Questions tagged [connotation]

For questions regarding the associated or underlying meaning of a word, in addition to its primary definition.

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Meaning of “raz” in English

What comes to your mind as a native speaker of English when you hear the word “raz”? I am going to name my brand as “razmental”, but I’m not sure if it evokes the connotations of the informal sense of ...
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Metaphorical Meaning of "The Offing"

Question I would like to know whether the title of Benjamin Myers's novel The Offing can be interpreted as a metaphor for "going away", "vanishing", "deceasing". I am not ...
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What is the difference between Ghost and Apparition?

I'm stuck at getting the clear and sharp difference between these two words. WikiDiff says: As nouns the difference between apparition and ghost is that apparition is an act of becoming visible; ...
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Is there a rhetoric term for using a pejorative positively or a euphemism negatively e.g. to loosen moral assumptions?

I'm not asking about contronyms or words that migrate from negative to positive connotations (e.g. "bad" or "gay") Examples: "I don't meant to just name-call. I mean to name-...
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"Syncretic" vs "Syncretistic" with negative connotation

I need to translate a sentence from Greek which literally sounds something like this: At that time a syncretic/syncretistic spirit prevailed and the X (name of nation) were influenced by the beliefs ...
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Connotation of 'Fusty'

New here so not sure whether the question is suitable for this site. Based on Google search, the word fusty has two meanings. The second one is 'old-fashioned in attitude or style'. I stumbled upon ...
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Why is a Mormon settlement called a "colony" while other settlements are not?

I was reading several articles about the Oregon Trail and other movements west, mostly after the American Civil War. Several sources refer to Mormon settlements as "colonies", though these ...
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Word for anger out of concern [for another]?

Fearful anger is the closest I've found—compound words/phrases are acceptable, but I'm really looking for a single word. A context example: if a friend or loved one does something reckless and/or ...
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Succinct description of where water meets land?

Assuming that "a water's edge" marginally connotes land, too: would it be correct English if "a water's edge" were joined by an adjective describing the nature of the land? (...
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Is "taking liberties with something" always disapproving?

The expression "to take liberties with something" are defined by different dictionaries as follows: to make important and unreasonable changes to something, especially a book (Oxford ...
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Better way to say "Sorry I asked"

I ran into a situation at work where I had some property I needed to get rid of so I asked our property manager whether I can just throw it away or if there if I need to give it to her to deal with. ...
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"Pretty positive" vs "very positive" [closed]

I'm overthinking here a bit after I heard back from my recruiter regarding my interview performance. One recruiter from one company said the feedback was "pretty positive" and another said &...
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When a wife asks her husband, "is YOUR daughter home yet?", does this make you conclude that she isn't THEIR daughter but only his?

In my native language when I say to my husband "is your daughter home" it's just another way of saying "is my daughter home", no difference. Although sometimes it might mean that ...
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Does "multiple" mean no more than "more than one" or is it better used to connote division, duplication, or repetition?

Today "multiple" is widely used as a synonym for "many," fancy jargon, in my opinion, to say "more than one." Is there any support for a more precise meaning or ...
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lie vs fabricate. When to use which one in what situation?

I'm having hard time distinguishing between these words and come to ask you gracious people for help. I recently learned the word "fabricate". I got into the dictionary for more details, and ...
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Does "have yet to" imply expectations?

I just wrote an email saying I have written to you several times recently with various corrections but have yet to receive a response. I'm wondering now whether this differs in normative content ...
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A less derogatory alternative for "epithet"

An epithet is a nickname or descriptive term that’s added to someone’s name that becomes part of common usage. For example, in the name Alexander the Great, “the Great” is an epithet. The definition ...
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Why would the word "patriotic" have negative connotations? [closed]

In the Third Act of G. B. Shaw's play Man and Superman (a.k.a. Don Juan in Hell), the lead character castigates the devil's friends by changing what is conventionally taken as their flattering ...
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This and that when they refer to non-tangible objects

Let's take this example: ....But on a regular, day-to-day basis, when a task requires thinking that isn’t itself enjoyable, even puzzle lovers’ brains prefer less thinking over more. That is the law ...
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Is "harlot" considered to be a derogatory word?

I'm working on a short story based around the Victorian age where the protagonist is a prostitute by profession. I was keen on using the word "harlot" in my title as it not only describes ...
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Does "giggle" have childish connotations?

I'm pretty sure giggle does have childish connotations (it's associated with children), but my question is really; is it so associated with children that it would seem weird to a native speaker if ...
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What's a word to call a person who is involuntarily used?

In an interaction, one person uses another against their will. Is there a word (noun) to refer to that person? Example: Person A trips and grabs onto Person B, a stranger, in order to not fall to the ...
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Is "persuasive techniques" or "persuasion techniques" more grammatically correct?

I've tried looking this up on various sources. Wikipedia has a category called Persuasion Techniques. However a couple of different Google searches for "persuasive techniques" and "...
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Is there any difference between "putting on" and "faking" (an accent)?

I know they both mean "pretending to have" (a particular accent). Yet, I'm unsure if they can be used interchangeably. Are they both disapproving? For example, He was just faking a Scottish ...
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Does "underappreciated" have a "woe is me" connotation?

I'm editing a grant and I just came across the word 'underappreciated'. It's being used in the context of saying 'The thing that we are proposing to study is underappreciated.' Whenever I hear or see ...
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What does "packaged charm" mean?

from Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye, Chapter 4: He looked around and yawned. “I haven’t been sleeping well. It’s nice in here. But after a while the lushes will fill the place up and talk loud ...
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Does the Word "laden" Carry a Negative Connotation?

So normally one could use the word "laden" to say, The trees are laden with ripe fruit. ; This sentence doesn't have any negative emotion linked to it. But when used with other sentences, ...
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Difference between the prefixes "pre" and "ante"?

Thinking of the words "precedent" and "antecedent" led me to this question. They seem to mean almost exactly the same thing in their more general usages, but "antecedent" ...
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What's a word for someone that is healthy that has a gender neutral, positive connotation?

Hi I'm looking for a word that refers to someone who takes care of their health and physical well being that has a positive connotation and gender neutral. For example someone who reads a lot of books ...
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Synonym for "pivotal" but with a negative outcome connotation [closed]

Am I mistaken that the word "pivotal" has a positive connotation? The outcome that is the subject of the pivotol thing is typically a positive outcome? If so, is there a synonym for ...
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Was the Shark frightening to 16th / 17th-century English speakers?

Undoubtedly, in our Modern-mind-set, for many the mere utterance of the word "Shark" (more so when in the ocean, swimming) brings a sort of dread or at the least, undesirability to the ...
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Love of Home and Friends—like the ridge behind a Bunker! (Meaning)

I'm translating a fable by George Ade called "The Fable of the Visitor Who Got a Lot for Three Dollars." In the following extract, the phrenologist is telling his customer how he is based on ...
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Recent derogatory usage of the term ‘inkblot’?

I have observed the use of the term ‘inkblot’ in online forums for criticizing writing which is deficient in coherent logic and/or elucidation, e.g. “your incoherent inkblots notwithstanding.” In this ...
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How to word "...but with whom we shared..."

I just told my life's story to someone I've known for only two days, but with whom we shared an instant, platonic connection. I know that we in this sentence "should" be I, that this ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Is there a synonym of "transcend" that has negative connotations

I want to say something like, "The argumentative scene in politics has transcended the once epistemological purpose of rhetoric and debate, in favor of treating rhetoric as a tool, debate as a ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Poetic technique for taking a usually comforting thing in a scary context?

Poetic technique for taking a usually comforting thing in a scary context? Context: I was wondering what the name of the poetic technique was, where one takes something which is usually light, ...
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4 answers
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What is an adjective that means constant with a negative connotation? [closed]

The context is that the character is lamenting the fact that his employers are watching him in a suffocating way and restricting his freedom
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I need a word to that means something similar to "marvel" or "savor"

For reference, here is the sentence: The world was beautiful and I was too busy running to _____ it. For context, the character is on the run and notices the beauty but doesn't get to ____.
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The implication of "the problem" or "the problems" in "I don't want to be involved in the problem(s) of my boss."

What is/are the difference(s) between the two sentences? Is it just the number of problems, or do they mean something different other than the number of problems? I don't want to be involved in the ...
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What is an alternative to "Perpetrator" with a more neutral connotation?

In the phrase "He criticized the revolution and its ______" I originally wrote "perpetrators," but that casts a negative connotation on the revolution, as if it is a crime. I don't ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Blunt, brusque, curt, and terse -- is there a gradation of connotation here?

I have two related questions. Do each of these 4 words have negative connotation regarding intent? (E.g., rudeness, malice, inappropriateness, etc.) If so, is there a gradation (or scale) of ...
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Any difference between "give five dollars to him" and "give him five dollars"?

This might be a most frequently asked question, but I am quite confused about the difference between the transitive and the ditransitive usage of verbs such as give, write, and buy which can take an ...
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1 vote
1 answer
135 views

Connotation of "hapless"

When I look up hapless in the dictionary,¹ the definition is basically "unfortunate" (hap from Old Norse for good luck, -less from Old English leas meaning "without"). That's fine as a very basic ...
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Word for: Making stronger together

I'm looking for a word that implies a group of things (which are not good by themselves and somehow incomplete) become strong and somehow complete together. Something like flocking or swarming but ...
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Could "shazam" be used to describe a ninja?

I'm translating some products description from Japanese to English. The product in question is characterized by its compactness and portability. In Japanese, they use the word ドロン (doron), that seems ...
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Does the word "extravagance" only have negative connotations?

Case in point: In his opera Rigoletto, Giuseppe Verdi really goes to town showing off his prodigious melodic gift. Themes, lines, full-fledged melodies: he does not economize. He just throws them ...
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Just, a noun. (?) [closed]

I can't seem to find an answer to whether the adjective "just" has ever been used as a noun in the history of the English language.
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What is the negative connotation of 'great'?

We call a well known actor, a 'famous' actor. Yet a well known criminal is called a 'notorious' criminal. In similar vein, a popular leader would be called a 'great' leader. But what would you call ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does the phrase "born and bred" usually connote a sense of pride and eminence in any way?

I recently had to update my profile for a job role and I used the phrase "born and bred in xxxx" to indicate that I was born and raised in a certain part of the world. I always thought born and bred ...
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What is the etymology of "blurb"? [closed]

I read: I would admire the blurb on the book jacket. How is the word blurb related to book covers?
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