A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Kate Woodford

tolerate_phasalverbsWe can’t always focus on the positive! This week, we’re looking at the language that is used to refer to arguing and arguments, and the differences in meaning between the various words and phrases.

There are several words that suggest that people are arguing about something that is not important. (As you might expect, these words are often used for arguments between people who know each other well.) For example, there’s quarrel, which is both a verb and a noun: They were quarrelling over whose turn it was to pay./He’d had a quarrel with one of the other kids. To refer to a less serious argument, you can use the verb bicker: Oh, stop bickering, you two! If the people arguing are children, we might also use the word squabble, (a verb and a noun): The kids were squabbling over a piece of chocolate./They’d had…

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