4
votes
1answer
56 views

Best etymological calque of the word Schadenfreude

This question is purely theoretical (i.e. I don't foresee actually trying to use the word), but using arguments based on etymology, as well as euphony and (least importantly) comprehensibility, what ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

What word can I use instead of “tomorrow” that is not connected with the idea of the rising sun?

I'm working on a novel while trying to take into account the historical context surrounding it. It begins in 1140 AD, so the characters would use Old English, Latin, Old French, and other similar ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Drinks Shirley - Slang for overhead dispenser? [closed]

In a TV series, a man from London (living in Canada) asked for the house bar using the word "Drinks Shirley". What does it mean exactly? Is it this kind of dispenser?
-3
votes
1answer
68 views

“Show” and “Shower” [closed]

I'm a programmer and found myself naming an entity, which shows things, as Shower. Of course, the first time I read it, I remembered the freshness of the drops of water and nothing related to what it ...
2
votes
3answers
170 views

Name for the bumper at the end of a parking spot - is it a “turtarrier”? If so, why?

I was trying to find out if there was a single word to mean the bumper at the end of a parking spot. "Parking bumper" is a little unwieldy, and "wheel chock" seems to be more about airplanes or ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

One word for “saying ‘Farewell’ to someone”

We have, for example, phrases like, “When I was greeting …” in which greeting is essentially shorthand for “saying ‘Hello’ to someone” derived from a related verb (to greet). However, to my ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Name for when an adjective modifying a noun leaves the class of objects the noun describes

When adjectives modify nouns, usually they restrict the class of objects that the noun refers to. For example: Red car A red car is, in particular, an instance of a car. However, in specialty ...
4
votes
5answers
931 views

Antonym of selfie

I am looking for an antonym of selfie, meaning a photo/portrait of others. The ancient Greek word for self is like auto, and what I am looking for is an English word for hetero (its opposite). Do you ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Are there any rules I can follow to make my own derived adjectives from a noun in English? E.g. xenogamy to xenogamic

I'm currently looking through dictionaries (both online and "offline") for an adjective of the word xenogamy. Basically I want to translate the Dutch phrase "De kruibestuivende onderneming". What I ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

When a person in public life inadvertently coins an expression, what is it called?

It often happens that a political or other figure makes a remark on to which the media fasten. That remark then goes on to become part of the language. Examples were Poindexter's 'plausible ...
4
votes
4answers
207 views

Is there a term for co-opting one word into a secondary, derogatory meaning?

Is there a term for when a word is co-opted and converted into a derogatory variant of the original term? For instance, "OCD" is defined as: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a word for the phrase “I don't know what I don't know”?

In my current job, I'm constantly trying to figure out when the next thing I don't know that I don't know is going to bite me in the butt and cause me to have to rework my code. I've been working on ...
5
votes
3answers
364 views

1000 Day “Anniversary”

"Anniversary" comes from Latin: "anni" [genitive of annus = year] + "vers(us)" [past participle of vertere = to turn]. I am interested in constructing a similar word which means "reoccurring every ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is 'disinstruct' or 'de-instruct' legitimate usage?

When you engage a lawyer or an estate agent, for example, you instruct them. What is the most appropriate word to use when you decide you've had enough and want to get rid of them? There are several ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Birth of the word “tonite” and its popularity

Watching an old film dating back in the 1930s, I came across the word tonite, the wrong and more phonetic-like variant of "tonight" (it was written on the advertising poster of a night-club). When ...
4
votes
5answers
238 views

What's the word or name for a person who can naturally & accurately estimate measurements such as size, capacity, ballance & angles?

I'm sure I met someone like this a few years back & they provided me with a single word/name for the "condition". I say condition as the person who this affects automatically, & sometimes to ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Opposite word for “cursive”, as related to writing

I looked up the etymology entry at etymonline.com for cursive, which reads: 1784, from French cursif (18c.), from Medieval Latin cursivus “running,” from Latin cursus “a running,” from past ...
2
votes
2answers
887 views

Can we determine a proper verb form of “exegesis” for Biblical scholars to use?

This is related to a conversation here in EL&U SE. Apparently the noun exegete is being used as verb in religious circles. For Biblical Scholars, the word exegesis carries with it a connotation ...
6
votes
3answers
567 views

Words based on the names of gods [closed]

While the word christen means "to baptise" or "to make Christian", in another sense, it has shed its religious connotations to simply mean "to name" or even "use for the first time". Is there any ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Not a synonym, but what?

I am looking for a word that describes the relationship between two words that are not the same, are not used in lieu of the other, but are related in what they refer to. Example, storm/monsoon. ...
3
votes
2answers
759 views

Where and when did the negative connotations of “manipulation” appear?

When we think of manipulating objects, we might think of a juggler, magician, chef, etc. When we think of manipulating people, however, it almost always comes with negative connotations. These ...
3
votes
2answers
264 views

Is there a word for the “Origin of Gestures”?

I came across this little nugget of infomation whilst browsing a forum. The English archers were so efficient against French knights that whenever the French captured one, they would cut of two ...
1
vote
0answers
582 views

Are there any words that are spelled the same but have separate etymologies? [closed]

There are many words that are spelled the same but have different meanings due to development of polysemy over time from an original etymology. Are there any word pairs in English that have the same ...
6
votes
3answers
210 views

Closed -> Closure, Open ->?

Am I right in assuming that the word closure is derived from the word closed? If so, I would be interested to know the name of this procedure and what it yields when applied to the word open. My ...
4
votes
2answers
277 views

What is the name of combination, in error, of similar or related words? (E.g.: segueway)

Is there a technical term for combination, in error, of similar or related words? This question is prompted by the following malapropism or solecism, from an article by Elizabeth Montalbano in ...
6
votes
1answer
286 views

Is there a name for adjectives that are based around someone's name?

Some examples would include: Shakespearean Christian Mesmerized Pavlovian Newtonian Boolean Darwinian
2
votes
3answers
7k views

What is a toit?

From the compound word hoity-toity meaning 'thoughtless giddy behaviour', where hoity is the word hoit, meaning 'to behave thoughtlessly and frivolously'. However, I can't seem to find the meaning of ...
8
votes
3answers
473 views

What do I call a word with roots from multiple languages?

As best as I can tell, a good example is sociopath: sociopath — from socio- on model of psychopath socio- — combining form of [Latin] socius pathos — from [Greek] ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Is there a term for “midnight” that is like “noon”

"noon" is the term for the middle of the day, round about 12.00 to 13.00, and "midnight" is from 24.00 to 1.00, at night. "midnight" is just basically a prefix added to "night", whereas "noon" is a ...
2
votes
8answers
2k views

That which comes before the “sequel” [closed]

The word "sequel" comes from the the Latin word sequela which means "that which follows" This Latin word is formed of two parts, "sequi" which is "to follow", and a suffix to make it a noun,"-ela". ...
89
votes
10answers
7k views

Is there a word for a person with only one head?

Reading this article by the fantastic Douglas Adams I came across this interesting quote: ‘[I]nteractivity’ is one of those neologisms that Mr Humphrys likes to dangle between a pair of verbal ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What did they call illegitimate children in Old English days?

I know that the word bastard in this sense appeard only in 13th century. So what was the normal term before that?
10
votes
5answers
27k views

What is the correct usage of “vis-à-vis”?

I hear people use the term vis-à-vis all the time in place of what I believe should more correctly be for example or that is. What is the most generally accepted correct and appropriate use of ...