General English

General Science

  • noun an enlarged region on a chromosome where RNA synthesis is taking place


  • noun a claim made for a product or an organisation in order to promote it


  • noun an alternative spelling of poof
  • noun life. In humorous working-class speech the notion of ‘breath of life’ has given rise to this usage. It is probably most prevalent in northern English conversation.
  • noun marihuana, cannabis
  • verb to smoke cannabis. A usage appearing in the 1990s.


  • An advertisement or review that offers extravagant praise ofa play, book, etc.

    In Sheridan's The Critic (1779), the character MrPuff describes himself as "a practitioner in panegyric,or, to speak more plainly, a professor of the art of puffing"and gives a catalogue of puffs:

    Yes, sir - puffing is of various sorts, the principalare, the puff direct, the puff preliminary, the puff collateral, thepuff collusive and the puff oblique, or puff by implication. Theseall assume, as circumstances require, the various forms of letterto the editor, occasional anecdote, impartial critique, observationfrom correspondent, or advertisement from the party.
    The Critic (I, ii)