HUE AND CRY: a phrase that means “an uproar” over an issue

hue and cry

How many times have we heard it in a news broadcast? “The hue and cry raised by the Senator’s announcement could be heard all the way to Washington.” The meaning is clear.   There was an uproar.  People were upset.  The protests were about to begin. I heard the comment on the news and thought to […]

MARATHON : any contest, event, or the like, of great, or greater than normal, length or duration or requiring exceptional endurance

When the bombs went off in Boston on Patriots Day the Boston Marathon was well into its concluding hours.   The winners had come across the finish line a long time ago, and now the “other” winners … those who completed the 26.2 mile course … were surging across the finish line, having seen the attainment […]

XENOPHOBIA [zen-uh-FOH-bee-uh] : fear or unreasonable dislike of foreigners

Our family has hosted seven foreign exchange students over the years, and our younger daughter was a Rotary Exchange student for a year in another country. We have also traveled extensively throughout the world where we have experienced cultures dramatically different from our own.  So the idea that anyone has a fear of, or dislike […]

911: “What is your emergency?”

“911.  What is your emergency?”                                                                                                                                   “I need to report a theft.” And so the drama begins, as I spill out  the confused and unbelievable story of the intentional and dastardly act of the pilferage of a beloved item in my life:  a day.  The woman at the 911 office is appropriately bewildered , struggling to […]

TEEMING: swarming, overflowing

There’s a huge difference between the meaning of the words crowded and teeming.   It has to do with the feeling of the situation. A funeral home may be crowded with mourners or a bus stop may be crowded with commuters.  It means that there is a large group of people in a place that may […]

“ALL THE COMPANY OF HEAVEN”: a euphemism for all those who have died

In the liturgy of  The Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church in the United States there is a phrase used when the Priest who is celebrating the liturgy of Holy Communion says, “…and so, with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of Heaven….” It is meant to indicate that what is […]