A vocabulary is the body of words used in a particular language.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

9
votes
3answers
4k views

On the specifics of illegitimate children

Is there a feminine form of the word bastard? It seems like bastard is a word that’s applied to male children only.
3
votes
3answers
4k views

“Approve (of),” “assent,” “consent,” and “grant”

I wonder if there is any difference in using approve (of), assent, consent, and grant as verbs. Can anyone help?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How often do words change meaning then revert back to their original meaning?

Words can change meaning over time. A good example of this would be 'gay' which has changed from meaning 'merry' to 'homosexual'. Over the past decade, it has also taken on pejorative connotations. ...
14
votes
9answers
34k views

What's the difference between “bucket” and “pail”?

What is the difference between bucket and pail? Is there a distinction between the shape of a bucket and the shape of a pail? Are buckets and pails made of different materials? Is there a difference ...
5
votes
3answers
896 views

Is there an alternative to “that much less”?

The teams weren't fair to begin with, but Jim's injury made them that much less fair. The last part of that sentence feels wrong to me due to the contrast of "much" and "less". Is there perhaps a ...
4
votes
2answers
582 views

Word for a time discrepancy in a story

What is the word for the mistake of placing an event or object in the wrong age or decade, such as a film star in a movie about Roman times wearing a robe made of nylon?
3
votes
3answers
385 views

Use of 'pagan' in an essay: is it acceptable or not?

I'm writing an essay right now and I'm deliberating whether or not I should use Pagan gods instead of Greek gods (to provide variation in the essay). I've looked up the word pagan in the dictionary ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Arcane/obscure word that represents a person's timeline or daily record

I'm looking for an arcane or obscure word to describe a person's daily record. Words like: account, agenda, appointment book, chronicle, diary, daily record, daybook, engagement book, ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is 'Safari' really an English word, and what are its origins?

We are all used to this word safari. I think most people will agree that its usage is ubiquitous when referring to going for holiday (esp. overland travel in Africa). So is this word a true English ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there any rules governing what we call people from different countries?

people from China = Chinese people from Japan = Japanese people from Australia = Australian people from Lebanon = Lebanese people from Sweden = Swedish Are there any rules that ...
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

What does it mean when someone calls himself “non sequitur”? [on hold]

Coming from my answer to question Is there a better noun form of “unreasonable” than “unreasonableness?” What does it mean when someone calls himself "non sequitur"? Examples: "I AM NON ...
17
votes
2answers
6k views

What is a female ass called?

I know a male ass is a jackass, but what is a female ass called? Perusal of the internet suggests jillass or janeass, but I haven't found what might be called an authoritative source.
4
votes
1answer
429 views

Usage of 'realize'

Does the word realize always include the process of becoming cognizant of the matter at hand? e.g. I realize that the iPhone is a popular device. Does this mean the speaker become cognizant of this ...
6
votes
5answers
15k views

Difference between “empathetic” and “empathic”

Apparently both words empathetic and empathic mean the same thing, yet I see one person refer to the specific type of writing as empathetic writing, while another empathic writing. Who's correct and ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

“Trust” vs. “Cartel”

The establishment of trust is quite difficult but for cartel it is comparatively easy. What is the difference between trust and cartel? Does the word "oligopoly" have a different meaning in ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

“very pleased to read your posting” — pleased=happy vs. pleased=satisfied

In a formal context, I would like to tell the author (whom I admire) of a posting that I was happy that I discovered/found it because I did not expect it. I was very pleased to read your posting ...
3
votes
2answers
325 views

“Credulous” - Formal Use

What is the basic meaning of Credulous , in which context it will be the best to use instead of "willing to believe" ? How formally we can use "Credulous" ?
9
votes
12answers
3k views

What's a word for an instance in which one has an opinion about something without having tried it?

What do you call it when someone has a strong opinion about something without having any experience with that thing? For example, if someone writes an entire newspaper article about how disgusting pie ...
4
votes
6answers
16k views

What terms and expressions can be used in English to show one's love to his/her girlfriend/boyfriend? [closed]

I know in every language there are a lot of ways and cute names to address your girlfriend or your boyfriend to show you love her/him. The names can be creative for any couple. As Andy mentions these ...
0
votes
4answers
12k views

Word for “Ray of Hope”

Which word or phrase to use instead of "Ray of Hope" ? EDIT : In a general context. Suppose there is one line - There is a Ray Of Hope in darkness always.
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a term for something that is tainted with another's saliva?

From The Encyclopedia Britannica: "Food left on plates after eating is defined as garbage (jutha) because it has been polluted by the eater’s saliva. It may be handled in the family. Is ...
6
votes
6answers
6k views

Words for different types of leatherworking

I'm looking for as many words (and corresponding definitions) as I can find for different specific types of leatherworking. Archaic words are fine, even preferred. Of particular interest is a single ...
6
votes
5answers
36k views

What is the difference between “assess” and “evaluate”? [closed]

What is the difference between assess and evaluate?
8
votes
13answers
6k views

Better synonym for “actionable”?

In managementese, "actionable" means "able to be acted upon". Unfortunately, its primary meaning is "giving sufficient reason to take legal action" in legalese. I'm looking for a better alternative ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

What does “lost sales” mean?

What does "lost sales" mean in the sentence below? The most important quality cost, lost sales, is often omitted from quality cost reports.
3
votes
12answers
1k views

What is the term for accusing a person of mischief through invented, twisting and changeable terminology?

What is the term for accusing a person of invented wrongdoing in such a way that he cannot respond or even clearly understand the accusations? For example, frequently reversing the definitions of the ...
1
vote
7answers
4k views

Does 'soi-disant' have a close English equivalent?

I considered 'self-proclaimed' but that, I believe, suggests an element of self-promotion (the proclamation aspect) whereas soi-disant, at least as I think of it, is more about self-presentation and ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Meaning of “alien”

What is the scope of the word alien? If NASA sends a pregnant woman into space and she gives birth to a baby there, is the baby an alien?
0
votes
3answers
715 views

Are there any practical uses of onomatopoeia in contemporary English?

Do we have any practical uses of onomatopoeia in contemporary English? I can not claim to have read many materials, but I have to confess I have rarely seen it used a lot.
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Name for an electrical element to use multiple appliances on the same plug

Sorry, I don't know what is this element called in English. It is an electric power cord with multiple sockets to allow multiple appliances to be plugged into it. In Spanish it is said to be ...
5
votes
6answers
4k views

What word means “eating place”?

The word "dormitory" means "sleeping place". Is there any similar word for "eating place"?
5
votes
6answers
923 views

What are some products that are now words? [closed]

All of the ones I can think of are specific products that have come to represent their kind. This is usually either because it is the first of its kind, as in a Xerox machine (the first office ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What do you call a person who takes interest in analyzing people's handwritings?

Is there any single word that is used to indicate a person who reads the psychological aspect of people's handwritings (like what they believe and what type of people they are, etc.)?
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Is there a word that means “the wife of one's brother”?

In some of the non-Latin-based languages that I know there is a special word for your brother's wife. Is there such a word in English? Usage would be something like: She is my __ (My brother's ...
17
votes
11answers
5k views

Adjective used to mean “smellable”

An object that can be seen is visible. Something that can be heard is audible. What's a similar word to indicate that something is smellable?
8
votes
5answers
8k views

A word for “rate of change”

Physics problems are usually written like: The rate of change of the soup's temperature ... Is there a common English word that captures "rate of change" or "speed of change" in a single word, ...
31
votes
21answers
23k 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 ...
1
vote
7answers
2k views

Is technical copywriting jargon or style?

I became confused by comments to my answer insisting that Technical writing is jargon using incorrect English words. I also looked through definitions of "prepend" in internet, all with inserted ...
2
votes
4answers
927 views

What is the shortest term to refer to people whose mother tongue is English?

What is the shortest term to refer to representatives of peoples and cultures whose mother tongue is English? Mothertonguers? Update: Can't I call them joe?
6
votes
3answers
8k views

To what reading level does a specific word like 'verbose' belong?

How does one determine the reading level to which a specific word belongs? For example, I want to use the word 'verbose' in some software. So, if I want to determine if it is appropriate to use the ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What's the origin of the swear words like the 'F' word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How long has the f-word been in use as an abusive term? Sometimes I wonder what is the origin of some of the swear words such as the 'F**K' word which English speakers ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

What words can I use to describe trends in graphs for the IELTS exam (e.g. “increase”, “growth”)? [closed]

What is the difference between increase, growth, go up and rise? And what is the difference between decline, fall, go down and drop? I really don't know which is the best to describe parts of a graph. ...
4
votes
4answers
662 views

Equivalent word which represents 'Team' or 'Individual'

I am developing a coding contest project with multiple contests. The participants can be a team or an independent individual, depending on the contest setting. I want to define only one model for the ...
11
votes
7answers
26k views

Word for “someone who does the same job as me”

Is there a word that means something like "someone who does the same job as me"? I've thought of colleague and co-worker. These both indicate that someone works at the same place, or some other kind ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the criteria to adopt new words into English?

Long time no see is a typical example for Chinglish, though it is said that long time no see has been accepted by the mainstream English speakers. Recently, there is a neologism movement in the ...
8
votes
3answers
350 views

Verbs of inaction

It seems to me that most English verbs always convey some action. That is, no words (to my knowledge) convey that absence of an action. Let me explain. Let's assume that I wanted to say that a certain ...
6
votes
5answers
41k views

What are the conventional words for characters (A-Z)?

I have just read the newest post of DOGHOUSEDIARIES, and I am wondering whether the words for characters are fixed in the USA or the UK, as I am not a native English speaker. For example: A as in ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Variations of the word “Schadenfreude”

Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Is there a word which means to take pleasure in the misfortune of another when previously that misfortune was inflicted on you by that ...
4
votes
3answers
469 views

Curriculum vitae: Proper qualifiers for skills

I am updating my curriculum vitae, and there is a section where I list my experience with several technologies and programming languages. I would like to group my experience in two categories; namely, ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“To increase competitiveness in” or “to increase competitiveness on”?

Which phrase is the correct one? to increase competitiveness in the EU labor market to increase competitiveness on the EU labor market