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Is there a term for words that have a single meaning or are only used in a single context?

I want to find some English phrases whose individual words are seldom used outside of that phrase. That way its words show up in the phrase alone, but nowhere else.

marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach, tchrist, RegDwigнt Nov 22 '12 at 23:32

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  • That seems a reasonable list. The question is off-topic here. – Andrew Leach Nov 22 '12 at 21:53
  • @AndrewLeach That list does have a lot of false positives, meaning that it claims words are unique to those phrases which in fact are not. In fact, apart from perhaps fro, the rest are hardly unknown in outside contexts. – tchrist Nov 22 '12 at 22:07
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    Yes, but there is a reasonable list there, with some more below that. Any word can be used on its own, so the question is likely to be unanswerable; although I could be fairly confident petard is very rarely found without some form of hoist. – Andrew Leach Nov 22 '12 at 22:14
  • They're called stormy petrels and there's a long list. – Mitch Nov 22 '12 at 22:45

How about "to boot," in the sense of "in addition" in occasionally used phrases like "... and I'll throw this in to boot?" In American English the only other use of the word, which is an Anglo Saxon word meaning profit or advantage, not the French word for shoe, is in reference to an additional amount needed to complete a tax free exchange of real property.

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    Booty comes to mind. – tchrist Nov 23 '12 at 0:09

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