Questions tagged [connotation]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Connotation origin/usage: “self care” along the lines of “Treat yo self” and “#selfcare”

How has the idea of "taking care of yourself, for yourself (your own pleasure), and no other reason" à la the phrases/terms "self care" and "#selfcare" and "treat yo self" developed over time? "self ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

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.
0
votes
2answers
58 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

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?
0
votes
1answer
126 views

Why is “folks” commonly used as a gender-neutral term for “people” when “people” is already gender-neutral?

Lately, I've been noticing a lot of people using folks (sometimes spelled folx) instead of people. This seems especially prevalent among left-leaning sources that pride themselves on inclusion. Some ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

First tattoo: Against the odds [closed]

My wife is going to get her first tattoo and she chose a phrase in English. As English is not our first language, I would like to double-check if this sentence has any bad connotation. I did some ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

If not now then when - a saying by Hillel the Elder

I'm going to get my first tattoo in English. As English is not my first language, I would like to double-check if this sentence has any bad connotation. I did some research on internet and I didn't ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

What's a word that means “making fun of” with a positive connotation? Like the comment is not harmful

I'm trying to say that my classmates "tease" me for always having so much enthusiasm regardless of the amount of work we have. My goal is to show that my enthusiam is a good thing. Is tease a good ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

The connotation of “boob” and “tit” [duplicate]

The Americans coined 'boob' and left it to the British, I think, then now prefer 'tits', I think Can you tell me which one is more acceptable in polite context or if they are equivalent, what is ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Connotation of “cancer” for native speaker

I am a German native speaker. I'm planning a new blog and trying to figure out the best name. I would like to name the blog "three little cancers" in reference to our surname which is "Krebs" (meaning ...
-1
votes
2answers
43 views

Difference in connotation between “a statement” vs “a statement to make”

I feel there is a difference between the sentences That sounds like a bold statement. and That sounds like a bold statement to make. I think they differ in connotation, but I could not ...
1
vote
3answers
53 views

Searching for a non-neutral term that means “Enjoys risk” which is not Daredevil or Gambler

Searching for a term that means someone who 'enjoys taking risks,' rather than 'someone who is not averse to taking risk' or 'someone who overcomes their aversion to risk.' "Undaunted" is neutral in ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Why is it hard to convey tone of speech through text? [closed]

People often say it is hard to convey emotions through text (phone text) and it is best to communicate serious matters face to face. Can I get some examples where a piece of text can have completely ...
1
vote
1answer
262 views

Is “girl” a valid synonym for “young woman”?

This question emerged out of a discussion on Mastodon about Ivanka Trump being called a girl, where it was claimed that “girl' is synonymous with 'young woman' in English”. Is this true? Is it sexism ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there any difference between “result in” and “end up with”?

Seeing some example sentences of each phrase on my dictionary, I felt "end up with" was used for a kind of negative result and "result in" was more general. Is that correct? Here are some of the ...
1
vote
3answers
131 views

Is there a synonym for 'intefere' that has a positive connotation?

Interfere is defined by the Cambridge Online Dictionary as: to involve yourself in a situation when your involvement is not wanted or is not helpful I am looking for a word that has essentially ...
-1
votes
4answers
165 views

Connotation of “I was led to believe”

TL/DR: Does "I was led to believe" imply "my expectations were betrayed"? Does it have an aggressive connotation? Longer version: I am looking for an internship in a large company installed in ...
-1
votes
1answer
54 views

The figurative use of the word “barrage”

The word "barrage" means a concentrated artillery bombardment. But it is also used figuratively for when someone is being hit with a lot of questions or criticism. The word shares this with the word "...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Has had vs had a surgery/operation [duplicate]

Can someone please clarify the difference between has had and had? For example: Everyone on this ward [had | has had] [a surgery | an operation]. Almost every patient on this ward [had | has had] a ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

Connotation and proper usage of 'impel'

I wonder what the connotation of 'to impel' is. And whether I use it properly in my application for a research job. (1) In my motivation letter I write: "After graduating summa cum laude, the fun and ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is “breaking the mould” positively connoted?

I'm not a native speaker so this may be obvious to some of you. I've come across the figure of speech "to break the mould", basically meaning to do your own thing and not adhere to traditions or rules,...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Can the phrase “once more” be a noun in American English?

Can the phrase "once more" be a noun in American English? I'm wondering if it can, as the two Japanese online dictionaries I'm using for my translation of 今一度 both say that the entry, -which only ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Word for: a synonym with a positive connotation?

For example: "Cautious is just a _________ for being scared." "Opportunistic is just a _________ for being inconsiderate." "Not too bright is just a _________ for being dumb." "Simple is just a ...
0
votes
2answers
734 views

Does groping in the dark have negative (sexual) connotations?

I am writing a blog tentatively titled "Particle Filters: Groping in the Dark for Robots". It struck me that groping has a strong sexual connotation too, so I researched if the idiom groping in the ...
0
votes
3answers
323 views

Does the word “hovel” have an offensive connotation?

I came across the word hovel and I rather like the resonance of it. I'm aware it generally refers negatively to minimal, ramshackle dwellings, but I'm wondering whether or not the word is also ...
27
votes
23answers
7k views

What is a stronger alternative to “avoid”?

In the command form, "avoid" seems to have a weak connotation. For example, the sentence "Avoid Macaroni and Cheese" almost seems to have the clause "if you can" in it even though it doesn't. So, is ...
2
votes
2answers
370 views

Is there a non-religious alternative to the expression “mixed blessing”?

In my writing I'm looking for an alternative way to say that something is a "mixed blessing". The word "blessing" seems to carry a religious connotation. I'm seeking to convey to the reader that a ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

What does a native speaker imagine when hearing “lunatic cat”?

Is "lunatic cat" like "crazy cat" or "it's nonsense, they don't say so", or something else? According to https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/lunatic there is a connection to the moon (see "...
1
vote
3answers
338 views

Does the prefix “pre” connote negative meanings? Examples: “Presage” vs “sage”, “pretext” and “preclude”

I came across the word "presage" through the Vocabulary Builder as below presage (v.) presij to indicate something (usually bad) is about to happen. The sudden loss of jobs presaged an ...
1
vote
2answers
445 views

What is the difference in connotation between “relentless” and “ruthless?”

My understanding is that both words refer to a hard-charging "take no prisoners" approach to an issue.Relentless is defined as, "showing or promising no abatement of severity, activity, strength or ...
2
votes
3answers
236 views

Does the word “maven” have neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions?

I’m in­ter­ested in us­ing the word maven to de­scribe some­one as be­ing an ex­pert, but don’t want to seem con­de­scend­ing. Does maven have any neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions?
5
votes
3answers
310 views

Allegedly vs. apparently - Differences in connotation?

I am a non-native speaker trying to find the right expression for my sentence. There is a study that reports a 55% decline in the number of trades, however, I cannot examine the data or the study ...
2
votes
0answers
112 views

Does “asinine” connote *willful* ignorance?

As a native English speaker, I've always been under the impression that "asinine" has a connotation of willful ignorance, or arrogance, on the part of the person so described. For instance, some of ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

What connotation does, “to have something on someone” have?

Does "to have something on someone" connote wrongdoing, or is it innocuous?
2
votes
2answers
450 views

Meaning of “dismay”

What is the exact meaning of dismay? Is it close to shock and surprise? Or is it closer to disappointment and unhappiness? Or does it mean embarrassment? When I looked the word up in the ...
3
votes
9answers
6k views

Do meteorites really land on Earth, or did the interviewee mean that ironically? [closed]

Technically speaking, landing is coming to rest after making contact with the ground. Yes, but isn't it supposed to be smooth rather than violent? Ships land, as do planes, drones, and skydivers....
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Can you define the subtle difference between “What kind of person …” and “What kind of a person”? [duplicate]

The indefinite article certainly adds something, creating a slightly different shade of meaning, but is there a clearly defined rule or principle for this? What kind of freak show is this? ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Does unsparing have a negative connotation?

I was reading definitions of unsparing Not merciful. Not frugal: unsparing generosity. It seems that unsparing has two entirely opposite definitions. I guess its meaning would be clear ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

Connotation of the word “disappointed”

As a non native English speaker (I speak German), I'm frequently confused by the usage of the word "disappointed". When someone tells me they're "disappointed" that something didn't happen, the ...
-1
votes
1answer
314 views

What is the difference between disgrace and humiliation?

I was under the impression that "disgrace" and "humiliation" were synonyms. However, this excerpt from a New Yorker article made me wonder if there were subtle differences between the two words I wasn'...
1
vote
0answers
173 views

Does the word “glitz” have a negative connotation?

On Google, it is defined as something "extravagant but superficial display", or "to make something glamorous or showy". That doesn't sound negative to me; however, other sources make it sound as if it'...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What word with the meaning 'merchant', 'tradesman' or 'businessman' has the most negative connotation?

I am looking for a word (preferably and adjective) to describe someone who only does something for others if he gets something in return, like a 'merchant spirited' person. I would like to use a word ...
1
vote
2answers
269 views

The use of “male”/“female” (instead of e.g. “man”/“woman”) in everyday speech

In contemporary English, the terms "male" and "female" seem to be almost as commonly applied to people as "man" and "woman". For example, I see people posting questions on certain StackExchange sites ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Can the word “Phoenician” be reasonably used to denote “of a phoenix”?

I'm trying to write a webnovel that involves mythical creatures. I want to include Dragons, Angels, and Demons, and the problematic Phoenixes. The problem I am facing is that there is no ...
6
votes
2answers
341 views

Does the word “sympathizer” have a negative connotation?

Recently, at my work, there was an email which talked about the "LGBT sympathizers" community. What the author wanted to say is the "friends of the LGBT community". Technically speaking it seems ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Single word for a synonym with opposite connotation?

Is there a single word to describe a word that has the same literal meaning, but is opposite in connotation to another word? In other words, what is to connotation as antonym is to denotation? To ...
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Unnecessary vs wasteful action

What's the best choice of word for an action/activity that has no benefit (i.e., strictly speaking, "unnecessary") when trying to put emphasis on the fact that the action is, in itself, wasted? ...

1
2 3 4 5
10