Is there an equivalent word to "side" when speaking of the front or rear of something (e.g. a car)?
So, a mechanic might say:
You damaged your wing-mirror? Ok, which side?
You damaged your bumper? Ok, which [insert word here]?
Like "two ends of a stick"?
I don't think so. You'd probably get 'front or back' again from some people, or just 'one' as in context, you've only got two bumpers, front and back.
You damaged your bumper? Ok, which one?
Technically, side can include front, back, top, bottom, and more depending on how many sides an object has.
1. one of the surfaces forming the outside of or bounding a thing, or one of the lines bounding a geometric figure.
3 b : a line or surface forming a border or face of an object
The import of this answer is that side is not incorrect, and as such we need look no further in the first place. I do not necessarily disagree with other answers, other than that they are oblivious to this fact.
The question is based on the presumption that side excludes front and rear, which I contradict here.
I'm not an expert in the English language other than having been brought up with it. Add salt for taste.
That said one term I have seen used frequently in terms of front and rear is facing. "What is the object's front facing? What is the object's rear facing?" It sets up a nice set of useful mathematical concepts where a transverse line across the front facing of an object demarks all the things in front of the object. Same with the rear. It is also possible to describe what is in front on smaller arcs if the object has some depth. This leads to understanding what is to the sides of an object as well. Slice it up as many ways as you want for the utility you need in describing the object in relation to other things.
Front-side, back-side, left-side, right-side, top-side and bottom-side are all perfectly acceptable English terms. I agree that the question "Which side, front or back?" does sound a little strange, though.
It all depends on what you're talking about. Anything with a left and a right side requires either an object with a front and back, or an orientation derived from an observer.
Trees, for instance, have no front or back and therefore no left or right, except as oriented by where the speaker and/or listener are standing with respect to the tree.
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