English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What word should be used to fill in the blank?

We don't know whether a product is genuine or sham


The product's __ is unverified.

share|improve this question
at present would work – shinynewbike May 20 '11 at 6:29
up vote 15 down vote accepted

The word you are looking for is authenticity.

share|improve this answer

Provenance” is a great word for this use but maybe “authenticity” fits your specific example sentence a little better.

share|improve this answer

since you mentioned the word already, you can try also genuineness

The quality of being genuine; authenticity.
share|improve this answer
No doubt genuineness is a valid word but it's klunky compared to authenticity. – AAT May 21 '11 at 22:42
@AAT hmm. curious comment. And how would "genuiness" be MORE klunky [sic] than "authenticity". If there was a "klunky"[sic]-ness factor; what would the "klunky"[sic]-ness factor of "genuiness" vs. "authenticity" – Paul Amerigo Pajo May 23 '11 at 0:43
well, it is not as euphonious for one thing, because of that double n. Is that enough of a reason? – AAT May 25 '11 at 20:28
@AAT in pronunciation I find three ns :) – ErikE Apr 19 '12 at 17:55
@AAT good point :) – Paul Amerigo Pajo Apr 20 '12 at 3:12

There are a couple words which come to my mind which work, which vary depending on exactly what "the product" is:

  • Authenticity - The product is what it says it is. "Kansas City Barbeque"
  • Efficacy - The product does what it says it does. "This barbeque will make your mouth water."
  • Veracity - The product is truthful, or product claims are truthful or have been verified. "The hottest barbeque in town."

There is some overlap in authentic (to be genuine) and veracious (to be truthful).

share|improve this answer

Another common word I would use in this sentence would be "claim".

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.