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Questions tagged [epithets]

The tag has no usage guidance.

17
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
541k 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 ...
8
votes
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 (...
6
votes
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: ...
4
votes
2answers
381 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
10k 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
102 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 question ...
2
votes
2answers
370 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
709 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
108 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
86 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
45 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 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 ...