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Furloughs for many

Many people are “on furlough” this month, in many European countries.
Just Chugging along

How art thou? Just chugging along.

Steam trains “chug” (resoplan), and an engine in a car or…
Are you in the loop?

Are you in the loop?

A “loop” can mean many things. First, as a noun. There could be a loop (curva) in a road, in a river (meandro) or in a rope (lazada).


Lemon” (limón) you will know. You may have made the drink “lemonade” at home.
A fornlorn hope?

Economic recovery in Spain? A forlorn hope?

“Forlorn is an adjective and can be used to describe people, a cottage (casita de campo), town or a place, or something that has little hope.
Are you a Meddler?

Are you a meddler?

“To meddle” is to interfere (entremeterse o estorbar) with something) or to tamper with something.
Are you middling?

Are you middling?

erhaps. If you be asked “how are you?” one response could be “middling, thank you”.

Are you a bigwig?

Perhaps. “Wig” (peluca) you may know. A bigwig is an important person, and in Spanish you might use “pez gordo”.
Have you seen a folly?

Have you seen a folly?

“Folly” has two uses. A folly (locura o desatino) can be a stupid thing. The base of the word is “fool”.
Involved in a holdup?

Involved in a holdup?

Have you ever been involved in a holdup? The answer is yes. “Holdup” has 3 uses.


A fish can smell fishy (a pescado), especially if it is not fresh. “Fishy” has another use.


“Different” (distinto, diferente) you will know.
By a whisker

By a whisker

“Whisker” you may know. Cats have whiskers (bigotes), as do many animals.

New Year Resolutions?

You will know that it is customary for many mortals to make New Year Resolutions

Are you a squirrel sometimes?

“Squirrel” (ardilla) you may know. Squirrels store nuts…

To be bedevilled

“To be bedevilled by” is to have a lot of persistent (persistente)…

Have you ever erred?

Perhaps! The writer of this article has erred many times:…

Are you sometimes “detached”?

“Detached” has the verb “detach” (separar, despegar)…

More tautologies - III

Do not be guilty of using tautologies. Using them may confuse…

More tautologies

Examine these: The prices of houses in England are falling…

Tautological Phrases

Tautologies (las tautologías) are to be avoided because they…

"Sorted" or "sorted out"?

It is election time in Great Britain and the political parties…

A deadlock

A “deadlock” (punto muerto, impasse) is a position where people…

Put a sock in it

“Sock” (calcetín, media) you may know. Here the interest…

In a quandary?

Have you ever “been in a quandary”? Probably.  To…

Are you a good egg?

“Egg” (huevo) you will know. Here the emphasis is on idioms…

To wriggle out

“Wriggle” (retorcerse o avanzar serpenteando) is a verb…


“Rabbit” (conejo) you may know. Rabbits live in a burrow…

Is Brexit of great import?

“To import” (importar) something is a verb that you may…

To debar someone

“Debar” is a (regular) verb and the context is normally negative.…


“Thin” you may know (delgado, flaco, estrecho, afilado).…

Palete, palette and pallet

These are homophonous (homófono) words – they sound the…


Have you ever been “in a huff “. Perhaps. Mortals (mortales)…

More litotes

Litotes often are a special type of understatement (subestimación),…

Are you a flincher?

To flinch is to “shrink back” (estremecerse) from something,…

Dracon and Draconian

In the 7th century BC (BC = before Christ or AC) there was an…


“Superfluity” (la superfluidad) is a mistake. Why? It should…

May I? Can I?

Have you heard this question before (perhaps when someone comes…

Do you use litotes?

The answer is probably yes. Consider this: how are you? Not…

What maddens you?

“Mad” you may know. Someone could be mad (demente) or insane,…
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