People and Professions

Streaker

streaker:

(plural: ‘streakers‘; for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

‘to streak’ (verb) = (apart from several other meanings/definitions as a noun and a verb) to run at high speed; to rush; and to run in public places without any clothes on

a person who runs, usually naked (without any clothes on), in public places for no particular purpose other than seeking public attention or as an indecent practical joke (prank),

e.g.

When Ben got bored, he used to try several pranks to amuse himself, and being a streaker was one them, until one day while he was streaking across a hockey field during break time, the coach of a team caught him and slammed him on to the field until he was unconscious.

Though it seems fun, streaking in public places is not only an indecent act but also a crime, and streakers must be punished in such a way that it should send streaks of cold through the would-be streakers!

The organisers of the ‘Run 2 Help’ fundraising activity have instructed their volunteers to look out for streakers who might mix in with the genuine racers but may start steaking some where half way through the race to get instant cheap publicity.

For a news article, with a video clip, that shows us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for an online news article, with a video clip, about a female streaker disrupting a match, please click here and for a blog post that has the audio clip of the conversation with the streaker of the President’s Cup match, please click here.
Note: ‘Streaker’ is occasionally found in the names. For an advertisement of Streaker Boats, please click here.

Straw Man

straw man:

(also ‘man of straw‘; plural: ‘straw men’ and ‘men of straw’; for the right pronunciation of this phrase, please click here)

‘straw’ (noun & in general) = a stalk of thrashed grain such as wheat or rice used as bedding or as fodder for animals; (in this context) = something of no value or importance
a straw man (a person or an idea that is easy to win over)

a straw man (a person or an idea that is easy to win over)

a person (or an idea or argument) that is weak and easy to win;

a person of no value or importance;

a person who is not what he pretends to be; an imposter;

an unimportant person used as a cover for some illegal activity;

a person who appears to be powerful or important in position but in fact without any power,

(a cartoonists idea of Mr Obama fighting off a man of straw)

(a cartoonist’s idea of Mr Obama fighting off a man of straw, some made up enemy)

e.g.

When James stood up to present his argument before the committee, everybody thought he was being a straw man; however, as the meeting progressed, he proved that he was no straw man nor was his argument.

It’s understood that men in high positions keep some men of straw on their pay rolls so that whenever there is a problem, they can bring those men of straw to the front and they themselves keep clear of it.

We often see some men of straw who appears to be very powerful and important but when it comes to getting things done in their own domain, they fail miserably and blame somebody else for their inefficiency and meekness.

For an article that explains the probable origin of this phrase, please click here, for a political article about President Obama using straw men that shows us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here and for a political news article about British prime minister and his straw men, please click here. For a different type of men of straw, people that wear straw masks, please click here.
Note: ‘Straw’, always with a capital ‘S’, is often found in the names of people, e.g. Griffin Straw, Katherine Straw, Mildred Straw, etc. Therefore, Jack Straw, one of the prominent British politicians, is not a valueless person or an imposter or any weak idea or argument. For a news article about Mr. Jack Straw, the British politician, please click here.

Strategist

strategist:

(plural: ‘strategists‘; for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

‘strategy’ (noun) = a plan, usually a big long-term plan of action to reach a goal, to achieve something or for political or business success; the science of using all the forces and planning a war
strategists drawing strategies

strategists drawing strategies

a person who is an expert in drawing a plan of action;

a person who knows how to win a war, or some high level dispute, by planning attacks and defences, keeping the opponents approach in mind well in advance,

war strategists at work

war strategists at work

e.g.

My son, Mash Bonigala, is a business strategist; he knows how to plan a business within the budget and knows how to make use of the sources to the maximum.

When it comes to politics, the political parties have strategists who understand the people’s minds as well as the opposition parties’ moves, and plan accordingly as to whom to stand for which position and how to approach a particular group of people and how much to spend during election season.

Chess players are the best war strategists who know how to move their armed forces for an attack while still predicting their opponents moves well in advance.

For a news article that shows us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for an article that explains what a strategist does, please click here, for an article that discusses strategies come from and how strategists is more than a leader, please click here and for an article about search marketing strategists, please click here.

Straphanger

 
 

straphanger:

(plural: ‘straphangers‘; for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

a strap and a straphanger

a strap and a straphanger

‘strap’ (noun & in this context) = a narrow leather or plastic strip with a loop hung from the roof of a bus or train for the passengers to hang on to while travelling standing; ‘to hang’ (verb & in this context) = to hold on, to take support of (a strap) to keep balance
straphangers on public transport

straphangers on public transport

a passenger who travels on public transport, on a local bus or train, standing as all the seats are filled up and holds/hangs on to the strap with a loop to keep his/her balance while the vehicle is in motion;

a person who travels or likes to travel on local public transport, especially a bus or train,

straphangers on a crowded train

straphangers on a crowded train

e.g.

Though he can afford a taxi ride to his office or buy a car for himself, Uncle Tom prefers to travel on local buses and thus has won the title ‘straphanger’.

It’s a common site to see a number of straphangers on buses and trains in the cities, especially during rush hours as the seats fill up and many commuters are forced to reach their destinations on time taking the ride standing.

Some politicians play the role of straphangers to publicise that they are as common as their voters, although being aware of the fact that it costs the commoners more when their ‘common friends’ travel on public transport as more number of police officers in plain clothes and secret agents travel along with them and several secret service vehicles follow the buses they are on for security reasons!

For a local news article that show us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for an article about the Pope referred to as a straphanger for his love for travelling on local public transport, please click here and for a local news article about an indecent straphanger on the tube, please click here.

 
 

Stranger

 
 

stranger:

(plural: ‘stangers‘; for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

‘strange’ (adjective) = something that is not known before; something new; something or someone that is out of normal
a stranger in the car asking the children for some information

a stranger in the car asking the children for some information

a person who is not known, not a friend; an unknown person;

a person new to a place; a visitor or guest;

a person who does not know or does not have any experience, as in a particular language or in using a device/tool, etc;

(in Law) a person who is not a legal party in a legal matter,

two strangers getting to know each other

two strangers getting to know each other

e.g.

Little John is too young to know that a stranger is not a person who looks strange in appearance or in actions but a normal person whom you don’t know personally or new to a place.

When Martha saw a stranger at her garden gate, she immediately took the broom stick into her hands and shouted to him not to come any closer to the house because there have been several incidents of crime in her locality recently.

Even though Richard is not a stranger to computers, he often feels like a fish out of water with the some strange applications that are actually meant to make Internet users feel comfortable.

Though parents and teachers warn their children repeatedly not to talk to strangers as some strangers may hurt them or kidnap them, some children are so curious that they forget the warnings once they see something interesting in the strangers’ hands and go with them.

Mark and Leslie felt very homely in the village they had to stop when their car broke down as the people there were very friendly and never gave them the feeling that they were total strangers to them.

For a news article that shows us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for a political news article in which we see this word being used for politicians, please click here, for a news article about a woman who attacked strangers who saved her child, please click here and for a magazine article that advises people to be friendly with strangers, please click here.

 
 

Straggler

 
 

straggler:

(plural: ‘stragglers‘; for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

‘to straggle’ (verb) = to move away from the group, usually while on a trek or walk through strange places; to fall behind others in a race or competition; to spread out in a scattered or irregular group; to be separated from the others or the main group, convey, etc.
stragglers in  a race

stragglers in a race

a person who falls behind others as in a race or competition;

a person who strays from the correct or original course; a strayer,

stragglers in business world

stragglers in business world

e.g.

Omar used to be a straggler at school and almost every teacher had trouble getting him back on track every now and then.

Most sports persons appreciate the culture of the spectators’ accepting stragglers more than they do the winners because the sportsman spirit is more in the fair participation in a race than in actually winning it.

Whenever there is an evacuation emergency due to storms or tsunamis in the coastal regions, the official have hell of a problem to convince the stragglers who refuse to leave their homes and property.

For a news article about a straggler that shows us how this word pops up in our daily news, please click here, for a blog post that reports stragglers in politics, please click here and for a blog post about stragglers being rebuked, please click here. For an article that shows us how this word is used a product in the business world, please click here.
Note: A ‘Blue Straggler’, on the other hand, is an old star in a cluster of stars in the space. For an article that explains what a blue straggler is, please click here & please click here.

Return to “struggle ~~ straggle” in Words Often Confused.
 
 

Stowaway

stowaway:

(plural: ‘stowaways‘; for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

‘stow away’ (verb & as two words) = to get onto (to board) a ship or plane or any other vehicle of transport secretly without paying the fare or without having legal documents on, which is a crime
stowaways on a ship

stowaways on a ship

 

a  person who gets on a ship, plane or other vehicle without having proper or valid documents and without paying money/fare and travels hiding somewhere on the vehicle,

a stowaway on a plane

a stowaway on a plane

e.g.

When security officials catch a stowaway, they are not usually happy as catching a stowaway is one thing but keeping him/her safe until they present him/her in a court of law is entirely another thing because of the legal risks involved.

It’s surprising to learn how many stowaways on ships, plane and trains are caught taking a free ride every day, and even more surprising is that most of those stowaways are illegal immigrants who risk their lives to stow away from their countries to enter the countries they think they can live in comfort.

The railroad/railway authorities got very much worried about their security system when they found out that there were more number of stowaways than the genuine passengers on their trains, including super fast trains!

Compare: runaway
For a news article, with a video clip, about a stowaway on a flight that shows us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for a news article about stowaways on a cargo ship being killed and thrown overboard, please click here & please click here and for a news article, with a video clip, about the stowaways on a train, please click here.

Return to “runaway“.

Storyteller

 
 

storyteller:

(plural: ‘storytellers‘; for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

‘story’ (noun & with plural; ‘stories’) = some interesting series of what has happened, either real or made-up events, usually told to make people entertained
every grandparent a storyteller

every grandparent a storyteller

a person who tells (or writes) stories, either real or imaginary, in order to amuse others;

a narrator;

a person who usually speaks (or writes) with some relevant amusing and often real stories or events to make his/her point or statement more interesting or real/authentic;

a person, usually a child, who tells lies; a liar,

a storyteller telling an amusing story

a storyteller telling an amusing story

e.g.

I don’t know about the present but in the past, almost every grandparent was a storyteller who entertained his/her grandchildren by telling them amazing stories, often stories based on the religious scriptures, fairy tales or simply made-up stories of the day to day events.

As there were no written records of past events, the storytellers of the past were believed and much respected by the clan or tribe because they were the ones who remembered the past events and often cleared the confusion, worry and suspicion in the minds of the clan or tribe with their stories, and of course, they inspired desperate people, too.

There are different types of storytellers: oral storytellers, who tell about the past events from their memory; visual storytellers, who tell stories by drawing pictures — artists, comic book writers and film makers; writers, who writes down the stories, especially the past events, records; and the present day digital storytellers, who tell (or report) events and everyday happenings in an interesting way with pictures, graphics and sound — news media and websites, especially aiming business and politics; and of course, the business people and politicians!

It’s an established fact that business persons and politicians are expert storytellers who spin stories to get their merchandise sold and to get votes and to avoid being blamed for their failures and blunders.

For a blog post that shows us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for an article that explains how to become a storyteller, please click here, for an article that asks a question whether all the business people are liars or storytellers, please click here and for an article that explains how storytelling may have evolved, please click here.

 
 

Stormy Petrel

stormy petrel:

(also ‘storm petrel’; plural: ‘stormy petrels‘)

storm petrel‘ (noun) = a kind of sea bird
a stormy petrel (R) troubling her colleague

a stormy petrel (R) troubling her colleague

a person who causes or brings trouble or discord among people;

a person who always gets into controversies;

a rebel,

 

th (2)

a stormy petrel instigating others

e.g.

I never understood why my dad was called a stormy petrel until I grew up and he started causing me a lot of trouble with his controversies at home, his workplace and at community hall meetings.

Every political party has some stormy petrels who stir-up trouble by taking up forbidden issues for discussions for their own party and their Opposition parties, especially at the time of elections.

Some company managements try to bribe those storm petrels in the labour Unions who bring in trouble for the companies by instigating their colleagues to demand for more pay and fewer working hours or for free medical aid.

For a political news article that shows us how we come across this phrase in our daily browsing, please click here, for an article that describes how this phrase came into use for a person of controversies, please click here, for a blog post that shows us how this phrase appeared in Sherlock Holmes stories, please click here, for an article that shows us how a religious person who causes constant trouble is called this name, please click here and for a local news article about a stormy petrel in politics, please click here.

Return to “storm petrel” in Animals in Language.

Storekeeper

storekeeper:

(also ‘shopkeeper‘; plural: ‘storekeepers‘; for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

‘store’ (noun & in this context) = a shop where consumer goods (things) are sold & a place where goods (things) for sale are stored
a typical storekeeper in his stores

a typical storekeeper in his stores

a person who owns, manages or works at a store/shop;

a petty officer in charge of supplies — food, drinks, clothes and other item — in the Army or the Navy,

 

a storekeeper on a Navy ship

a storekeeper on a Navy ship

e.g.

Young Jason took up a job as a storekeeper in one of the local branch of a chain of stores and did his job so well that the boss promoted his as the Chief storekeeper which necessitated him to visit other branches to supervise the work of the branch storekeepers.

As supermarkets, malls and mega malls are encroaching the town and village markets, most local storekeepers who have been giving jobs to the local youth are forced to close their stores and look for jobs for them selves.

Storekeepers on warships must be very alert and very good at his job of storing all the things needed on their ships which may not call a port in a month or, at times, in three months because if anything is missing or needed, there is no way the storekeepers can place an order and get the goods supplied as they do onshore!

For a local news article that shows us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for the job description of a storekeeper, please click here, the job description of a military storekeeper, please click here and for an interesting story that tell us how a storekeeper changed a petty criminal, please click here.

Return to “shopkeeper“.