I cracked up when I read about the woman character combing her long main. I knew the author was referring to her hair, but I couldn’t help imagining, that in an alternate life, maybe this character was a detective combing the primary street she considers her own.
It is scary how a pair of heterograhs can send one’s imagination soaring…on a guffaw…
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: main|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Attrib. Adjective 1; Noun 1, 2; Proper Noun 3||Noun|
Chief in size or importance
Of or relating to a broad expanse
[Grammar] Syntactically independent
[Nautical] Of or relating to a mainmast
[Obsolete] Having or exerting great strength or force
[Archaic or literary] The open ocean
[Nautical] Short for mainsail or mainmast
[Usually mains] A main course in a meal
[Historical] A match between fighting cocks 2
A match in archery, boxing, etc.
[In the game of hazard] A number (5, 6, 7, 8, or 9) called by a player before dice are thrown
a growth of long hair on the neck of a horse, lion, or other animal
You can’t miss it, it’s the main road out of town.
The main problem is one of resources.
They took the gate by main force.
The mains need to be rewired and updated.
We sail the ocean main!
Raise the mainsail!
A cannon ball hit the main and ended the battle.
The restaurant offers four mains: one chicken, two beef, and one fish.
He called a main and threw it last night, recouping his losses. 2
Vast forests, fairy-tale castles, imposing palaces and quaint medieval towns line the banks of the River Main.
|His mane should be combed free of all those prickers.
Female lions don’t have a mane.
He had a thick mane of gorgeous white hair.
|Adjective: maned, maneless, unmaned|
|History of the Word:|
|1 Middle English from Old English mægen meaning physical force and reinforced by the Old Norse meginn, megn meaning strong, powerful. Both are from a Germanic base meaning have power.
3 The Romans were the first to name the river (they called it the Moenus). It later makes an appearance — as the Meune — in the medieval German saga “The Song of the Niebelungs,” which first appeared in written form around AD 1200 (Main River Cruises).
|Old English manu is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch manen.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?