‘Mold’ and ‘mould’

The difference between mold and mould is the u. The meanings are the same. If you use American English, the spelling is mold. If you use British English, the spelling is mould.

Mold/mould:

  • a shaped hollow container into which liquid is poured so it sets in a particular shape
  • Cheesea shape, form, nature, character or type
  • a framework around which something is constructed or shaped
  • something made using a mould (usually a foodstuff)
  • to make something in a mould
  • to shape, form, influence, change or direct
  • a growth of fungi or bacteria that typically develops in a warm, damp atmosphere
  • soft loose soil (often rich in organic matter)
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Catty-cornered

https://pixabay.com/en/cat-kitten-rozko%C5%A1n%C3%A9-little-wood-914110/

Sorry Britishers, it has nothing to do with cats. Here’s a picture of one anyway.

This week’s interesting word is (I believe) common in American English but almost unknown in British English.

It is a variation of cater-cornered. There are other variations including catacornered, caddy-cornered and kitty-cornered.

Cater-cornered means ‘diagonal’ or ‘diagonally’. It is used to describe something as situated diagonally opposite from something else.

Cater-corned is mid 19th century in origin. It is usually considered to have developed from a dialect use of cater meaning ‘diagonally’. This stemmed from cater meaning the four-spot on dice, which comes from the French quatre meaning ‘four’. Quatre is from the Latin quattuor, meaning ‘four’.

Damp squid

I really like this eggcorn. It makes sense: squid live in water and I imagine living in water makes you damp. I’m not sure why damp squid are seen as failures or as disappointing; that seems rather unfair on them.

The phrase is actually damp squib. It is usually considered British English.https://pixabay.com/en/fireworks-red-night-sky-rays-1002817/

A damp squib is a situation or event which is less impressive, exciting or popular than expected.

A squib is a type of firework or firecracker. Small explosives used in the military and in industry are also called squibs. If a squib gets damp, it won’t go off.

To British readers – I hope your Bonfire Night wasn’t a damp squib. If you are going to see fireworks this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful time! (Fireworks are one of my favourite things.)