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

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103
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10answers
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Differences between slang words for breasts

What is the difference between “tits” and “boobs”? P.S. I'm not sure if this question is appropriate but as English is not my native language I really would love to know the difference.
76
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is there no “autumntime” or “falltime”?

Why is "autumntime" (or "falltime") not a word? wintertime => sure springtime => fine summertime => lovely But apparently autumn/fall has no equivalent. Why?
71
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5answers
20k views

Why is the word “pants” plural?

We wear a shirt, a jacket but a pair of pants. Why is pants plural?
67
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30answers
12k views

Is there a word for someone who really has their act together [closed]

Is there a word for someone who really has their act together? Someone who has their time well-managed, is focused, works out, has ambitions, eats right. Not necessarily success, but there's a kind of ...
67
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11answers
10k views

Why is “distro”, rather than “distri”, short for “distribution” in Linux world?

Why is distro, rather than distri, short for distribution in Linux world?
64
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11answers
43k views

What is the difference between an Emperor and a King?

I was at a loss when I was asked recently by my grand-daughter who is a school girl about the difference between Emperor and King. She asked me why Great Britain has King and Queen, while Germany and ...
64
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8answers
11k views

Plural of “Index” - “Indexes” or “indices”?

A table can have one index, or it has two or more [.....]? Is it indexes or indices? I'm just asking since I've noticed that they're both used quite often. Even Wikipedia seems to support both ...
58
votes
24answers
8k views

Is there a word for a non-geek?

I am looking for a term which clearly defines somebody as a non-geek, without being derogatory. The best example I have seen is muggle, but it needs context to be understood, as in "You don't meet ...
56
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23answers
297k views

“Lunch” vs. “dinner” vs. “supper” — times and meanings?

I've seen cases where a noon-time meal is referred to as dinner, and the evening meal is called supper. There's also lunch around noon followed by dinner in the evening. Is there a particular ...
54
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8answers
6k views

Which term correctly identifies those who enjoy programming/technology: “geek” or “nerd”?

Which term correctly identifies those who enjoy and are involved with programming and technology, geek or nerd?
52
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10answers
24k views

“Man” is to “womanizer” as “woman” is to what?

What's the feminine version of womanizer?
51
votes
11answers
8k views

What is the difference between “gender” and “sex”?

What is the difference between gender and sex? Wiktionary says that gender is The mental analog of sex but that's too high English for me. Basically, I'm developing a web-application that stores ...
41
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5answers
11k views

Why can we say 'an American' but not 'a British'?

I am confused with the use of an indefinite article in front of British or Chinese. To my understanding, we can place an indefinite article in front of any “countable noun”. So, we can say a cup and ...
40
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3answers
23k views

What is the plural form of “zero”?

I tried looking on Google, but there are some fairly contradictory results. I thought I'd ask you guys so we could get an authoritative answer on the subject!
38
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7answers
5k views

“Left” and “right” are to “side” as “front” and “rear” are to what?

Is there an equivalent word to "side" when speaking of the front or rear of something (e.g. a car)? So, a mechanic might say: You damaged your wing-mirror? Ok, which side? ... or... You ...
35
votes
9answers
47k views

“Race” is to “racism” as “religion” is to what?

I've heard "racist" being used in a few cases to describe bigotry towards people of a certain religion. It's a bit annoying because it implies that all people of a religion are the same race, which is ...
34
votes
14answers
66k views

One word for someone who doesn't care about anything

A pessimist is someone who always considers negative outcomes of a situation, whereas an optimist always considers the positive outcomes. Is there a word for someone who, in any given situation, ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the words for the different parts of a ticket?

Admission tickets such as those for the cinema are often composed of a part which will remain to the customer, and a part which will remain to the attendant. What are the two parts called? What is ...
34
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2answers
3k views

What kind of noun is a picture?

I'm not sure of the right place to ask this, but I got confused trying to understand how the computer will interpret the sentence: This is my picture. In actual sense, the real owner of the ...
33
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2answers
5k views

If the plural of ‘man’ is ‘men,’ shouldn’t the plural of ‘German’ be ‘Germen’?

What makes these two words so different that 'man' is changed to 'men', but 'German' is changed to 'Germans'?
31
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15answers
34k views

Collective word for food and drink

Is there a word that best describes food and drink taken at the same time? I've thought of refreshments and consumables but neither seem right to me.
31
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9answers
25k views

“Trainer” is to “trainee” as “mentor” is to what?

What do you call someone who is being mentored? Is it mentoree or mentee? Does the term student or pupil imply a context outside the business environment?
29
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8answers
6k views

“Warm” is to “warmth” as “cool” is to what?

Is there a word for "coolness" that corresponds to warmth?
29
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13answers
6k views

What is a verb for “illusion”?

What is a verb for illusion? I want to use it in a sentence like the following: The optical effect [illudes] my perception of its real shape. But illude does not exist. But I cannot find illude ...
29
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8answers
30k views

“Toilet”, “lavatory” or “loo” for polite society

My friend is trying so hard to fit into polite society, and is raising her child to say loo rather than toilet. I know it should be lavatory (and I would not say lav) but we are in the 21st century ...
29
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6answers
2k views

Are there any words in English that have a plural with a separate derivation?

There are some irregular plurals in English (child/children, goose/geese), but all of the ones I know of share the same root word. In some languages, there are some irregular pairs where the singular ...
27
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9answers
2k views

Single word for people who are like “a frog in the well”

Is there a single word describing someone who is like a frog in a well? The frog believes the well is the entire world. How can I describe people who think that their own small environment is the ...
27
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5answers
2k views

Is there a term for grammatical mistakes as a result of trying too hard?

Today, I learned the term hyperforeignism after writing that I was drinking a latté and then stopping to wonder why I was putting a diacritical mark on the "e". This reminded me of other language ...
27
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2answers
2k views

What is the name for the process which turned “iced cream” into “ice cream”?

There are several words (mostly related to food) which are shortenings of their historical forms. For example, the cold treat ice cream was originally known as iced cream in the 1680s. The -ed ending ...
26
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24answers
70k views

What's the opposite word for “sin”?

I would like to know if there is an opposite word for sin in English. I mean, how could I say the opposite of I committed a sin other than using a negation?
26
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5answers
3k views

Why are knobs called “pots” by some sound designers?

I was recently introduced to the term "pots" to mean "dials" or "knobs" in the field of sound design and audio engineering. (It rather took me by surprise; I had no idea what the sound designer was ...
26
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11answers
3k views

Sabotaging through purposeful procrastination

In Polish there's a word Kunktatorstwo - trying to achieve own goals through delaying action, e.g. by making the opponent run out of time, making them tire out from keeping their defenses up, or ...
26
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2answers
45k views

“Content” or “Contents”?

Content or contents — when do I use which form? I realize that the one is the plural form of the other, but they seem to be used interchangeably.
26
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5answers
115k views

What is the origin of the term “ginger” for red-headed people?

I'd like to know the etymology of the word "ginger" in reference to red-headed people. In particular, if "ginger" in this context is related to the plant root used in cooking, I'd like to know how ...
25
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5answers
2k views

Are 'accuracy' and 'precision' interchangeable nouns?

The dictionary for accuracy says: The quality or state of being correct or precise. The ability to perform a task with precision. And for precision: The quality, condition, or ...
25
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11answers
4k views

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 ...
25
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9answers
89k views

Is “receival” a valid word for the act of receiving something?

In the course of reviewing a standard operating procedure, I came across the subheading: "Receival, Costing and Charging of Work". I immediately began to doubt whether the word "receival" was a ...
25
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6answers
20k views

“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 ...
24
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6answers
26k views

Difference between “invoice” and “bill”?

I am talking about something you should pay. "Invoice" here doesn't mean the proof of payment. Sometimes I am told to pay my "bill", and sometimes they may refer to the similar paper (physical or ...
23
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6answers
60k views

How should I ask for a bill in a restaurant politely?

I used to say check please, but my English teacher said that it's wrong, and the proper way is to say something like bill please. What's the truth?
23
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3answers
3k views

Is there any noun in English which changes the first letter in the plural?

Plenty of nouns change the second letter to become plural (man->men, goose->geese) but does anything change its first letter. I've hunted high and low over the internet, and spent ages browsing the ...
23
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6answers
14k views

Should the words “internet” and “web” be capitalized?

There seems to be some inconsistency on whether people capitalize the words internet and web (as in World Wide Web) as proper nouns. What is the official ruling on when or if these words should be ...
23
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2answers
1k views

Why don't we use the indefinite article with 'software'?

Generally, one doesn't use the indefinite article with a noun because it's plural, but sometimes you get nouns where, for some reason, the indefinite article isn't used even though the noun is ...
22
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4answers
6k views

What word describes a policeman who is not wearing a uniform?

How do you describe a police officer on duty, who wears casual clothes because he/she doesn't want to disclose his/her identity?
22
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17answers
6k views

Noun for “person with intermediate skill”

I'm looking for the noun form of "person with intermediate skill". For example, in the context of a particular activity, "person with no skill" might be designated a novice, and "person with much ...
22
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4answers
28k views

Difference between “ability” and “capability”

What is the difference in usage between ability and capability?
22
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1answer
4k views

Why don't English nouns have grammatical gender?

English nouns — other than those with natural gender, e.g. people or animals — do not generally have grammatical gender, and so are referred to as 'it' rather than 'he' or 'she'. However, modern ...
21
votes
9answers
18k views

Antonym of “highlight”

What's the opposite of highlight? I don't mean the verb to highlight or to emphasize something, so downplay isn't an option. Instead I'm looking for the opposite of "the highlight of the movie, ...
21
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5answers
12k views

Why does “corn” mean “maize” in American English?

I keep hearing "corn" as a synonym of "maize". This is widely popularized worldwide by popcorn. However, this is American English! In British English, "corn" can mean any type of "grain", especially ...
21
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5answers
2k views

Words that are pluralized in the middle?

This is purely a curiosity, but I'm fascinated by mid-word pluralization, even if the word in question is a compound word. For example, passersby or standersby. No others have occurred to me. Can ...