2. National Doctor’s Day – 1st July

2. National Doctor’s Day –1st July

National Doctors Day Content Marketing Ideas

This day is celebrated to recognize the contributions of doctors to individual lives and communities.

Content marketing ideas:    

  • Listicle idea: Courses apart from MBBS that one can do to work in the medical field
  • Infographic idea: Here’s how to show gratitude to doctors for working through COVID-19
  • Video idea: How PPEs are saving doctors’ lives
  • Podcast idea: Are doctors paid too much or too little for the work they do?

Brand campaign that worked:

This video by Apollo Hospitals with the hashtag #HeroesInWhiteCoat talks about “Why do doctors wear white coats?”. This video aims to salute the selfless spirit that sets Doctors apart.


1. GST Day – 1st July

GST Day Content Marketing Ideas

This day marks the anniversary of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax.

Content marketing ideas:    

  • Listicle idea: Here’s how you can get a GST code for your business
  • Infographic idea: How can you calculate the applicable GST?
  • Video idea:  X Products slapped with the highest GST
  • Podcast idea: How has GST changed the tax system?

Brand campaign that worked:

This video by Bajaj Finserv explains what is GST and how it could impact you through a simple, real-life example!
I am of the humble opinion that GST is a money spinner for Chartered Accountants, Lawyers and other ecommerce websites promoting few of them for registration as sellers.  They have simply indulged in profiteering from poor Startups, bootstrappers and MSMEs.
Shame on BJP government for allowing the loot but this is a government of, for, by Businessmen/ business houses who keep MPs on their payrolls

startups.com Newsletter

At EU-Startups we’re pretty busy finishing up our in-depth report about European AI startups, which we’ll publish on Thursday. We’ve been screening through 500+ early-stage AI startups to make sure we’ll present you the crème de la crème of artificial intelligence startups in Europe. Oh, and on Friday of this week we’ll release the first episode of the EU-Startups Podcast. Stay tuned! 🙂

And below I’m sharing some recent EU-Startups stories and opportunities that might be interesting for you:

Silicon Castles: Take your startup to the next level and apply now for the Startup Executive Academy 2020, which will be held online. It’s a three-month Go-to-Market program for executives and founders of early-stage (seed, A or B phase) startups.

Expanding to China: Join the Hangzhou Global Startup Competition 2020 and expand with your startup into the Chinese market. If you’re interested in this opportunity, please make sure to submit your application until July 6.

Women in Tech: Our writer Veronica just introduced you to 10 European coding academies which are aiming at improving gender equality. And our contributor Dejan recently wrote about 10 kickass female founders from Serbia.

Canabis Startups: A few days ago, our writer Bojana published an interesting overview regarding 10 of the most promising European cannabis tech startups. You might want to check it out – even if you’re not a rastafari. 🙂

Proptech Fund: Good news for property tech startups! Today, the French VC firm Axeleo Capital launched a new fund with the goal to invest €50 million in European proptech startups.

Jay, that’s pretty everything I had to share with you today. Have a nice afternoon!

Best regards,

Thomas Ohr
Founder & Editor

Menlo Media S.L.
Sant Antoni Maria Claret 182, E1
08025 Barcelona, Spain

Strategy+Business newsletter


Ideas that work
June 30, 2020

A dramatic example of adopting best practices

George Bernard Shaw’s 1905 play Major Barbara, the best stage drama written about business, has lessons that resonate with today’s audiences.

by Daniel Akst

MIT Management -- Executive Education

“I Forgot I Was in
a Zoom Room”

If you haven’t explored our live online course offerings yet, now’s the time. Our upcoming course calendar includes some of our most popular programs offered virtually in real time. Connect with faculty and peers while learning the skills you need most. Learn more.

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Your company’s ideal behavioral strengths are unique, and shouldn’t be borrowed or copied — not even from a high-performance enterprise.

by Jon Katzenbach and Alice Zhou

Thunderbird School of Global Management
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What COVID-19 is revealing about your customers and employees

Don’t let what you’re learning go to waste — capture it for post-crisis strategy and growth.

by Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell


Planning for the unpredictable

When faced with uncertainty, successful companies prepare and act, rather than react.

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2020 Digital Operations study for oil and gas

Part three of a major new study of energy companies and their use of technology in operations.


Explore your future. Get our free Digital Fitness app!
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in statu quo
[ in stah-too kwohEnglish in stey-tyoo kwohstach-oo ]SHOW IPA

adverb Latin.

in the state in which (anything was or is).


locus in quo
loh-koo s in kwohEnglish loh-kuh s in kwoh ]SHOW IPA

noun Latin.

the place in which; the very place; the scene of the event.


quid pro quo
kwid proh kwoh ]SHOW IPA

noun, plural quid pro quos, quids pro quo.

something that is given or taken in return for something else.


1555–65; Latin quid prō quō literally, something for something; see whatpro1


quo animo?
[ kwoh ah-ni-moh; English kwoh anuh-moh ]SHOW IPA


with what spirit or intention?


quo jure?
[ kwoh yoore; English kwoh joo r-ee ]SHOW IPA


by what right?


a quo
[ ah-kwohEnglish ey-kwoh ]SHOW IPA


from which; following from: used as a point of departure, as for an idea or plan.


terminus a quo
ter-mi-noo s ah kwohEnglish tur-muh-nuh s ey kwoh ]SHOW IPA

noun Latin.

the end from which; beginning; starting point; earliest limiting point.



quid pro quo
/ (ˈkwɪd prəʊ ˈkwəʊ) /

noun plural quid pro quos

a reciprocal exchange
something given in compensation, esp an advantage or object given in exchange for another


C16: from Latin: something for something


terminus a quo
Latin (ˈtɜːmɪˌnʊs ɑː ˈkwəʊ) /


the starting point; beginning


literally: the end from which


quid pro quo
[ (kwid proh kwoh) ]

A fair exchange; the phrase is most frequently used in diplomacy: “The Chinese may make some concessions on trade, but they will no doubt demand a quid pro quo, so we must be prepared to make concessions too.” From Latin, meaning “something for something.”



quid pro quo

An equal exchange or substitution, as in I think it should be quid pro quo—you mow the lawn and I’ll take you to the movies. This Latin expression, meaning “something for something,” has been used in English since the late 1500s.

6 Foreign Expressions You Should Know

6 Foreign Expressions You Should Know

By Daniel Scocco

background image 182

Whether you like it or not, foreign expressions represent an integral part of the English language (and of many other languages, too). Knowing the meaning and usage of the most used ones is very important. First of all because it will enable you to understand pieces of text that include them. Secondly, because you might also need to use those expressions on particular situations (avoid using them just to sound smart though). Below you will find 6 foreign expressions commonly used in English, enjoy!

1. De Facto

De facto is a Latin expression that means “actual” (if used as an adjective) or “in practice” (if used as an adverb). In legal terms, de facto is commonly used in contrast to de jure, which means “by law.” Something, therefore, can emerge either de facto (by practice) or de jure (by law).

And what of the plastic red bench, which has served as his de facto home for the last 15 years and must by now be a collector’s item? (NY Times)

2. Vis-à-Vis

The literal meaning of this French expression is “face to face” (used as an adverb). It is used more widely as a preposition though, meaning “compared with” or “in relation to.”

It’s going to be a huge catalyst in moving the whole process forward and it really strengthens the U.S. position vis-a-vis our trading partners (Yahoo! News)

3. Status quo

This famous Latin expression means “the current or existing state of affairs.” If something changes the status quo, it is changing the way things presently are.

Bush believes that the status quo — the presence in a sovereign country of a militant group with missiles capable of hitting a U.S. ally — is unacceptable. (Washington Post)

4. Cul-de-sac

This expression was originated in England by French-speaking aristocrats. Literally it means “bottom of a sack,” but generally it refers to a dead-end street. Cul-de-sac can also be used metaphorically to express an action that leads to nowhere or an impasse.

But the code of omerta was in effect for two carloads of fans circling the cul-de-sac to have a look at the house. (Reuters.com)

A cul-de-sac of poverty (The Economist)

5. Per se

Per se is a Latin expression that means “by itself” or “intrinsically.”

The mistake it made with the Xbox is that there is no game console market per se; there are PlayStation, GameCube, and Xbox markets. (PCMag.com)

6. Ad hoc

Ad hoc, borrowed from the Latin, can be used both as an adjective, where it means “formed or created with a specific purpose,” and as an adverb, where it means “for the specific purpose or situation.”

The World Bank’s board on Friday ordered an ad hoc group to discuss the fate of President Paul Wolfowitz (CNN)

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77 Latin Words, Abbreviations, and Expressions That You Should Know

via 77 Latin Words, Abbreviations, and Expressions That You Should Know


Who says Latin is a dead language? It’s true that no country speaks Latin anymore, but thousands of English words have Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes. More than that, Latin words, expressions, and abbreviations are part of everyday English, particularly in the areas of law and business. Below I’ve listed 77 examples of Latin terms every English speaker should become familiar with.

Latin Word/Phrase

Literal Translation


Sample Sentence

a priori from the former Supposed to be true without proof; occurring or being known beforehand. We know a priori that matter exists; the question is–how did it come into being?
ad hoc to this Improvised on the spot or for a specific, immediate purpose. The committee was formed ad hoc to address increasing crime in the neighborhood.
ad hominem to/at the man A logical fallacy in which the person rather than his argument is attacked. Ad hominem attack ads are all too common during campaign season.
ad infinitum to infinity Going on forever. Because pi is an irrational number, the digits after the decimal continue ad infinitum.
ad nauseam to the point of disgust Alternative to ad infinitum; repeating until it makes one sick. Tom complained ad nauseam about his new job.
alibi elsewhere A legal defense where a defendant seeks to show that he was elsewhere when the crime was committed. The defendant had clear motive, but his alibi was airtight, so the jury declared him not guilty.
alma mater nourishing mother The school or university from which one graduates. Dad returns to his alma mater every few years for his class reunion.
alter ego another I Another self; secret identity. Spiderman’s famous alter ego is wimpy news photographer Peter Parker.
antebellum before the war Usually refers to the period before the American Civil War. Even in northern states racism was common during the antebellum period.
aurora borealis northern lights A natural light display visible in the night time sky in Arctic regions; the same phenomena in the south is known as the aurora australis. Even after twenty years of living in northern Alaska, Carol never ceased to be astonished by the sudden beauty of the aurora borealis.
Ave Maria Hail, Mary Catholic prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus. My devout sister prays the Ave Maria every night before bed.
bona fide good faith Coming from sincere intentions; genuine, true. The painting is a bona fide Renoir.
caveat emptor let the buyer beware The purchaser is responsible for evaluating the quality and utility of the goods he purchases. The sign over the entrance of the used car dealership – caveat emptor – did not give me confidence.
coram deo in the presence of god The theological idea that we live ever in the presence of, under the authority of, and to the honor and glory of God. We are never really alone, because all of life is lived coram deo.
corpus body Contents; or collection of works by an author or artist; a particular collection of artistic works. The corpus of William Shakespeare includes dramatic tragedies, comedies, and histories.
cum laude with honor A title applied to academic graduates who attain to a level of excellence. Students can also graduate magna cum laude (with great honor) or summa cum laude (with highest honor). Sarah is naturally smart, but it was her dedication to academic study that caused her to graduate summa cum laude.
curriculum vitae course of life A comprehensive resume listing educational and employment history and qualifications for job seekers. It’s a good idea to present your prospective employer with a copy of your curriculum vitae at the start of a job interview.
de facto in fact Actually; in reality. The intention of the new law is good, but de facto, it just doesn’t work.
de jure by law According to law; by right. De jure, adultery is illegal in many states, but the laws are never enforced.
deus ex machina God from the machine An unexpected, artificial, or improbable resolution to a plot situation in a work of fiction. The action movie was entertaining, but the ending was an unconvincing deus ex machina.
emeritus having served one’s time An adjective used to denote a retired professor, president, bishop, or other professional; post-retirement status. Today’s speaker is Dr. Ruth Fisher, professor emeritus at Stanford University.
ex libris from the books A phrase often stamped or printed on books to denote ownership; “from the library of.” I am happy to lend my books, but I stamp them “ex libris Tony Danza” so I can get them back.
ex nihilo out of nothing Usually refers to divine creation and the idea that God made the world out of nothing, with no preexisting tools or materials. All men are by nature creative, but only God creates ex nihilo.
ex post facto from a thing done afterward Usually  used in a legal context, ex post facto refers to a law that is retroactive, that applies to actions taken prior to the existence of the law. The new law will not apply to previous violators because it cannot be applied ex post facto.
habeas corpus have the body A writ ordering a person to appear before a judge, or the right to obtain such a writ as protection against imprisonment without trial. Terrorism suspects often have no right to habeas corpus and can be held indefinitely without trial.
homo sapien wise man Human; the scientific name for the human species. There is some question about whether or not the fossilized skeleton is homo sapien.
in loco parentis in place of a parent In legal terms, assuming the authority and responsibilities of a parent. While at school, your teachers serve in loco parentis.
in medias res in the middle of things A literary technique where the telling of the story begins in the middle rather than at the beginning. Epic poems often begin in medias res and explain the earlier parts of the story via dialogue.
in toto in total Completely; totally, all together. Even though lots of things went wrong, in toto, the event was a success.
in vitro in glass Refers to studies done on organisms isolated from their normal biological surroundings; commonly called test tube studies or experiments.
ipso facto by the fact itself As a direct consequence or effect of the action in question; in and of itself. Steve was swerving and driving too slow; ipso facto, he was pulled over and tested for driving under the influence.
magnum opus great work The largest, best, or greatest achievement of an artist. His ninth symphony is considered Beethoven’s magnum opus.
mea culpa my fault My mistake; my fault; an admission of guilt or responsibility. The football player made a televised  mea culpa after his disgraceful public behavior.
non sequiter it does not follow A logical fallacy where the conclusion does not reasonably follow from the premise; or, in literature, an irrelevant, often humorous response to a comment. Overall, your argument is convincing, but your point about public education was a non-sequiter.
Pax Romana roman peace A period in history, during the dominance of the Roman empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, when relative peace reigned and little expansion of the Empire took place. Christianity spread rapidly during the Pax Romana.
per capita by heads Per person; a ratio by the number of persons. Each year, Americans eat about 135 pounds of sugar per capita.
per diem per day A daily allowance for expenses. On my trip to Philadelphia, the company gave me a $100 per diem.
per se through itself In itself; by itself; without reference to anything else. Eating salt isn’t bad per se, but consuming too much carries various health risks.
persona non grata not-pleasing person An unwelcome, unwanted, or undesirable person. After I broke Aunt Wilma’s antique vase, I was persona non-grata at the Thomas home.
postmortem after death After death. Officials determined the death was accidental after a postmortem examination.
prima facie at first sight Often refers to evidence in a trial that suggests but does not prove guilt. Even though the prima facie evidence was strong, the defendant’s innocence became clear as the trial wore on.
pro bono for good Work undertaken voluntarily without compensation. The lawyer was so moved by the plight of the workers, he defended their case pro bono.
pro rata for the rate Proportionately or proportional. Extra nights at the hotel are charged pro rata of the weekly rental.
quid pro quo what for what This for that; a thing for a thing; a favor exchanged for favor. After I picked him up at the airport, Larry took me to lunch as a quid pro quo.
quorum of whom The number of members whose presence is required. Only ten board members showed up, leaving them two short of a quorum.
re by the thing In the matter of; referring to; regarding. Is this phone call re the recent estate auction?
rigor mortis stiffness of death The rigidity that sets in on corpses about three to four hours after death. The police had a hard time removing the briefcase from the victim’s grasp, rigor mortis having set in.
semper fideles always faithful The motto of the U.S. Marine Corps; sometimes abbreviated semper fi. My uncle, the retired Marine sergeant, has “semper fideles” tattooed on his arm.
sic thus Just so; used to indicate that a preceding quotation is copied exactly, despite any errors of spelling, grammar, or fact. The student wrote “the communists were probly right about some things [sic].”
sola fide faith alone One of the “Five Solas” of the Protestant Reformation that summarize the theology of the reformers. The others are sola scriptura (by Scripture alone), sola gratia (by grace alone), solo Christo (Christ alone), and soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone). An important tenet of Protestantism is the idea of sola fide – that salvation is attained by faith, not works.
status quo the situation in which The current condition or situation; the way things are. The protestors were unhappy about the status quo.
subpoena under penalty A request, usually by a court, that must be complied with on pain of punishment. The officer issued me a subpoena to appear in court in June.
tabula rasa scraped tablet A blank slate; a clean slate; used figuratively to describe the human mind prior to influential experience. The idea of original sin is at odds with the notion that babies are born with a moral tabula rasa.
terra firma solid land Solid ground. After eight days at sea, I couldn’t wait to set foot on terra firma.
verbatim word for word Perfect transcription or quotation. I’m sorry it offends you, but that’s what he said verbatim.
veto I forbid The political power to single-handedly stop or make void a law. The bill passed by a slim margin, but the President is likely to veto it.
vice versa the other way around The other way around. Tom is in love with Lorraine and vice versa.
vox populi voice of the people In broadcasting, an unscripted interview with ordinary members of the public. After the controversial trial, networks broadcast numerous vox populi interviews.

Common Abbreviations

A.D. (Anno Domini) in the Year of the Lord The predominantly used system for dating, indicating years since the birth of Jesus Christ. Years prior to the birth of Christ are normally indicated by BC, an English abbreviation for Before Christ. The Battle of Hastings took place in A.D. 1066.
AM (ante meridiem) before midday Indicates the time from midnight to noon. Normally, I awake at 6 AM.
e.g.(exempli gratia) for the sake of example For example. My favorite movies are Westerns (e.g., High Noon, True Grit, Unforgiven)
et al. (et alii) and others Similar to et cetera, to stand for a list of names, particularly in APA and MLA style papers. Defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy – David Beckham, Landon Donovan et al. – in the 2009 MLS Cup final proved possible.
etc. (et cetera) and the rest And so on; and more. Sylvia purchased pots, pans, utensils, etc. for her new kitchen.
i.e. (id est) that is That is to say; which means; in other words. Jim encountered Victor, (i.e, his new boss) in the elevator that morning.
ibid. (ibidem) in the same place Used in formal citations to refer to the last referenced source.
  1. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, 471.


m.o. (modus operandi) method of operating Usually associated with criminals and their methods of committing crimes. The police suspected Harry Harrison because the crime fit his m.o. perfectly.
PM (post meridiem) after midday The time between noon and midnight. I will meet you for coffee at 2 PM.
p.s. (post scriptum) after text After writing; used to indicated addendums to otherwise completed personal letters. Sincerely,Georgep.s., Don’t forget to feed the parrot.
Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum) what was to be demonstrated Often written at the bottom of a mathematical or logical proof, indicating that the proof is complete. “No snakes have legs. That creature has legs. Therefore, the creature is not a snake. Q.E.D.”
R.I.P. (requiescat in pace) rest in peace A benediction for the dead often appearing on gravestones. Inscribed on his tombstone were the simple words, “Henry Humble, R.I.P.”
vs. or v. (versus) towards; in the direction Mistakenly used in English to mean “against,” particularly to indicate opposing parties in legal disputes or athletic events. Today’s main event is Wally Wilson vs. Tony “The Tiger” Thomson.

Quotes and Sayings

carpe diem seize the day A phrase from a poem by Horace, now an aphorism meaning, “take advantage of life while you can.” The closer I get to old age, the more I realize how important it is to live life with a carpe diem approach.
Cogito ergo sum. I think, therefore, I am The famous philosophical proposition by René Descartes. It implies that doubting one’s own existence proves one’s existence. Cogito ergo sum is the foundation of Cartesian thought.
Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered A sentence attributed to Julius Caesar upon his conquest of Britain. Quoted by Plutarch. When asked about his recent victory at the U.S. Open, Johns replied, “Veni, vidi, vici!”
e pluribus unum out of many, one A phrase on the Seal of the United States. Many U.S. coins pay tribute to the melting pot history of the country with the phrase e pluribus unum.
et tu, Brute? and you also, Brutus? Legendarily the last words of Julius Caesar as he realizes that his friend Marcus Brutus was among his murderers. After I joined in the teasing, my brother looked at me with a mock-tragic grin and said, “Et tu, Brute?”
sic semper tyrannis thus always to tyrants Sometimes attributed to Brutus as he participated in the assassination of Julius Caesar. John Wilkes Booth claimed to have shouted this phrase after shooting Abraham Lincoln. The motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The historic American resistance to dictatorship is expressed in the common phrase, sic semper tyrannis.

Know Thy Classics: Greek and Latin Phrases

Know Thy Classics: Greek and Latin Phrases

Most often, Greek and Latin phrases occur in specific contexts, such as law and science. Here’s a list of some useful phrases:

  • Hoi polloi: the common people (from Greek “the many,” often used in disparagement)
  • Flagrante delicto: in the act (from Latin “while the crime is blazing”)
  • Memento mori: a reminder of one’s mortality (from Latin “be mindful of dying”)
  • Nolens volens: willingly or not (from Latin “unwillingly willingly”)
  • Per se: of, in, or by itself; intrinsically (from Latin “through itself”)
  • Quid pro quo: something for something (from Latin “what for what”)
  • Sui generis: unique (from Latin “of its own kind”)

This list cannot go on ad infinitum!

Apple-Polishers: Idioms Using Nouns

Apple-Polishers: Idioms Using Nouns

A number of useful adages employ nouns. Here are some examples:

  • Albatross: a constant, heavy burden (from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”)
  • Apple of discord: cause of dispute (from the golden apple tossed by Eris, goddess of discord, that initiated events leading to the Trojan War)
  • Sour grapes: criticism of something that is desirable and unattainable (from Aesop’s fable about a fox who couldn’t reach a cluster of grapes)
  • Scapegoat: an individual who wrongly bears the blame of others (from the Old Testament referring to a goat who symbolically carried the sins of the people to the wilderness)

German words and phrases that appear in English texts tend to refer to literary and philosophical idea

German words and phrases that appear in English texts tend to refer to literary and philosophical ideas. Here’s a
short list:

  • Doppelgänger: a look-alike, double, or alter ego (literally “double goer”)
  • Flak: heavy criticism or opposition (from the bursting shells fired by FLiegerAbwehrKanone, an antiaircraft gun)
  • Schadenfreude: joy over someone’s misfortunes (literally “damage joy”)
  • Wunderkind: a child prodigy (literally “miracle child”)

Tantalizing list of words.

English contains a surprising number of vocabulary words whose origin can be traced back to classical mythology and history. Here’s a tantalizing list:

  • Colossal: hugely, incredibly enormous (from the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world)
  • Hector: to bully or swagger (what Hector did to Achilles in the Iliad)
  • Hermaphrodite: having both male and female sexes (from Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, whose body united with the nymph Salmacis)
  • Mercurial: volatile and unpredictable in temperament (from Mercury, god of travel and thievery)
  • Sisyphean: endlessly toilsome and futile (from Sisyphus, doomed to keep rolling a rock up a mountain in Hades only to have it fall when he nears the top)

Words that Lead to Rome

Words that Lead to Rome

English literary allusions owe an equal debt to Latin and Roman culture. Follow this rubric to learn more:

  • Janus-faced: hypocritical (from Janus, the two-faced god; January is named for him)
  • Jovial: cheerful (from Jove, a name for Jupiter, seen as a source of happiness)
  • Martial: warlike (from Mars, the god of war)
  • Pyrrhic: where the cost or loss outweighs the benefit (from Pyrrhus, who won a battle but lost most of his soldiers)
  • Stoic: indifferent to pleasure or pain (from the Stoics, a school of philosophy)

The Testament of English

The Testament of English

The Bible has exerted an equal presence in the English language. It would be prodigal not to learn as many Biblical allusions as you can. Here is a brief list:

  • Babel: confusion of sounds (from the Tower of Babel)
  • Golgotha: a place of great suffering (from Golgotha or Calvary)
  • Gospel: an idea that’s unquestionably true (from Gospel, a contraction of Anglo-Saxon words for “good” and “news”)
  • Nimrod: a hunter (from Nimrod, great-grandson of Noah)
  • Philistine: an ignorant and materialistic person (from Philistines, enemies of the Jews)

The Rest of the Story

The English language also draws liberally from other important pieces of literature. Here is a brief list:

  • Faustian: seeking pleasure with no concern for future costs (from Faust, who sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for knowledge and power)
  • Gargantuan: incredibly huge (from Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel)
  • Lilliputian: small or petty (from Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels)

30 Latin Phrases So Genius You’ll Sound Like a Master Orator

30 Latin Phrases So Genius You’ll Sound Like a Master Orator


julius caesar statue in rome where you can say latin phrases

While Latin hasn’t been regularly spoken or written for hundreds of years, save for the occasional scholarly text, its legacy is still felt throughout the lexicon of both Romance and Germanic languages today. Whether you’re launching an ad hominem attack or adding etcetera to the end of a list, it’s likely you’re peppering your speech with Latin phrases without even knowing it.

That said, we can do better than exclaiming “veni, vidi, vici” following a win at Scrabble or whispering “in vino veritas” before spilling a secret over a few drinks. With that in mind, we’ve compiled the genius Latin phrases you could and should be using on a daily basis.

1. “Ad astra per aspera.”

One of the most poular Latin phrases, meaning, “Through adversity to the stars,” this utterance is generally used to describe the overcoming of adversity resulting in a favorable outcome. For instance, this common state motto—which also happens to adorn the memorial plaque for the astronauts who died on Apollo 1—can be used in conversation when you’re having a terrible go of things, but you’re confident a greater outcome awaits you.

2. “Acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt.”

If you’ve ever wanted to strike fear into the heart of your enemies (or just want a good comeback for when you catch someone cheating on game night), try out this expression. Meaning “Mortal actions never deceive the gods,” this Latin phrase certainly fits the bill.

3. “Carpe vinum.”

We’ve all heard the phrase “carpe diem” a million times, but we’ll do you one better: “carpe vinum.” Of all the Latin phrases to master, this one, which translates to “Seize the wine,” will certainly come in handy when you’re eager to impress your waiter with a fancy foodie phrase or are doing your best Caligula impression after a few glasses of pinot noir.

4. “Alea iacta est.”

Latin phrases don’t get much more iconic than “Alea iacta est,” or “The die is cast,” an expression reportedly uttered by Julius Caesar as he crossed Italy’s Rubicon river with his army. Of course, it works equally well when you’ve got the wheels in motion for a brilliant plan that doesn’t involve civil war, too.

5. “Dulce periculum.”

Do you live life on the edge? Then “dulce periculum” might just be your new motto. Meaning, “Danger is sweet,” dropping this phrase in casual conversation certainly lets people know what you’re about.

6. “Acta non verba.”

If you want to make it clear that you won’t stand for lip service, toss “acta non verba” into your everyday language. Meaning, “Deeds, not words,” this phrase is an easy way to make it clear that you don’t kindly suffer those whose behavior doesn’t match their words.

7. “Condemnant quo non intellegunt.”

If your conspiracy theorist friend needs a good talking to, there are plenty of hilarious words to describe their condition other than asking how that tinfoil hat works. Instead, hit them with a quick “Condemnant quo non intellegunt.” This phrase, meaning “They condemn that which they do not understand,” is the perfect burn for those who proudly espouse their less-than-logic-backed views and offer little supporting evidence.

8. “Audentes fortuna iuvat.”

Want some inspiration to kill it on an upcoming job interview? Repeat “Audentes fortuna iuvat” (“Fortune favors the bold”) to yourself a few times in the mirror before heading out the door.

9. “Factum fieri infectum non potest.”

For those eager to make it clear that they don’t give second chances, keep “Factum fieri infectum non potest” in your back pocket. This phrase, which means “It is impossible for a deed to be undone,” also serves as a grave reminder for your friends when they say they’re about they’re about to do something rash.

10. “Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.”

Finding yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place? Pump yourself up by letting forth an “Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.” This phrase, which translates to, “I will either find a way or make one,” is famously attributed to Carthaginian general Hannibal, one of history’s most famous military leaders.

11. “Qui totum vult totum perdit.”

While Wall Street may have told us that greed is good, the Latin language begs to differ. If you want to refute an acquaintance’s obsession with having it all, hit them with a “Qui totum vult totum perdit,” or, translated, “He who wants everything loses everything.”

12. “Faber est suae quisque fortunae.”

Of all the Latin phrases in the world, there’s one perfect for picking yourself up when you feel like the stars aren’t aligning in your favor. Just remember, “Faber est suae quisque fortunae” (“Every man is the artisan of his own fortune”).

13. “Aquila non capit muscas.”

If social media pettiness and idle gossip feel beneath you, try adding “Aquila non capit muscas” to your vocabulary. The phrase, which means, “The eagle does not catch flies,” is a particularly cutting way to remind others that you’re not about to trouble yourself with their nonsense.

14. “Natura non constristatur.”

While it’s natural to be upset over storm damage to a house or dangerous conditions that cause a flight to be canceled, Latin speakers were sure to make it clear that nature doesn’t share our feelings. “Natura non constristatur,” which means “Nature is not saddened,” is the perfect phrase to remind yourself or others just how unconcerned with human affairs Mother Nature truly is.

15. “Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.”

From Virgil’s Aeneid, this phrase, which means “If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell,” is the perfect addition to the vocabulary of anyone whose halo is nonexistent.

16. “Ad meliora.”

Today may not be going the way you want, but you can always boost your spirits by uttering “ad meliora,” or, “Toward better things.”

17. “Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixture dementia fuit.”

Many a great idea or seemingly crazy prediction has been initially laughed off by those who don’t understand it. When that happens to you, remind your detractors, “Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixture dementia fuit,” or, “There has been no great wisdom without an element of madness.”

18. “Barba tenus sapientes.”

That guy who proclaims himself to be a genius, but seems to only reiterate derivative remarks? He’s “Barba tenus sapientes,” or “As wise as far as the beard.” In other words, this guy might seem intelligent at first, but it’s all a façade.

19. “Creo quia absurdum est.”

Occam’s razor isn’t always the best way to judge a situation. In times where belief alone trumps logic, drop a “Creo quia absurdum est” (“I believe because it is absurd”).

20. “Lupus non timet canem latrantem.”

Need a quick way to make it clear that you won’t be intimidated by a bully? Simply tell them, “Lupus non timet canem lantrantem,” translated to mean, “A wolf is not afraid of a barking dog.”

21. “Non ducor duco.”

When you’re eager to remind your subordinates at work who’s in charge, toss a “Non ducor duco” their way. Meaning, “I am not led; I lead,” this phrase is a powerful way of letting others you’re not to be messed with.

22. “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.”

Sometimes, people’s opinions can’t be changed. When that’s the case, drop a, “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt,” or, “Men generally believe what they want to.”

23. “Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.”

The motto of the fictional Addams Family, this phrase means, “We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.” Also perfect for use in any conversation where you’re eager to terrify someone else.

24. “Amore et melle et felle es fecundissimus.”

Love is amazing, painful, and confusing at the same time, as those who spoke Latin apparently knew all too well. The next time you want to remind a friend of the exquisite agony that often accompanies a new relationship, use this phrase, which means “Love is rich with honey and venom.”

25. “In absentia lucis, Tenebrae vincunt.”

While not quite the Washington Post‘s new motto, this phrase comes pretty close. If you’re ever channeling your inner superhero, try out this expression, which means, “In the absence of light, darkness prevails.”

26. “De omnibus dubitandum.”

Do you think the truth is out there? Do you think there are government secrets that threaten our very existence? If so, this phrase, which means “Be suspicious of everything,” should be a welcome addition to your lexicon.

27. “Ars longa, vita brevis.”

There’s a reason we still admire the paintings and sculptures of long-dead masters, and luckily, one of the easiest-to-master Latin phrases just about sums it up: “Art is long, life is short.”

28. “Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit.”

Just because you think you’re a relatively sage person doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily on the ball at all times. As many a Latin speaker might remind you with this phrase, “Of mortal men, none is wise at all times.”

29. “Quid infantes sumus.”

If you feel like you’re being underestimated, don’t be afraid to spit, “Quid infants sumus?” at those who might not see your potential. While it’s not exactly a scathing insult, it’s pretty amusing to know the Latin phrase for, “What are we, babies?”

30. “Mea navis aëricumbens anguillis abundant.”

Of course, not all Latin phrases are useful—some are just funny. This one, in particular—a translation of a humorous saying from Monty Python’s “Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook” sketch, simply means, “My hovercraft is full of eels.”

30 Words That Will Make You Sound Smarter (But Not Pretentious)

30 Words That Will Make You Sound Smarter (But Not Pretentious)


Business team hanging out

Let’s get one thing clear right up front: Just randomly using big words so other people think you’re smart isn’t going to work. As a 2012 Princeton study found, it can have the opposite effect. But don’t let that discourage from actually broadening your vocabulary. Learning a new word here and there—and knowing how to use it effectively—doesn’t just make you appear more intelligent: It will actually make you more intelligent, for real. Recent studies have found a correlation between increasing your vocabulary as an adult and strengthening your brain.

Now, that doesn’t mean memorizing a dozen or so words with six or more syllables will make you the smartest person in your social circle. No, strengthening your vocab is more about having a sincere curiosity about language, and wanting to find new, more creative ways to describe the world around you. To help you on your quest for greater intelligence, here are 30 words that won’t just make you sound smarter, but just might make you smarter. And for more idea on how to build your brain muscle, here are 8 Cutting-Edge Video Games that Will Make You a Smarter Person.


loud, smart word, cacophony

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: It doesn’t sound like a put-down, but it kind of is. A “cacophony” is any loud, unpleasant mixture of sounds. It could be musical instruments, howling dogs, car horns, or even people. (And to drown out that noise, try one of these 20 great-sounding headphones you can buy in bulk.)

EXAMPLE: “A bachelor party is happening next door. Hence the cacophony.”


Ghost, date, ennui, smart wordIF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: It’s the feeling you get when you’re simultaneously bored and annoyed. You were expecting more, but you got… this? You’re not depressed exactly, but you’d definitely rather be anywhere but here. (If you’re in one of the 50 cities with the worst singles scenes in America, you probably know the feeling.)

EXAMPLE: “How was my date last night? Well, I’ll just say this. At the end, I had a gnawing sense of ennui.”


Secrets, relationships, friends, smart word, aquiver

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You’ve got a serious case of the feels, but you’re not sure how to talk about it without saying “the feels”? Try this tasty word, which means you’re so overcome with emotion that you’re practically trembling.

EXAMPLE: “Am I excited for the new Star Wars sequel? I’m aquiver with excitement!”


Interview, hiring, smart word, glib

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You can’t put your finger on it, but something about the way that guy is talking sounds completely insincere and douchey. He thinks he has all the solutions, but he’s just blowing smoke up your ass. To learn how to hire someone who’s not so cocky, check out How Savvy Bosses Always Land the Perfect Employee.

EXAMPLE: “I know you think you’re being helpful, but you’re being way too glib.”


Ghost, couple arguing, smart word, umbrage

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Can you imagine how much more fun Twitter fights would be if people responded to insults that hurt their feelings with, “Dear sir, I take umbrage to that comment?” Yes, it means “offense” or “annoyance.”

EXAMPLE: “I know you’re just an Internet troll with no sense of right or wrong, but you didn’t have to cause me so much umbrage.”

smart word, non-sequitur

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: It’s when the subject in a conversation gets changed without warning, usually abruptly. It’s a nice way of saying, “Have you even been listening to me?” Its Latin translation, literally: “it does not follow.”

EXAMPLE: “Wait, why did you just bring up astronauts? I thought we were talking about mud races. That was a weird non-sequitur.”


Running, productivity, more time, smart word, vamoose

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: It just sounds like something a Looney Tunes character would say—but it’s actually a legitimate word, meaning “to leave hurriedly.” Originally derived from the Spanish word vamos, which means “let’s go,” modern usage takes it up a notch: When it’s time to vamoose, danger is probably imminent.

EXAMPLE: “I don’t know how a mountain lion got in the room either, but we’ll talk about it later. Vamoose, man, vamoose!”

boost your productivity, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You could say “That stuff is everywhere,” and you’d probably be understood. But then you’re missing all the fun of language. A word like “ubiquitous” communicates the same idea, but it’s the deep-dish pizza of vocabulary. You have to eat it with a fork. (Officially, it means: “found everywhere.”)

EXAMPLE: “Oh yeah, I’ve seen plenty of guys with hipster beards. They’re ubiquitous.”


Boss Bully, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Evil is just evil, but when it goes the extra mile into Bond villain territory, that’s when it becomes nefarious.

EXAMPLE: “The way he runs his business, it’s just so… nefarious.”


young couple arguing, still single, argument fight, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Sure, you could ask your wife or girlfriend why she’s being so moody and unpredictable. Or you take a safer tactic, and use a word that isn’t quite so negatively loaded.

EXAMPLE: “You seem a little capricious tonight, dear, is everything okay?”


Team, leadership, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: No, we’re not kidding. It’s an actual word, referring to any activity that pretends to be useful but is really just a big waste of your valuable time.

EXAMPLE: “Of all the company meetings we’ve had this year, this was the biggest boondoggle!”


Job candidate, recruiting, interview

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Calling somebody a “suck-up” or a “brown-noser” feels so juvenile, like an insult you’d hurl at somebody in high school. You can do better. And unless they know what it means, “sycophant” can even sound like a compliment.

EXAMPLE: “No, you totally deserve that raise. You’re the biggest sycophant in the office.”


music fall asleep faster weird laws, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: When music hits you right in the feels, it’s hard to explain why you love it so much. Instead of saying “Damn this is good,” try a slightly more expressive word like “mellifluous.” It means a smooth, flowing sound that hits your ears in just the right way.

EXAMPLE: “I can’t stop listening to the new Arcade Fire record. It’s so damn mellifluous.”


smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Telling a pal “your leather shoes are badass” makes you sound like a frat dude. If you’re going to compliment somebody on his sturdy, rugged-looking footwear, use a word with a sense of history. If it was good enough for Irish workers during the 18th century, it’s good enough for you.

EXAMPLE: “I like your brogues, bro.”



Job candidate, recruiting, interview, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Just by using the word “perfunctory,” you’re being the opposite of perfunctory. (See what we did there?) The only ones who make a perfunctory, halfhearted effort are the ones who aren’t really sure if being called “perfunctory” is a snub but can’t be bothered to look it up.

EXAMPLE: “The interviewer asked all the perfunctory questions. He didn’t seem truly interested.”


couple trying new sex positions, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Words like “affair” and “one-night stand” sound so judgy. If you’re having a secret meeting with somebody you shouldn’t be alone with, and it’s possible one or more of you weren’t wearing pants, well my good sir, that’s a tryst.

EXAMPLE: “No, we never officially dated. We just had the occasional tryst.”

Angry boss, first heart attack, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY: It’s also the name for sulfuric acid, which is powerful enough to burn through just about anything. That’s how it works with the emotion as well. If you have vitriol for someone, well, they’re far from your favorite person.

EXAMPLE: “Don’t even bring up that guy’s name. The amount of vitriol I have for that jackass, I can’t even explain.”


headache, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Rarely does such a simple word (or a word and a number) express such a complicated idea. You can thank Joseph Heller for coining the term in his 1962 novel Catch-22. It’s a paradox where there’s no escape: You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you ever find yourself in a situation where there are no easy answers and either choice seems seems like a dead end, what you have is an old-fashioned catch-22.

EXAMPLE: “You have to have money to make money. It’s a catch-22.”

bromance listening talking smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: If it’s starting to seem like an expanded vocabulary is just an excuse to be more creative with your insults, you might be right. But if you’re so dim and slow-witted that you don’t realize that being called obtuse isn’t adulation, maybe you a little bit deserved it?

EXAMPLE: “Don’t worry, he’s too obtuse to realize we’re talking about him.”



Man Stressed at Work, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: We don’t mean the Family Guy character, but a swampy marsh, or any difficult or precarious situation. If you’re stuck in a quagmire, you’re in quite the predicament.

EXAMPLE: “Until he pays off the IRS, Bob’s in one heck of a financial quagmire.”



lost, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: We live in a scary, uncertain world, and it’s easy to feel bewildered or confused. But you can add a little color to your consternation by using a word that sounds like it belongs in a British comedy.

EXAMPLE: “I was following the GPS, I have no idea how we got this lost. I’m flummoxed!”



Couple, friends, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: When somebody’s pushing for you to do something you’d rather not be doing, you could accuse them of trying to bully or dupe you—what we once called “peer pressure” in high school—or you could hit them with a word that gives them pause. That alone might make them back off.

EXAMPLE: “Nice try, but you’re not going to cajole me into drinking another beer.”


is my relationship doomed couple fighting on couch, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: We’ve all been caught in the act of being a jerk for no reason. But who wants to say, “Sorry, I was a jerk for no reason?” Here’s a better way to explain.

EXAMPLE: “No, I didn’t really mean it when I said you would die alone and unloved. I was being caustic.”

Fait Accompli

Couple, sex, in bed, optimize, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You were gonna lobby for a raise at work but your boss is already planned on giving you one? It’s a fait accompli! Your partner’s been pestering you to do the dishes but they’ve already loaded the washer? Another fait accompli! If there’s a cooler, more French, way of saying “Already done,” we haven’t heard it. (It’s not always a good thing, though—when HR puts a frustrating new policy into effect and only tells you after the fact, that’s a fait accompli, too.)

EXAMPLE: “What’s that, dear? It’s okay if I have an orgasm now? Well, no need. Fait accompli!”


Secrets, relationships, couple, fall, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: A truly great word gives people pause, forcing them to wonder if it really means what they think it is. Gregarious sounds like an endorsement—and it is; it means somebody is sociable and fond of other people’s company—but phonetically it’s a little too close to “gangrene.” They could ask, but that would mean admitting they don’t know what the word means.

EXAMPLE: “You know why I like you? You’re one of the most gregarious people I know.”


Procrastination, productivity, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: A fun word because it changes depending on the context. Used to describe somebody who’s obsessed with the small details and can be very difficult to please, it’s obviously meant as a compliment when you say, “You’re an excellent cook, you must be very fastidious in the kitchen.” Great for the office, but maybe not so much when it’s used in the bedroom.

EXAMPLE: “It’s six hours and you still haven’t had an orgasm? You’re being way too fastidious.”


smart word, crying, emotional

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Feeling a little tearfully sentimental? Or choked-up with emotion for no apparent reason? Describe what you’re feeling with a word that manages to have some gravitas (despite it normally being used to diss something as overly sentimental). Ernest Hemingway was never weepy, but he definitely had his (drunk) maudlin moments.

EXAMPLE: “Sorry, reading about all these Neo-Nazi marches just made me maudlin remembering Obama.”


shock, panic, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: That feeling you get when you read the news every morning, and you’re like, “Is this real? Is that actually happening? This can’t be real life.” That’s you being flabbergasted.

EXAMPLE: “Hell yes I saw Game of Thrones last week. I’m still flabbergasted.”

man refuses to drink, smart word

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Whether you’re a recovering alcoholic or have never touched a drop, abstaining completely from alcohol qualifies somebody as a teetotaler. Where on earth does it come from? Nobody’s entirely sure. It might have something to do with drinking tea: It first came into fashion during England’s temperance movement of the early 19th century. (Richard Turner, the guy who most likely came up with the word, liked it so much that he put in on his gravestone.)

EXAMPLE: “Are you sure you want to invite him to your bachelor party? He’s a teetotaler.”

Marriage, couple, smart word, empathy

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You should really know what this means by now—it might not be the most popular word in 2017, but it’s definitely one we should try using more often. People with even the slightest sensitivity to other people’s feelings might as well have super powers.

EXAMPLE: “I know you think he’s a jerkface because of his political beliefs, but let’s try to have a little empathy, okay?”

Now that you know the words you should be adding to your arsenal, here’s a reminder of what needs to go: 40 Things Men Over 40 Should Never Say.

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30 Words That Have Different Meanings Throughout the U.S.

30 Words That Have Different Meanings Throughout the U.S.


drinking soda, things that horrify your dentist

It’s safe to say that, in the English language, some words have definitive meanings no matter where you are. A “stop” sign brings you to a halt and a “we’re closed” one means you’re not getting any food. But for some words in America, you’ll encounter totally different meanings when you cross state lines.

For instance: If you grew up on the east coast, then you likely use the word “ugly” to describe something that’s physically unappealing, but it might surprise you to learn that your Southern counterparts also use this adjective to describe someone who’s unkind. And most Americans think of the bread when they hear the word “sourdough,” but for Alaskans, this word will bring to mind people who were born and bred in The Last Frontier. (Don’t even get us started on the politics of soda/Coke/pop!) Before you take your next cross-country, use this list to make sure you don’t accidentally deploy an incorrect meaning in a far-flung corner of the country. And for more insight into our shared lexicon, learn The Fascinating Origins of These 30 Common Words.

woman eating cake unhealthy

Most people would use the word “wicked” to describe something evil (or to refer to the hit Broadway music). However, New Englanders use this word in the completely opposite way to describe something excellent—as in, “That cake was wicked good!”


Words with different meanings, Grandma getting kisses from grandkids


In the South, sugar can be either the sweet stuff you put in your morning cup of coffee, or the word you use when you ask your grandkids for some affection. But if you head more specifically to Texas or Alabama, you’ll hear folks throw the phrase “Give me some sugar!”—yes, as in kissing—into conversation.


slang south pasties food

When you hear the word “pasty,” you probably think of a pale-skinned person or even the adhesive coverings that some women wear to music festivals. But in some Midwestern states, you can also use this word to order a meat- and vegetable-stuffed hand pie, like those made popular in the United Kingdom. And speaking of U.K. cuisine, here are 25 Weird British Foods Meghan Markle Needs to Know About.

Stuffed turkey with stuffing/dressing for thanksgiving or christmas

Head to your local salad shop, and they’ll ask you what dressing you want with your mixed greens. But in the South, you also use dressing (what most Northerners know to be “stuffing”) to fill a Thanksgiving turkey. Whatever you want to call it, we can all agree on one thing: It’s delicious.


compliments men cant resist

If someone in a Northern state like Maine uses the verb “fix,” they’re probably referring to repairing or refurbishing something. If someone in the South uses the verb “fix,” however, they are signaling that they are about to do something. For instance, a Southerner might say something like “I’m fixin’ to head to the store” to indicate that they’re getting ready to leave the house.

ice cream

The word “dope” has seen its fair share of definitions. In the 1800s, it was used to refer to everything from gravy to medicinal mixtures—and even today, the word takes on a different meaning depending on where you are. In most of the United States, the word “dope” is slang to mean something is cool or outstanding, but in Midwestern states like Ohio, the word is a noun referring to ice cream toppings, particularly chocolate syrup—in which case, dope is dope!

Aluminum can

“Pop” is most commonly used to describe a person’s father or the type of music that artists like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande make. But in some parts of the United States (the Midwest and Pacific Northwest especially), the word “pop” also shows up in restaurants, as it refers to the soft drink that the rest of the country knows as soda—or in the South as simply “Coke” (a catch-all term for soda of any brand). And for more insight in the origins of our country, learn The 40 Most Enduring Myths in American History.

Shopping Cart in a Grocery Store

If you live anywhere outside of New England, you probably don’t use the word “carriage” all too often (unless you’re a big Cinderella fan). If you live in a state like Massachusetts, however, you probably use this word often—not referring to a horse-drawn vehicle, but a shopping cart. And before you load up your “carriage,” read up on the 15 Grocery Shopping Mistakes That Are Killing Your Wallet.


rubber band, calm

“Elastic” can refer to both the material used to make a rubber band and the rubber band itself, depending on where you’re from. And to learn more about how the rest of the country talks, See the Top Slang Term from Every U.S. State.


Deli sandwich, sub, grinder, slang terms

American chefs keep grinders in their kitchen to break down everything from coffee beans to raw spices. A New England cook doesn’t just have a grinder, but also makes one, as this is the term used to describe the type of sandwich you’d find at a place like Subway.

Anchorage, drunkest cities, happiest cities

Sourdough is arguably the best type of bread in existence (what’s up, San Fran?), but that’s not all it is. In Alaska, a sourdough is also a person who has lived in the state for their entire lives. The word took on this dual meaning during the days of the Klondike Gold Rush, when commercial baking powder and yeast were hard to come by and so miners needed sourdough starter to leaven bread.

Puppy Chow

Puppy chow, chex, food, snack

You definitely don’t want to confuse the puppy chow of the Midwest with the puppy chow of the rest of the country. In most of the country, puppy chow is exactly what it sounds like—dog food—but in the Midwest, it refers to a delicious homemade snack made with cereal, melted chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. And if you love dessert, then good news: This is How Chocolate Will Boost Your Workout (Seriously).

shopping cart

The word “buggy” has several definitions, most of them relating to things on wheels (like a golf buggy or a baby buggy). So it should come as little surprise that, in the South, the noun also refers to the wire cart—on wheels—used in grocery stores and shopping malls to lug items around. Those in the northeast have their carriages, and those in the south have their buggies.

Boss bully stress stressed out

Everyone uses the word “ugly” when they want to call someone or something visually unpleasant, but only Southerners use the word to also call someone rude or unkind. So the next time someone treats you with hostility, now you know to call them ugly. Or you can try these 20 Best Ways to Calm Your Anger Instantly.


Man is yelling, hollering

If and when you use the word “holler,” it’s likely that you use it in its verb form to describe the action of someone who’s shouting something. But below the Mason-Dixon line, this word is more often found in its noun form, and is used to refer to contacting someone. (For instance: Give me a holler when you’re ready and I’ll pick you up.)


Refreshing summer drink in a pitcher and glasses, sangria

During baseball season, you’ll hear the word “pitcher” during games, referring to the player who throws the ball from the mound to the plate. And in the South, you’ll also hear the word “pitcher” during, well, every-other-ball season, referring to the container holding copious amounts of alcohol and sweet tea.

nauseous woman vomiting over sink

Though it originated across the pond as a slang term for vomiting, the word “cascade” eventually made its way over to the South. So if you’re ever in South Carolina and you hear someone say that they’re about to cascade, you best get out of the way!

drunk man Being Single in your thirties

As a verb, the word “soak” is fine. You can soak in a bathtub, soak your dishes in the sink, and, if you’re Sheryl Crow, soak up the sun. However, the last thing you want is for someone to call you a soak. In certain states like South Dakota, this noun is used to describe someone who frequently enjoys too many. And while you soak in that new information, read up on The Most Popular Search Term in Every State.

Tired Business Man

When someone describes their computer as laggy, they are trying to say that it is slow. Similarly, when someone from New Jersey says they’re feeling laggy, they mean to say that they, too, are feeling slow and lethargic. And if you often find yourself feeling laggy throughout the day, try these 50 Ways to Be a Higher-Energy Person Immediately.


Man holding out his hand to hitchhike

Hear the word “slug” and what likely comes to mind is the slimy mollusk that leaves a trail of goo wherever it goes. If you live in Washington D.C., however, you’ll more commonly hear this word referring to the many people who commute to work with strangers, in order that the car’s owner might use the HOV lane and get to work faster. The entire “slugging” process, as its known, is so popular that there is even a website devoted to finding a ride.


Police officer on a bike

Everywhere in the United States, “laws” refers to rules that keep a society civilized. But in the South (and in Texas particularly), laws are not just the rules, but the people who enforce them. Don’t mess with the laws!


closing the elevator

When you want to turn food into more of a paste, you mash it. And in the South, when you want to get to another floor in a building, you need to mash the buttons in the elevator before it will move.

Sub sandwich deli

“Hero” and “kitten-saving firefighter” are interchangeable nationwide. But “hero” and “sandwich”? Only in Northern states like New York and New Jersey can you order a hero at the deli and get a nod of understanding in response. (If you’ll recall, you’ll need to call it a grinder if you’re ordering in New England.)

living room floors

Parlors aren’t often found in your house—unless you live in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, that is. There, the word “parlor” doesn’t just refer to a shop, but also a sitting room where people relax. If you’re not from the Mid-Atlantic region, you might know this room as the “den” or “family room.”


james marsden

Based on its common definition, most people don’t ever want to find their name in the same sentence as the word “dumb.” But if you’re using the East Coast version of the word, meaning “super” or “extremely,” then being associated with “dumb” isn’t so bad. Of course, someone could call you “dumb stupid” or “dumb ugly,” but they could also call you “dumb sexy,” as is the case for one James Marsden. And for more on the Westworld star, read why he thinks more men should embrace their feminine sides.


Mariah Carey Will Ferrell Fascinating Celebrity Friendships

In the United States, everyone knows that guacamole at Chipotle costs extra, and on the East Coast, everyone knows that Mariah Carey is extra. No, this isn’t to say that Mariah will run a higher tab. Rather, it means that she is infamously over-the-top and excessive in her habits. And speaking of celebrities being “extra,” don’t miss the 15 Most Lavish Celebrity Weddings of All Time.

60s slang no one uses, Worst Dating Phrases

The only place you’ll ever want to hear the word “shoots” thrown around is in Hawaii. There, the word doesn’t have anything to do with using a gun, but is a slang word used to mean “all right.”

hilarious words

There are two types of toboggans that make an appearance in the cold. One, the more common kind, is used to go sledding down icy, snowy hills. The other, found in the South, is a knit cap, used to keep the noggin warm in the wintertime.


Most people have their own version of a “regular” when it comes to a food or drink order at their go-to coffee shop. But if you order a regular anywhere in Massachusetts, you won’t get your usual, but a coffee with cream and sugar. Yes, this order is so common in the New England state that it warrants its own slang.


Refilling Soda

Be careful ordering a gin and tonic at a bar in Massachusetts. In most places, a gin and tonic is a straightforward order—but in Massachusetts, the word “tonic” is more commonly used to refer to soda. If you do fancy a gin-and-tonic, make sure to clarify that you want tonic water. And for more bartending inspiration, learn the 20 Cocktails Everyone Should Know How to Make.

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19 Fancy Menu Phrases Everyone Should Know

19 Fancy Menu Phrases Everyone Should Know


ways to stick to diets

In theory, a restaurant menu is like a road map: Study it carefully, and you won’t have to ask anyone for directions—least of all that theatric waiter in the white apron. But sometimes you make a wrong turn. In Venice, you could confidently order a steaming bowl of the local mussels (cozze), and accidentally instruct the server to bring you his engorged genitals (cazzo).

These days, you don’t have to travel far to get lost in a menu. In any American city, even modest neighborhood bistros feature enough foodie slanguage to induce terror—which is not to be confused with terroir, a highbrow menu word that literally means “soil” but is supposed to signify the inherent goodness of locally-sourced food.

If only the descriptions were as down-to-earth as the soil-caked carrots. Tim Zagat, founder of the Zagat restaurant guides, says that as more chefs seek out high-quality ingredients, the desire to boast is understandable but misplaced. “If the menu says ‘charbroiled porterhouse steak,’ I understand that,” explains Zagat. “But if it says ‘porterhouse seared over 5-year-old hickory branches and served with a caramel sauce infused with basil from Tamarack Farm,’ that doesn’t do much for my dining pleasure.”

Here, then, is a menu for us nonfoodies—an A-to-Z decoder of today’s trendiest food lingo. Use it for those moments when the words fail you. The waiter will take your order now. And for more great restaurant advice, brush up on the 7 Mistakes You’re Making In Fine-Dining Establishments.


artisanal is a fancy food term

Handmade by someone who cares a lot, as in artisanal cheese (say, a pungent Putney Tomme from Vermont) or artisanal bread (like an apple-wood-fired focaccia). If you’re ever eating Putney Tomme on apple-wood-fired focaccia, consider pairing it with one of these 20 amazing wines under $30.

béchamel is a fancy foodie term

Nothing more than a sauce of milk, butter, and flour. Got it? And for more great food trivia, here’s why bananas are curved. 


ceviche is fancy foodie termAny type of fish that is “cooked” in an acidic marinade, such as lime juice.


consommé is a fancy foodie term

A clarified broth. Chefs like it because it is simple and elegant, which means they can make it cheap and charge a lot. For more on top chefs, read up on what the world’s best chefs really think about those Michelin stars. 


coulis foodie slang

A puree of vegetables or fruit used to dress up ordinary dishes.

Day-boat seafood

day-boat seafood is fancy foodie term

What restaurants used to call “catch of the day” before that became a meaningless cliché. It’s seafood caught from boats that return to port every evening rather than stay out for days with the catch on ice. It signifies fresher, more expensive seafood.

Diver scallops

scallops foodie slang

Scallops that are hand-gathered by scuba divers, making them less gritty than those harvested by boats that drag huge chains along the ocean floor.

heirloom tomatoes are a fancy foodie term

A vintage variety of a fruit or vegetable that is passed down through seeds and cuttings, as opposed to more modern hybrid plants. Many heirlooms, like the Black Krim tomato, are noted for unusual flavor, color, and shape. Lately, the term has been applied on menus to rare breeds of livestock.


veal foodie slang

Often confused with the French word for eyelid (paupiere) but, thankfully, refers to a small rolled fillet of meat or, more typically, mild nonfatty fish, such as sole, often steamed.


beef stew

A homey French peasant stew now seen on upscale menus.


leeks foor over 40

Trendy, yes, but the wild leek is anything but new to the scene. It was a food staple for Native Americans and early European settlers, who relied on the spring vegetable to stave off hunger and vitamin deficiency after a long winter. “This is the ingredient par excellence for a forager’s French Onion Soup,” wrote wild-food master Euell Gibbons in his 1962 book, Stalking the Wild Asparagus. (Intimate knowledge of this classic is a blind-date double-word score, demonstrating whole-earth sensitivity as well as manly survival skills.)


bourdelaise foodie slang

A highly concentrated sauce made by boiling stock and wine for hours until it is reduced to a glaze. Bordelaise is a notable reduction.


rillettes are a fancy foodie term

Shredded pieces of cooked duck, goose, or pork pounded into a paste and mixed with massive amounts of fat and spices. You spread it on bread.


salsify foodie slang

A classic example of comfort food gone to town. This prosaic root vegetable, native to the Mediterranean region, is similar to a carrot but white in color and more delicate. Lately, salsify leaves have gained favor with trendy chefs as the more desirable part of the plant. During growth, the young shoots are mounded in soil, and the lack of sunlight makes them white like Belgian endive. It’s a tender addition to expensive composed salads.

Skirt/hanger steak

hanger steak is a fancy foodie term

Flavorful cuts of beef from the edge of the rib section. They are popular in French bistros, where hanger steak is called onglet. (Skirt steak is often grilled and thinly sliced.)

foodie slang

A Japanese method of partially cooking fish or meat so that the outside is seared and the inside is still raw. It involves coating the meat in thick, sweet soy sauce.


terrine foodie slang

An elevated version of meat loaf, generally made with a variety of high-quality meats (or even seafood) and served at room temperature. Savor a good terrine with some crusty French bread, a crock of grainy mustard, and miniature pickles called cornichons.


timbale foodie slang

An impressive, cylindrical construction of food arranged in careful layers and baked in a mold. Towering food “sculptures” were the rage in the ’80s and, like purple spiked hair, will take a long time to die down in the suburbs.


green tomato foodie slang

Not the hooved animal, although zebra meat is a succulent game dish in Africa. In the context of high-end restaurant vegetables, “zebra” refers to many heirloom varieties noted for distinctive stripes, including some beans, eggplants, and tomatoes. The Green Zebra tomato is an heirloom that is much favored by chefs.

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