“Do a shop” for “go shopping”

This has puzzled me for a few years now. When preceded by ‘a’, shop becomes a noun. Does “do a shop” even make sense then? The correct phrase for me was always “go shopping”, or similar. Can anyone tell me where “do a shop” came from and whether it’s grammatical? Take the article in the … Read more

Difference between “get” and “take”

What is the difference between “get” and “take”? Both are used to describe receiving something. By intuition I mostly guess which one to use, but would like to know some rule which will stick in my head. Answer It’s hard to say. Generally, take denotes an active action, like “I took his cheese,” while get … Read more

A verb meaning to have something pointed “inserted” on one’s leg?

Example: The bird […] its beak on my arm. I thought about stab but I think it sounds weird applied to a bird’s beak. What other verb can I use? Answer If you’re specifically talking about a bird, the word you’re looking for might be “peck”. “The bird pecked my arm with its beak.” AttributionSource … Read more

Is there a single-word verb meaning “to perform cunnilingus on”?

The single word for to perform fellatio on is the verb fellate. Is there an analogous word for cunnilingus? Answer The OED provides the obvious answer for the corresponding verb under its headword for the noun cunnilingus, which is of course (to) cunnilingue: ˈcunnilingue v. trans. and intr. to practise cunnilingus (on). 1887 L. C. … Read more

Is “harebrain” used commonly as a verb or adjective?

I found the word, “harebrain” used as a verb in passive form in the following paragraph of today’s New York Times’ editorial titled “How not to plan for future”. The agreement between Congress and the White House to virtually eliminate money for high-speed rail is harebrained. France, China, Brazil, even Russia, understand that high-speed rail … Read more