Terminology is a system of terms belonging or peculiar to a science, art, or specialized subject, nomenclature.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

16
votes
4answers
5k views

“Let's burn that bridge when we come to it” – is this sort of idiom mixing considered a pun, and if so, does it have a specific name?

I couldn't come up with a short title, but the upside is that there is not much needed to be said in the body of the question! For @dmr (and others), it mixes “let's cross that bridge when we come ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What Is the Real Name of the #?

I used to say "sharp sign" to refer to the # sign. Today a friend told me that the correct term is number sign or hash sign or even just hash. What is the difference between these options and ...
16
votes
4answers
967 views

Are Americans familiar with the term “mobile” when referring to a “cellphone”?

In the UK we call them "mobile phones", in the US "cellphones". However, would an American be familiar with the term "mobile" when referring to something pertaining to cellphones or would it sound ...
16
votes
10answers
17k views

English equivalent of komorebi (木漏れ日) — “sunshine filtering through leaves”

Is there an English equivalent of komorebi (木漏れ日), which means the sunshine filtering through the leaves of a tree (or trees)? It is made up of three kanji and the hiragana particle れ. The first ...
16
votes
4answers
20k views

What's the opposite of “oxymoron”?

What's the opposite of oxymoron? That is, two words put together that seem identical?
16
votes
4answers
15k views

What follows next in the sequence “unary, binary, ternary…”?

I looked on Oxford's online dictionary and was able to find the names identifying orders of a given degree: primary secondary tertiary quaternary quinary senary septenary octonary nonary denary -- ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a term for polishing something too early?

I imagine there must be a term/idiom/phrase for polishing something too early... For example: Painting the walls of a room before completing other work which may accidentally damage them. Adding ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a name for how the Irish use so, so?

There is an Irish English structural usage of the word so, that is I think unique to Ireland. Are we going to the cinema, so? Where is the dog, so? The word so is unneeded and seems to mean ...
15
votes
13answers
3k views

One word to call people that attach their feelings to a concept

Is there a way to express in one word when people attach their personal feelings to a concept or an idea and then become very vehement at defending it because they consider it personal criticism. As ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do we fluoridate but chlorinate water?

When we add fluoride ions to water, to make it good for teeth, it's called fluoridation. When we add chloride ions to water, to kill microorganisms, it's called chlorination. In the latter case, the ...
15
votes
4answers
13k views

Is it correct to call an Apple Mac computer a PC (Personal Computer)

From the original meaning of the initialism, PC (Personal Computer), it would make perfect sense to call a Mac a PC, as it is just that, a personal computer. However, the vast majority of people ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “regex”?

The term regular expression is often shortened to regex. What is the correct pronunciation of the g in regex? Is it like the g1 in gallium, or is it like the g2 in giraffe? I’ve heard it said both ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Origin of the term “wizard” in computing

In computer user interfaces a "wizard" is a set of screens that guide the user through a process. Does anyone know the origin of this term? I personally associate wizards with magic more than a ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a term for words that when reversed, form other words?

I'm aware of what a palindrome is. What do you call words that, when reversed, form other words, such as ton (not) and part (trap)?
14
votes
16answers
4k views

English word that means “a process that does not teach you anything”?

I am looking for a word that means “a process that you keep doing, hoping that you will learn something useful, but which you actually never learn anything from”. I'm quite sure that there is an ...
14
votes
9answers
588 views

Is there an abstract word for the environment in which a vehicle can move?

I am looking for a word (or short construct of words) that could be used to refer to things that a given vehicle could traverse: "sky, land, water. etc." To give an analogue, I can refer to ...
14
votes
10answers
1k views

Term for when consecutive events are “broken”

This is the use case: "...5 doughnuts to be awarded each consecutive day you visit the shop until the ???? is broken." I'm thinking it's going to be along the lines of consecusion or ...
14
votes
4answers
104k views

What does “10-4 ” mean?

I could have asked this question personally to my respected colleague who gave me a valuable answer to the question, “Is the ‘tame the infinite becoming an idiom or a popular phrase,” which I posted ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What do you call psychological diseases that affect many people at once (or many people of a society)?

I am talking about diseases such as the Jerusalem syndrome, the Paris syndrome, and the Dancing Plague of 1518. Is there a general name for such diseases?
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the proper term for a ternary digit?

A binary digit is a bit. Is there an equivalent term for a three-state digit? (e.g., a digit representing true, false, or unknown)
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the term for repeating something in an A, B, A fashion? (e.g. “Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.”)

Is there a term for repeating something in an A, B, A fashion for emphasis or dramatic effect? Examples: Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts. Ain't it the truth, Joe... ain't it the truth. ...
14
votes
3answers
706 views

What is it called when a letter is within another letter?

What is it called when a letter is within another letter? For example, the letter O within the letter L: Edit: Or the first C in the Coca-Cola logo: Does this arrangement of type have a name?
14
votes
13answers
23k views

Is there a term for someone who “can see multiple perspectives”?

A colleague of mine is trying to describe herself as "capable of seeing a situation from multiple perspectives" or "able to look at the big picture from various viewpoints". I feel like there must be ...
13
votes
8answers
4k views

What to call someone who always sincerely shows on the outside how and what he feels on the inside?

So, this person is very open, honest and brave to display his vulnerabilities and feelings (because that's what feels natural for him, and as a good thing, to do) whether he's out in public, with ...
13
votes
10answers
1k views

Term describes the feeling of weariness or boredom

What do you call the state of tiredness or lack of interest. It is subtly different from ordinary boredom. A feeling like "the world is so boring"but just a little different, implying that the state ...
13
votes
4answers
113k views

Meaning of “reach out to somebody”

The dictionary explains this as: To show somebody that you are interested in them and/or want to help them The explanation indicates the subject of the sentence is the one that offers help, but ...
13
votes
10answers
2k views

What do you call something that is not first in a sequence?

Is there a word to describe something that is not the first element in a sequence, but can be in any other position? A synonym of "not first", in fact. This element is __ in this sequence.
13
votes
15answers
2k views

Name for a device purposefully put together from faulty parts

A tech jargon question: A friend thought he once heard a funny (?) jargon word for a device that was put together from faulty parts on purpose, maybe even with the very questionable intention to sell ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Where does the term “Monad” come from?

I understand how monads work, and I use them on a routine basis. However, I've been wondering where the term actually comes from and what does it mean? Edit: To clarify, I'm specifically referring to ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What are exchanges like “How are you,” “I'm fine,” and “See you later” called?

Some verbal/written exchanges convey almost no meaning but are part of the protocol of conversation. For example, somebody greets you with "How are you?" and they're not usually not listening for ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Why “motherboard” is used to refer to main board of computer

Why is motherboard used to refer to the main board of a computer? What is the relationship with the word mother here?
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there a common word for floor and ceiling?

Walls divide rooms but what do you call what divides stories? Looking from below it would be the ceiling, looking from above it would be the floor. But when looking at it from the outside? Is there a ...
13
votes
3answers
402 views

Term for converting to black&white

Is there a single word to denote reducing the color palette of an image to two colors: black and white? For instance, navy becomes black and beige turns into white. I know there is desaturate, but ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Logging in or on?

There are a plethora of words for user accounts, like logon, login, signon, and also the action of logging in (or logging on) or signing in. Are there any usage guidelines here?
13
votes
3answers
13k views

Why is the right jack in cribbage also called “his Knobs”?

Before we got married, my husband taught me cribbage as his way of showing me how important our relationship was to him. One of the points in cribbage is for having "the right jack," or the jack ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between a phrase and a clause?

What is the difference between a phrase and a clause? I tried looking this in dictionary but can not identify the difference. It would be great if I could get an example and formula of what makes a ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a technical term for insideout-ness?

So the technical term for right or left handedness is chirality. The technical term for evenness or oddness is parity. Is there a similar term for inside-out-ness vs right-side-out-ness? EDIT: I ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How did the word “lid” come to mean “poor operator” (in the context of telegraphy and amateur radio)?

This sense of lid is still common today in Amateur ("Ham") Radio (in the United States, at least), usually as "they're a lid", meaning "they're being a rude or unobservant person." It doesn't refer to ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Is the term “you suck” always considered slang? [closed]

I'm having a serious argument with a friend on the status of the word "suck" when I used it about him by saying "You suck!" because he missed a train. We are both non-native English speakers. He ...
12
votes
10answers
3k views

What is the name of the tactic that politicians use to bury people with torrent of words?

Some people write bloated books and long essays with skilful use of hooks, e.g. Jared Diamond; some others speak in long-drawn sentences with torrents of words, e.g. Noam Chomsky. It reminds me of a ...
12
votes
9answers
1k views

Term or phrase describing action occuring when not watching

I am an IT professional. More specifically in automation. I am looking for a term or phrase that describes the event when either: a. you are watching something closely and the issue doesn't occur or ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

What term describes workers that are not “knowledge workers”?

Wikipedia describes a knowledge worker as a worker whose "main capital is knowledge". Examples include engineers, doctors, accountants, software writers etc. Is there an "established term" to refer ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Deriving a word for the activity of using a tool from the tool name (“grep”)

In a discussion that involves talking about the program named "grep", the activity of applying the program to some data is often referred to as "greping". I was writing - still informally - about ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Site hopping, non-related subjects, wasting time on the internet

What is the term for embarking on an internet search that leads from one website to another, to another, to a totally different site of non-related subject, based on information found in each ...
12
votes
7answers
637 views

A term for products whose “secret” features are well-known (but not publicized)

What do you call those household items whose selling features are purportedly practical, functional and ‘innocent’ but instead are often bought for completely different, and sometimes ‘naughty’ ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What do we call a doctor's prediction

Say my doctor tells me that my grandfather has only a few months to live. What do we call such a prediction based on a medical condition?
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it acceptable to call a hot dog a sausage?

This sounds like a silly question, but I've heard some very strong opinions about this, so I find this intriguing. A hot dog is a type of sausage (at least according to Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia, ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you call a slip of the tongue in writing?

Is there any phrase or word that can be used to describe a slip of the tongue that happens in writing? Calling it a slip of tongue directly feels awkward, especially when the written text is never ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

In the context of cooking, what is the difference between “flipper” and “spatula”?

I'm genuinely confused about this because at first I thought a spatula was a cooking tool resembling a flat pallet attached at an angle to the handle that could be used for activities such as flipping ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Term for a word that is unintentionally made up of two or more other words?

For example, therapist may be split into the + rapist, neither of which (arguably) has anything to do with the original words. Another example would be conflagration: con + flag + ration. Or ...