169 votes
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What’s a “handegg”?

CBS Sports has this nice article explaining the origin of the word, including a newspaper snippet from 1909: “Hand-Egg,” Not Football. To the Editor of The New York Times: Football is certainly a ...
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  • 35.8k
96 votes

What’s a “handegg”?

It's a football reference. The hat is a football helmet The football is egg-shaped and held in your hands A touchdown is worth 7 points (including the obligatory point-after-touchdown) From ...
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79 votes

Does the term "white lie" have racist connotations?

Conclusion: White in "white lie" is a reference to the perceived moral purity of the lie, an act normally considered immoral. It is not a reference to a race. Sources According to etymonline.com, ...
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  • 3,506
69 votes

Does the term "white lie" have racist connotations?

The OED finds usages of "white" to mean good or beneficent going back to Chaucer in the 14th century, and it finds first usages of "black" to mean sinister or evil in the last two decades of the 16th ...
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  • 43.8k
58 votes

Is there a word that means "multiply by ten"?

I think that the word you may be looking for could be tenfold. According to Collins (http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/tenfold): adjective: equal to or having 10 times as ...
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  • 2,552
55 votes
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Is there a word that means "multiply by ten"?

That word is decuple (Collins Dictionary): verb (transitive) to increase by ten times It can also be used as a noun or adjective.
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  • 26.8k
55 votes

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

I think most (Chinese) viewers mainly took issue with how the phrase "died like a pig" was translated (as it was taken literally --> "像死猪一样"). While I agree that it is certainly unprofessional to use ...
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53 votes
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Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

As a competitive swimmer from southern Ontario, Canada, in the 1970's and 1980's, and a master's runner and triathlete in the 1990's I'm quite familiar with the phrase 'die like a pig' though not with ...
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49 votes
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Does "so called" have a negative connotation in English?

It's true that OED's first definition for so-called is just called or designated by that name, but the most recent citation for that "neutral" sense is 1863. So even though OED don't explicitly ...
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47 votes
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Why is "breaking the mould" positively connoted?

The Oxford English Dictionary attributes the early uses of the phrase to Orlando Furioso, where breaking the mold means basically creating an excellent and beautiful work of nature that is made unique ...
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42 votes
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What is a stronger alternative to "avoid"?

I think the simplest way to emphasize avoidance would be to use the word shun. shun v. tr. to keep away from; take pains to avoid. See TFD Online Note the "take pains" in the definition. It ...
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  • 146k
41 votes
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Has "hacker" definitely gained a negative connotation?

Has "hacker" still a neutral/positive meaning or has it definitely gained a negative reputation? Among the general public, hacker still has a negative connotation. With the exception of "life hacks", ...
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  • 1,065
36 votes
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Why are female wizards called "witches"?

I have actually seen witch used in a male sense as well. If we look at etymonline, it gives the following definitions: Witch Old English wicce "female magician, sorceress," in later use ...
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  • 35.8k
35 votes

Is there a word that means "multiply by ten"?

Increase by an order of magnitude In plain English, if you multiply something by 10, you have increased its order of magnitude by one. More technically, when using the base 10 number system, all ...
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  • 2,235
35 votes

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

Neither 'like stink' nor 'die like a pig' are necessarily insulting in use with reference to persons, although dying like a pig is clearly something to be avoided. The first, 'like stink', is a ...
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  • 32k
34 votes
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Civilian in non-military domain

The word that you want, and that the article should have used, is layperson: noun a person who is not a member of the clergy; one of the laity. a person who is not a member of a given profession, ...
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34 votes

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

The verb land is a verbification of the noun land. So there is not really any "smoothness" inherent to the word. Sure, a meteorite crashes, collides, impacts, destroys, ploughs into, wrecks land, but ...
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  • 2,775
32 votes
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Bonus points, only negative

demerits - Marks awarded against someone for a fault or offense (definition from google).
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32 votes
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Word for: a synonym with a positive connotation?

I think the word you want is euphemism. According to Merriam-Webster, euphemism - noun The substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest ...
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  • 1,079
32 votes
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lie vs fabricate. When to use which one in what situation?

As a commenter suggested, when we use fabricate in the context of deception,1 we imply that some effort went into inventing or producing something disingenuous, either a story or an artifact, like a ...
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27 votes
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Connotations of "quixotic"

On the quixotic — and the Quijote Is quixotic positive or negative, you ask. An easy enough question to ask, aye. But to answer? To answer is something else. For it is . . . complicated. That’s ...
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  • 127k
27 votes
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Does the term "white lie" have racist connotations?

As with any question of political correctness, the answer depends on the audience: There is a claim (presumably ascribed to by Sue) that the English language is liberally infested with terminology ...
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27 votes
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Does the word 'clique' have a negative connotation?

Your colleagues are correct, the word has an English language meaning... Clique: a small close-knit group of people who do not readily allow others to join them. This suggest an unwelcoming group, ...
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27 votes

Has "hacker" definitely gained a negative connotation?

Ethics aside, let's stick to the word alone. Hacker is used more commonly now in everyday speech with it's original intention thanks to meme culture. I hear "Life-hacker" way more then I hear hacker ( ...
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26 votes

Has "hacker" definitely gained a negative connotation?

Yes, it definitely has gained a negative connotation. In much the same way as terms like "teen" or "youth", used as a noun. They are often enough used to refer to people in that group when they are ...
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  • 1,459
26 votes

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

Swimming like stink, means swimming with full intensity. Two historical examples: For 1935: The Scottish Bookman There were also a few (minor) difficulties such as (c) nobody had thought to weigh ...
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  • 10.4k
24 votes

Is there a word that means badge/ hallmark but has a negative connotation?

"A mark of shame" fits your sentence, but "A brand of shame" might be even better here. Brand 3b (1) : a mark put on criminals with a hot iron (2) : a mark of disgrace : stigma (Merriam-Webster)
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  • 3,437
20 votes
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Is a "Tale" less factual than a "Story"?

There indeed is a contra-factual connotation to tale – perhaps due to its long-standing collocation and association with fictious narrative. cf. "fisherman's tale." The ODO has as one of the ...
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  • 36.4k
19 votes
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Is there a non-romantic phrase for missing someone?

Your absence has resulted in a sense of loss. (Pretty impersonal and somewhat morbid. I can picture this being said by some distant relative at a funeral.) It would be nice if you were here. (...
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  • 2,799
19 votes

Does the term "white lie" have racist connotations?

I don't think it is fair to call any word racist. It is people that are racist. A person may find a word offensive and if they do - they do. It doesn't make the word generally offensive. I doubt any ...
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