — something indicating the two were working together.
bark: the outermost tissue layer of a treeback: not front
bared: made bare or naked

Seen in

the simple cross that bared the name of his wife upon it
bore: past tense of bear (to exhibit or show)

Note: With bore, the quote should omit upon it, which is assumed.

barley: a grain barely: scarcely
barrel: a large, cylindrical container barrow: a device with projecting handles used for carrying a load

It's a wheel barrow, not a wheel barrel.

bath: where you bathebathe: what you do in the bath
batter: a mixture of flour and various liquids for making cake; to criminally beatbanter: good-humored ridicule
beacon: a guiding or warning signal, lighthouse beckon: summon by a gesture of the head or hand
beamed: emitted (as in beams of light); transmitted in a particular direction (e.g., a radio signal)

Seen in: It was also the moment when dad proudly beamed Nicole to be his 'official' grandchild.

deemed: opined, thought, regarded
bed: where you sleepbread: something to eat
begging: pleadingbeginning: starting
behave: act properly

Seen in: Congratulations to you, Mr. Johnston on behave of the board.

behalf: as an agent or representative of
behaving: acting properly

Seen in: Chad told me that I'd better not behaving too much fun.

be having: possessing

This is an excellent example of two real words being changed into a third real but unrelated word by the accidental omission of the space between them. Since all the words here are real, no spell-checker would be able to find the error.

bellow: shoutbelow: not above
bend: use force to change a shape into an arc or angle

Seen in bend in meaning hide in a crowd

blend: mingle or combine so as to obscure
beseeched: seriously begged, imploredbesieged: laid siege to
beseeched: seriously begged, imploredbesieged: laid siege to
biting: cutting with your teeth

Seen in he was biting his time.

biding: waiting, enduring

The phrase is biding his time, meaning waiting for an opportune moment.

blaze: a roaring fireblasé: weary or bored
blind-sighted [an oxymoron of unknown meaning]blind-sided: hit from a direction (side) where you could not see the blow coming
bomb fire: a fire from an incendiary bomb bonfire: a large fire, usually for a celebration
bond fire: a fire for disposing of Enron securities
bone fire: a fire for burning bones
borough: one of the five administrative divisions of New York City corresponding to a county borrow: to take something owned by someone else with the promise to return it at a later time
bounds: borderspounds: currency in the United Kingdom
bow: for shooting arrows; a knot tied with loops extending outbowl: in which soup is served
bowls: in which soup is served; lawn bowlingbolls: in which cotton forms
Brain: inside the headBrian: a name
breath: what goes in and out of your lungs when you breathebreathe: the act of drawing breath in and out
brut: very dry (usually applied to wine) brunt: primary force or impact (of an attack or storm)
brunt force —
brunt: the main or chief burden; primary force or impact (e.g., of an attack or storm)
Thus, the main force or even the main force force

Possibly an erroneous attempt to combine brute and blunt

brute force: crude, ignorant force

blunt force —
blunt: having a thick edge or point, as an instrument; dull, not sharp
Thus, force with a blunt weapon

bulks: becomes large balks: refuses to move or act as directed
bugle: a brass wind instrument, a valveless trumpetbulge: a rounded projection or protruding part; protuberance; hump
bunching: gathering in a cluster [used in bunching bag] punching: giving a sharp blow as with the fist
burry: characterized with burrs (rough edges) bury: hide by covering (e.g., in a hole)
bust: slang for poor businessbusy: what a business wants to be
cache [CASH]: a hidden place for storing provisionscachet [cash AY]: a distictive mark, a (figurative) seal of individuality
calamity: disasterclimate: long-term weather
campaign: a series of connected military operations conducted for a common objectivechampagne: a sparkling white wine from the French province of Champagne
can: a metal containercame: past tense of come
cannery: where food is cannedcanary: a small songbird with yellow feathers
carbine: a light, short, automatic or semi-automatic rifle

Seen in carbine copy

carbon: a black element, principal constituent of soot

Carbon soot is used to make carbon paper, which was extensively used to make copies of typed documents before the advent of xerographic copiers — thus the term carbon copy, referring to any identical copy of an original, including copies of non-documentary objects or even persons (e.g., a child who looks very much like a parent).

carrier: a company that transports persons or goods for profit; an insurance underwriter; a frame attached to a vehicle for carrying skis, luggage, etc. career: an occupation or profession
caste: a social class in which membership is determined by such non-meritorious factors as heredity, wealth, or religion cast: a group of performers in a play or similar entertainment; a rigid encasing of a fractured limb to keep it immobilized while it heals
causal: involving a causecasual: informal
cease: stop seize: grab

The phrase is seize the moment (carpe diem, which is Latin for seize the day). To cease the moment would be to stop the clock.

chassis: the frame of an automobile, including the engine, wheels, etc

[used in chassis lounge: where an automobile frame relaxes?]

chaise longue: a couch-like chair with the seat extended to allow a person to rest his outstretched legs
chick: a young bird; (slang) a young woman chic [sheek]: stylish, elegant

(See also chic and sheik under Homonyns)

chin: front part of lower jaw shin: front part of leg just above the ankle
chine: spine, backbone; geological ridge or crest chin: front part of lower jaw
chock: a block placed against the wheel of a vehicle to keep it from rolling chalk: a soft, white mineral used in stick form for writing and drawing

Seen in chalk full, the correct phrase is chock full, meaning "completely full". However, the phrase …he chocked it up to it's the way things are should instead be …he chalked it up to it's the way things are.

choke: strangle
shock: emotional jolt
choir: a group that performs choral music chore: a task
choral: composed for or performed by a chorus or choir corral: an enclosure for horses or cattle

(These would be homonyms except that corral is accented differently from the other two.)

coral: a marine animal in the form of a polyp that creates stoney reefs
circular: in the shape of a circle; a handbill

Seen in extra circular

curricular: related to a school's curriculum
clam: a tasty mollusccalm: serene, not roiled
cleric: priestclerk: salesperson in a retail store
click: a sharp soundclique [cleek]: an exclusive (usually snobbish) group
close: near

closed: not open

cloths: pieces of fabric

clothes: garments, wearing apparel
coach: a railroad car for passengers; a stagecoachcouch: a piece of furniture where two or more persons may sit
coed: a female student; an activity involving both men and womencooed: made a cooing sound
cold [used in cold slaw] cole: a group of vegetables that includes cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli; thus coleslaw or cole slaw
collated: gathered or arranged in a proper sequence ?? (From the context, the author might have meant collapsed, which means cave in or crumble suddenly; but the context was not sufficiently clear to be sure that was intended.)
comer: slang for a person showing promise of attaining success [used in beach comer] comber: [when used in beach comber] a person who scavanges a beach for valuables lost by visitors or cast up by the surf
completion: finish, ending complexion: color, texture, and appearance of the skin
competition: rivalry between two or more persons or groups for an object desired in common
competed: strove against others to attain a goal (often when only one can reach that goal) completed: finished
conceded: surrenderedconceited: vain
concur [conCUR]: agree conquer [CONker]: overcome by force
condescended: behaved patronizingly, did something that one regards as below one's dignity ??

While I could not determine what the author meant, it was clear from the context that condescended was definitely not the correct word.

conger [CONgur]: a large marine eel conjure [conJER]: bring to mind, recall
conscience: that small voice in your head that lets you know you have done something wrong even when no one else is watching conscious: awake
consul: a diplomat below an ambassador, appointed to look after commercial interests and the welfare of citizens while in a foreign nation console: give solace; comfort someone who is grieving
coursed: traveled along a marked coursecoerced: forced
creb-claw; the claw of a crab

Seen in a huge crab-claw bath

claw-foot: an ornamental foot to an object ending in a claw, either splayed out or grasping a ball

In this case, the writer was trying to describe an old-fashioned, free-standing bath tub that had claw feet.

crouch: stoop lowcrotch: a V-shaped junction, such as where tree branches join the trunk or where thighs join the torso
crow: a large, black birdcrowd: a large number of persons
crown: a jeweled headpiece worn as a symbol of royalty
curios: souvenirs, trinketscurious: inquisitive
currier: a person who brushes horses; a person who dresses leathercourier: a person or service that carries messages and packages
custard: a mixture of milk and eggs cooked by baking or simmering, often sweetened for a dessert

Seen in: The fort was constructed, in part, after General Custard's defeat at Little Big Horn.

Custer: the U.S. colonel who was defeated and killed by Native Americans at the Battle of Little Bighorn (full name George Armstrong Custer, held rank of brigadier general only during the Civil War)
curve: bend in a smooth but not straight line carve: cut precisely

The phrase is carve a niche, not curve a niche

dawning: the rising of the sundonning: putting on (said of clothing)
death: the final destinationdeaf: hearing impaired
decimating: removing or destroying one tenth

The next morning, we awoke to the smell of a big breakfast, mom style. After we made ourselves presentable, we sat at the table complementing on the spread already on the table. She said it was fun and actually missed cooking for more than herself. After decimating the contents on the table, we went over what we were going to do today.

Note that "decimated" does not mean totally destroyed; instead, it means 10% destroyed (from the root deci, meaning "one tenth"). Thus, what this author describes is leaving 90% of the food uneaten. He also keeps jumping between past and present tense in the same paragraph.

(See deseminated below.)

devouring(?): eating greedily

or perhaps

devastating(?): laying waste

deign: allow in a condescending way deny(?): refuse a request or access
delft: a glazed earthenware, often decorated in white or blue, originally made in the Dutch town of Delft deft: handy, sure-handed
delude: mislead, deceiveelude: avoid, escape, hide
demur: make an objection defer: put off until later
denounce: publicly condemnrenounce: give up an entitlement, disown, foreswear
descend: travel downwardascend: travel upward
descent [deCENT]: downward motion

[used in The elevator … started to make his slow descend [sic for descent] up. If the elevator were indeed going down, the correct word would have been descent without up.]

ascent: upward motion
decent [DEcent]: proper
deseminated: spread around decimated: destroyed 10%

(See decimating above.)

detest: hate, dislike intensely
(The subject feels the emotion; and the object is the target of the hate.)
disgust: cause loathing or nausea
(The subject is the cause of loathing, and the object feels the emotion.)
devote: to give special attention; to dedicate [always a verb]devout: religious; sincere [always an adjective]
differing: disputing, computing a differencedeferring: yielding, taking a secondary or subservient position relative to a superior
dinning: filling the air with noise (with din)dining: eating
disbursed: paid outdispersed: spread around (often in the sense of scattering away)
disguising: camouflaging, hiding the identitydisgusting: repulsive, offensive
distending; expanding, swelling (generally in all directions at the same time) extending: stretching out (generally in a single, specific direction)
diving: jumping into a pool of water devining: locating by paranormal methods

A devining rod (not a diving rod) is supposedly used by a dowser (water witch) to locate a previously unknown spring or other source of water.

dolled out: dressed up real nice doled out: paid
done: finisheddown: not up
dowse: to search for underground supplies of water, metal, etc., by the use of a divining rod
douse: to drench or throw water; to extinguish (e.g., a fire)
dower: the part of a person's estate automatically assigned by law to his or her surviving spouse for the remainder of the survivor's lifedour: surly, stern, ill-tempered
draw: pull; make a picture; a contest that ends in a tie; the dry bed of a stream drawer: a container within a piece of furniture that can be pulled out horizontally and then pushed back in

The piece of bedroom furniture is a chest of drawers, not chest of draws.


Seen in "…you took a long drive over a very steep cliff…"

dribble: drool; propel a basketball by bouncing itdrivel: foolish talk, twaddle
drug: medicinedragged: past-tense of drag
duck: a web-footed bird that quacks; to stoop or bend suddenly; dodge, avoid

Seen in duck tape. Duct tape is a adhesive cloth tape developed to join sections of ducts together and seal the joints.

duct: a large-diameter tube through which air is conducted

Seen in He ducts into another room. Ducking from one place to another means to avoid being found in the first place.


Seen in The evening due to a close…


Seen in dumb truck

ease [in ease dropping]eaves dropping: surreptitiously listening (under the eaves, listening through a partially open window)
either other
enormity: an offensive situation, atrocity immensity: largeness
enviable: worthy of envy; very desirable inevitable: unavoidable, sure to happen, necessary
erode: wear away gradually erupt: burst forth suddenly, break through
ethnics: slang for people characterized by common language and culture (from ethnic: distinctive of a particular racial, cultural, or language division of mankind) ethics: the principles of moral conduct
evaluator: someone who determines a value; someone who evaluateselevator: a small mobile room that travels vertically to carry people or things from one floor of a building to another
except: excludeexpect: anticipate
excepted: made an exceptionaccepted: approved, popular
exist: beexit: depart, leave
exited: departedexcited
expect: anticipateinspect: examine carefully
extend: stretchextent: amount
facet: one of the flat planes on a cut gemstonefaucet: from which water flows when turned on
faithful: loyalfateful: momentous, as if controlled by fate, of ominous significance

[Using one of these for another is a very common typographical error and indicates a total lack of proofreading.]

fallow: [of a field] uncultivated, left without planting a cropfollow
faltering: hestant, uncertain; moving unsteadily flattering: praising or complementing excessively and often insincerely
familiar: well-acquainted, intimatefamilial: related to family
far: not nearfor: not against
fathomed: found the depth of; understood; interpreted [from fathom: 6 feet(nautical measure of depth)]
(Seen in The two young men, not fathomed by the chilly air, walked in their direction.)
fauna: animals
[used in hanging fauna, part of the decor of a restaurant]
flora: plants
feign: give a false appearance, pretend fiend: a person who is extremely addicted to some pernicious habit
[Expressing loneliness, someone exclaims, "I have no close fiends."]
fends: defends, resists
fill: occupy the whole of, supply [a container] with as much as it can hold

Seen in … deciding to fill for legal emancipation from her parents …

file: make or submit an application (usually in a legal sense)
filled: completely occupied with no remaining empty spacePhil: a man's name (short for Philip)

(I suspect the writer misspelled Phil and then accepted whatever his spell-checker suggested)

filly: a young female horse under the age of four fully: completely
fine find
fired filed
flamingo: a large wading birdflamenco: an energetic, percussive style of music and dance originating in Spain
flour: for making breadfloor: not the ceiling
flexed: bentflecked: containing small spots (flecks)
frig: slang for masturbatefridge: slang for refrigerator
fulsome: excessive to the extent of being offensive; disgusting; repulsivecomplete or comprehensive (??)
furry: covered with furfury: fierce, violent action
Furness [fur-NESS]: a family name furnace [FUR-ness]: an appliance for creating heat
Gabriele [Gah bree ell]: a woman's name (also Gabrielle)Gabriel [Gay bree ell]: a man's name, also the name of one of the archangels
garage: enclosed place where you park your cargarbage: trash
garbed: clothedgrabbed: clutched, held
garnishing: decorating a plate of food; placing a lien on someone's wagesgarnering: gathering, accumulating
gauntlet: a large glove that extends above the wrist gantlet: a form of military punishment in which the offender ran between two lines of men armed with clubs and whips, with which the offender was struck as he ran

Thus, the phrase is to run the gantlet, meaning to traverse a route with danger close on both sides.

gentile: not Jewishgenital: of the reproductive organs
gauze: a loose-woven fabric, sometimes used as a dressing for woundsgaze: look
gauss (used where the author meant gauze): a unit of magnetic field strength (from Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), German mathematician and physicist)
getter: someone who getsbetter: more than good
giggling: laughing lightlyjiggling: shaking lightly
gilding: gold coatinggelding: a castrated horse
ginger: a spicy rootfinger: on your hand
girt: encircled (as with a belt)girl: female not yet a woman
gist: the main part of an issue or subjectjest: a joke
give: what you do with a gift

Seen in: Don't look a give horse in the mouth.

gift: something given without compensation

Based on the practice of checking a horse's teeth to estimate its age, the correct phrase is Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, meaning that you should not question the quality of a gift.

gleam: shine, glintglean: winnow, extract a small amount of desired substance from a large amount of trash
glom: slang for take (often secretively or illegally)
gnaw: chewnaw: slang for no
gorse: any spiny shrub of the genus Ulex gross: without deductions; total (opposite of net); complete; flagrant and extreme; a dozen-dozen (144)
gouache: a artistic paint medium using opaque pigments in a water-based gum; a painting made with such a mediumgauche: clumsy, boorish; literally left-handed [French]
graded: separated according to gradegrated: shredded on a grater
gramps: grandfatherscramps: sharp pains
grim: fierce, ghastly, terrifyinggrin: a happy smile (very far from grim)
grizzly: a very large North American bear (nearly extinct); gray-haired

Seen in Spare us the grizzly details

grisly: grim; gruesome; causing a feeling of horror
grove: a group of treesgroove: a small, narrow channel
guess: conjectureguest: a welcome visitor
guild: an association of tradesmen or craftsmen guide: steer
gust: a brief but strong wind

Seen in: It was dark and took a few minutes to a gust from the out door summer brightness to the gloom of the bar.

hansom: a low, two-wheeled, one-horse carriage with the driver's seat behind and above the passengershandsome: pleasing in appearance (in a masculine way)
hasp: part of the hardware engaged by a lock (e.g., on a gate)gasp: a short, sharp breath (often reflecting surprise)
heat: how hothead: on top of the neck
Helmut: a man's name (especially in a Germanic language)helmet: a hard hat designed to protect the head
herring: a fish

Seen in: A judge conducted a herring. (a unique symphonic spectacle)

hearing: a legal action slightly less formal than a trial
hollowed: made hollow, removed the insides of a solid objecthollered: shouted
honed: sharpened (especially of a knife)

Seen in He honed in on my location

homed; guided to a target automatically
huddle: [sports] a conference of players on the field of play

Seen in the phrase: there was only one huddle to cross

hurdle: [sports] an obstacle over which a runner leaps

The correct phrase is there was only one hurdle to cross, reflecting the fact that a runner must successfully cross all the hurdles to win the race.

Hurst: a family namehearse: a mortuary vehicle for transporting a corpse
imitative: copying; conterfeitinitiative: a person's own, responsible decision
immortalize: create an induring reputationidolize: respect (a person) as if perfect
impact: hitimpart: make known; bestow a quantity
impute: attribute (e.g., a crime) to a personinput: information supplied to someone else who is making a decision
incubate: (medicine) place in an isolated, nurturing environment to promote growthintubate: (medicine) insert a tube into the trachea to aid breathing
indecently: offending against generally accepted standards of propriety; improperly, vulgarlyincidentally: by the way; parenthetically; aside from the main subject of discussion
indiscriminate: without discriminationinfinitesimal: very tiny
infernal: hellish, fiendish, diabolical, extremely troublesome, annoying, outrageous

Seen in "raging infernal"

inferno: furnace, hellhole, oven, conflagration
insensitives: individuals who are not sensitive (??)incentives: encouragements, motivators
insinuating: giving indirect, sneaky suggestions
Seen in insinuating circumstances
extenuating: tending to lessen guilt
intonating: chanting, speaking with a specific musical toneintimating: hint, imply, subtly suggest
jacked [jakt]: raised by use of a jack (e.g., of an automobile for changing a tire); excited [slang]

Seen in warm-up jacked

jacket [JAK-it]: a short coat
jarred: shaken ajar: slightly open (e.g., a door)
jest: a joke, make a jokegist: the main point of an issue
jester: a comic persongesture: a hand motion to emphasize or substitute for spoken communication
knit whit —
  • knit: a frabic made by interlocking loops of a continuous strand of yarn or thread
  • whit: speck, smallest possible particle
nitwit: a silly or stupid person
knotted: tied into knotsnodded: moved the head in an up-and-down motion (signifying "yes")
lamb: young sheeplamp: a light
laps: circuits around a tracklapse: go by (usually said of time)
lathe: a machine for turning and shaping (e.g., for making fancy legs and rungs for a dining chair)lave: wash, bathe
latten: a thin sheet of metal; an alloy similar to brasslatent: dormant, hidden
latter: not former, the second of twoladder: a device for climbing, generally with steps between parallel rails
lease: a rental contractleast: not most
leave [used in gold leave]leaf [gold leaf because the sheets of gold are as thin as a leaf]
leaving: departing, exitingleaning: resting at an angle
Lent: a holy season for some Christians

(The author may have written lent, which his spell-checker capitalized.)

leaned: rested against something for support, usually at an angle
libation: a ceremonial drinkablution: washing of the body
libel: the civil wrong caused by publishing a harmful untruthliable: at risk of suffering something unpleasant; legally responsible
lien: the legal claim of one person upon the property of another person to secure the payment of a debt line: a mark long in proportion to its breadth on a surface

This simple transposition of the letters n and e still yields a valid word. Both are nouns; thus, the substitution of lien for line is grammatically correct even if it makes no sense. This is another error that cannot be caught by either a spell-checker or a grammar-checker. Only human proofreading could catch this error. Other errors in the story where this was found indicate no such proofreading was done.

limps: walks with a limplimbs: arms and legs
livid: having the skin an abnormal color (e.g., flushed) or bruised; furious, enragedlived: (in the context used) resided
living: staying aliveleaving: departing, exiting
load loud
looked locked
lochs: [Scottish] lakes, estuarieslox: raw salmon that has been cold smoked
lodge: insert or place firmlydislodge: loosen something that was lodged
loose: not tight lose: to part with unintentionally
loosing: making something loose
(See immediately above.)
losing: making something lost
lopped: cut off (e.g., pruned with lopping shears) lobbed: threw or hit a ball in a high arc
lounged: relaxed while lying downlunged: suddenly jumped forward to attack
lovely: prettylovingly: with affection
lumber: cut woodlumbar: lower portion of the back just above the sacral portion
lushes: a bunch of drunksluscious: delicious
mame: (actually Mame) a woman's namema'am: madam, a woman's title
manor: a large country housemanner: style
marina: a harbor for small boatsmarinara: an Italian tomato sauce seasoned with garlic, basil, and other seasonings
maroon: a dark red colormoron: a person with an IQ below the normal range
marring: damaging the surface (e.g., marring (scratching) the top of a table)marrying: getting wed
matriculate: register in a college to earn a degreemeticulous: overly precise about details
maul: a heavy mallet; to beat and abusemaw: the jaws and gullet of a voracious animal
mediocre: poor, inferior

Seen in "mediocre of privacy"

modicum: a moderate or small amount
meld: lay cards down on the table during a rummy-type gamemerge
mid-drift: middle of a drift (of snow)?

Used in bare mid-drift.

Also seen as middrift, which is not a valid word.

midriff: the middle of the torso

Bare midriff describes casual clothing that covers the upper chest and lower abdomen but leaves the skin bare between

mime: telling a story with gestures and without speakingmine: belonging to me
mine: belonging to memind: the thinking part of the brain
minister: a clergyman in certain Protestant churchesminster: a monastery church, a cathedral
minuets: elegant dancesminutes: units of time
moister: more moistmoisture: dampness
momentarily: for a moment, briefly (not in a moment or after a moment)shortly: after a moment
mordantly: sarcastically, cuttingly
(mordant: a dye fixative, such as tannic acid)
morbidly: near death
morels [muRELS]: an edible mushroom of the genus Morchella, tasty but very expensive morals [MORuls]: the principles of correct conduct or the distinction between right and wrong
moth: a flying insect of the order Lepidopteramouth: the orifice used for eating and talking
month: approximately 1/12 of a year
mouse: a small rodentmousse: a thick dressing used to hold hair (e.g., in a "spiked" style)
mulled: pondered, thought over; heated with spices (e.g., wine)milled: moved around in a relatively confined space
mummer: actor; participant in the annual New Years Mummers Parade in Philadelphiamurmur: an indistinct, grumbled complaint
must: to be obliged or need to, ought tomussed: messed
mute: silent

Seen in … by the time they bring the case to court, the case will be mute

moot: of little or no practical relevance; debatable; overcome by events

From Nana and Nano to You and Who

Last updated 4 October 2020

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