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

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What is the difference between an apocalypse and a cataclysm?

What is the difference between an apocalypse and a cataclysm? I've been told that an apocalypse is an act of God, but we seem to use it as a generic term for any grand disaster. What is the ...
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Is the term “hack” more positive or more negative?

What emotional association does the word hack have nowadays in the first place: negative or positive? Is it more for doing something illegally or without permission? Or for doing something in a ...
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Is there a word for the spot between the two eyebrows?

Is there a word for the spot between the two eyebrows (right above the nose, but below the forehead)?
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Difference between “pain” and “ache”

What's the difference between pain and ache? I often see the two words used (almost) interchangeably. At the same time the phrase "aches and pains" is pretty common, and seems to suggest that the two ...
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What's the difference between a jumper, a pullover, and a sweater?

Following on from a recent question, in Australia we have the word jumper for a knitted long-sleeved garment, typically woollen and long-sleeved. When cosuming foreign media I always assumed the ...
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Etymology of the color name “orange”

Etymonline shows orange c.1300, from O.Fr. orenge (12c.), from M.L. pomum de orenge, from It. arancia, originally narancia (Venetian naranza), alteration of Arabic naranj, from Pers. narang, ...
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Is there a term for words that have identical singular and plural forms?

Is there a term for nouns that have identical singular and plural forms? For example, sheep fish glasses aircraft/spacecraft etc.
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What's the most accurate term for phrases such as “storm in a teacup” and “making mountains out of molehills”?

Are phrases such as "storm in a teacup" and "making mountains out of molehills" best described by one of these terms: anecdote proverb saying expression metaphor If not, which term is the right ...
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Origin of the term “wizard” in computing

In computer user interfaces a "wizard" is a set of screens that guide the user through a process. Does anyone know the origin of this term? I personally associate wizards with magic more than a ...
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What is the correct usage of the word “Cartesian”?

While working on an essay for my English class I included this sentence: The best solution is to take a page out of Cartesian theory and take a proven approach. However, my teacher corrected it ...
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Why is the spelling of “pronounce” and “pronunciation” different?

Why is the spelling of pronounce and pronunciation different? If one originally did not know the spelling of pronunciation, one would when hearing it verbally deduce its spelling to be pronounciation, ...
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When should “Mom” and “Dad” be capitalized?

I am trying to understand capitalization rules with Mom and Dad. I believe I have it correct below, but please let me know if I do not. The one thing I learned from my dad was that it was good to ...
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Suffixing by “-rama”, “-orama” or “-arama” — how did this begin?

Suffixing by -rama, -orama or -arama — how did this begin? I mean words like futurama, foodarama, etc.
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What is a word for a person who has been initiated into secret knowledge (apprentice, ___, master)?

I'm looking for a noun that can fit well in a 3-level scale: apprentice, ____, master. The scale describes the progress of a person from a layman/uninitiated (apprentice), through being accomplished ...
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How do you form the 'north' and 'south' versions of 'occident' and 'orient'?

How does one correctly form the "north" and "south" forms for which occident and orient are "west" and "east"? I found boreal and austral, but those look like adjectives and I'm after the nouns. ...
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What is the origin of “earthling”?

What is the origin of the word earthling? Are there other words with a similar meaning (marsling, venusling)?
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Is it offensive to call a redhead a “ginger”?

So I just re-watched this great comedy by Tim Minchin, and here are the questions: How bad/offensive is the g-word really (other than being an anagram of the n-word)? What are alternatives? Is ...
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Difference between “theorem” and “theory”

What is the difference between a theorem and a theory? The two words seem to be used to describe very similar things, but yet do not seem to be interchangeable. For example, we have Pythagoras' ...
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What is the difference between a “ghetto” and a “slum”?

What is the difference between a ghetto and a slum?
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Does the word “newbie” have a negative connotation?

Imagine that I'm running a friendly and informal online business. I would like to introduce my service to the new customers by a blog post that entitles, 'Are you a newbie to XYZ.com?'. Will that ...
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“Warranty” vs. “guarantee”

Is there any relation or difference between warranty and guarantee? What do they mean? In what situations do we use them? For example, I suppose we say When we buy something it has a warranty.
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What's the difference between a vicar and a pastor?

What's the difference between a vicar, preferably of the Church of England, and a pastor? I browsed Wikipedia, but most of the gist of the article is that vicar is an ecclesiastical office, and ...
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Is there a word for capitalizing in the middle of a word, as in “eBay”?

Usually this sort of word is a trademarked name, such as eBay or BlackBerry. Is there a word that describes capitalization mid-word?
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Difference between “movie”, “film” and “motion picture”

What is the difference between movie, film and motion picture? In school I learned that a movie is played in a cinema, but film is also used to describe this.
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What's the difference between “Kind” and “Type”

For example: This is some type of mushroom. This is some kind of mushroom. There are different types of books There are different kinds of books I think that there are all valid ...
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Which is correct, “dataset” or “data set”?

I keep writing dataset. Is that correct, or should I write data set?
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Single word for a very small amount of time [closed]

In French, if I want to quantify a very small amount of time (but not fixed: it can be 5 ms or 0.1 ms) I can use a pouième. Is there an equivalent in English? I'm not looking for an expression but ...
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Are there sentences in languages which use grammatical gender that lose meaning when translated into English?

English nouns which don't denote people or animals with natural gender do not (apart from a few rare examples) use grammatical gender. So for example, "table" is always an "it" in English, whereas it ...
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Why is “wavelength” one word when “wave height” isn't?

Why is “wavelength” one word when “wave height” isn't? As another example, wave speed is two words. But wavelength is only one word. What is the reason for this? In Swedish and other contructs, ...
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What do you call psychological diseases that affect many people at once (or many people of a society)?

I am talking about diseases such as the Jerusalem syndrome, the Paris syndrome, and the Dancing Plague of 1518. Is there a general name for such diseases?
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Are all myths superstitions, or are all superstitions myths?

Are all myths superstitions, or is it the other way around, i.e. all superstition being myths? Or can these words basically be used interchangeably? The dictionary definitions of these words seem ...
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Is there a word similar to “racism” when referring to an ethnic group rather than a race?

I called out someone's comments as racist when someone decided to correct me and say that the term was incorrect. According to this person, the word racism only seems to apply when referring to ...
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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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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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What is the plural of “scenario”?

What is the plural of "scenario"? I have always used "scenarios", but have recently come across "scenaria" and "scenarii". Should I be treating it as an Italian or Latin word?
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'Patriotism' is to 'Country' as _______ is to 'City'

The title's pretty self explanatory! I can't seem to find a word which means exactly this, but I would be amazed if it doesn't exist.
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Is “audience” singular or plural?

I want to use 'audience' in the following sentence. In what form should I use it? Is it a singular or plural noun? How the audience demotivate players in the NBA. How the audience demotivates ...
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Is there a difference between “holiday” and “vacation”?

What is the difference, if any, between these two words?
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Difference between “sorcerer” and “wizard”

What is the difference between sorcerer and wizard? I know that the nomenclature is unclear. However, the common usage seems to indicate: a wizard is born an ordinary mortal, learns magic and ...
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A word for someone trying to make people underestimate him

If someone is trying to make people underestimate him for some purpose, what would be a word for this kind of person or action?
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How to express something given to a customer for “free in a non-immoral, non-sexual, non-promoting context”?

I'm not sure what English word(s) to use for the German noun "Naturalrabatt" in the case of giving a retail customer a product for free in a non-immoral, non-sexual, non-promoting context. ...
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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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Difference between “canteen” and “cafeteria”

Are there any differences between canteen and cafeteria? In India, usually an eating place attached to an office, factory or school is called a canteen. Of course, in some new offices it is called ...
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“Stack” vs. “pile” vs. “heap” of paper

What is the difference between stack, pile or heap of something, let it be for example paper? CS+IT people might tend to use the word heap, because there is a widely known datastructure by that name. ...
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“Dependence” vs. “dependency”

These are two words that have baffled me for long. Dependency is given as 'excessive dependence' in Chambers, but I would love to know how the spoken usage is. My guess is dependency has a political ...
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Why are there different ways of indicating gender for animals?

Why are there different ways of indicating gender for animals? For instance, by inflexion we get: lion (male) & lioness (female) where the female is distinguished from the male. Here the male is ...
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Is a thumb also a finger?

The thumb has a different name compared to the other fingers (index, middle, ring, little) and it does not end with "finger". Also, when referring to the hand, I have seen literature where it is ...
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Why did jazz musicians start referring to an engagement as a “gig”?

Why did jazz musicians start referring to an engagement as a "gig"? If any, could anyone provide a couple of quotations from eminent authors to show where a word was first used in this sense? ...
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Uncommon Term for an Excellent Orator?

I'm looking for an uncommon term for an excellent orator that doesn’t include adjectives such as “good” or “excellent,” or the noun “orator.” I've googled this request but haven't encountered anything ...
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Cases where “mistake” and “error” are not interchangeable

Are there cases where error and mistake are not interchangeable?