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

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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 ...
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6answers
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Did English ever have a formal version of “you”?

From the top of my head, Danish "De" (practically never used), German "Sie", Chinese "您", French "vous", Spanish "usted" are a formal way of addressing someone, especially if one isn't familiar with ...
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11answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Words pertaining to the senses and the corresponding disabilities

I need help on finding words relating to the senses/perception. I mean this in a neuronic/biological or philosophy-of-mind kind of way. A word for... pertaining to the senses (Is it sensory?) ...
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15answers
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Words with opposite meanings in different regions

I can't recall it, but there is a word in American English which now means the opposite of itself in British English. What words are there that have opposite (not just different) meanings in different ...
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5answers
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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.
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4answers
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Is “prepone” being used outside India?

"Prepone" is a great word - it's the opposite of "postpone". I was wondering if it was beginning to spread around the world at all.
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3answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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Is it supposed to be a HTML or an HTML [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: “A” vs. “An” in writing vs. pronunciation Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? I've often seen people calling a ...
11
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2answers
998 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 ...
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10answers
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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 -> ...
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3answers
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Attorney at law, is there any other kind?

I have wondered from time to time about the phrase "attorney at law." Are there other kinds of attorneys? Attorneys at arms? If not, why do we specify?
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8answers
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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 ...
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4answers
439 views

Hypernym for “import” and “export”?

What word could describe an operation of either importing or exporting? X is to import and export as migration is to immigration and emigration. Porting isn't the word I'm looking for, I don't ...
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12answers
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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% ...
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6answers
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“peak” vs “summit”

According to the dictionary: peak — the pointed top of a mountain; a mountain with a pointed top summit — the highest point of something, especially the top of a mountain In the picture of the ...
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15answers
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Simple word related to “a group of intellectuals” or “a group of smart learners”

What could be a good word for "a group of intellectuals" or "a group of smart learners"? Any suggestions of related terms also invited.
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6answers
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What are common word sets for describing ranks in a profession? [closed]

What are some sets of words used to describe rank in different professions (music, engineering, science)? I'm thinking about words similar to novice, amateur, and professional. In the European guild ...
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2answers
278 views

Word for an Origin and Destination without regard for route [closed]

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. ...
5
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6answers
656 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 ...
2
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3answers
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Term for buzzing or hissing sound often created by vibration

Specifically, I am referring to the hissing, buzzing, S-like, or fuzzy sound that is created when electronic speakers play sounds or music near their volume or frequency limits. I recall having ...
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11answers
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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?
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5answers
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Winter — wintry; summer — summery; spring — ?; autumn — ?

wintry: characteristic of winter, esp. in feeling or looking very cold and bleak: "a wintry landscape". summery: belonging to or characteristic of or occurring in summer; "summery weather"; ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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How to speak mathematics [closed]

I've been asked to give lectures on electromagnetism in English, but I encounter many problems trying to express mathematical formulas since they are written and I do not know how to read them. Are ...
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6answers
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Cell phone? Cell? Mobile phone? What's the “correct” term?

What's that type of phone called that you don't need a cable for and you can use everywhere in the world (provided there's coverage ;-))? And what differences are there between the regions? ...
11
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5answers
861 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, ...
9
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10answers
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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 ...
7
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2answers
423 views

An expression that adds little information

There is a family of expressions called oxymorons which contain contradicting meanings. What about expressions that add little meaning like "fatally injured"? What are these expressions called?
6
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3answers
579 views

Words based on the names of gods [closed]

While the word christen means "to baptise" or "to make Christian", in another sense, it has shed its religious connotations to simply mean "to name" or even "use for the first time". Is there any ...
6
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5answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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Is “alien” offensive?

I understand that alien is used as a synonym of foreigner, as well as a synonym of extraterrestrial. I suspect that people from other planets wouldn't mind being called aliens. But is it wrong ...
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5answers
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When would you say “woods”, and when would you say “forest”?

Is there any difference here at all?
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1answer
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Is there any difference in meaning between 'efficacy' and 'efficiency'? [closed]

I feel that there is a subtle difference in meaning between 'efficacy' and 'efficiency', but I couldn't find any authoritative sources that could help me confirm or refute this. Is there any ...
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7answers
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Is [Its'] a word? (Note the apostrophe at the end.)

I just had a strange flashback to a conversation I had when I was in high school, with a man who was regarded by many members of a particular online community as having an impressive degree of ...
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6answers
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What is the difference between “Class of 2004” and “Batch of 2004”?

What is the difference between "Class of 2004" and "Batch of 2004"? I have a feeling that one means the students who joined the university in 2004 and the other means those who graduated in 2004. Is ...
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4answers
430 views

Aren't adverbs related to the closest word? What about other modifiers?

Aren't adverbs related to the closest word? Does nightly in nightly business report refer to business? Update: I am still confused. Is relation of non-adverb modifiers different from that of ...
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5answers
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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 ...
7
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2answers
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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 ...
6
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2answers
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What is “hoolihan” in “Old Paint” song?

Lyric is: I ride an old paint, I lead an old dan I'm goin' to Montana to throw the hoolihan They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw Their tails are all matted, their ...
5
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2answers
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What does “Can it!” mean, as used by Alex Chadwick?

On livejournal.com there is a transcript which seems unclear. (fish) me! remember the fish came home in a baggy loved me for 2 weeks and then nothing (girl) the fish is talking! (cat) well sure ...
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2answers
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What's a reception room / parlor / parlour / drawing room?

What's a reception room/parlor/parlour/ drawing room? I'm thinking, is it just another word for the living room of my house?
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6answers
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“tag question” vs. “question tag”

I've just read this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_question So regarding this passage: The term "question tag" is generally preferred by British grammarians, while their American ...
5
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4answers
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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?
5
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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Smaller vs. less vs. lesser

I am confused as to some of the vocabulary that can be used to compare numbers and quantities, and would very much appreciate some clarification. I suppose it is safe to say that 1 is smaller than ...
4
votes
6answers
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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 ...
4
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4answers
480 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 ...
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2answers
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What is the meaning of `non-normative`?

What is the meaning of non-normative? Does it mean casual? If I write a document, what requirements must it have before I can say "it's a normative document" / "it's a non-normative document"?
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2answers
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Differences between “vulgar” and “coarse”, “crass”, “crude”, “rough”, “rude”, “unrefined” as applied to language

This question specifically covers how these terms are used to describe language, it is a followup to What's the difference between "informal", "colloquial", "slang", ...