This tag is for questions seeking a single word that fits a meaning. To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. YOU MUST INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE DEMONSTRATING HOW THE WORD WOULD BE USED; see the tag info (below) for more ideas on how ...

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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
6answers
7k 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 ...
27
votes
13answers
6k views

What is the correct word for “dependee”?

What is the correct word for "dependee"? In other words, what is the word for something that is depended upon? The relationship here is in the context of software engineering
27
votes
9answers
27k views

Equivalent of “both” when referring to three or more items?

What would be the correct word to use when referring to three or more items, in the same manner as the word both? For example, using two words, with the word both: "There are several ...
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
25answers
5k 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
12answers
9k 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 ...
26
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
26
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there an antonym of “ruthless”?

Is there a word that means the opposite of ruthless? I don’t think ruthful is a real word.
26
votes
10answers
28k 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
3answers
3k views

What's an absent-minded drawing called?

There's a specific word which is used for drawings (like smilies, cars, cartoons, etc) which we made to pass the time, say while talking with someone or in a lecture. I need to know the exact word for ...
26
votes
16answers
5k views

Is there a term for joyriding without stealing a car or endangering myself?

Let's say I buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini, or perhaps borrow one from my parents or a friend. I then proceed to drive it around town and generally just have fun driving the vehicle, with no particular ...
26
votes
4answers
14k 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
12answers
5k views

Is there a word, phrase, or idiom for a person who stays too late at an event such as a dinner party?

Something like "latecomer" but for departing rather than arriving. For example, "Bob was always the _____ at social outings." Other variations with verbs or non - noun idioms are useful to me as ...
26
votes
8answers
4k views

Is there a word to describe a person who's addicted to downloading stuff from Internet?

Well, that is exactly what I am :). I just can't stop myself from downloading stuff (usually electronic articles, say, PDFs). To be more precise, whenever I come across something that I think might ...
26
votes
22answers
3k 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 ...
26
votes
10answers
13k 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?
26
votes
2answers
980 views

What do you call the eating of frogs?

"Herpivory"? "Ranophagy"? Hurry, I need to mock a French friend.
25
votes
11answers
5k views

A single word for 'regularly visited place'

I am looking for a word that qualifies a place people keep coming back to, such as their favourite restaurant, or the grocery store they usually shop at. The word I am looking for is not 'popular'. ...
25
votes
19answers
15k 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
15answers
7k views

Is there a term for a free ride without consent?

I think there should be a specific term for someone getting a free ride without consent, but I keep thinking of the word "hijack" which clearly isn't correct. Examples include jumping on a train ...
25
votes
12answers
10k 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 ...
25
votes
18answers
8k 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
17answers
8k 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 ...
25
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 ...
25
votes
12answers
2k views

Word for an enthusiast whose excitement rapidly fizzles when he realizes hard work is required? [duplicate]

Is there a term for someone who gets all excited about a new undertaking and is wildly enthusiastic and full of promises until she realizes how much work is involved...whereupon she loses all ...
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
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 ...
24
votes
18answers
8k views

What is the English idiom about “expensive” that expresses the idea that “It is so expensive that you feel like you got ripped-off”? [closed]

Ok, if I say "this car is too expensive" or "this car is very expensive", then I can not express the connotation of "expensive". However, if I say "this car is damn expensive" then I better convey ...
24
votes
32answers
16k 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
13answers
5k views

What do you call a unit of beer within a pack?

This is for academic writing purposes. I am trying to come up with a word that could indistinguishably describe a bottle or a can within a pack of beer. I cannot say "a unit" because "a unit" in my ...
24
votes
20answers
9k 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 ...
24
votes
18answers
6k 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
19answers
6k views

What is a word for annoying behavior which decreases enjoyment for the other players in a game?

I'm looking for a word which describes an annoying behavior that decreases the overall quality of a game or match, specifically in online gaming (Halo, Call of Duty, etc.) The behavior, while not ...
24
votes
7answers
7k views

“Country” is to “national” as “city” is to…

How would I say something on a city level in comparison to a provincial level or national level? Elections are held nationally every four years, and _________ every two years.
24
votes
17answers
6k 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
17answers
88k views

What would you call a person who doesn't want to learn anything new?

What would you call a person who doesn't want to learn new things and even maybe thinks that this is unnecessary since he knows enough already? An ignorant person?
24
votes
13answers
2k views

A fabulous word for a small wooded area [closed]

My roommates and I want to name this little "island" on the culdesac that we live on, a sort of nickname. We aren't looking for something literal, something humorously exaggeratory, like "the sacred ...
24
votes
11answers
28k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

A word for an intentional error or absurdity inserted to check whether audience read an entire passage

I have a tendency to write long(ish) and detailed emails at work that I suspect the target audience don't bother to read sometimes, so occasionally I will insert something obviously silly just to see ...
24
votes
9answers
174k views

Is “actioned” a valid word?

I've just, without much fore thought, used the word "actioned" in the following (example) context, and am now wondering if it's valid (upon a re-read I've decided I don't like the way it sounds, hence ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a word for refusing to call things by their name out of fear?

Some examples: "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or "You-Know-Who" for Voldemort of Harry Potter fame Him in the Powerpuff Girls Any of the various monikers for Yahweh possibly "She Who Must Be Obeyed" for ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a name for synonyms that appear to have opposite meanings?

The words flammable and inflammable mean the same thing, but (to someone unfamiliar with their meaning) appear to be opposites (because of the "in" prefix). Is there a name for such word pairs that ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the “ponytail” in a knight's helmet called?

Does the ponytail thing in a knight's helmet have its own name? Or are they just called ponytails?
23
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the name for the glove worn to take out baked food from oven, so that touching the hot tray doesn't burn our hands? [closed]

Is there a specific name for the thick glove worn (or may be any cloth used) to touch hot dishes in the oven? For example, we wear a glove and take the dish containing baked food from the oven. ...
23
votes
27answers
65k 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
10answers
5k views

What is a verb that means 'to make a small amount of money last for several days'?

It happens to me every month particularly the last week. I have a little amount of money. I have to manage the expenses till I get my salary. So I make such a small amount of money last for several ...
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, ...