I have a question about nouns triplets like "sofa box container" and I'll formulate it at the end. I have some reasoning and I want to make sure I'm correct.
First of all consider the following sample. Common sense helps understand the meaning of these words but I want to know the general rule for understanding the meaning of noun sequences.
- Spider man — a man who is also a spider
- Killer Queen — a queen who is also a killer
- Blade Runner — a man who runs on the blade
- Tiger lily — lily of "tiger" type
These are well-known examples. But I suppose the first two should be written with hyphen: spider-man, killer-queen.
Following the logic I tried to create sensible examples of 2-nouns combinations:
Killer queen — a queen of killers
Killer's queen — a queen, who is killer's
Killer-queen — a killer who is also a queen
Queen-killer — a queen who is also a killer
Queen killer — a killer of queens
Queen's Killer — a killer, who is queen's
Blade runner — 1) a runner who is like a blade (blade as adjective) — 2) someone or something who makes the blade run
Blade's runner — the runner of blade's property
Blade-runner — a blade who is a runner (blade and also a runner)
Runner-blade — a runner who is a blade (runner and also a blade)
Runner blade — 1) something that blades (verb) a runner — 2) a blade of type runner (what kind of blade? — runner)
Runner's blade — a blade of runner's property
Suppose we have 2 nouns A and B. The possible combinations of these nouns are:
Now the question: How do I interpret combinations of length more than two? What does "sofa box container" mean? Is it "boxes containing sofas" or "container of boxes where sofas were inside"? And does "sofa container box" mean "boxes which contain sofas" or "a box for a container of sofas"? Any other versions?
And finally, how do I say without prepositions "the machines which contain databases"?
I'm so confused by noun sequences. Any help is greatly appreciated!