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

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31
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11answers
37k views

What does “a couple” mean to you, and what does “a few” mean to you?

What does “a couple” mean to you, and what does “a few” mean to you? Is there a proper way to use it? It was striking to hear that “a couple” meant two (2) to someone. My reaction was, “how/why do ...
1
vote
3answers
752 views

Finding out the proper word out of book-learned vocabulary

I've been learning English for many years now by using many resources available to me. It is mostly reading, as I have very few opportunities to use English to communicate. Due to this fact, my ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

What does the expression “body shop” mean?

I recently encountered the expression "the man in the body shop", and I have absolutely no idea what it means. All help is welcome.
7
votes
9answers
2k views

Alternative to “maze” as a description for Pacman's environment?

Pacman's maze is not a maze in the sense of being a place in which we get lost since we can clearly see where we are going. So what should we call the restricted environment in which Pacman ...
13
votes
7answers
12k views

Words for meat differ from the words for the corresponding animal

In English we have: "beef" for "cow", "cattle" "veal" for "calf" "pork" for "pig" "mutton" for "sheep" I'm not aware of this separation for "fish", "goat" or "chicken" (Spanish has "pollo" and ...
32
votes
5answers
2k views

Terms for collections of animals

As I watched the murder of crows sitting on the line above my house this evening, I got wondering where all of the collective nouns for animals (pod of whales, gaggle of geese, pride of lions) came ...
5
votes
10answers
1k views

Read ( Beautiful + Interesting ) stories

I'm looking for a word to express something that is beautiful and interesting at the same time, to use in this sentence: Read [term] stories Can you help me find one?
3
votes
5answers
2k views
9
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16answers
3k views

Informal terms for money amounts

What informal terms are used in English as money amounts? I know the following US terms and I'm curious about the rest: a grand: 1000 dollars a buck: 1 dollar
14
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6answers
45k views

What does “going forward” mean?

In more and more podcasts and presentations I hear sentences such as this one: That is our strategy going forward. What meaning does going forward add to the sentence? That is, how is it ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

Term for catchy tune that stays in your head

Is there a term for a catchy tune that stays in your head after you hear it? The Germans call it an earworm.
24
votes
4answers
15k views

Is “prepone” being used outside India?

Prepone is a great word - it's the opposite of postpone. When you prepone a meeting, you change its scheduled time so that it occurs sooner than originally planned. Has his usage spread beyond India? ...
3
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3answers
3k views

Is a person “under contract” or “contracted” to do something?

Which is the better choice, and why?
4
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5answers
11k views

What is a word called that has more than one syllable?

You can say e.g.: The word "on" is a monosyllable. but it seems that the word "multisyllable" has been outdated since 1913. What is the correct term for a word that has two or more syllables, ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

Why do words like “expectorate” sound more posh than words like “spit”?

I think English is unique in having a set of "bad words" each which has its "more refined" equivalent, e.g.: spit -> expectorate piss -> urinate shit -> defecate f*ck -> ...
11
votes
9answers
15k views

Is “non-vegetarian” a correct word?

I've heard that the words "non-veg" and "non-vegetarian" are not legal English words (i.e aren't in the dictionary). Is this true? If so, what is the right way to say that something contains ...