Questions tagged [obscure-terms]

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0answers
25 views

Term for a stand-alone room-like structure in a fort (or its ruin)

Is there a single word to refer to a "room" that stands alone in a fort or amidst ruins? The following images that I was able to find are the closest to what I am imagining:
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Origin of 'tump' (verb) and 'tumpline' (noun)

OED says the origin of both 'tump' (transitive verb, US, to "drag or carry by means of a tump-line", OED) and 'tump-line' (noun, "local U.S.", op. cit.) is "obscure". 'Tump-line' means a line or ...
2
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2answers
33 views

Is there a term for when you complain about something, and then it just starts working right?

I often find that when working with different forms of technology it breaks then when you have someone watch it or complain to someone it works. Is there a term for this?
10
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3answers
511 views

About the word 'finewirer' and researching obscure words

I can't seem to find anywhere where I can look up reliably the meaning and etymology of this word: finewirer. A quick search on Google gives you uses of this word in texts such as Terry Pratchett's ...
4
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2answers
304 views

The word ”time” as a conjunction

In "Time travel” James Gleick discusses the OED definition of the noun ”time” (p248). He notes, in parentheses, that it can also function as an interjection and an obscure conjunction. Sadly, the ...
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0answers
13 views

A word for the circular guides that determine the curve of font serifs?

Serif fonts are usually constructed using circular guides to establish the curves of the serifs. Example: Is there a word for these circles?
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0answers
34 views

Term for new or inappropriate phrases that appear when you remove the spaces between words?

I'm looking for a term, if it exists at all, that describes a new word or phrase that appears when you remove the spaces from a phrase. Lots of websites have fallen into this trap, for example: Old ...
10
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3answers
3k views

What does “Rubber off of dust” mean?

Mr. Duane told me at the Funeral of our late virtuous and able President1 that he, Mr. Duane, had accustomed him self to read the Year Books. Mr. De Lancey who was C[hief] J[ustice] of N. York he said ...
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3answers
495 views

Etymology of “Caleb Quotem”

I came across this expression while reading Dickens's American Notes. In context it seems to mean something similar to "all-purpose" or "catch-all," and seems to appear most in English/Welsh writing ...
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2answers
109 views

Gay or neutral equivalent to Casanova [closed]

I've been searching for a bit to find something that fits this. The closest I could find was Paramour which is more neutral, but it's still not exactly the same. I was wondering if there was a term ...
0
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1answer
547 views

What do you call the stores on the front of a building?

What do you call the stores on the front of a building(department stores or apartment) (on ground floor usually) that face the roads with its own entrance?
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1answer
11k views

A word for a person who has a “listening ear”

I am looking for a word that describes a person who is always willing to listen. He/She is your go-to person whenever you want to express your deepest thoughts, problems, and/or burdens. The person ...
1
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1answer
7k views

What is the term for repeating the same word twice or more to create a new meaning altogether?

For example, "rabbit rabbit" is a phrase to be uttered first thing in the morning on the first day of the month for good luck all month long. The origin of the phrase has to do with rabbits bringing ...
-1
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4answers
8k views

People that rejoice in others' suffering [duplicate]

I would like to know what terms can be used in English to refer to people that rejoice in other people's suffering (as opposed to empathizing with such people). What are some of the motivations that ...
-1
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1answer
224 views

mic check term: “It is fine today”

There's a term in Japanese: 本日は晴天なり which apparently comes from English 英語のマイクテスト時の言葉"It is fine today"の直訳。英語の文言は、音素が一通り出てくるため用いられているが、日本語のものにはその機能は無い。 Tr (by Google): A literal translation ...
2
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1answer
72 views

What is a 'plated harness'?

I came across this paragraph reading John Adams by David McCullough, Of London, he(Jefferson) thought only the shops worthy of attention, and devoted ample time to them, spending lavishly on shoes, ...
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2answers
212 views

Does this type of watermark have a more specific name?

Companies often put a URL watermark on their images to prevent reuse/abuse, as shown in the following two images: Image A Image B This seems different than the watermark often added to ...
8
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1answer
597 views

Is there a single word for a cemetery full of tombs that are above ground?

Most cemeteries have graves which are dug out of the ground. However, a few cemeteries have tombs that are all above ground. Is there a single word that describes these types of cemeteries? Mausoleum ...
3
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1answer
370 views

What is the meaning of OCB?

In a scene from the second episode of the TV miniseries Top of the Lake, the lead character (a New Zealand police officer) discovers a dead body floating in the sea. She does not enter into the water, ...
0
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1answer
344 views

What is it called when you replace a word with a phrase? [duplicate]

Replacing a word with a phrase, but not in the case of a euphemism. Example: replacing "United Nations" with "Headquarters of Peace" so the sentence would be, "It would cause war in the headquarters ...
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4answers
399 views

Word that means a situation where one person cannot describe something to another.

For example - A situation such as "describe a color to a blind person". In this situation person A is not blind and can see the color "red". Person B is blind and has never seen red, so the person ...
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2answers
184 views

Antiquated appellations for marks of punctuation

I was in the mood for A room with a view last night, and I came across the expression "note of interrogation" for "question mark," which I found quite pleasing. It seems "note of exclamation" has ...
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5answers
681 views

Term for a person that is “highly influenced by marketing”

Some people in our lives are more influenced by marketing techniques then others. What is a term for someone who gives in to the the powers of persuasion issued by the marketeers? For example, a ...
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2answers
255 views

Is vigenary a real word?

I was interested in determining words to describe ordinal Latinate series numbering above orders of 10 (i.e., "denary"). I found "duodenary", which makes sense based on the latin root duodecim, ...
2
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1answer
1k views

A word for words that are both the same and opposite

I just had a conversation where the sentence 'The system is broken because it's fixed!' was correctly spoken under the pretense where fixed means that it's rigged. Assuming that context of rigged ...
31
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12answers
5k views

Word for not obscure but not mainstream

Is there some way to describe something that the average person doesn't know about but is still not obscure? Such as a musician who doesn't get much radio play but still has thousands or even millions ...
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16answers
13k views

One word for a thing that doesn't make sense

Is there a word for a thing that doesn't make sense, a shiny alternative to 'nonsense'? I want to use it like: <-new-word>> politics, meaning stupid, nonsense politics. Update: by 'shiny' I mean'...
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1answer
1k views

What would be an appropriate term for “silent movies”? [closed]

All of us know what a silient movie is. but as far as I reasearched, i found that "Silent Movies" is not a suitable term because they are often accompanied by music. so, my question is, what could be ...
3
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1answer
186 views

Verb for “say cryptically”

What's a good verb for when someone is expressing something in a cryptic or ambiguous fashion? Specifically: In re the quotation "...somebody has told Heruvimov that Rousseau was a kind of ...
0
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1answer
4k views

Difference between 'spake' and 'spoke'?

The King James Bible interchangeably uses 'spake/spoke', 'sware/swore' and 'bare/bore' for the simple past tenses of 'speak', 'swear', and 'bear', respectively. Were their interchangeability an ...
0
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1answer
689 views

What does it mean to “frank for someone”? [closed]

I am reading "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen. There is a statement made by Mrs. Palmers in chapter 20. "How charming will it be," said Charlotte, "when he is in Parliament!- won't it? How I ...
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3answers
220 views

Visual conversion of numbers to letters

I've looked around the internet, but have been unable to find a word, or words, that simplifies the phrase: conversion of letters to visually similar numbers (or vice versa, numbers to letters). For ...
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2answers
99 views

A term for a concept formed through abstraction and from categorization?

For e.g, lets say you take the number 1, 2, 3, 4... etc. From these list of numbers, you can abstract from these ideas the concept of a number. You can't do this if you only know of the number 1, if ...
2
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4answers
457 views

What is the name of the term for character facial expressions showing meaning in a play?

Last year I learnt the term for a character's facial expressions showing the audience what they feel, as well as their tone of voice in the stage directions when reading a play. I am currently writing ...
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2answers
301 views

What does the term 'Golden Clime' refer to in the following paragraph?

There was once a boy who loved to go to school, and it was no great wonder, for he lived in a golden age and in a golden clime. Please note that the aforementioned paragraph is taken from the book '...
0
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1answer
74 views

What do we call English transliterations re-transliterated into English?

Anime is an an abbreviation of animation transliterated into Japanese and then back into English (It could also be argued that it is a loan word, but for the sake of my point here we don't need to ...
1
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1answer
964 views

“Check out the big brain on Brett!” Is there a word or phrase to describe verbatim quotations from films?

There are quite a few examples of idioms, phrases, or even single words, specially coined for a movie scene or a television sitcom. When adolescents hear these new expressions and find them ...
2
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1answer
559 views

what's the term for who's talking to who?

I was updating a change in my demo app that looks like: -"Wow that was cool...but how can I work with you for python/django/and beyond?" +"Wow that was cool...but how can I work with your author for ...
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3answers
115 views

What is the term for escapsulating content with something else?

I am writing about a research journal article where they start and end the article with two separate anecdotal stories. I want to be able to say: "Two lengthy anecdotes XXXXing the article are ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Word for a gift you get by virtue of your job

I am certain I once read a definition of a word that describes the gift you get only by virtue of your job and not really given to you personally. Like, when the US President gets a rug from the ...
2
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2answers
320 views

A word for a squared layout of differently shaped objects

I am looking for a word which describes a layout of differently shaped and oriented objects that are all square relative to each other, and which leaves a minimum but necessary amount of space between ...
3
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2answers
528 views

“Jiggery-pokery” - Can Anyone Remedy this Paucity?

Reading U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent (p. 8) from the majority in King et al. v. Burwell, I encountered the following term (emphasis mine), “The Court’s next bit of ...
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4answers
1k views

Convincing oneself that something is good

Sometimes we want to believe something so badly that we convince ourselves that it is true. Is there a term for this? Best
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1answer
168 views

'Might' is the subjunctive inflection of 'may'; was there ever a subjunctive inflection of 'must'?

I acknowledge that there is no subjunctive mood in English. However, there are variants of some words that we might regard as subjunctive variants. For example, 'might' is the, if you will, ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Term describing where someone is from or what nationality they are?

Is there a term for the word that describes where a person is from or what nationality they are? For example, someone from America is an American, and someone from Finland is a Finn. Is there are ...
3
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1answer
263 views

Where does the term “key-thong” (for flip-flops) come from?

In the east Bay Area of California, in the early '60's, we called flip flops key-thongs. (The spelling is likely wrong as I couldn't read at the time.) We moved to New Mexico in the late 60's, where ...
4
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3answers
351 views

An expression that is the opposite of Mortons's fork [duplicate]

Morton's fork is a situation where all outcomes are unpleasant. Is there an expression or term that describes a similar situation, but instead all outcomes are pleasurable/beneficial except only one ...
3
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2answers
1k views

A word that describes the experience of pleasure at the sound of a word?

What word describes the experience of pleasure at the sound of a word? This refers to the enjoyment of words being pronounced, rather than to the euphony, or pleasing sound, of a word. I know that ...
0
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1answer
4k views

What exactly is a “principle of action” or a “principle of conduct”?

Initial Context I was reading one of John Henry Newman's (Cardinal Newman for the non-Anglicans) sermons, specifically "Religious Faith Rational" from Parochial and Plain Sermons... Near the ...
2
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2answers
4k views

Another term for “Master Slave”

In technology, the "master" controls one or more devices known as the slave(s). For the novel I am writing, I prefer avoiding the connotation of Master/Slave. Is their a word, term or other phrase ...