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

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2
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2answers
54 views

A finger is a component of a hand, a hand is the X of a finger

I'm working with a set of relationships between things, relationships that need descriptors. John is a child of Susan, Susan is a parent of John; a parent-child relationship. Milk is a ...
2
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2answers
132 views

How to describe an individual who always speaks in a “matter of fact” manner

I have a friend who always speaks in a very matter-of-fact manner. On numerous occasions, he has mentioned how it was "the best BLANK" he has ever had, or "the best BLANK in the city." Everything ...
4
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2answers
107 views

What is a “snow window”?

Friends of mine were travelling in the UK by bus once, when suddenly the bus stopped and all passengers had to get out. The driver told them that there were "snow windows" and so they couldn't proceed ...
0
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1answer
94 views

Salary comes from salt, but where does salt come from?

OK, this was a trick question. :-) The first part of the question is about etymology but my real question is about vocabulary. I would like to know the name of the place where sea salt is harvested. ...
10
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4answers
1k views

What is the equivalent of sub/super sonic for the speed of light?

We have subsonic and supersonic for speeds below or above the speed of sound. What is the equivalent for the speed of light?
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2answers
115 views

Usage of ostensible in this sentence [closed]

An obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust. ostensible: stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so. Does ostensible in this sentence mean that there is ...
8
votes
10answers
934 views

Word for energyless-ness

What's a single word that can connote the concept of (or something similar to) "energyless-ness" (which, as far as I can tell, is not a word). This is meant to be used in the context of burnout. When ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to describe Homer Simpson's 'idunno' sound

In The Simpsons Homer makes a closed mouth sound made up of three rising and falling tones, resembling (and meaning the same as) 'idunno' said without opening the mouth. I hear it being used from ...
8
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18answers
4k views

Single word to describe something that is “meant to be”

I am trying to come up with a single word that describes the saying "meant to be" in a poetic and prophetic manner (but I am not looking for a fantastical description that talks too much about fate). ...
0
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5answers
164 views

Opposite of caregiver

I want to write a book about the unfair expectations of a caregiver. A caregiver refers to somebody to looks after somebody else. What is the term for that 'somebody else'. 'Patient' doesn't seem ...
0
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2answers
44 views

“To dedicate” for “to inaugurate” in AE

What's the difference between "to dedicate" and "to inaugurate" in the sense [to open or begin use of formally with a ceremony, as of a highway, park, or building]? What's the story to "dedicate"? ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Beautiful novels [closed]

Putting aside the wonderful realm of Middle-Earth and many other values, The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's other works are written in a very beautiful English. What are other novels/stories that you ...
0
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1answer
143 views

meaning of 'by' in the sentence

What could be the meaning of 'by' in the following sentence? My grandmother was spared the humiliation of those high, grey walls by eight or ten years.
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1answer
66 views

“Hussy” for a sewing folder in AE

Does the term "hussy" [alteration of Midde English husewif "housewife"] have any currency in modern day AE to refer to a sewing folder, or is it sort of better known as a derogatory term for a ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

“Mobile” vs. “cellphone” in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
0
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1answer
52 views

“To be retired” vs. “to be a retiree” vs. “to be a retirant”

Are both of these responses in current use in modern day AE to the question: What's your job? Is it I don't have a job, I'm retired. Or I don't have a job, I'm a retiree. Also, does ...
0
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1answer
108 views

“To a fare-thee-well” for “perfectly well” in AE

Does the idiom "to a fare-thee-well" have any currency in modern day AE speech and writing, or does it have sort of an old fashioned feel to it? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fare-thee-well ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

“Associate with [someone]” for “socialize with [someone]” in colloquial AE

What's the difference in AE between saying "I like to associate with new folks" and "I like to socialize with new folks"? E.g. I am a positive person and I like to associate with other positive ...
1
vote
4answers
273 views

in function of - unrelated to math

Please, take a look at the following: "Friends" and "foes" are, according to Carl Schmitt, defined in function of their capacity to respectively enhance or diminish the power of one's own state. ...
2
votes
1answer
266 views

“As long as” for “since” in AE

Some of you might have noticed that I oftentimes use the conjunction "as long as" in my questions and my posts. I was just wondering -- does "as long as" in the sense "since" [=in view of the fact ...
-2
votes
2answers
129 views

“Multi tiered parking lot/garage” vs. “multi story/storied parking lot/garage” vs. “multi level parking lot/garage” in AE

Are these terms current enough in AE to be used just about interchangeably in modern prose?
4
votes
2answers
376 views

In AE, is “tin” used instead of “can” to designate an eco friendly BPA free can of sardines?

I've always thought that "can" was the typical term to refer to a can of sardines (or the like) in AE, and "tin" the BE equivalent, until I recently stumbled across "tin" used instead of "can" on a US ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

“Fudge” vs. “dodge” (an issue, question, etc.), and “fudge” as another term for “cheat” in AE

In AE, can "fudge" and "dodge" be used just about interchangeably to convey the sense of circumvent [= avoid or try to avoid answering, fulfilling, or performing (duties, questions, issues, etc.)]? ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Cowboys, cowpokes, cowpunchers, wranglers, vaqueros, and buckaroos

Depending on where you are regionally located in the US, can these terms be used just about interchangeably in the sense "a hired hand (a cowhand) who tends cattle and performs many of his duties on ...
5
votes
5answers
721 views

avoiding an oncoming vehicle — what is the specific term for this in English?

Is there a specific term to refer to what you need to do in the following situation? You are driving on a road and an oncoming vehicle is moving towards you in the same lane you are using. If ...
3
votes
4answers
74 views

“Tote” vs. “carry” in AE

Aside from formality/informality registers, what is to "tote" that is not to "carry" to AE native speakers? Does "tote", unlike "carry", imply a certain way to hold or support something while moving? ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What do rodents do?

I wonder if there is a English verb to express the way rodents (rats, mice, etc.) bite on something they are trying to eat or bite. In Portuguese we have the verb roer which comes from roedor which ...
4
votes
4answers
209 views

Yards, courtyards, and gardens in American English

As long as reportedly Americans commonly designate an area of land, usually planted with plants, trees, flowerbeds, etc., adjoining a house as a yard (front yard/backyard); and a plot of land used for ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Is the expression “The States” used by Americans when referring to the US?

Does the expression "The States" have any currency in AE when referring to the US, or is it chiefly used by native English speakers from outside?
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2answers
311 views

“Sofa bed”, “hideaway couch”, “hide-a-bed”, “couch bed”, “sleeper sofa”, “day bed”, and “studio couch” in AE

Which of these terms is (or are) more typical of AE to designate a convertible consisting of an upholstered couch that can be converted into a double bed?
3
votes
1answer
533 views

“Balconies”, “porches”, “decks”, “terraces”, “verandas”, “lanais”, “galleries”, and “piazzas” in GAE and dialectal AE

In AE, a porch is apparently just about the same structure as a veranda, i.e. an open or enclosed gallery or room attached to the outside of a building. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/porch ...
3
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4answers
338 views

“Shag” for “chase and bring back, fetch” in AE

Does "shag" have any currency in modern day AE to mean "chase and bring back, fetch (an escaped animal/prisoner)"? Is its use limited to the pursuit of runaways, or can it be extended to a broader ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

“Snag (a chance, an opportunity, etc.) for ”seize/snatch" in AE

Does "snag" have any currency in modern day AE to say "snatch (or seize) (a chance, an occasion, etc.), and can it be used just about interchangeably with the latter? Or, is there a subtle difference ...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

Why does the word 'calculative' not exist in the Oxford dictionary?

My friends and I have been using 'calculative' and not 'calculating' to describe a person given to doing or planning things only for their benefits; but it seems like we have been wrong for so long. ...
9
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7answers
899 views

Word or term for an argument that is inherently true

What do you call an argument/position that is impossible to counter because it depends on undefined adjectives/adverbs? Examples: Good websites are the ones that are effectively designed. ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

How much of the English language comes from each of its influences?

I was watching a video linked in this answer and it made the following claim: [...] like most words in English is derived from German. That got me thinking. While I know that Germanic languages ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Use of the word “sovereign”?

I know this is a bit odd to ask, but I'm really stumped on this SAT question (Test 4, Section 8, Q: 17). The author is deriding the critics of television. Unlike everyone else, the theorist has ...
6
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4answers
603 views

Noun for someone fun and caring and compassionate

What is a noun for a person who is nice and caring and fun to be around (a noun to refer to the person, as in "Bob is a _____".
0
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1answer
28 views

“to help other people to choose” vs. “to help other people choose” - is the former correct?

I have some doubts about verb patterns. I know "to help other people choose" is correct. What about "to help other people to choose"? It's usually easy for me to ascertain the correct use of some ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

“Directory” for the main board in an airport, etc., informing people on arrivals/departures, floors/levels to certain stores, etc

In AE, is it appropriate to designate as a "directory" the main information board found in the concourse or front room of a public place such as a passenger station, an airport, a shopping mall, an ...
-1
votes
1answer
207 views

What does “can be said to do / to be” something mean?

The various modern revolutions in physics, in psychology, in politics, even in literary style, have not escaped his intelligent notice, but they can scarcely be said to have influenced him deeply. ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

“To be headed for” and “To be headed over to”

Can these expressions be used just about interchangeably for all but the most formal prose, or is there a subtle difference to them? E.g. He is headed over to the garage. He is headed for the ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

“Snub out a cigarette” for “stub out a cigarette” in AE

My bilingual dictionary points up “snub out” as an Americanism for “stub out” as in, “He snubbed out his cigarette.” But, does is this expression current enough in modern day spoken AE to be used ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

“Lobby”, “foyer”, “front (of house)/front room”, “entranceway”, “entry”, and “entryway”

"Lobby", "foyer", "entry(way), "entranceway" and "front (of house)/front room" seem to be used to designate an area or a room near the entrance to a public building such as a hotel, where one can ...
0
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2answers
45 views

Proper usage for the word “obverse”

I believe "obverse" has several meanings, with one being "the flip side of something (coin)." I'm trying to cleverly contrast opposite approaches of a person's management duties. "From a wide ...
2
votes
2answers
731 views

“Sitting room”, “lounge”, “lounge room”, and “front room”

Each of these terms seem to be used to designate a room, in a private house or in the front of a public facility, where one can sit and relax and talk. But, are there any differences to them -- or do ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

“Alligator pear” and “sparrow grass” for “avocado” and “asparagus”

Do "sparrow grass" and "alligator pear" have any currency in spoken AE, or are these terms chiefly dialectal?
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Difference between “Upscale”, “high-toned/tony”, “fancy”, “high-end”, “select”, and “exclusive”

Can these terms denoting something expensive, elegant and/or fashionable be used just about interchangeably, or are there any subtle differences to them? E.g. Alone in a tony restaurant...source ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Meaning of “… is king”

The word king alone is not an adjective. And since it is countable it should be either a king or the king. So the expressions like "money is king" or "the Lord is king" are ungrammatical. How would ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

“Sport”, “sports”, and “sporting” as modifiers

Is there a difference between a "sports jacket", a "sport jacket", and a "sporting jacket"? Or are these merely dialectal differences? For instance, why do various outerwear and sportswear brands ...