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21
votes
2answers
3k views

What do you call words that look like a negation but are not?

I can be nonplussed (in fact that is practically the ground state of my existence), but not plussed. I can also be indifferent; but if you are different, that doesn't mean you care, either. What do ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Term for a word that is unintentionally made up of two or more other words?

For example, therapist may be split into the + rapist, neither of which (arguably) has anything to do with the original words. Another example would be conflagration: con + flag + ration. Or weather:...
105
votes
9answers
8k views

Is there a word for a person with only one head?

Reading this article by the fantastic Douglas Adams I came across this interesting quote: ‘[I]nteractivity’ is one of those neologisms that Mr Humphrys likes to dangle between a pair of verbal ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

“Some champagne for my real friends, some real pain for my sham friends.”

Some champagne for my real friend, some real pain for my sham friends." Is there a name for this kind of sentence? Note: I'm not sure the origin of this, but it is a line in Spike Lee's movie, 25th ...
7
votes
7answers
893 views

Matryoshka words

Since it's Friday and others are playing games, here's another one to take us into the weekend. Everyone knows about those Russian nesting dolls (called matryoshka dolls, I believe). A small doll ...
11
votes
5answers
11k views

How many different parts of speech can the f-word be used as?

In an "interesting" thread of comments we began to look at the word fuck in several different uses. Most of them were interjections and verb uses as would be expected. But, perhaps dialectally, the ...
5
votes
6answers
7k views

Simple yet interesting English game for class? [closed]

I'll be hosting an English activity this week. Could you share some interesting English games which impressed you the most?
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the origin of Pig Latin?

Having studied Latin at High School and not being a native English native speaker, I have trouble understanding what the point of Pig Latin is. The text transformation rules, indeed, bring to ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a verb that fits in the pattern: quarter, third, halve (divide), [???], double, triple, quadruple. . .?

If these were nouns, I would assume "single" fits in between: 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4 . . . quarter, third, half, single or one, double, triple, quadruple . . . Note that each word has a ...
4
votes
3answers
13k views

Words whose pronunciation remains the same with the last four letters removed

A friend told me that the English word queue is the only word whose pronunciation remains the same when the last four letters are removed. I tried to think of others, but just couldn't. However, I ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Sentences which read the same forwards as they do with their words (not characters!) reversed

Are there sentences which read the same backwards as well as forwards once the order of words is reversed? What is the name of such sentences? Just to clarify, I'm not talking about palindromes, in ...