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

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8
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7answers
11k views

Is “so-so” correct usage for “more or less”?

I took a trip down to Mexico last week and I heard "so-so" in response to "Do you speak English?" Now, I'm used to hearing "so-so" more in the context of "all right" or "OK", but not as in "more or ...
2
votes
2answers
468 views

what's the phrase for “I don't want to be reliant on someone else”

I remember that there is a phrase with the word whims that goes about like this: "I don't want to be reliant on someone else" Does anyone know what that phrase is?
3
votes
1answer
329 views

“Touring team” vs. “Exhibition team”

When we are not playing competitive games, our three touring teams play against three exhibition teams. What do the bold terms mean?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “not having a pair” mean?

From http://blog.peta2.com/2011/05/coming-out-twice.html?c=peta2_enews: I had been trying to keep my vegan tendencies on the DL for years by that point, but it was getting harder and harder ...
2
votes
3answers
230 views

What should I call this kind of animation?

On opening this link you will see a car that has a kind of glowing bulb on it. I am talking to my client and we both are not good in English. I have to find this kind of animation from a search ...
4
votes
2answers
33k views

Origin of “s--t eating grin”

What is the origin of the phrase shit eating grin? How did it come to mean showing smugness or self-satisfaction of an individual's actions?
7
votes
9answers
3k views

What to call certain types of vague words that trigger strong emotions

I guess I can call them 'politician words' but.... What do you call a word/phrase that has a lot of emotion behind it, but doesn't necessarily have any specific meaning. E.G.: Freedom, Liberty, ...
18
votes
11answers
28k views

What do you call a group of people that move a lot?

I can't think of the word to describe it. Something similar to "wanderer" or "roamer". It's often used to describe people that don't stay in one place... not "migratory"...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the word for when a word means what it seems like it should mean?

I'm not talking about onomatopoeia—I don't mean a word that describes a sound—I mean something along the lines of an aptronym, i.e. a perfect name such as Anthony Camera for a photographer (true story)...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Meaning of “non-normative”?

What's the meaning of "a non-normative document"? Does "non-normative" mean "casual"? What's the significant difference between a normative document and a non-normative one?
18
votes
6answers
7k views

When should I use archaic and obsolete words?

I'm learning the English language, and while reading Merriam-Webster I often see common words with additional "obsolete" and "archaic" descriptions added to their definitions. When should I use them,...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the collective noun for a collection of collective nouns? [closed]

murder : crows :: _ : collective nouns Sorry, no multiple choice this time.
6
votes
2answers
186 views

Is “pedantician” a word?

Why is someone who is pedantic called a pedant and not a "pedantician"? If a person working in obstetrics is an obstetrician, why is not a person working with words not a pedantician?
2
votes
3answers
63k views

Is it appropriate to use 'eagerly' while ending a formal e-mail

Nowadays, I always use the following phrase when I am ending formal email; I eagerly await for your response. Regards, I've seen this phrase somewhere, kind-of a formal e-mail and I am ...
6
votes
6answers
7k views

A single word for a person who suffers great loss

Can anybody give me a single word for a person who suffers great loss as in the context below. The word loser is not appropriate: Mike lost everything after his failed business venture. ...
4
votes
2answers
148 views

Established as a rule through experimentation or statistics

There's a word that's slipped my mind. It's used for example to qualify findings through tests or statistics as opposed to formulae or hard science. Any ideas?
8
votes
9answers
7k views

What is a good adjective for something I do a lot?

I think a lot about various things. While not working, I think about something, and this is what I do during most of my available time. What would be a good adjective to describe that. At first I ...
2
votes
5answers
367 views

Is it true that the plural of “chad” is “chadim”?

I was busy at filing tasks today, working the hole punch and manufacturing... er... more than one chad. I consulted the Computer Contradictionary by Stan Kelly-Bootle, which is normally a reliable ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Does responsibility come with consequences?

When somebody says to me that he “takes full responsibility for” his actions (or inactions), but then requests that I remove the consequences of those actions, it seems to me he does not actually take ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

'Ours' meaning 'our home' - where is it used outside the UK, if anywhere?

In expressions like: Let's go back to ours and have some food. There's a party at ours on Friday. There's a bottle of brandy at yours, isn't there? 'ours' and 'yours' are synonyms for 'our/...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Words: paucity vs scarcity vs dearth

I see these words use interchangeably in various contexts. Is there a formal difference or preference? Please supply relevant examples.
5
votes
2answers
58k views

What does “Per [person's name]” mean?

What does "Per John:" mean? From the context of the article I'm reading (article unlinked), it seems to mean "From John:" or "John (said):" What exactly does the word "per" mean when used as such?
15
votes
8answers
125k views

What's the difference between a jumper, a pullover, and a sweater?

Following on from a recent question, in Australia we have the word jumper for a knitted long-sleeved garment, typically woollen and long-sleeved. When cosuming foreign media I always assumed the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Meaning of “throw some work your way”

I think probably the expression means to find job for someone, Is it a common expression or a word made inside the movie? I talked to him. He said he can "throw some work my way".
0
votes
3answers
2k views

what does “fancy-ass” mean?

What does fancy-ass mean in the following sentence: And after that, getting hired by some "fancy-ass".
2
votes
1answer
412 views

What does “run down a ball” mean?

What does "run down a ball" mean? Here's a past tense example, in this comment heard after a tennis match: I can't believe you ran down the last ball.
2
votes
2answers
222 views

What does “low-growing” mean?

What does low-growing mean in the following sentence? She planted some "low-growing" stuff.
9
votes
10answers
51k views

What is a word for a man who has a lot of sexual relationships?

What do you call a man who loves and tries to have many sexual relationships with girls and usually doesn't fall in love with any of them? To clear what I'm looking for, Suppose a guy at work/...
4
votes
2answers
910 views

Meaning of some sentences from sports pages of newspapers

I was studying some vocabulary about sports pages of the newspapers from a book. The book mentions that the sportswriters are masters of English language and states how well they attract readers to ...
10
votes
4answers
310 views

What is “outheroding”?

I have been reading Scott's Ivanhoe recently and have come across a word I cannot find a meaning for: outheroding. In the novel it appears in a discussion of footwear: Fur and gold were not spared ...
2
votes
1answer
316 views

What is the correct term for diagnosis in automobiles?

I have to provide an English translation of my bachelor thesis' title and I couldn't find a term in the dictionary. At the moment I call it "Development of a car diagnosis application", but I am ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “misapprehension” and “apprehension”?

I can't quite get my head around the difference between misapprehension and its opposite apprehension. I understand the latter, but the former still eludes me.
4
votes
4answers
911 views

What do you call the additional paper used during exam and homework?

When doing exams or homework, one might need some extra paper to make a rough sketch, before writing his solution into another paper that must be turned in. The extra paper does not need to be turned ...
3
votes
2answers
380 views

Is “unseductive” an established English word, or just coined?

In the article of Time magazine (May 17) dealing with the arrest of IMF Chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn on alleged charges of assaulting a hotel housekeeper, under the title of “The Seduction myth: What ...
7
votes
3answers
413 views

What is “hership”?

I've been reading Scott's Ivanhoe, and in it Cedric has been complaining of the general lawlessness of England at the time, when an alarm sounds... "To the gate, knaves!" said the Saxon, hastily, ...
9
votes
6answers
10k views

Is it supposed to be a HTML or an HTML [duplicate]

I've seen many people who say: This is a HTML page. Yet I've also seen many people who say: This is an HTML page. Are both usages equally correct? Or, which is the grammatically correct ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

What is a fork's single point called?

A fork usually has three points, what are the individual points called? Trident points?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Origin of term “letting on”

I understand what the phrase "letting on" means. It basically means to pretend, as in He continued letting on that he had a lame leg. It can also mean to disclose or reveal the true meaning of ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Term for “avoiding reality”

Is there a single word which describes someone who is trying to hide from the truth? For example, when my acquaintance's father died, she went on living and believing that her father was still alive ...
5
votes
2answers
834 views

What does “hunting” mean in the following sentence?

I was reading a review for a camera lens. I found the sentence there. Slow focus on my 300D, noticeably better on a 400D... Shallow focus field, with lots of hunting.
6
votes
4answers
529 views

Suggestions for a word meaning both testimony and reminder?

What is a word that means both testimony and at the same time reminder?
20
votes
9answers
18k views

Word to describe “everyday things”

Is there any one word which can describe everyday things? By this, I mean things we commonly regard as things most people do every day, like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Obscure/archaic/unusual English word-of-the-day RSS feed? [closed]

I seek to embiggen my lexicon. Does anyone know of an obscure/archaic/unusual English word-of-the-day (with authoritative (preferably OED) definition) RSS feed? I've found the OED WotD feed, but a ...
8
votes
4answers
11k views

A word for the meaning of “abuse of the authoritative/political power” [closed]

I need a single-word for the meaning of "abuse of the authoritative/political power".
6
votes
5answers
14k views

Word with meaning of “taking advantage of somebody”

I need one word with the meaning of "take advantage of somebody for personal benefit", is there any one?
17
votes
3answers
55k views

Is there a word for answering a question with a question?

I am aware that answering student questions with further, leading questions is sometimes dubbed “Socratic,” but I am asking more broadly about all occasions where someone asks a question and, instead ...
16
votes
13answers
7k views

Should I use 10 cent words or $2 words?

In school, I learned to use 10 cent words, so instead of saying: (updated: from a paper that says a scientist doing experiment with fish would make it complicated to say:) All biota exhibited 100% ...
4
votes
5answers
286 views

Looking for the longest “non-variant” word

I'm looking for the longest English word that has no variants, where a variant might be A singular or plural form A conjugated form A form in another part of speech For example, mouse would fail ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

What's a good word to describe adults who are not yet parents?

Just read this in Emma Donoghue's book "Room". Is there a word for adults who are not parents?
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Can sound be “blurry?”

Can sound be considered "blurry?" I have heard of visual things being "blurry." Examples of this include blurry photographs or blurred vision. Is the word "blurry" restricted only to vision? I ...