Nouns are words that refer to an entity, quality, state, action, or concept.

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can we say 'a pain' ? or 'a piece of pain'?

Here what I'm talking about is 'pain' as a noun, describing something that makes you uncomfortable either physically or mentally. As far as I know, it is countable when describing physical hurts. ...
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“On the one/other hand” vs. “on the one/other side”

There are two slightly different expressions which do mean the exact same thing, these are: On the one hand [...]. on the other hand [...] On the one side [...]. on the other side [...] ...
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28 views

Is there a named category for nouns that are not 'agent nouns'?

Please note that this question is not about the 'opposite' of an agent noun, or the 'passive noun' corresponding to an agent noun. My question is: if we could split the set of all nouns into two ...
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43 views

What are the physical things that identify you as a member of a group? [on hold]

I'm looking for the various physical things that identify you as a member of a group, or identify you as one of a certain status. The physical things as defined by cultural customs or practices, not ...
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Person who fills out a form - single word

What single word would I use to describe a person who fills out a form? So if Abigail fills out a form she is a... whatever the term should be. The form is an application but the applicant does not ...
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Why is the “L” silent when pronouncing “salmon”?

Why is the letter l silent when pronouncing salmon properly?
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3answers
560 views

When and why did the N-word and “negro” go apart?

Both the terms nigger and negro come from the Spanish and Portuguese Negro which denotes "black". But today they have widely different connotations, the former is considered a horrible racial slur, ...
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2answers
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What do you call someone who gets along with children?

What do you call someone who gets along with children/babies? A simple example: He is such a ____, he makes all children smile. A single word noun would be ideal but a phrase is acceptable ...
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38 views

Meaning of “niche” in “he knows the niches of this or that genre”

He knows the niches of this or that genre. Which meaning is intended here? He is a master at every genre and knows everything about them. He has a shallow knowledge about every genre.
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1answer
109 views

Expression for two people whose similar personalities makes it difficult for them to get along?

I am aware of the concept of "personality clash", when two people can't get along because their natures are too different, but what is it called when two people can't get along because their ...
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91 views

A coffee to go…( for syntax experts)

Could the infinitive phrase "to go" be a complement of the noun phrase "a coffee"?
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5answers
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A list with only one item

I have a document where someone is suggesting we have a bulleted list with only one item. That sounds absurd to me. Doesn't a "list" imply more than one item?
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7k views

What is the difference between “noun”, “proper noun”, and “name”?

Do noun and name carry a different meaning? If there are any differences, are those differences specific to a context?
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Noun form of verb “decline”

Is there a noun form of the verb "to decline"? That is, is there a word that follows this pattern: to accept -> acceptance to decline -> ? I am aware of the word declination which is the ...
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1answer
53 views

Noun for rule to strengthen a preexisting one

I was wondering if there is a noun built off the word strengh the same way we find the word corrective as built off the word correct. The context would be a term for second rule or law which is ...
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3answers
54 views

“Birthday” vs. “anniversary”

Are there general guidelines for using "anniversary" vs. "birthday"? E.g., birthdays are generally for... well, birthdays. It's also used for some notable historical dates regarding countries ("Our ...
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5answers
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Can or should “ask” ever be used as a noun?

"The ask is that you provide me with..." I started hearing "ask" being used as a noun a few years ago. Is this a recent trend? Is it an East Coast thing, unique to North America, or just unique to ...
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3answers
62 views

Using Crippled as a verb [on hold]

Is it right to use the word crippled as a verb with the sense disabled/unable to do things? An example sentence: I am crippled to complete my tasks as I didn't receive the credentials.
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A person or entity that decides how an obligation should be fulfilled

Let's say that I caused some nasty accident and someone was hurt and a judge told me that I have an obligation to amend their damage somehow. However, some other person (or entity) will decide how ...
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4answers
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When is it correct to capitalise 'earth'?

At the beginning of a sentence is obvious. I'm referring to the following examples: A handful of earth. The earth under this house. The earth beneath my feet. What on earth? The ...
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7answers
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Word for people who buy things because they are more expensive/ for the brand

Is there a word for people who buys things because they are more expensive or because they are specific brand or label? These people don't buy the items because they are higher quality. They buy them ...
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4answers
871 views

“Muppet” in American English

I see an event is being organised in Washington, DC, called the Million Muppet March. In British English (at least) a muppet has no very positive a connotation:- muppet (ˈmʌpɪt) — n slang ...
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2answers
62 views

Antedecent of “velocity u” in “particles moving in a medium with macroscopic velocity u”

In the following sentence, whose velocity is u? The particles or the medium? For particles moving in a medium with macroscopic velocity u: The normalized Maxwell’s distribution function (Eq. ...
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2answers
55 views

“Walk the walk” vs. “talk the talk” vs. “walk the talk”

Normally the idiom is as follows: He walks the walk and talks the talk. Should it not be "he walks the talk", meaning "he does what he says"?
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can I say 'a 300-thousand city'

I am looking for a noun meaning 'having 300 thousand inhabitants' so that I could say for example 'a 300-thousand city' instead of 'a city in which 300 thousand people live' or 'a city inhabited by ...
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3answers
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What are the treads on the side of the highway called?

On the sides of most highways (in the U.S. at least), there are rough treads just outside the travel lanes to snap a driver to attention if the vehicle is drifting off the road. Is there a name for ...
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29answers
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What do you call a person who keeps on going despite setbacks? (in one word, a noun)

I'm looking for a word (a noun) to describe a person who faces the challenges of life (small and large) courageously despite the risk of failure. It would be nice if this noun does not necessarily ...
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3answers
156 views

On the part of speech of “now”

I recently had a conversation about the Spanish word "ahora", in which my conversant claimed that "ahora" is always an adverb, and never a noun. This lead me to investigate the part of speech of ...
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5answers
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”Demand in/on/for something”

I am not sure whether to use in, on, or for after the word demand in the following sentence: The continuing demand on high-quality software that is reusable and easy to maintain and modify after ...
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0answers
52 views

The best time to go out for (a) dinner [duplicate]

I'm not sure why in some situations articles are not going before a noun. E.g. I found this sentence: The best time to go out for dinner. Why is not here a dinner? This link says that we don't ...
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2answers
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A proper definition for “hogget”?

This is the meaning of hogget in the Collins English Dictionary: a sheep up to the age of one year that has yet to be sheared the meat of this sheep So, is a lamb a hogget? This ...
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What’s the difference between “sauce” and “gravy”?

Possible Duplicate: Spaghetti and gravy For all translators I checked it means the same.
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1answer
83 views

Difference between “ditch”, “trench” and “gutter” [closed]

I have been trying to understand the difference between the three, is this a usage difference between American English and British English? What is the difference?
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3answers
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Why is “guinea pig” used as the colloquial term for test subjects?

Why do we refer to people as guinea pigs when discussing the subjects of an informal experiment? Surely mice, rabbits and rats are much more common experimental subjects. Indeed, it's rare that you'll ...
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69 views

Single word for person entitled to receive a sales commission

I need a fairly specific single word for a person who is entitled to receive a sales commission. "Agent" for example isn't specific enough. A short phrase is also usable. Adjectives ditto. The ...
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4answers
285 views

What is the history of the word “lobby”?

I would like to know if the word "lobby" would have been used in 1890s Georgia (United States) and to what exactly this word would have referred in that time.
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354 views

Why is “delight” spelt and pronounced the way it is?

This as everything probably has something to do with the GVS, but how?
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9answers
15k views

What's the difference between “bucket” and “pail”?

What is the difference between bucket and pail? Is there a distinction between the shape of a bucket and the shape of a pail? Are buckets and pails made of different materials? Is there a difference ...
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Noun for an individual that formulates a question and also for an individual that addresses an answer

Given a person who formulates a question, may he or she be called the questioner or enquirer? Likewise, may a person that addresses or responds an answer be called answerer or responder? Which are ...
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Alternative for “seats” in expressions such as “40% of the total seats are reserved for students of backward cast”

All of the leading educational institutes have 60% of their seats reserved for students of backward castes. It is a fairly common expression and a sad fact in India. What would be an alternative to ...
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3answers
223 views

Collection of mathematical formulas

What is the correct term for a collection of mathematical formulas in the form of a (small) handbook? I'm looking for a translation of the German noun “Formelsammlung”. Several dictionarys suggest ...
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56 views

Why are names considered proper nouns?

Names are supposed to be proper nouns because they refer to a unique entity, right? But what about when the condition of specificity is not applicable? Take the word "Albert". It's supposed to be a ...
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4answers
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Why is “dog” in “underdog”?

Dog seems a strange word to choose for this concept. Does anyone know anything more than Dictionary.com can tell me? Origin: 1875–80, Americanism; under- + dog Etymonline has a similar take, ...
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Do gentiles use “appetizing” as a noun?

Growing up in Nebraska, I only knew the word "appetizing" as a adjective. Not until I converted to Judaism and married a nice Jewish girl from Flushing, Queens, did I learn that "appetizing" is a ...
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“flat” vs. “apartment”

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition Flat: noun. [ countable ] ( BrE ) a set of rooms for living in, including a kitchen, usually on one floor of a building. Apartment: noun. ( ...
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“Status” vs. “state”

Can anyone explain what the difference between status and state is when I talk about the condition or situation of an object? Here's what I got from Longman English Dictionary. status: a ...
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1answer
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Qualifying a profile

Which of these adjectives is better used to qualify a profile (the width of an elongated object, such as in crossing profile)? low or small large or high Low crossing profile seems more common ...
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4answers
12k views

What's the difference between a proverb and an idiom?

I think I have a notion what is what but maybe you know a good definition what is what? For example "Hindsight is always 20:20" — is that a proverb or an idiom?
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croak vs croaks vs croaking

I want to write: Do you remember the pond full of frog croaking at night? Or should it be Do you remember the pond full of frogs croaking at night? Or Do you remember the pond of frog ...
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“Principal” vs “owner”

What is the business perception of identifying yourself as the Principal vs the Owner? I assume they are largely synonymous (please tell me if there are subtle differences, but in a small business ...