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What is the difference between 'Epidemic and Pandemic ' ?

“Talking about the virus, what’s the difference between ‘epidemic’ and ‘pandemic’?”

It’s the spread

“First of all, the stress is on ‘dem’ in both words. The words are pronounced ‘e-pi-DEM-ic’ and ‘pan-DEM-ic’. In both cases, you’re talking about a disease that has affected a large number of people. What’s more, it spreads quickly from one person to another.”

Can the two words be used interchangeably? 

“No, not really. When you refer to a disease as being an ‘epidemic’, what you’re suggesting is that it’s localised.
For example, when COVID-19 started spreading from Wuhan to the rest of China, it was still being referred to as an epidemic.”

“Because it was localised. The virus was basically a problem for the people in China.”

“Exactly! The spread was limited to China. But once it crossed the borders of China and spread to other countries and other continents...”

“It became a problem for the entire world. The virus became ‘pandemic’. So basically when an epidemic spreads over a relatively large area, it becomes pandemic.”

“I guess you could say that! A pandemic is an epidemic that travels great distances.
The World Health Organisation defines it as ‘the worldwide spread of a new disease’.”

“Let’s just hope COVID-19 stops spreading.”

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What is the meaning of 'red eye ' ?

You may think it is angry but no, it is not. The expression you have in mind is ‘to see red’ — it means to be extremely angry.
The term ‘red eye’ is used to refer to late night flights that people take to reach their destination by early morning.
The fares on these flights are usually cheaper. It is called ‘red eye’ because the passenger’s eyes are usually red due to lack of sleep.

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What is the meaning of 'stump speech' ?

‘stump speech’
This expression of American origin appears quite frequently in our newspapers and magazines because of the Presidential race taking place in the United States. A ‘stump speech’ is the standard political speech given by a candidate when he is campaigning. Since candidates are constantly on the move and give speeches in several towns in a day, it is very difficult for them to come up with a new one for every town. They merely recycle their old one; each individual has a standard speech that he uses wherever he goes. The name of the town and the names of people who need to be thanked are the only changes he makes. Such speeches are called ‘stump speeches’ because in the 18th and 19th centuries, candidates stood on the stump of a chopped down tree to make a speech. Americans use the expression ‘on the stump’ to mean ‘on the campaign trail’.

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the difference between ' take heart and take to heart' ?

‘take heart’ and ‘take to heart’

The two expressions have very different meanings. When someone tells you something and you take his comments to heart, you take them very seriously.
Very often, the comments are about you and you find them very upsetting. The expression usually has a negative connotation. We often read in newspapers that some children, when scolded, take it to heart and commit suicide.

1. Don’t take what Malini said to heart. She was just messing with you.

2.It's time we took to heart the committee’s recommendations.

The expression ‘take heart’, on the other hand, has a much more positive connotation; it is a form of encouragement.
When you tell someone to take heart, you are telling him to take comfort or take confidence from something.

You didn’t win, but take heart and start preparing for the next event.


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What is the meaning of 'frazzle ' ?

What is the meaning of ‘frazzle'?

This word which rhymes with ‘razzle' and ‘dazzle' is mostly used in informal contexts to mean ‘completely exhausted' or ‘completely burnt'. It can be used both as a noun and an adjective.

Shalini had worn herself to a frazzle looking after her ailing father.

By the time Veda got off the phone, the curry had been burnt to a frazzle.

Rajan looked frazzled before the meeting with his boss.


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What is the meaning of 'gubernatorial ' ?

Let's deal with the pronunciation of the word first. The ‘u' is like the ‘oo' in ‘pool', ‘cool', and ‘ fool, and the following ‘e' and ‘a' are like the ‘a' in ‘china'. The ‘o' in the fourth syllable sounds like the ‘au' in ‘caught', ‘naught', and ‘taught'.
The word, meaning ‘of or relating to governor', is pronounced ‘goo-be-ne-TAU-ri-el' with the stress on the fourth syllable.
The Indian media are extremely fond of this word. It comes from the Latin ‘gubernare' meaning ‘to steer or govern'. Gubernatorial is mostly used in American English.

It is difficult to predict which party will win the gubernatorial elections.


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What is the meaning of 'acting pricey' ?

 ‘acting pricey’

This expression is heard only in India, and it is used to mean ‘to play hard to get’. When you begin to act pricey, you become a kind of snob; you refuse to make time for your friends.
You seem less interested in the people you were close to earlier — at least, that is the impression you give. No matter how many times someone calls, you refuse to respond.
1. I don’t understand why Saurabh is acting so pricey all of a sudden.

2. If Mahesh tries to act pricey, tell him to go jump in a lake.


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What is the meaning of 'deuce in tennis ' ?

‘deuce’ in tennis 

You have probably been watching the French Open on TV! The scoring system in tennis makes use of some unusual terms — two of them being, ‘love’ and ‘deuce’.
A tennis match usually begins after the umpire has said ‘love all’. By this, he does not mean that he wants the two players to like or love each other.
In this case, the word ‘love’ has nothing to do with the emotion we normally feel when we like someone a lot. In the context of tennis, the word ‘love’ comes from the French ‘l’oeuf’ meaning ‘an egg’. In many sports, the egg is frequently used to symbolise ‘zero’.

In cricket, for example, when a batsman gets out for a zero, we usually say he was out for a ‘duck’. Therefore in tennis, when the umpire shouts ‘love all’, what he means is that the score is ‘zero all’ — neither player has scored a point.

The word ‘deuce’, on the other hand, is used when the scores are level; it suggests that the two players have scored three points each in the game. In order to win the game, one of the players has to score two consecutive points. This idea that a player has to win two points in a row is captured by the word ‘deuce’. It is a corruption of the French ‘deux’, meaning ‘two’.


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What is the meaning of 'vexed question' ?

‘vexed question’?

When you say that you are ‘vexed’ about something, you are suggesting that you are rather frustrated or annoyed.The matter is a source of irritation because it is always at the back of your mind.
A ‘vexed question’ is one to which there is no answer. The topic or the question is hotly debated, but there is no real solution to the problem.

1.The panellists argued over the vexed question of how to reduce corruption in India.
2.At the meeting, several Prime Ministers raised the vexed question of refugees.


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What is the meaning of 'waiting in the wings' ?

‘waiting in the wings’

During the course of an IPL match, we sometimes hear experts say that a team has several talented youngsters ‘waiting in the wings’. What they mean by this is should any of the senior players fail to perform, there are people on the team who can easily replace them. The uncapped talented youngsters are waiting for their chance to show how good they are. Chances are, they will get an opportunity to play in the near future.
The ‘wings’ in the expression does not have anything to do with birds or planes. In the world of theatre, the sides of the stage that usually remain hidden by the curtain are called ‘wings’.
An actor usually waits in the wings before he walks onto the stage to play his role.

1.There are several people waiting in the wings to take over as President.

2.The players waiting in the wings look forward to the daily practice sessions.

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What is the difference between 'Country and nation ' ?

Many people tend to use the words interchangeably nowadays. Careful users of the language, however, maintain a distinction between the two.
A ‘country' is often defined as a self-governing political entity; it is mostly used to refer to the geographical characteristics of a State.
A ‘nation', on the other hand, is mostly used when talking about the people. When you talk about a nation, you are referring to the tightly-knit group of people who often share a common culture and history.
The word is seldom used to refer to a place. India is a large country, but a poor nation. Since the people living in different parts of South America share a common language, and a common culture, it is possible to talk about the nations of South America. A country may consist of many nations.

For example, take the case of the Soviet Union.
Before it broke up, it was one big country containing many nations.

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What is the meaning of 'kryptonite ' ?


First, let us deal with the pronunciation of ‘kryptonite’. The first syllable rhymes with ‘trip’ and ‘grip’, and the final ‘nite’ is pronounced like the word ‘night’. The vowel in the second syllable is like the ‘a’ in ‘china’. The word is pronounced ‘KRIP-te-night’ with the stress on the first syllable.

People who have read the comic books or watched the movies featuring the exploits of Superman know that he was born on Krypton. When the planet exploded, kryptonite or the radioactive material from it, was hurled into space. Superman’s enemies discovered that kryptonite was the only thing that could be used to either hurt or kill him. In everyday contexts, the word ‘kryptonite’ is used to refer to someone’s weakness or something that can be used to hurt someone who is strong. It has more or less the same meaning as ‘Achilles heel’.

1.Many tennis buffs believe that Nadal is Federer’s kryptonite.
2.When I was in school, Hindi was my kryptonite.

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What is the difference between 'euphoric and elated ' ?

In both cases, you are very happy and excited about something that has happened or is about to happen.
‘Euphoric’ suggests that you are overly happy, and the contentment that you are feeling is temporary; it is going to be short-lived. The word comes from the Greek ‘euphoros’ meaning ‘borne well, healthy’. It was first used to refer to the temporary sense of well-being that drugs and medicines induced in a patient.
When you are ‘elated’ about something, you are extremely happy about it; you are absolutely delighted with the success or the good fortune that has come your way. It is not a case of exaggerated happiness.

1.Shruthi’s parents were elated when she was made captain.
2.The players were euphoric after winning the championship.

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What is the meaning of  'gravitas' ?


Let's see first How the word ‘gravitas’ is  pronounced
The ‘a’ in the first and third syllables can be pronounced like the ‘a’ in ‘cat’, ‘bat’ and ‘sat’. The ‘i’ in the second sounds like the ‘i’ in ‘bit’, ‘sit’ and ‘hit’. One way of pronouncing the word is ‘GRA-vi-tas’ with the stress on the first syllable. It comes from the Latin ‘gravitas’ meaning ‘weight, heaviness’.
Nowadays, the word is usually used to refer to an individual’s demeanour; his serious appearance and the way he behaves with others compel them to treat him with respect.

1) The new Vice Chancellor has an air of gravitas about her.
2) Varun lacks the gravitas required to become a CEO.


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What is the meaning of  'not playing with a full deck' ?

 ‘not playing with a full deck’?

The expression is mostly used to show disapproval in American English, and its use is limited to informal contexts. When you say that someone is ‘not playing with a full deck’, what you are suggesting is that the person is not bright; he is, in fact, rather dull or stupid. The expression can also suggest that the person in question is not mentally sound — in everyday language, he is ‘crazy’. The deck in the expression refers to a deck of playing cards. The person is being compared to a deck that does not contain the 52 cards that are required to play any game — something is missing in both the person and the pack of cards.

I don’t wish to work with Pankaj. I don’t think he’s playing with a full deck.
The way she behaved at the party makes me suspect that she’s not playing with a full deck.



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What is the meaning of  'que sera,sera '  ?

‘que sera, sera'?

First, let's deal with the pronunciation of this expression. The ‘que' is pronounced like the name ‘Kay'. The ‘e' in ‘sera' is like the ‘a' in ‘china', and the ‘a' is like the ‘a' in ‘path' and ‘bath'. This is one way of pronouncing this expression which means ‘what will be, will be'.

In the well-known song ‘Que Sera Sera' made famous by Doris Day, a child asks her mother whether she will be pretty and rich when she grows up. The wise mother replies, ‘Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, the future's not ours to see, que sera, sera.'


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What is the meaning of  'scaremonger'  ?

‘Monger’, a rather old-fashioned word, is seldom used on its own nowadays. It was originally used to refer to someone who sold goods.
In England, people talk about ‘fishmongers’, ‘cheesemongers’ and ‘ironmongers’.
A ‘fishmonger’, for example, is someone who sells fish.
Nowadays, ‘monger’ is usually associated with words that have a negative connotation — scaremonger, rumourmonger, warmonger, etc. In all three cases, the word ‘monger’ is used to refer to someone who participates in activities which cause trouble.
A ‘scaremonger’, for example, is someone who spreads rumours or stories that cause panic among the public. The word can be used as a verb to mean ‘to sell’.

According to the rumourmongers on campus, the death was no accident.
The media were accused of rumour mongering.


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What is the meaning of  ' strut your staff ' ?

‘strut your stuff’?

The word ‘strut’ is normally used to refer to the manner in which an individual walks. When you ‘strut’, you are trying to get everyone to notice you; you attempt to impress others with your confident and proud walk. The expression ‘strut your stuff’ is used in informal contexts to suggest how well someone is performing in public. This individual who is good at something performs brilliantly and impresses those around him or her. The aim here is to win the approval of those watching — the person is being a show-off.

Deepika and Ranveer were itching to strut their stuff on the dance floor.

Some of the talented people in the company got a chance to strut their stuff.


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What is the meaning of  ' cut a caper ' ?

‘cut a caper'?

A ‘caper' is a lively skip or hop. ‘Cut a caper' literally means to leap about or dance about in a playful manner. Nowadays, the expression is mainly used to mean a ‘lively' or ‘playful' leap. Shakespeare coined this expression in Twelfth Night. The word ‘caper' rhymes with ‘paper'.


When he heard that he had been promoted, Kapil cut a little caper before walking into the boss' room.

The expression can also be used to mean to play a trick on someone.


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What is the difference between ' unappreciated and underappreciated ' ?

 ‘unappreciated’ and ‘underappreciated’

Both have a negative connotation; they suggest that you are not happy or satisfied about something. When the work that you do remains ‘unappreciated’, what it suggests is that you feel that people around you do not value or appreciate what you have done. They fail to acknowledge or realise the value of the work. When your colleagues ‘underappreciate’ the work you do, what it suggests is that they do not value it enough. In this case, they do value your work, but at the back of your mind, you feel they do not give the credit that it is due. In your opinion, it could be appreciated or valued more.


If you ask me, Nandini is one of the underappreciated teachers in college.

No matter what you do or say, Ramani always feels unappreciated.


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What is the difference between ' frugal and stingy ' ?


Both words tell us something about the manner in which a person spends his money.
Of the two, ‘stingy' has a negative connotation.

A ‘stingy' individual is someone who has money, but is very reluctant to part with it. He is a miser; he doesn't like to spend money on himself or on others. He is reluctant to spend money on things are essential as well. Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' classic ‘A Christmas Carol' was a stingy person.

A ‘frugal' person, on the other hand, is someone who is very careful in the way he handles money; he ensures that he does not waste any of it. The word comes from the Latin ‘frux' meaning ‘fruit' or ‘produce'. A ‘frugal' individual ensures that the fruits of his labour don't go to waste, but unlike a stingy person, he is willing to spend on things that are necessary. Frugal is a much more positive word than ‘stingy'. The word can also be used with food and clothes. When you say that you had a ‘frugal lunch', it means you had a simple lunch.


Anurag was too stingy to tip the waiter.

Ganesh has never been known to be frugal with his money.



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What is the meaning of  ' puffery ' ?


This is a word mostly used in American English to refer false praise.

Whenever a new product is launched, there is usually hype around the event. In order to promote the product, people praise it to the skies — often, making it sound like it is the best thing since sliced bread!


This hype or exaggerated praise that is often resorted to by advertisers and those in the public relations profession is called ‘puffery’. In informal contexts, the British refer to it as ‘puff’.

Don’t believe a word Manoj says. It’s just marketing puffery.

Tell it like it is. There should be no puffery in the ad.

Some people drop the ‘e’ and pronounce the word ‘PUFF-ri’. Otherwise, the word is pronounced ‘PUFF-e-ri’.


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What is the meaning of  ' sit below the salt ' ?

This rather old-fashioned expression is used to refer to a person of very low status. An individual who ‘sits below the salt' has little or no social standing; others generally look down upon him.
1.As several prominent cricket players turned up for the function, the hockey players sat below the salt.
2.At the dinner party, Gangu sat below the salt with the likes of me.
This is an expression that has been around for over four hundred years.
In the past, when guests were invited to dinner, a relatively large salt shaker was placed in the middle of the long dining table. The most important people among the guests were always seated next to the host. These individuals who were seated at the host's end of the table were considered to be ‘above the salt' – in other words, they were people of very high social standing.

Guests who were of a lower rank, sat at the lower end of the table; they sat ‘below the salt'.


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What is the meaning of  'to go rogue' ?
 ‘to go rogue’

The word can be used in everyday contexts to show disapproval and approval. When you call someone a ‘rogue’, you are suggesting that he is a dishonest person, someone who cannot be trusted, and is perhaps dangerous. The word can be used with things as well.
The American media, for example, frequently refer to North Korea as a ‘rogue nation’. It can also be used as a term of endearment — someone whom you find appealing, but whose behaviour or actions you do not approve of. The expression ‘to go rogue’ is mostly used in the context of politics to show disapproval. When a politician goes rogue, he does his own thing; he becomes unpredictable in his behaviour and often stops following the orders of the party high command. As far as the other members of the party are concerned, he is dangerous. When an animal or a country goes rogue, it behaves in a dangerous fashion.

Several MPs went rogue and voted against the proposed bill.

According to scholars, the expression was first used to refer to a solitary elephant — one that was no longer part of a herd — that had become rather violent and destructive.


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What is the meaning of ' turn a Nelson's eye ' ?

 ‘turn a Nelson's eye'?
The expression has been around for several hundred years, and it has the same meaning as ‘turn a blind eye' to something. When you turn a blind eye to a problem, you choose to deliberately ignore it; you pretend the problem does not exist.


How can Kamal Nath turn a Nelson's eye to the rampant corruption in his department?

The Vice-Chancellor turned a Nelson's eye to the drug problem on campus.


The Nelson in the expression refers to Horatio Nelson, the inspirational British naval officer who was blind in one eye. In 1801, at Copenhagen, Nelson led the main attack against a fleet of Dutch and Norwegian ships. During the height of battle, Nelson's superior officer, Admiral Hyde Parker, signalled him to withdraw. When Nelson's men saw the signal, they informed him of it. Nelson then took out his telescope and looked through it using his blind eye. He is believed to have said, “I have only one eye, and I have the right to be blind sometimes. I really do not see the signal.” Nelson ordered his men to continue fighting, and a few hours later, after a hard fought battle, he emerged victorious.


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What is the meaning of ' a fig leaf ' ?

According to the Bible, when Adam and Eve tasted the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware that they were naked. In order to hide their nudity, they used fig leaves to cover themselves.
Nowadays, the expression ‘a fig leaf’ is used figuratively to mean something that is used to conceal a problem, difficulty or embarrassment.

Voluntary retirement is just a fig leaf. The man is actually being fired.


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What is the difference between of ' skulking and sulking ' ?

When you ‘sulk’, you are unhappy about something, and as a result, do not interact with those around you. You make it clear to everyone that you are unhappy; you sit in one corner of the room, and mope. One can be ‘in a sulk’ or one can have a ‘case of the sulks’.

What’s wrong with Meera? She’s been sulking all morning.

Don’t go anywhere near Swami. He’s got a serious case of the sulks.

The word ‘skulk’ comes from the Norwegian ‘skulke’ meaning ‘to shirk or malinger’. In British English, the word is used to refer to someone who pretends to be unwell in order to avoid doing work. It can also be used to mean to lie in wait for someone or move about in a stealthy manner. People usually skulk when they intend to harm another person.

Get on with the job. I know you are just skulking.
The girls panicked when they spotted three men skulking behind the building.


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What is the meaning of ' walk the talk ' ?
When you tell someone to ‘walk the talk’, you are asking him to do what he has said he would do. In other words, you want the individual to stop talking about what he intends to do, and just do it.Politicians often talk about how they are going to put an end to corruption; they seldom follow up on the matter — they do not walk the talk. Other expressions that have more or less the same meaning are ‘to put your money where your mouth is’ and ‘action speaks louder than words’.
Ex. You’ve been telling all my friends that you will beat me in straight sets. Now walk the talk.


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What is the meaning of 'maelstrom' ?

One simple way of pronouncing the word is ‘MALE-strem’ with the stress on the first syllable.
It comes from the Dutch ‘maelstrom’ meaning, ‘grinding stream’. When the word was borrowed into English, it was used to refer to a whirlpool. Over a period of time, maelstrom acquired a figurative meaning; nowadays, it is mostly used to refer to any situation where there is a lot of confusion or commotion — in terms of the activities, emotions, and so on. The situation is similar to one where a ship or a person is being sucked into a whirlpool.

Anurag was late because he got caught in the maelstrom of early morning traffic.

Dilip’s face remained wooden, but inside he was experiencing a maelstrom of emotions.

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What is the meaning of ' la-la land'?

"la–la land"
“La-la land is an expression used in informal contexts in American English. When you say that someone is in ‘la-la land’, you mean that the person has no clue what is going on around him. He is out of touch with reality.”“Like some of our politicians, I guess! 
If you think that cricket is still a gentleman’s game, you’re living in la-la land.”

It’s difficult to talk to Rahul. Most of the time he’s off in la-la land.”


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What is the meaning of  'turn turtle' ? 

A turtle is a reptile like a tortoise; it has a very hard shell to protect it from its enemies and from the elements. The expression ‘turn turtle' was first used by sailors with reference to a ship or a boat. When a ship or a boat capsized, it was said to have turned turtle. Nowadays, the expression is used with all modes of transportation, not just ships and boats. Cars, trucks, and buses can turn turtle as well. Anything that flips over or turns upside down is said to have ‘turned turtle'.
*Several boats turned turtle during the violent storm.
*Raj was killed when his car hit the divider and turned turtle.

According to one theory, when British sailors visited the Caribbean islands, they found that the natives caught huge sea turtles quite easily by turning them upside down. Once a turtle was on its back, it was totally helpless — just like the crew of a ship that has capsized. This explains why another meaning of the idiom is ‘vulnerable'.


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What is the meaning of  'regift' /
We often receive gifts on our birthday that we do not particularly like or care for. Sometimes, two people give us the same gift. What do we do with them? Some people throw these gifts into their cupboards and forget all about them. The smart ones gift them to their friends or members of their family on their birthdays. This act of passing on a gift that you have received to someone else is called ‘regifting’. The friend/family member does not realise that you are merely getting rid of a gift that you do not like. The American comedy show, ‘Seinfeld’, was instrumental in popularising this word. ‘Regift’ can be used both as a noun and a verb. A person who regifts frequently is called a ‘regifter’.
1.Ashok was honest about it. He told me that the pen was a regift.
2.Anurag is planning to regift the ugly painting he got from Seema.


May 20 : 29, 29, 28, 26, 25, 23, 22, 22, 22, 22, 22, 16, 14, 13, 11, 09, 08, 07, 07, 05, 04, 02, 01

April 20 : 30, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 11, 10, 09, 08, 07, 07, 07, 04, 03, 02, 01

March 20 : 31, 27, 26, 25, 24, 22, 21, 19, 18, 17, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 09, 07, 06, 05, 04, 04, 03, 02

February 20 : 29, 28, 28, 26, 25, 24, 21, 20, 19, 18, 11

January 20 : 13