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2
votes
3answers
125 views

Does “argumentative” have negative connotation? If so, what's a more neutral word?

It seems argument has a negative connotation, almost like bickering. What about argumentative? How to favorably describe a person who doesn't take things at face value but rather debate on veracity ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a word or a common phrase for this motion of the hands

I want to describe this motion with words. What would be the concise way? (Actually it's this motion but with the hands closer to the lap than the face but that's not very important)
3
votes
2answers
81 views

How to describe a weird situation?

I had just complimented my cousin on her hair when my mom told me that my cousin's mom was very upset because her daughter's hair was falling out. I was shocked and it seemed weird. What would you ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

What is the name for a simplified street map?

I'm looking for a way to describe the kind of simple road/street map that is pared down to essentials - thin lines for roads, just a few places highlighted, no extraneous detail/color. What is the ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Is there a proper name for saying something like “stack'em”?

Is there a proper name for saying something like stack'em instead of stack them or any other "'em" in place of "them"? Is it slang or something to do with dialect? UPDATE It is a ...
3
votes
2answers
770 views

I am looking for a word for an abstainer from red meat

A number of friends of mine describe themselves as "Vegetarian" but then go on to explain that they don't eat meat - but do eat fish and poultry, (plus in one case bacon). In my books this is not ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

What does “Have fun with 'em homies” mean? [duplicate]

I come across these sorts of sentences frequently. I'd like to give more examples to be more precise. Kill 'em homies. Look at 'em idiots. What do they really mean? I mean why add them in ...
2
votes
3answers
285 views

What is the right description of the word “squeaky” in “squeaky clean”?

Is squeaky in "squeaky clean" an onomatopoeia? Is there a right word to describe this word, other than simply an "adjective"? It's something that uses the description of a sound as an adjective. ...
4
votes
4answers
117 views

Is there a word for the status of a team being 'home' or 'away'

A team can be 'home' or 'away' - but what is this status called? At first I thought 'location' or 'venue' but this isn't right - the location is singular and the basis of what determines the 'home' ...
2
votes
3answers
64 views

Way of saying 'washes hands of it' but implies physical

Looking for a non-crappy way of describing someone doing that washing hand motion you do to clear your hands of dust or dirt, but without saying 'washing hand motion'. I feel like there's a good way ...
4
votes
4answers
111 views

Defining a goal that can be achieved through many ways

I want to define a goal that can be achieved through many ways. Does multidirectional work? A multidirectional goal? Its for a title of an essay saying that there is not just a single way to stay ...
8
votes
12answers
2k views

Is there a single word or phrase for “inability to say no at a behavioural level”

I have an aquaintance who is unable to say no directly. Any conversational transaction which would lead to them saying no is redirected toward the questioner. Is there a single word or phrase to ...
2
votes
2answers
189 views

Is the term “very average” correct?

In general does the phrase "[adverb] correct" follow the rules of proper English? For example I asked of the water level of a forest and someone replied "very average for this time of year".
3
votes
1answer
793 views

The difference between slick and sleek

What is the difference between the two adjectives: slick and sleek? My dictionary returns almost the same explanation for both, like smooth and glossy. Could someone explain when it would be more ...
1
vote
6answers
606 views

Is there an expression or word to describe a person who does something that is unnecessary?

Is there a single word or phrase that describes a person who: Does something that is not important or is unnecessary AND Does not do something that is important or necessary? I would appreciate it ...
9
votes
9answers
6k views

What do you call someone who says they will do things but doesn't?

And if they do it, they take 6 months rather than the 6 days he said he could but not necessarily specified that he would? My husband is a tow truck driver, so he barely has spare time as it is. He ...
1
vote
1answer
214 views

How do we describe the molecule of Water (H2O) in English by the way of tradition/science or native/slang in the U.S.? [closed]

I don't know how to say the water molecule in English, Just use "Water Molecule" or any other scientific description?
2
votes
3answers
652 views

What do you call someone who finds everything

I'm trying to define a character for a short story I'm writing, but I'm having a hard time defining him. He has the ability to find everything. What you do call someone who can find ...
1
vote
2answers
242 views

How to describe humanities students in one word

In several languages, there is a specific, usually rather derogatory word for students of the humanities. Would it be necessary to stick to 'arts students' or 'humanities students' to point out these ...
2
votes
2answers
250 views

How to describe an individual who always speaks in a “matter of fact” manner

I have a friend who always speaks in a very matter-of-fact manner. On numerous occasions, he has mentioned how it was "the best BLANK" he has ever had, or "the best BLANK in the city." Everything ...
2
votes
3answers
259 views

Word for the people whom you inspire

People who are inspired by me might say "Imray is my inspiration". But what word can I use to describe the people whom I inspire?
32
votes
4answers
6k views

“Two yellow spots on its wings” vs “a yellow spot on both wings”

The bird has two yellow spots on its wings. versus The bird has a yellow spot on both wings. Do they mean the same? Which one describes more accurately the yellow spots of the following bird? ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Describing contrary idiom usage

I periodically get emails inviting me to a "free" lunch for the purpose of hearing a sales pitch. Multiple times these invitations have included some quip such as "See? There is such thing as a free ...
0
votes
3answers
516 views

How to describe the feeling you get when something exceedingly irritating, irritates you? [closed]

Got extremely annoyed today. But that's not the word I was looking for. I had to deliver a case of bottled water to some friends living in another dorm in our college. I have to tell you, the sound ...
-1
votes
1answer
388 views

Adjectives that describe the general shape of fishes

My question has to do with the adjectives one can use to describe the very general shape of a fish if we think of these three axes: tail-to-head axis back-to-belly axis side-to-side axis Question ...
1
vote
2answers
212 views

What does refering to someone as a “garden shed” mean? [closed]

http://youtu.be/a9GgU3hzGGw?t=1m54s In the following video, a talk host watches an acting performance, and refers to the actor as a "garden shed". I've never heard that expression before. I am also ...
0
votes
3answers
104 views

What do people normally call a glass walled lab or room? [closed]

I remember reading Dan Brown's the Lost Symbol and coming across a word that was used to call one of Katherine lab/research rooms. I can't remember what it is, and this really bugs me. Does anyone ...
16
votes
16answers
5k views

Describing “not knowing what to do” (as a response to an unexpected event that happened)?

Is there a good word or a great expression that describes not knowing what to do (as a response to an unexpected event that happened)? Something uncanny happened, and I do not know what to do. ...
4
votes
3answers
456 views

What do you call someone who always talks a situation in their favor?

What do you call someone who always talks a situation in their favor? For example, Tom tells Mary that she has a piece of meat stuck in between her teeth. Mary replies "Oh I purposely left it there". ...
2
votes
2answers
742 views

What is the proper name for the corkscrew at the top of a soda bottle?

At the top of a bottle of pop, there is a corkscrew pattern into which the plastic cap is twisted, tightened and sealed. What is the name of this feature of the bottle?
1
vote
2answers
445 views

Word describing one who is not aware of their own actions

I'm reading a book and writing an essay where I need to describe the main character's personality traits, but I can't quite find the word for unaware of one's actions
2
votes
2answers
339 views

A noun to describe character sequences between words

I'm creating a formal system in which a sentence can be formed by four types of sequences of characters: Words Prefixes Suffixes Sequences in between words What noun would you use to describe a ...
0
votes
3answers
5k views

Is a comma needed here?

If I were to try and describe a book called "Book", is this sentence grammatically correct? The book Book by Joe Bob is set in... I was told that this sentence is incorrect, that commas must ...
1
vote
4answers
215 views

How would you describe an operator which has no fixity? [closed]

Traditionally mathematical operators are either prefix, postfix or infix. All the three forms of notation are equivalent and can be converted from one to another. Formal systems such as programming ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Meaning of vitative(ness)

I've seen the following word used in a book about the history of writing, referring to a list of descriptive words written in 1900. Vitative(ness) is not in my Oxford dictionary, nor dictionary.com. ...
4
votes
0answers
165 views

How is she to describe how she likes him, when he doesn't know? [closed]

There's a friend of mine—let's call her Lily—and a guy—David. Lily told me that she feels very happy each time she meets, talks, plays games, dines (and so on) with David. I guess she's falling in ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a word for food preferences?

What single word would you use to describe a list of food preferences, which includes: Allergies (e.g., shellfish) Sensitivities (e.g., lactose intolerant) Dislikes (e.g., Brussels sprouts) Likes ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

A word for someone who is overly cautious? [closed]

I am thinking along the lines of a hypochondriac, only not necessarily limited to health. Overly anxious comes to mind but I don't think it fits exactly... In context: 'I don't want to come ...
2
votes
1answer
726 views

Regional usage of “Violet” and “Purple”

I am looking to describe a flower such as the one in the following picture for a game: After showing the game to a number of beta testers, I noted that about half of them were fine with "violet" ...
6
votes
2answers
969 views

Word for a Rare Feeling

I hope it's not too rare, but at least 1 other person has confirmed having experienced a similar feeling. Small, ordinary things can trigger it, in ordinary situations. Then I sometimes get the ...