Questions tagged [epithets]

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43 views

What is the difference between 'transferred epithet' and 'metaphor'?

In the poem 'My Mother at Sixty-six' by Kamala Das (which I have attached below), what is the poetic device in the line 'the merry children spilling out of their homes'? I feel like it should be ...
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1answer
240 views

Is Autistic the new “spaz” or “retard”?

Has autistic become an accepted cool pejorative through constant misuse? While I usually would not bother with Urban, the theme was taken up… Autism is typically said with a negative connotation. ...
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3answers
186 views

Capitalization of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

An epithetical question: Should ALL of Rudolph "the red-nosed reindeer" be capitalized? Why or why not, and where do we draw the line? This was inspired by some seasonal discussion on this ...
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3answers
174 views

Is there a name for the relationship between a movement and a follower of that movement?

Movements and philosophies often have a specific term that is used to describe followers of it. For example, Islam and Muslims, the Society of Jesus and Jesuits, Communism and Communists, even the ...
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1answer
161 views

Difference between 'treatise' and 'epistle'

I noticed that sometimes these two are used interchangeably, especially as designations of older, Medieval written documents. I know that 'epistle' is a letter, whereas 'treatise' is a written work ...
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2answers
58 views

Why is it “Shaun the Sheep” but “Peter Rabbit”? Or Pepa Pig, but Dorothy the Dinosaur

Epithets. I can add some more examples, for example: Charles the Great, Charles the Rash, Edward the Confessor BUT The Brothers Grimm, the Emperor Jones What is the rule or difference in meaning ...
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2answers
1k views

Understanding “whistleblower”

The term, according to the Oxford Online Dictionary, means: whistle-blower A person who informs on a person or organization regarded as engaging in an unlawful or immoral activity. Also from ...
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1answer
49 views

Who are sales-wannabes?

I googled the word "wannabe" and found the following definitions "Someone who wants to be what they are not" and "someone who wants to be famous or successful". But how can it applied to sales? Here ...
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2answers
486 views

Meaning of “someone who can smell an expense account at forty paces”

What does "the ones who can smell an expense account at forty paces" mean? The sentence comes from this excerpt. ‘Nope. You would have been far too busy looking at the tall blonde girls with the ...
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3answers
2k views

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside 'be one’s “friend”'?

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside be one’s “friend”? I was drawn to the phrase, “My short game’s always been my buddy” appearing in the following quote of Tiger Woods in the Time magazine’s (...
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4answers
17k views

Difference between eloquent and articulate

Is there an intended difference between the words "eloquent" and "articulate," or are they simply two synonymous adjectives? When I use the adjective "eloquent" I most often think of flowery, ...
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1answer
1k views

“eldest” vs. “firstborn”

A family genealogist discovered that his grandparent who was believed to have had six siblings actually had two more who had died very young; one died a few days after birth. The firstborn died at ...
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2answers
427 views

Does describing someone as 'sensitive' conflate two different ideas?

Quite often we use the word 'sensitive' in a pejorative sense, ie that the person being described lacks the emotional resilience to cope with an everyday situation. But 'sensitive' could also be a ...
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5answers
1k views

How toffee-nosed is “toffee-nosed”?

Not being a speaker of British English, I was much amused on discovering the new adjective toffee-nosed. The American Heritage dictionary doesn't list it at all, but I found a definition in Collins: ...
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4answers
550k views

What does “thot” mean and when was it first used?

The word thot is all over Twitter. The @lovihatibot Twitterbot routinely finds it in searches for "I love the word [X]" and "I hate the word [X]", in fact it's the most hated word and third most ...
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4answers
20k views

Why does “fishwife” mean “mean woman”?

I have looked at the meaning of fishwife at Collins Language (I can't link directly to the definition) and it tells me: fishwife n (pl -wives) a coarse or bad-tempered woman with a loud voice ...