This tag is for questions seeking a single word that fits a meaning. See the "phrase requests" tag instead (or as well) if you seek a phrase that fits the meaning. To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word.

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28
votes
23answers
5k views

Adjective describing a person who has lots of children, not “fertile”

Is there a single adjective that means "this person has lots of children"? Context: I'm not actually talking about a person. I'm talking about a data structure in a computer program, where objects ...
28
votes
12answers
6k views

What do you call a disgusting mixture you don't want to drink?

What do you call a drink (usually an alcoholic one, say a long drink or a cocktail) that you don't want to have, because you consider it a low quality, disgusting mixture, maybe even of suspicious, ...
28
votes
15answers
3k views

What is the Tacoma Narrows bridge doing in this picture?

When the plate of the bridge assumes the unnatural shape showed in the below picture, what is this phenomenon called? Contortion (example: the bridge was contorting ...). I'm not so sure, as I think ...
28
votes
10answers
13k views

A word to make something bad sound good

Lets say we are talking about a book about teens that drink. In the book, the teens have fun and nothing bad ever happens. It's disguising it as a good thing, it's supporting it and it's making it ...
28
votes
13answers
6k views

Is there a synonym for 'fake' that has good connotations?

What's a good adjective to describe a smile which is not genuine, but still has a good connotation? I was thinking of using fake smile, but fake has a negative connotation, which I'm trying to avoid. ...
28
votes
21answers
18k views

What is the word for the emotion I feel when I see someone being humiliated?

When I see someone else being embarrassed / humiliated, for example a singer forgetting their words in a concert, I would say something like "I feel embarrassed for them". But is there a better word ...
27
votes
27answers
10k views

Derogatory term for a corporate employee

I’m looking for a derogatory term for a person who works in a big, international business. In Polish we have a few informal words for that, like korpoludek (“corpo little guy”) and korpoczłowiek ...
27
votes
21answers
29k views

What do we call people who go to the gym?

A group of people who regularly attend gym classes or work-out. What are they called? Is there a single-word for this particular group? Apart from my calling them fanatics, mad (BrEng)/crazy (AmEng), ...
27
votes
12answers
5k views

Shoplifting vs. a word for “someone who orders, eats and sneaks without paying the check”

Shoplifting relates more to the physical possession of goods. A shoplifter may pretend to be a customer or buy some and steal many (or vice-versa). But while at a restaurant such pretense won't ...
27
votes
14answers
5k views

What do you call a person who is always noisy on the Internet?

Noisy, in a way, that he always post on Facebook or Twitter anything he did like it is his diary, always commenting other people's posts, retweets every minute or hour, etc. An attention whore or ...
27
votes
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
votes
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
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
12answers
3k views

Looking for a better term than 'benign envy' or 'mudita'

Often when I'm happy for someone's good fortune or success, I find myself using the words envious or envy. In casual speech with friends, voice tone and familiarity help deliver my positive intent, ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

What is the opposite of “skyrocket”?

I recently came across a situation where something was decreasing rapidly. My friend was led to say: The price of fuel has really skyrocketed downwards lately. Something about this statement ...
26
votes
21answers
18k views

Word meaning “the act of intending to do nothing”

As I am a person who frequently intends to do nothing (or at any rate as little as possible), I wondered if there was a word meaning "the act of intending to do nothing". I had the impression that ...
26
votes
14answers
5k views

An antonym for “shortcut”

I know it isn't "longcut", although the term is used sometimes, humorously. How do I correct someone who believes a way to be the shortest route when it is in fact a longer route, or the longest ...
26
votes
21answers
5k views

Is there a single word for when something becomes neglected or forgotten (e.g. a plant dies because the gardener forgets to water it)?

What single word can we use to describe something that has "died through neglect" e.g. a plant that has died due to the person forgetting to water it. (Note: I'm specifically hoping to apply this ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

Do you say 'white blackboard'?

English is not my first language, so I'm not sure what you commonly call one of these: I'm trying to choose between blackboard, white blackboard, or maybe just 'slate'.
26
votes
12answers
5k views

A word for when you are almost crying, but not quite yet? [duplicate]

You know how sometimes you want to cry, but do not cry. Maybe a few tears are shed, but you mostly just choke up. The urge to cry is there, perhaps overwhelmingly, but you suppress it somehow and ...
26
votes
15answers
5k views

Generic name for places like village, town and cities

There is the German word Ort or Ortschaft which is a hypernym for places where people live like villages towns cities etc. Is there a correspondent word in English? I don't want to use location ...
26
votes
17answers
20k views

Word/phrase to mean something that just happens once

What is the word/phrase to mean something that just happens once? For example, I have often been told/expected to do this and not to do that. I become aimless and gradually lose the idea of who ...
26
votes
10answers
4k views

Adjective that means “snake-like”

If bovine means related to the cow or ox, what is the word that means related to the snake?
26
votes
25answers
4k views

Word for winning because the competitors were miraculously all worse

What's the word in the phrase winning by _____ To describe the scenario when one enters a form of competition and their entry or performance, whatever it may be, happens to be fairly below par ...
26
votes
8answers
4k views

What are “real stores” called in English, as opposed to “online stores”?

In a piece of software, what would I call a store that sells items to the public in real life as opposed to an online store (ie. a health-food store). It will look like this: ____ Store ...
26
votes
10answers
21k views

A single word for someone who is quick to hate others

What is a single word to describe someone who is quick to hate others? With anger we can say quick-tempered, but what about quick in hating other people/easily hates others. Hateful means full of ...
26
votes
21answers
7k views

Is there a word for “not greedy”?

The antonym of “greedy” is “generous”. Is there a word for “not greedy” (one who is content with what he has)?
26
votes
7answers
9k views

Antonym of “exodus”

5PM. There's a mass exodus out of the city as people depart for home. What word describes the migration in the other direction -- A mass arrival of people? As far as I know, there isn't a word like ...
26
votes
4answers
11k views

What do you call a man who knows well how to fix his household appliances?

Some men are really good at fixing things, especially the household appliances while they're not specialists or technician. Is there any words to explain these people?
26
votes
3answers
5k views
26
votes
2answers
898 views

What do you call the eating of frogs?

"Herpivory"? "Ranophagy"? Hurry, I need to mock a French friend.
25
votes
19answers
12k views

Word for not being happy with something but having to be satisfied with it

Is there a single word that describes the state of not being happy with something but having to be satisfied with it? Example: I wanted to split the video into small segments. Programming this ...
25
votes
18answers
6k views

Word for someone who is “quietly reliable”

I'm looking for a single word that describes a "quietly reliable" person. i.e. someone who is conscientious as a matter of course, not expecting any praise or even mention of it, they are just ...
25
votes
12answers
8k views

What do you call the child who doesn’t resemble his / her parents in English?

There are sons and daughters who don’t look like their parents at all. We call them “Onikko 鬼っ子” in Japanese, which literally means the child born or brought by an ogre, not by his / her biological ...
25
votes
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
votes
10answers
4k views

Word for the emotion behind “D'oh!”

What is the name of the emotion that you feel when you accidentally make a mistake? Such as when you clumsily drop a bowl and it shatters? In the Simpsons, Homer says "D'oh!" when this sort of thing ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

It's so cold that if it rains it'll snow

I want a replacement for rains in my title, as it doesn't really make sense since it won't rain, it will snow. I think I could use precipitates but I wouldn't use that in conversation as it seems ...
25
votes
22answers
2k views

Single word that unambigously describes the product of folding

I am writing a scientific paper in which I perform a mathematical operation that is illustratively called folding, which is already an established term. I now want to assign a similarly illustrative ...
25
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there a term for words that have a single meaning or are only used in a single context?

Certain words you hear in English are only ever heard in a single context. For example, skirl is used to describe the sound a bagpipe makes. Etymonline generously says the word is "rarely" heard ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a name for this type of insult: “I am friends with many manly men. And Gary.”?

Is there a term or word appropriate to describe the trick of using a general term and then explicitly adding a specific term to strongly imply that the specific is not part of the general? The trick I ...
25
votes
10answers
11k views

Is there a word that means “doing the right thing for the wrong reason”?

Is there a word that means doing the right thing for the wrong reason or getting the right conclusion from the wrong set of presumptions?
24
votes
32answers
13k views

Alternative ways to say “I cannot answer that question”? [closed]

I'm getting bored of repeating the same "I can't answer that" phrase over and over. I'm trying other phrases, like "I'll leave that to your imagination," but that one sounds too weird. Specifically, ...
24
votes
18answers
5k views

A synonym for “picky” with a positive connotation (food)?

We're very picky about the ingredients we use. In that context, what's a synonym for "picky" with a positive connotation, that denotes that we care very much about the quality of the ingredients? ...
24
votes
17answers
5k views

Is there a word for someone who is very friendly but only on a very shallow level?

It's not being a sycophant, because he doesn't want any favors from you. It's just all small talk. I would like to know the best word to describe this behavior or this person?
24
votes
18answers
4k views

What is a non-gendered synonym for “macho”?

In teaching computer science, I often want to mention certain beliefs that would normally be described as "macho", such as "Strong types are for weak minds" (translation: only lousy programmers need a ...
24
votes
11answers
21k views

Is there a term that defines nostalgia for something you've never experienced?

Often I find I have a sense of nostalgia for things I've never actually experienced, in a way that rivals the same sort of feelings I have for things I have experienced. For example when listening ...
23
votes
27answers
44k views

What is a word that could define someone who likes to cause conflict?

What would you call someone who does things knowing specifically that his/her actions will cause pain and/or conflict or completes an action just to get someone in trouble or hurt them? For example, ...
23
votes
20answers
6k views

What do you call a person that goes to extreme ends to accomplish a goal?

I've been trying to find a single word that describes a person that will go to extreme ends to achieve a goal. For example, a person that would harm friends or leave behind a path of destruction to ...
23
votes
20answers
8k views

Is there a word that means cheating but legitimate?

Is there a word that means cheating and legitimate at the same time? For example: I play a quiz game and set the number of questions to one. So, I get 100% of my answers correct. That's cheating, ...
23
votes
12answers
8k views

What do you call a person who is regionally biased?

What do you call a person who is regionally biased and has an unreasonable hatred/dislike for people from other regions of the country/world? Something like a racist, but the point of discrimination ...