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

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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
138 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
2k views

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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1answer
1k views

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
76 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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3answers
67 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
284 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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1answer
350 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
14k 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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1answer
46 views

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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5answers
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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
222 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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1answer
47 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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1answer
207 views

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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6answers
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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
53 views

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
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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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1answer
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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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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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“Improviser” or “improvisor”?

I'm trying to determine whether I should use the ~er suffix or the ~or suffix for a person who improvises. What I've learned on the web is that technically one should say "improvisor". The ~or suffix ...
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3answers
71 views

“Security was a privilege of expensive locks” [closed]

Can I say "security was a privilege of expensive locks"? I am rechecking a translation, and the use of privilege in this context seems too weird to me. Isn't "privilege" used only with people?
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Are “flower” and “flour” always homophones?

Flower and flour are said to be homophones. However, considering the number of different pronunciations (/flaʊə/ like BrE sour, /flou(-ə)r/ like AmE sour, /flɑː/ (forvo) like BrE car, etc.) floating ...
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2answers
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“Race” is to “racist” as “knowledge” and “disposition” are to what words?

race → racist freedom → fascist (for example) knowledge → ? disposition → ? What's the word to describe a person who is disrespectful of your knowledge or disposition?
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1answer
66 views

Plural of “is” — “ises” or “isses”?

If I had many is words, how would I refer to them in the form of a plural? Could I use ises or isses? Example: You use entirely too many isses in your sentences.
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2answers
81 views

Is there word for person who committed suicide? [closed]

A person who committed a theft is a thief. A person who committed murder is a killer(or murderer?). What is a person who committed suicide?
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2answers
448 views

“Prices of” vs “prices for”

I came across two different sentences, from The Wall Street Journal, both containing the word "prices" but with different prepositions, "of" and "for". Here are the two sentences. Audi Cuts ...
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1answer
41 views

slope-up or slope-down

Could the words slope-up or slope-down be nouns? I found them just as verbs in the dictionary, and slope as a noun. But then I see sentences such as "That slope-up was amazing." Is it correct to ...
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Clause and noun as subject in a sentence

Can I use both a clause and a noun as the subject of a sentence? For example: How the factors interact and their compound impact are not well understood. I find the meaning is clear but the ...
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1answer
118 views

Difference between “purpose”, “aim”, “target”, “goal”, “objective”, and “ambition”

What is the difference between “purpose”, “aim”, “target”, “goal”, “objective”, and “ambition”? I found these questions: Difference between “aim” and “purpose” Difference between “purpose” and ...
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2answers
70 views

What do you call a person who conducts seminar workshops?

If a resource speaker or guest speaker is someone who makes usually formal public speeches; a trainer is someone who trains; how about someone who conducts seminar workshops?
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2answers
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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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5answers
1k views

“Certificate of residence” vs. “certificate of residency”

Certificate of residence vs. certificate of residency — which one to use, when and why? Please quote a reputable source.
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142 views

Apartment building - flat building?

Does anyone in the UK say 'flat building'? I live in the US, mind, so I have no clue. It sounds a bit funny saying that. Do they say 'apartment building' instead, maybe? Or is there another word for a ...
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1answer
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Etymology of “history” and why the “hi-” prefix?

According to Etymonline, history comes from the same root as story. If they are from the same word, where does hi- come from? Is it just because of the English habit of taking names from other ...
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2answers
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Why is the plural of “deer” the same as the singular?

Why is the plural version of deer identical to the singular version? If mouse became mice, then why did the singular deer not change to something else in the plural?
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4answers
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Could “shingled” mean “pebbly”?

One of the definition of shingle is a mass of small rounded pebbles, especially on a seashore. You can say a shingle beach (more common usage in UK than US perhaps) Is it also correct ...
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2answers
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What do variations in “a variety/varieties” of “flower/flowers” mean?

What's the difference between these four phrases: a variety of flowers varieties of flowers a variety of flower varieties of flower I can't quite distinguish the difference between variety and ...
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3answers
35 views

What is the correct usage of “trailblazer”? [closed]

Let’s say I’ve invented a robot which moves a couple of meters front of me by looking to my direction. It kind of “guesses” where I’m going. So, if I call it a trailblazer, will this be a correct ...
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7answers
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Past participle after noun: “proposed cost” vs. “cost proposed”

I have the following two examples: Our proposed cost is expensive. Our cost proposed is expensive. Is there any difference between them? Or is the second sentence wrong?
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0answers
37 views

Order of “noun + describing noun”

Which one is correct or preferred? The command /reload is... < some description > The /reload command is... < some description >
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5answers
21k views

Is the word “granular” a synonym for the word “specific”?

I often hear the words "granular" or "granularity" being used around colleagues at my office to specify level of detail. For example: Does the running category have to be more granular? We ...
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5answers
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“Napkin” vs. “tissue”

I have suddenly found out that Chinese people use the word tissue instead of the word napkin. Before I checked that word in the dictionary I couldn't understand what they are talking about. Is there ...
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2answers
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Lobbyist's Counterpart

A lobbyist is a person tries to influence the votes of legislators on behalf of a special interest. What would the correct term be for the legislators being lobbied? Lobbyee might be a logical ...
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6answers
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Is there a canonic term for “the one whose birthday party is being celebrated”?

Something along the lines of 'hero of the occasion', but specifically for birthday? If there isn't, how would you otherwise say that? ('the subject of birthday party', 'the hero of this birthday ...