Hot answers tagged

450

Yes it did, and the formal version was (drumroll, please....) you. In Early Modern English, thou was the singular and you was the plural. Plural you came to be used as a polite form of address (similar to the French vous, which is also used for the plural), but over time this polite form became more and more common, eventually displacing the singular thou ...


130

It should be "are wont to gossip", which means they are likely or inclined to gossip. Oxford Dictionaries Online gives (Of a person) in the habit of doing something; accustomed: he was wont to arise at 5.30 every morning


116

The first part of the joke is the setup, a general question or observation which offers an opportunity to give the punchline in response. The joke is the setup and punchline combined, as either on its own is not inherently funny, in contrast to a one-liner. To the setup and punchline may also be added tags, additional punchlines using the same setup, and ...


92

Swill. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swill swill noun. food for animals (such as pigs) made from scraps of food and water food or drink that is very bad or unappealing eg. What is this swill?! I'm not drinking that!


88

Yes. As far as I know, you actually is the formal, originally plural version (ye/you/your) and thou was the informal version (thou/thee/thy/thine). Over time, thou became impolitely informal and is now no longer used, though interestingly enough nowadays it might even be perceived as more formal than you because it's archaic and survives almost exclusively ...


81

It is often called: dirty money: Profit from the sale of narcotics, prostitution, guns, or other illegal activities. Money that needs to be laundered. money obtained illegally. (AHD)


80

If you're looking for a single word that will express thanks at the same time, I would avoid both satiated and sated; with apologies to @F'x, "sated" is not at all common in conversation, and when it is used it usually has more to do with sex than food. (Not always, but often enough that your hosts will look at you strangely for a moment before relaxing and ...


80

That is quite simply a whiteboard. Blackboard can be defined as: A smooth, hard, dark-colored panel for writing on with chalk. Whiteboard can be defined as: A panel covered with white, glossy plastic for writing on with erasable markers.


77

I had quite a few of these growing up. The one I think is most common is segue. Did you know it's pronounced "segway"? I didn't for a very very long time.


77

From dictionary.com... ill-gotten gains Benefits obtained in an evil manner or by dishonest means, as in They duped their senile uncle into leaving them a fortune and are now enjoying their ill-gotten gains . [Mid-1800s] I think one reasonably consistent distinction between this and @Josh61's suggestion is... dirty money was usually already ...


68

colonel /ˈkərnl/ This has to be the worst word for me - I know that is pronounced ker-nil, but EVERY time I read it the pronunication in my head is col-o-nel. How is colonel "ker-nil" anyway?! :)


65


64

I would say a spontaneous event.


60

bowing How to Use Exquisite Bowing Techniques on a Violin. http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Exquisite-Bowing-Techniques-on-a-Violin


58

It might be called headcount. Per Wiktionary The number of people present in a group or employed by a company.


54

No, there is no equivalent, but if there were... It would probably be something like ouvrier. The reason English has different words for the animal and the food is that the word for the food comes from French - the language of the ruling class. From the link: mutton = mouton (sheep) beef = boeuf (cow) veal = veau (calf) pork = porc (pig) ...


54

I think that the word you may be looking for could be tenfold. According to Collins (http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/tenfold): adjective: equal to or having 10 times as many or as much ⇒ "a tenfold increase in population" composed of 10 parts adverb: by or up to 10 times as many or as much ⇒ "the ...


53

That word is decuple (Collins Dictionary): verb (transitive) to increase by ten times It can also be used as a noun or adjective.


53

Chemist, chemist's, chemist's shop or, sometimes, pharmacy. I've never heard "drugstore" in the UK, though one of the big chains is called Superdrug.


52

We would probably say springlike or vernal (more technical) to refer to spring. For autumn (fall) we would say autumnal or fall-like.


49

I think you're looking for nomadic, which describes a group (or person) that has no permanent home. Nomadic tribes often follow herds of game animals, for instance, so they would have seasonal camps.


49

Polyglot: person having a speaking, reading, or writing knowledge of several languages. (AHD)


47

The word nurse is gender-neutral in modern English.


47

Uggh, as one of the over-literates you mentioned, I have a lot of these. However, I have no idea as to how common mine are or may have been. Facade should be pronounced "fuh-SAHD" (/fəˈsɑːd/). At first, I pronounced it "fack-AID."


46

You could call a person who does that a pedant: Pedant (noun) a person who annoys other people by correcting small errors and giving too much attention to minor details; one who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge (Merriam-Webster)



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