Category Archives: Word of the Week

Make Grammar Fun with A Word With You

Trepidation: A feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen.

trep·i·da·tion ˌtrepəˈdāSH(ə)n/

This one goes back to about 1600. Apparently fear and trembling has been around for a while. This is a great word, very descriptive. It’s not just about being scared or fearful it’s about being scared and fearful about something that may—or may not—happen. Now that’s fear.

Teachers of English, grammar and writing discuss this concept with your students. What causes them trepidation? Pop quizzes? Shakespeare? Algebra? Have them put it in a Grammar Punk Sentence, then write about a character who has definite trepidation about…something.

Grammar Punk Sentence: T U 2 trepidation

Though she hated to admit it, Sophie was feeling a major case of trepidation about landing the lead in the school play; why she’d auditioned for Our Town was a mystery.

Give it a try. Write a Grammar Punk Sentence that contains at least 2 words that contain the letters T and U and the word trepidation.

Go to www.grammarpunk.com to find more ways to make teaching grammar fun.

Make Grammar Fun with a Word With You

Quondam: former or sometime

I really hate to admit but I’d never heard of this one. Which is a shame because it is a handy little word. It comes from 16th century
Latin. Quondum which means at one time or formerly.

Teachers of English, I strongly urge you to fit this handy and little used word as well as many others I’ve illuminated in his blog
into yours—and your students lexicons—lest they disappear forever which would truly be a shame. Make a fun grammar lesson out of it by challenging them to use the word in several sentences.

Grammar Punk Sentence: G I 3 quondam

Hoping to regain his quondam days of glory, Jenkins refused to give up bowling.

Write a Grammar Punk sentence that contains at least three words with the letters G and I and the word quondam.

Make Grammar Fun with A Word With You

Trepidation: A feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen.

trep·i·da·tion ˌtrepəˈdāSH(ə)n/

This one goes back to about 1600. Apparently fear and trembling has been around for a while. This is a great word, very descriptive. It’s not just about being scared or fearful it’s about being scared and fearful about something that may—or may not—happen. Now that’s fear.

Teachers of English, grammar and writing discuss this concept with your students. What causes them trepidation? Pop quizzes? Shakespeare? Algebra? Have them put it in a Grammar Punk Sentence, then write about a character who has definite trepidation about…something.

Grammar Punk Sentence: T U 2 trepidation

Though she hated to admit it, Sophie was feeling a major case of trepidation about landing the lead in the school play; why she’d auditioned for Our Town was a mystery.

Give it a try. Write a Grammar Punk Sentence that contains at least 2 words that contain the letters T and U and the word trepidation.

Go to www.grammarpunk.com to find more ways to make teaching grammar fun.

Create Grammar Fun with A Word With You

Adumbrate: to give an incomplete or faint outline or indication of something

to give a vague indication or warning of something to come

to give a description of something that includes general points about it, but no details

Interesting word, adumbrate. To be vague or incomplete or obtuse about what you’re trying to say or possibly something disastrous about to happen. Quite a busy little word for a word that says your not being at all clear.

I can’t help but notice the word “dumb” in the middle of this word. Can that have something to do with it?

Teachers of English, grammar, and writing, have fun with this word and challenge your students to write about incidents of adumbrate behavior.

Grammar Punk C I 3 adumbrate

Lulu’s propensity to adumbrate when it came to filling in details concerning the board meetings of the Orchid Growers of Cincinnati was becoming a major concern for the rest of the committee.

Write a Grammar Punk Sentence with 3 words that contain the letters C and I and the word adumbrate. Then share!

Go to www.grammarpunk.com to find more ways to make teaching grammar fun.

Grammar Made Fun with A Word With You

Flibbertigibbet: somebody who is regarded as silly, irresponsible, or scatterbrained, especially one who chatters or gossips

A flighty person. Both the word flibbertigibbet and flighty are frankly outdated words but they should not be lost from use. Especially since it has been around for such a long time.

Flibbertigibbet 1425–75; late Middle English, apparently of obscure origin.

The best thing about a word like flibbertigibbet is that we all know one, two, an even dozen of this type of person. Teachers of English, grammar and writing try this word out on your students. Once they get past the silliness of the sound of the word you can explore the word gibbet… You know an upright post with a beam projecting horizontally from its top, from which the bodies of executed criminals were hung on public display…

Grammar Punk Sentence: N I 5

While she prided herself on her innate kindness, Simone simply had no patience for the flibbertigibbet who had moved in next door and had already caused more than one misunderstanding amongst the neighbors.

Give it a try. Write a Grammar Punk sentence that includes 5 words with the letters N and I and the word flibbertigibbet.

Make Grammar Fun With a Word With You

ef·fron·ter·y

iˈfrəntərē

 Effrontery: behavior or an attitude that is so bold or arrogant as to be insulting

 Late 17th cent.: from French effronterie, based on late Latin effrons, effront- ‘shameless, barefaced,’ from ex- ‘out’ + frons ‘forehead

This is one of those words that is just not used enough. Which is a shame since it’s been around so long. And it has forehead in it! The idea of effrontery is certainly with us, just read the tabloids in the supermarket line sometime.

Teachers, this is a great word to explore with your students. Challenge them to think of examples of effrontery. It shouldn’t be hard. Then get them writing about it.

Grammar Punk Sentence: D E 3 effrontery

Appalled at the sheer effrontery of the number of zombies, Jessica vowed to never attend another costume party in this lifetime.

Give it a try. Write a Grammar Punk sentence using at least 3 words with the letters D and E and the word effrontery.

Teaching Grammar with A Word With You

Minions: someone unimportant obeying someone more powerful. An unimportant person who has to do what a more powerful person tells them to do.

No, I didn’t just watch Despicable Me, but I love this word. And thanks to that humorous movie it has enjoyed resurgence. The fact is, outside of comic book villain type movies it is a little-used word and it shouldn’t be.

On the other hand, minions, real minions should be a thing of the past; it is not a nice position to be in—for the minion. The fact that the days of minions is much more of a thing of the past is a good thing. Now we’re just subordinates, underlings, substitute teachers and administrative assistants. Much better than being referred to as a minion…sort of.

Teachers of English and grammar this is a great word to use on your students. Ask them to define the word and see how close they come to the real definition. Then ask them for examples of minions through history and in the present. Then write about it.

 Grammar Punk Sentence: K E minion

As many menial jobs as he had held in his life, there was nothing quite like being a donut hole stuffer to make Clarence feel as if he were truly a minion of the bakery world.

Give it a try. Write a Grammar Punk sentence that contains at least 2 words with the letters K and E and the word minion.

Go to www.grammarpunk.com to learn how to make teaching grammar fun.

Grammar Fun with A Word With You

Id vs. I’d

I’d: Contraction of the words I and would.

Id: psychology : a part of a person’s unconscious mind that relates to basic needs and desires

Not to be confused with ID or a shortcut for the word identification

Nor with the abbreviation of the state of Idaho

 This is not precisely a homonym or even a heteronym but you have to admit it’s interesting.

1920s: from Latin, literally ‘that,’ translating German es . The term was first used in this sense by Freud, following use in a similar sense by his contemporary, Georg Groddeck.

Knowing the etymology of this particular word isn’t really all that helpful. I’ve seen it translated to mean it or that, neither really helps to understand how they went from there to denoting part of our unconscious mind.

The word id certainly has no connection to the contraction I’d but still I find it fascinating that this small word is so similar to another supremely self-involved ideas such as I had or I would. No doubt it’s just a coincidence but it’s an interesting one.

Teachers, discuss this concept with your students. Get them talking about their own ids, even your own. Then write about it

Grammar Punk Sentence: C U 3 id and I’d

I’d be careful analyzing that guy,” Stanley warned his colleague sincerely, “His id is pretty peculiar.”

Give it a try. Write a Grammar Punk Sentence with at least 3 words that contain the letters B and E and the words id and I’d.

 

Teaching Grammar with A Word With You

Quondam: former or sometime

I really hate to admit but I’d never heard of this one. Which is a shame because it is a handy little word. It comes from 16th century
Latin. Quondum which means at one time or formerly.

Teachers of English, I strongly urge you to fit this handy and little used word as well as many others I’ve illuminated in his blog
into yours—and your students lexicons—lest they disappear forever which would truly be a shame. Make a fun grammar lesson out of it by challenging them to use the word in several sentences.

Grammar Punk Sentence: G I 3 quondam

Hoping to regain his quondam days of glory, Jenkins refused to give up bowling.

Write a Grammar Punk sentence that contains at least three words with the letters G and I and the word quondam.

Make Grammar Fun with a Word With You

ef·fron·ter·y

iˈfrəntərē

 Effrontery: behavior or an attitude that is so bold or arrogant as to be insulting

 Late 17th cent.: from French effronterie, based on late Latin effrons, effront- ‘shameless, barefaced,’ from ex- ‘out’ + frons ‘forehead

This is one of those words that is just not used enough. Which is a shame since it’s been around so long. And it has forehead in it! The idea of effrontery is certainly with us, just read the tabloids in the supermarket line sometime.

Teachers, this is a great word to explore with your students. Challenge them to think of examples of effrontery. It shouldn’t be hard. Then get them writing about it.

Grammar Punk Sentence: D E 3 effrontery

Appalled at the sheer effrontery of the number of zombies, Jessica vowed to never attend another costume party in this lifetime.

Give it a try. Write a Grammar Punk sentence using at least 3 words with the letters D and E and the word effrontery.