From the Word Wizard Club...
July 26, 2010

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piddle

Which Means:

To waste time, to spnd time doing something in a useless way.

As In:

Image If the students piddle around too long, they will miss their train!

Heads Up!

The word 'piddle' is often followed by 'around': piddle around with something.

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gawk

Which Means:

To stare, or look at with wide eyes and a gaping mouth.

As In:

Image Clayton gawked so much that his eyes were as wide as saucers.

Heads Up!

'Gawk' rhymes with 'hawk' and is spelled the same except for the first letter!

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panoply

Which Means:

An impressive variety or array of things.

As In:

Image Betty's grocery store offered an panoply of fruits and vegetables.

Heads Up!

The stress is on the first syllable of 'panoply'.

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boycott

Which Means:

To stop using or buying things from a certain place, such as a store, company, or country.

As In:

Image Some countries boycott imported beef due to high prices or poor quality.

Heads Up!

This isn't a cot that boys sleep on. It's actually the last name of Charles C. Boycott, an Irish landowner who refused to lower rent.

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cantaloup

Which Means:

Sometimes called muskmelon, this melon has a bumpy or warty rind and sweet orange flesh.

As In:

Image Miss Spelling's funny cat loves to eat cantaloup!

Heads Up!

Wow, look at the vowels in this one! But never say you can't spell CANTaloup!

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trouble

Which Means:

A bad or threatening situation, one that could cause problems.

As In:

Image Don Litgo could be in a bit of trouble!

Heads Up!

The U sound is spelled OU.

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rail

Which Means:

A bar of metal or wood supported horizontally to form a fence, barrier, support, or train track.

As In:

Image There is a rail on the balcony that is both decoration and protection against falling.

Heads Up!

The long A sound is spelled with an AI in 'rail'.

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niece

Which Means:

A daughter of one's brother or sister or of one's brother-in-law or sister-in-law.

As In:

Image Nancy and her neice Amy went on a picnic every Wednesday evening.

Heads Up!

In 'niece' the "I before E, except after C" rule applies.

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spiral

Which Means:

A line that winds and circles down along a central midpoint.

As In:

Image This conch is the shape of a spiral.

Heads Up!

The word 'spiral' can also be a verb: The tornado spiraled across the countryside.

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emblem

Which Means:

A logo, a symbol of an organization, state, or quality.

As In:

Image The scales are an emblem of justice.

Heads Up!

There are two Es in 'emblem' although the latter is pronounced UHM.

Now that you have reviewed the words, challenge your memory!

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