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

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How should this sentence be interpreted?

So I am reading the essay "On Some Verses of Virgil" by Michel de Montaigne (translation by Donald M. Frame) and I came across this particular sentence. Is there any ugliness in doing wrong that ...
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1answer
326 views

Does the American English hesitation sound “uh” imply ignorance, like “d’uh”?

In British English, a pause in speech is usually marked by the word “er” or “erm” and means something like “let me think”, or “what’s the word”. There is no implication of anything other than ...
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1answer
102 views

Term to describe the phenomenon of people starting conversations when you're about to leave [duplicate]

As suggested by the title, I am looking for a term to describe the well-known (?) phenomenon, that some people often start quite lengthy conversations with someone standing in a doorway about to ...
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1answer
112 views

What is the name of this elevated street crossing thing (In Britain?)

What is the name of this elevated street crossing thing (In Britain?)
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2answers
181 views

Is automobiles only a “car”

If we go by the word it should be anything which can move(mobile) on its own. The etymology section under wikipedia suggest so. But dictionary, wikipedia etc. says that its meaning is car. My ...
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6answers
1k views

Proper verb to denote 'consistent-ize'

Is there a verb I could use to condense "make consistent" or "consistentize" in one word? E.g. another item to <consistentize> across different groups in our process is...
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3answers
292 views

Single word for “faraway places”

I'd like to know whether there is a single word for "remote, distant places" in no allegorical sense, but with a positive undertone.
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3answers
354 views

What word describes the process of conceptualizing a collection of things by giving it a name?

Around 1999, a woman told me about this sort of meta-verb (in English) which I found so magical. I've been searching for this word again but can't find it. As an example, I could say "Look, I ...
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2answers
801 views

what's a “sign-off process”?

I am translating a text which says that during the probation period, the direct report monitors the new employee's performance through a sign-off process. what does sign-off mean in this context? Or ...
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3answers
127 views

Word, phrase or idiom for enforced charity?

Like when you must pay for a plastic carry bag for your shopping in a superstore but it all goes to charity. Little contrived inconveniences designed to extract money from you. There must be a ...
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20answers
5k views

Single word for “going along with the crowd”

What is a word to describe the behaviour where you do something because everyone is also doing this, to the point where you do it without any clear reason.
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1answer
372 views

phrase replacement [closed]

I sometimes use common phrases that I'd rather spruce up with a single word or more direct phrase, or perhaps just by using fresher wording. One phrase I'd like to change is: "was the fact that." My ...
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2answers
94 views

A word for “nobody depends on me”

If I do not depend on anybody, I can say: I am independent And if nobody depends on me. Is there a monoword to describe that?
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4answers
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A person who twists facts to appear infallible?

What is the correct term for a person who twists facts and provides misinterpretations in an effort to appear infallible? The kind of person who is given a simple logic puzzle, fails to solve it ...
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1answer
64 views

generic term: thieves trap

If police set up a trap in order to either identify or even catch a thief (e.g. by means of a bait car, or a special invisible dye on bank notes), is the general term for such a ploy a "thieves ...
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5answers
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Tom, Jake and Jenny aren't looking forward to Thanksgiving. Why?

And "Hen" (their mother) isn't much looking forward to it either. Why? I can answer that question myself, it's because they're all turkeys. Tom is an adult male turkey (also often referred to as a ...
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3answers
354 views

What's the difference between “to lie in” and “to sleep in”?

What's the difference between "to lie in" and "to sleep in"? And could you correct the following sentence please: "I wanted to turn off my mobile telefone not to be called next morning, but I forgot ...
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2answers
103 views

a person with a fossilized mind

How to describe a person who have a fossilized mind? whatever he hears he will not (get it into one's head)
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6answers
253 views

What is “skat”?

I have been reading a report of a mining accident involving a skat conveyor. But I can't find out what the skat conveyor is conveying. I have found some references to a card game:- 1 : a ...
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1answer
107 views

Is there a name for this reading habit? [closed]

Someone was asking for advice about reading only half of the letters in a word. Is there a name for it? Example would be...instead of reading "I won't go there with her" you read "I won go here wit ...
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1answer
100 views

Hypernyms for restaurant dishes

Suppose I classify dishes in a restaurant menu. I would like to classify them by two categories: Category 1: entree main course dessert etc. Category 2: meat fish vegetables cheese etc. ...
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5answers
4k views

Is there a word meaning “my child's spouse's parents”?

If I am introducing someone to my daughter's husband's parents can I say "Hi, I'd like to you meet my ___". In-laws would not work here because they are my child's in-laws not my own. Is there a word ...
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10answers
586 views

Need a word for the inability to feel anger

I need a term for the inability to feel anger. Features desired: Single word Prefer connotations of incapacity rather than benefit Prefer reasonably clear specificity to anger More clinical tone ...
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4answers
655 views

Is there a word for the feeling like you have a spider on you?

So, sometimes when you see a spider, or walk through a spider web, you have this terrible sensation of having a spider crawling on you, even though you know for a fact that it isn't happening. Is ...
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2answers
457 views

Opportunity vs chance?

As a non-native English speaker, I wonder what the difference is between the following sentences: It's a chance to work with you. It's an opportunity to work with you. I ask this question, because ...
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2answers
687 views

'This is so sick' [closed]

'This is so sick!' What does this expression (usually said in a very anger manner) mean?
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1answer
46 views

Anachronistic equivalent for regional disparity [duplicate]

Is there an equivalent term to anachronistic when referring to regional disparities between concepts rather than chronological ones?
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4answers
1k views

The difference between “focus on” and “concentrate on?” [closed]

This is one question in my book: Our company don’t ____ on profits only. A. Concentrate B. Focus The key gives B but I don't think there is a difference between them in this context. What do you ...
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2answers
111 views

Inversion of Spiritual Successor

If B is a spiritual successor to A, then what would one call A in relation to B? The obvious answer would be spiritual predecessor, but that seems inaccurate, since spirit seems to refer to intent - ...
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3answers
269 views

Term that means making humans look inanimate

Keeping personification as a related (yet opposite) concept, is there a term that means "to give humans lifeless or inanimate appearance"? For example, in a recent photo shoot, the photographer ...
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3answers
120 views

Looking for two terms from law vocabulary

I'm looking for two technical words used in law: Someone who accepts the law, they will try to do the best things in any situation. The opposite of number one, they reject any law and at every ...
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1answer
161 views

word to describe a quote often attributed to but not verified to a person

I have seen this word many times but can't for the life of me able to remember. The word refers to a quote which is often attributed to someone but no one can verify whether the person actually said ...
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1answer
251 views

How to make sure “you” is interpreted as plural? [closed]

It strikes me as unfortunate that in English the word "you" stands both for a single person and a group of people. This is different than other languages I have had contact with so far --- there, you ...
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4answers
153 views

What is proper word for “His words vibrated in my ears”

What is the proper way of saying His words vibrated in my ears The context is a man calls some one for the last time.He is about to die.What ever the other person says he cannot hear clearly but ...
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1answer
137 views

Occasion and Opportunity [closed]

At the same time, large companies may take ___ of smaller suppliers by delaying payment. The offer continues, so why not take ___ ? The attacker was ideally placed to take ___ of this. Please, I ...
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What's the opposite of “extending the deadline”?

Extending or pushing a deadline means giving more time to work on a project. But what if you want to say you are changing it so that the task is due earlier? What are the words or expressions I could ...
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2answers
322 views

“A lot of nature ” …can I say it this way?

How can I use the word nature when I want to describe different places with different nature?.Can I say I like living in a place with A LOT OF NATURE.
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11answers
705 views

Calque pairs like 'praeternatural/metaphysical'

There are words (not paired normally) which are, say, close relatives with (sometimes) totally different lives. For example, praeternatural = (Lat. praeter [beyond] + natura [nature]) and metaphysical ...
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1answer
143 views

Term for changing a word to fit another word inside it

Ska does this all the time. The Skatalites Eskanol (spanish ska) Skatastrophic I can't seem to think of a single other example, but I know I've seen it other places.
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233 views

How did 'oyster' come to mean 'an extremely taciturn person'?

Merriam-Webster definition #4 of 'oyster': 'an extremely taciturn person'. Since Online Etymology Dictionary says nothing about, can anybody say when and how 'oyster' assumed that meaning?
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Using 'planet-struck' in context [closed]

I'm writing a novel narrating an imperfect man's attempts at resolving his doubts under the influence of a planet, Uranus. So I needed an adjective to describe this man and I thought of ...
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4answers
284 views

“housing” and “hosting”. Differences

what's the difference between the words "housing" and "hosting" or between for example "I will host a friend at my home" and "I will house a friend at my home"?
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Can I use 'macaronic' to descibe light verses involving three languages?

Possible macaronic confusion: 'Of or involving a mixture of two or more languages.' (American Heritage) 'characterized by a mixture of two languages' (Merriam-Webster) Since in an essay ...
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6answers
557 views

What's the difference between a half-truth and a half-falsehood?

According to Merriam-Webster, a half-truth is 'a statement that mingles truth and falsehood with deliberate intent to deceive', yes, but a bit of searching shows that on-line dictionaries don't have ...
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2answers
69 views

Derivative/relative of “introspection” but for external phenomena

Is there a derivative of the word introspection that does not relate to "spect"-ing oneself but external phenomena yet still contains the spection part? Like for example extraspection (which, I ...
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15answers
3k views

What do you call an event that happens without a cause?

I used to think those are random events but someone over at physics.stackexchange.com insists that randomness means something else so I am at a loss here. Can someone help me out? What do you call an ...
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4answers
403 views

What is a word for implying someone else is wrong?

For instance, if someone says to you, "I like cake," and you reply, "I like to take care of my body," your response is a passive-aggressive way of implying that they don't like to take care of their ...
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3answers
162 views

How to semi-formally address a senior academic? [closed]

What is a proper way to address a person with the title of a Professor in a way which is less formal than "Dear Professor", but still conveys some respect? For example, suppose I am talking to ...
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2answers
360 views

Word for an Origin and Destination without regard for route

I'm looking for a word that describes an origin and destination, regardless of the route taken. The words I've come up with so far, route, trip, travel, etc. all imply a specific set of directions. ...
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1answer
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What does “much to his chagrin” mean? [closed]

What does much to his chagrin mean? If chagrin means feeling of embarrassment, then can we write “I felt chagrin” or the like? What about “I was chagrined by”? Then what does much to chagrin mean ...