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

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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 “authentification” a real word?

My professor used the word authentification in a lecture. I have always used authentication. Is it a real word or is authentication the correct term?
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Difference between an acronym and abbreviation?

TLA is an acronym for "Three Letter Acronym". Is it also an abbreviation, since it abbreviates the original phrase?
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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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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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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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Is there a single noun that describes “need not”?

There are four types of deontic modality, which can be expressed by the following modal expressions: Can Need not Must not Must Out of these, 1, 3, and 4 respectively corresponds to the following ...
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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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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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“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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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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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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'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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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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958 views

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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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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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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2answers
733 views

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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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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Why is the “L” silent when pronouncing “salmon”?

Why is the letter l silent when pronouncing salmon properly?
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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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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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“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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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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Cases where “mistake” and “error” are not interchangeable

Are there cases where error and mistake are not interchangeable?
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Hypernym for “film” and “TV series” [duplicate]

I'm a software engineer and I need to write a class that will hold code common to a Film class and a Series class. I need to name this class with a hypernym for both. For the moment, the solution we ...
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Is “man” the opposite of “woman”?

I heard someone today say that lad is the opposite of lass. And we picked up a debate on whether woman is actually the opposite of man, which led me to question whether nouns can have opposites at ...
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Asks a question; never responds to answers/comments

What do we call someone who asks a question and never responds to answers/comments? Think of it more as "a pattern of behavior" (somebody who has asked many questions and never responded). I had ...
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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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What single word describes the ability to think analytically?

I am trying to complete the following sentence: This job requires both creativity and X Where X is a single word describing the ability to think analytically. What would the best word be?
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When and how did “fail” become a noun?

Does anyone know when and how fail became a noun? I'd love to see one of those charts that shows the date of origin and subsequent growth of this usage.
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Is there a single term for the sports “surfing”, “skateboarding”, and “snowboarding”?

The three sports "surfing", "skateboarding", and "snowboarding" share a lot of similarities, historical roots, and sometimes appear together in topical magazines. Is there a single term to call these ...
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In the context of cooking, what is the difference between “flipper” and “spatula”?

I'm genuinely confused about this because at first I thought a spatula was a cooking tool resembling a flat pallet attached at an angle to the handle that could be used for activities such as flipping ...
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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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Which is the correct spelling: “fairy” or “faerie”?

Fairy vs. faerie — which is the correct spelling?
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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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“Legend” or “key”?

What is the difference between a legend or a key? Is it still called a legend if it is located at the top, rather than the bottom of results?
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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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Why is “dingbat” used to refer to characters like “☺”?

Why is dingbat used to refer to characters such as "☺"? (See for instance those at the Mozilla Web Developer FAQ.) Doesn't dingbat mean a stupid person or something?
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When referring to a noun, when does the gender matter?

In most languages, gender plays a much more important role than in English. Nevertheless, it is possible to refer to a noun using its gender. The ship was launched on 4 October 1853. Tayleur left ...
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Why is “sergeant” pronounced “sargent”?

I remember when I first came across this word, I thought it was pronounced /'sɜr-dʒint/ (SER-jeent). Now I am curious as to why the first syllable is pronounced /sar/ rather than /sɜr/. I looked at ...
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What is the difference between “clothes” and “clothing”?

Do some google I find that clothes work like objects like: You should pack your clothes. → Yes You should pack your clothing. → No Can you tell me the main difference between clothing ...
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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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Word for a person being used

I'm looking for a word to describe someone who is being used. This person would be the subject (a noun) not a verb or or adjective. Maybe like a pushover.