This tag is for questions about choosing the best word for a particular context or meaning.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

16
votes
17answers
3k views

Appropriate word for a young person who behaves like a cynical old person?

What is an appropriate term for a young person (child, or teenager) whose words and actions mimic that of a much older person from a previous generation? Such a youngster would demonstrate strong ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

word: fridges that keep things hot (and not cold)

What's the word for what looks like a fridge but actually keeps things warm/hot instead of cold? hot fridge?
34
votes
14answers
6k views

Appropriate word for internet name of a person

What is the appropriate word or phrase which means the internet name of a person. I mean the nickname that a person uses in almost all places on the internet like blog, IRC, forums, mailing lists etc. ...
4
votes
2answers
455 views

“Prices of” vs “prices for”

I came across two different sentences, from The Wall Street Journal, both containing the word "prices" but with different prepositions, "of" and "for". Here are the two sentences. Audi Cuts ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Is there a word or phrase that means both the answer and the question? [on hold]

I am exploring how to create a game that generates metaphors or concepts that could be created outside of a linear thinking of past, present and future. Simultaneous revelations that occur ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

Committee, Association and Assembly — What's the differrence?

I'm confused by these 3 words and I'm not quite sure what the differences are. I know how council, commission and committee differ, but I can't find it for Assembly and Association. I'm using it for a ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

A record of recorded, tabulated, numerical records of observed phenomena

I am looking for a good word to use to describe a record of recorded, tabulated, numerical records of observed phenomena. I am studying an video game using a system which generates a large amount of ...
-2
votes
1answer
57 views

Whereupon or thereupon?

Marion arrives at the Bates Motel, whereupon Norman comes out to greet Marion. Marion arrives at the Bates Motel, thereupon Norman comes out to greet Marion. Are both words interchangeable in this ...
6
votes
3answers
774 views

Better term for “intellectual jokes”

What can you call a joke, pun, or anything funny that likely needs intelligence to get? All I can come up with is intellectual jokes; is there another word for this? A one-word answer would be great. ...
-2
votes
1answer
65 views

How to express “Help someone secretly”

One of my friend always helps me but does not want me to know that he helps me. Is there a word or phrase to describe this secret helping? Also, if someone wanted to thank the secret helper, is there ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Is there a word to describe the positioning of words directly below other words, as in translations

I was hoping to use a word to say that in a song lyric, the translation of the original language appears directly below the original language throughout the song, without having to say all that. I ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do Americans seem to use the word “delicious” less often than I do?

I am a foreigner and now I am in America. I always use the word delicious whenever I like food. For example: This meat is so delicious! But one of my friends, who is not a native speaker, once ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Professional term for “Apples to apples” comparison

Is there a term which would sound more fitting in an academic or professional setting for describing a comparison between two things highlighting the similarity of the measurement/comparison process?
7
votes
13answers
931 views

A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)

I am looking for a word or phrase that means "a long sought out goal that seems impossible to achieve" but without any religious connotations. Any suggestions? My intended usage is as follows: ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Word combination with “eternally”

I am currently thinking of engraving text for our wedding rings. Idea is to engrave some nice combination of two words (one word per ring) in order to get phrase close to “forever together”. I do ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Do both of these introductions mean the same thing and make sense?

I work with someone whom I have not yet introduced myself to; someone usually introduces a new person around the office but I wasn’t in on this person’s first day, so I missed that. Anyway, on ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

What name would you give to data about a person's illnesses, ailments, diseases and medical condition?

What term would you ascribe to the record of a person's illnesses, diseases and medical condition? Clarification The thing I am trying to describe is simply the record of, or data that reflects on ...
2
votes
3answers
121 views

Idiom or word for a very heavy thing

There is an idiom in Turkish for describing very heavy things: "Heavy like a dead donkey" (Eşek ölüsü gibi ağır). In English, there is a dead weight but it is not quite similar. Also, it has two ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

What are the most common ways to say “die”, i.e. pass away? [closed]

It seems like my question was too broad to answer. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I've edited my question a little. So, I would like to know what common terms I can use instead of the word "die." ...
6
votes
0answers
3k views

How do expert writers avoid using “I” when they have to refer to themselves in their article? [migrated]

How do competent authors, in a refined and perhaps (slightly) formal way, refer to themselves without saying I? I've seen the term "this writer" somewhere. How is it with a native? Are there other ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Deriving a word for the activity of using a tool from the tool name (“grep”)

In a discussion that involves talking about the program named "grep", the activity of applying the program to some data is often referred to as "greping". I was writing - still informally - about ...
3
votes
3answers
109 views

Price per 100 pieces?

In business English, what is the correct way to say: Price per 100 pieces? the context is a table listing unit price when the overall quantity is of 100 pieces. In short: if you buy 100 pieces, ...
2
votes
7answers
105 views

What would be a valid replacement of “as”?

Say I want to write something to say: John looked over his shoulder as he opened the door slowly. However, for stylistic reasons I don't really want to use as in that sentence. There must be ...
2
votes
3answers
58 views

Does not show one's potential

One who has potential, but never gives the effort to show it. What would be the best word or words that match this description?
4
votes
9answers
156 views

Word/phrase for importance being reduced

For example when you stop doing one thing before it's finished, and start something else because you, or someone else, considers it more important than the thing you were doing. The thing you was ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Which email message would it be preferable to send to my coworker, who has a cold? [closed]

Which of these messages would be most suitable? I'm feeling so sorry for you. I hope you will take good care of yourself. I am sorry to hear you are sick. Please get better soon.
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Cheesy fake grins and all!

What is the good word to describe 'comedy movies' and 'ads' that seem very fake and tacky, and which failingly try to draw emotional responses (with fake grins and all) (like some but not all Robin ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

What do you call a person who's just been released from jail? [duplicate]

Is there a specific word for a person who has just been released from jail?
3
votes
4answers
781 views

A general word for weapons which are not considered firearms

Is there a general word for an assault weapon which cannot be considered firearm? For example knives, knuckles, a piece of metal, etc. Could 'Stabbing' be the right word for it?
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Which of “press” or “depress” the enter key is the more correct choice? [duplicate]

I’m reading a manual right now instructing one to “press” the enter key. However, both press and depress appear to be correct, as explained in the question Why is the term "depressed" often ...
2
votes
4answers
105 views

Looking for a word which means: Taking something simple and making it into something complex

Let's say I have a very simple object, like a LEGO car (my cars were always pretty basic) and I remake it into a very complex object, like the Batmobile, what would be an appropriate term for this? I ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Applicable to [object] for [purpose]

My question is about the word applicable. Is the following construction correct? This method is applicable to [object] for [purpose]. For example: Our method may be applicable to ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Word choice: complement of 'Budgeted', but not 'Filled' [closed]

I am trying to figure out a good word to use as a complement to budgeted. I've used filled before, and I would like to avoid using it again if possible. Context: I am making a simple over/under ...
30
votes
7answers
7k views

Word a male can use to refer to a female that is not old or young (girl/lady/woman)

I'm a married male in my mid-thirties and meet a woman of a similar age and talk about business. I want to refer to this meeting later, and it feels weird to say "I met a girl today...," (feels like ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

“What about” vs. ”what of”

Example from page 75 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: But what of mandatory authorities? Are they as “binding” as the traditional terminology suggests? The answer depends on what ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

“X is not dead, it just smells so” [closed]

From what I've found the typical form of this phrase is X is not dead, it just smells that way. Can "that way" be replaced with a so in such a position? X is not dead, it just smells so.
7
votes
11answers
2k views

A word for paying attention to detail

Looking for a word that describes "Paying attention to the smallest details, though they might not matter". Starts with the letter "P"
13
votes
4answers
564 views

Rule for when to use “thin” versus “narrow”

My 5-year-old asked this morning if you would say a road was "thin" or "narrow". We had no difficulty telling her she should use "narrow" in that case, but couldn't explain why. We found it ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

What is the name of these display machines used inside libraries?

They are obsolete now, but I see them often in movies. They are some sort of slide-show projector with a rotating handle that flips to new slide? I uploaded pic of the machine and the displayed slide. ...
4
votes
3answers
603 views

What's the word for a tiny sharp piece of wood under your skin? [closed]

When you work with crude wood (or iron) without gloves, you easily get injured with a tiny sharp piece of wood which remains under your skin and needs to be removed. What is the word for this small ...
3
votes
6answers
501 views

Recommended replacement for 'literally'?

Around lunchtime yesterday I overheard a coworker say "I'm literally so hungry right now" Though misuse of the word literally was always common, it appears in the last year or so it has lost any ...
5
votes
11answers
502 views

Word for substances which help you escape your problems

Is there a word like dopamine, which can be used to describe a substance that helps you escape/forget your troubles? E.g. Sleep is my dopamine Alcohol is my unknown word.
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

A way to describe/categorize music that would rhyme/alliterate with each day of the week [closed]

Good day, apologies for the rather confusing title. My friends and I came up with an idea and started a music appreciation day for each day of the week. The idea is that each day has an assigned genre ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Ideally, how old would the company you work for be?

Let's say I'm asking people about characteristics of their ideal workplace. "Ideally, how old would the company you work for be?" "Ideally, how many people would also work at the company you ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Saying “programming” vs “coding” [duplicate]

I've always thought that "programming" sounded more professional opposed to "coding". But after looking at the words more closely I'm not entirely sure they mean the same thing. But even if they do ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Men who are lured by the seductive beauty of women are called? [closed]

What do you call such a man who is taken advantage of by the attraction of beautiful woman. This person is basically fooled by such a woman/girl.
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Is “two-thirds” or “two thirds” correct? [duplicate]

I just recently answered a question related to how much water was filled in a glass. I answered "two thirds" but the answer was wrong because in the key answer book it was "two-thirds". Please tell me ...
0
votes
4answers
63 views

Something that can not be undone or undo [closed]

A word for something that can't be undone or undo ?
0
votes
3answers
79 views

Difference between “novice” and “newbie” [closed]

I can say "I am a novice in English" or "I am a newbie in English". Is there any difference between these?
2
votes
1answer
114 views

“Nightmare” derivation

I did some research about word nightmare. In most cases this is what I've found: night + Old English mære "incubus." I would like to use the word mare for poetic purposes, but its meaning in ...