Questions concerning the devising or choosing of names for things.

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2
votes
1answer
197 views

Zucchini in Australia and courgette in New Zealand! Why?

I can probably understand why the plant is called zucchini in the US and courgette in the UK- could be traced to the proximity of the UK to France but how come it's got two different names in ...
5
votes
3answers
571 views

Why are not all grains called “grains”?

In most languages, the word used for a single caryopsis seed is a good equivalent of grain — it is not only the translation for this kind of seeds, but also the translation for other meanings of the ...
7
votes
1answer
584 views

What is the origin of “kiwifruit”?

What is the origin of kiwifruit? Is there any relation between the fruit and New Zealand?
6
votes
1answer
852 views

Why are bacteria referred to using botanic terms (flora, blooming)?

I've seen a lot of information lately about intestinal flora or gut flora but I was under the impression that flora refers exclusively to plant life. So how did bacteria come to be called flora? I ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Is there a name for someone that accepts a risk and then complains when it occurs?

Example: Frank is going to buy a house The real estate developer, Jim, warns him, there's a 30% chance your house will drop a lot in value in the next year. Frank buys the house. The value of his ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What do we call these people? [duplicate]

A person who says that everything in this life is not permanent / is a lie. A person who believes in things only after he has seen/experienced them.
11
votes
2answers
2k views

“Semitic” and “anti-Semitic”

Why does Semitic refer to several groups of people, including Babylonians, Assyrians, Arabs and Jews, whereas anti-Semitic only refers to Jews?
2
votes
3answers
52 views

Becoming the marathon “leader”, is this a correct usage?

What do we call the athlete who is in first place , leading the marathon or running in front of the other runners in a race? Is leader an appropriate word to describe this runner?
3
votes
5answers
391 views

What should you call a preface for a small document?

I think the word preface refers to books. I have a small document that is in the form of a hierarchical outline. Before my document, I want to put a small paragraph with instructions how to consume ...
4
votes
11answers
821 views

What is the word for a person who does different jobs?

I'm asking about someone who's employed by a company and does different jobs (both a qualified and unqualified person). Who knows; maybe in English those two are two different words? What are they ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Does “numeric” abbreviation eg i18n have a name?

In the computer programming context, several long words are commonly abbreviated using the formula first letter, number of letters between, last letter. Eg internationalization --> i18n Is there a ...
17
votes
5answers
970 views

Tom, Jake and Jenny aren't looking forward to Thanksgiving. Why?

And "Hen" (their mother) isn't much looking forward to it either. Why? I can answer that question myself, it's because they're all turkeys. Tom is an adult male turkey (also often referred to as a ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What word describes text having a different meaning backwards and forwards?

Jonathan Reed's poem 'Lost Generation' is a pessimistic view of the future if read forwards. However, if you read it backwards linewise (not wordwise), it is still semantically meaningful, but the ...
1
vote
3answers
89 views

Word for light after it has passed through a window / glass

The most evocative image I can think of for this is when the headlights of a car pass through your bedroom. I need this word because I have a computer graphics application that requires me to name a ...
5
votes
8answers
475 views

Is there a single word which means “a person, and all of his ancestors”, or “a person, and all of his descendants”?

There are a lot of words describing ancestral relationships between people, such as: parent grandparent great-grandparent any of the above can be described as an "ancestor". child grandchild ...
1
vote
3answers
40 views

Correct name of an agreement used as a template for individual ones

I can't decide on the most preferred taxonomy regarding agreements. A chain can sign an agreement that each of its franchises can suborder and sign their own individual deal. When I looked it up, I ...
8
votes
4answers
265 views

What's the term for introducing an error when you edit a sentence?

Several years ago, I recall learning an English term that described the following sort of error: I write (or begin writing) a sentence without error. I decide to change something in the sentence. I ...
5
votes
9answers
2k views

What is “plaice” in the US? Would love a good fish and chips

When we went to the market, at the fisherman's counter we asked for plaice with which we would make fish and chips. Now here in the States when we ask for plaice, they don't understand what we mean. ...
2
votes
3answers
92 views

Is Father Christmas unwelcome in the United States?

Is the name Father Christmas used in the US or is it mainly Santa Claus (and Santa)? Does Father Christmas sound unusual or out of place if it was used in the US? Would it be laughed at? As an ...
60
votes
5answers
3k views

When does thousand turn into thousands?

My boyfriend and I are arguing whether thousands of miles means 1000+ or 2000+ miles. The first argument is that 1000+ is over 1000 and therefore 'thousands of miles' by rounding up. The other ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

“…Batman is the personality-shelf where Bruce Wayne stores the crazy-plates…” - is this just a metaphor, or is it something else?

In this article on Cracked.com, I discovered this gem of a phrase: ...Batman is the personality-shelf where Bruce Wayne stores the crazy-plates... ...and I thought it was a fantastic phrase. ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

When did “World War 2” start being called “World War 2”?

When did World War 2 start being called a "world war" and when did it start being called World War 2? Thurber's The Last Flower (copyright 1939) makes reference to World War 12 so I'm curious as to ...
8
votes
2answers
255 views

Name for phrase of words in increasing significance

I'm looking at the phrase "THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY". The thing I'm trying to think of is the joke format where you list a bunch of things and then change the last word for humorous effect. I ...
2
votes
2answers
225 views

Opposite of “qualifier”

What is the appropriate term for a modifying clause that generalizes, rather than limits, the preceding statement? For example: "It is crucial to bring a canteen on the trip, even if the sky is ...
-2
votes
1answer
77 views

Term for when you're attributing something to a rule

I'm looking for a word or a phase that describes attributing something not to a person or group, but to an inanimate object like a rule. Ex. A best practice is to run cross browser tests in all ...
0
votes
2answers
292 views

What word describes the form of address in which someone is called “Dad” or “Mum”?

I'm writing about what people might call God when praying, things like "Lord" or "Father" etc. With respect to using "Dad" or "Mum", would you call them names? (not exactly - not like "Brian" for ...
7
votes
9answers
32k views

What do I call a person who is participating in a survey?

I am writing about a survey I wrote to evaluate the usability of a program. When describing the methodology of the survey, I refer to the person conducting the survey as the investigator. What should ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Meaning and etymology of the “ite” and “ine/ene” endings of mineral names

I’ve noticed that a very large proportion of the names of mineral species and mineral groups end in -ite and (less commonly,) -ine or -ene. Here are some examples off the top of my head: -ite: ...
6
votes
9answers
8k views

What is another word for “boss” for a company with a flatter hierarchy?

In today's more modern companies (especially IT startups etc.) that have a flatter hierarchy, the word "boss" seems to be outdated and doesn't describe the job role of someone who takes care of a ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Megafauna is to animals as what is to insects?

I'm aware of several species of "giant" insects, such as the Meganeura (giant dragonfly) and the Arthropleura (giant centipede) — but I was wondering if anyone knew of a loose term similar to ...
19
votes
13answers
2k views

What do you call the time period between notification of an event and the event?

I'm in the situation where I have an event, and I want to notify some people 15 minutes before that event happens (but it could be 30 minutes, or 1 day, or any amount of time). What do you call that ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

Evoking more power than “Titan” [closed]

EVE Online is a multiplayer game that takes place across a fictional galaxy called New Eden. Players pilot spaceships and fight for territory in large collaborative corporations. Here is a simplified ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

When should I capitalise eucalyptus or other genuses?

I'm reasonably familiar with the capitalisation and italicisation rules that govern scientific names, but am a bit confused about capitalising, or not, the name of a genus, e.g. Eucalyptus when used ...
-2
votes
3answers
187 views

Tourism nomenclature help [closed]

I'm working in a software company working on an information system for travel agencies. Because we've grown big, we've decided to rename our internal project nomenclatore from Czech to English. I ...
2
votes
2answers
430 views

A word to mention a set of products sold together with a bundle price?

Is there a word to refer to a set of products sold together, with a specific price? For example: Product A is sold 10 dollars Product B is sold 10 dollars Product A and B are sold together for 18 ...
3
votes
2answers
235 views

“maple tree” or “maple”?

Is it correct to say maple tree, or would maple be both correct and enough to mean a tree (not just its fruit)?
1
vote
1answer
114 views

What does one call terms like “astroturfing”?

Astroturfing is a word used to describe a fake or counterfeit grassroots campaign. The clever term is derived from the notion that one kind of fake grass is astroturf. Another more niche example is ...
1
vote
2answers
302 views

“Institution”, “body” or “organ”

I'm a non-native speaker active in a labor union that does not use English internally. The union has a representative assembly (made up of representatives of branches), whose existence is mandated by ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do they call it a “movement” in music? Is this a metaphor?

I can't understand this. In symphony you hear the word "movement" to refer to independent sections. But it seems that it's not really that relevant. Movement almost everywhere has something to do with ...
5
votes
3answers
872 views

What is the opposite of the perfect aspect?

Most tenses exist in a perfect and non-perfect form, e.g. present vs. present perfect and past continuous vs. past perfect continuous. What is the group of tenses that are not perfect called?
2
votes
5answers
269 views

Is there one word that clearly describes the difference in kind for these four types?

I am stuck on a word choice problem. I have a large amount of response related data, which were previously stored such that each datum lay within one of the following realms: law enforcement ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

Is single usage of “personality” in “Multiple Personality” jargon or correct English?

Should not the "personality" have been pluralized in "Multiple Personality Disorder"? Is the single usage of "personality" with prepending "multiple" a professional jargon or it is the correct ...
3
votes
5answers
6k views

What is a word called that has more than one syllable?

You can say e.g.: The word "on" is a monosyllable. but it seems that the word "multisyllable" has been outdated since 1913. What is the correct term for a word that has two or more syllables, ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

What word best describes a small store that sells only glasses (spectacles)?

What word would or combination of words would best describe a small store, in which only glasses (spectacles) are sold? Here are some of my guesses, but I think they are all wrong: Eye ware Glass ...
13
votes
6answers
748 views

Why did the word “Internet” change from a noncount to count noun?

I remember a time back in 1993 - 1994 for a couple months at our university the Internet was used as a noncount noun, so we would say: Do you have Internet at your university? In fact, the ...