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163

Skeleton key has been suggested by many other answers, but always as a secondary suggestion. That would be incorrect: it is the correct answer here. No other answer suggested, possibly excepting the archaic passe-partout, has this meaning. A skeleton key is a key which has been specially made so that it will open many different locks. (Collins) Many ...


111

Consider confidant A person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others: a close confidante of the princess [ODO]


110

The Anglo-Saxon calendar only had two seasons, winter and summer, each six months long. They had words for other periods of the year, but they weren't considered seasons. At some point near the beginning of Middle English1, a four-season calendar was adopted. However, the other two seasons didn't have definite names. We can see from the OED that their names ...


108

German is from the Latin word germani; unlike the similar-looking demonyms Englishman and Frenchman, it is etymologically unrelated to the word man and does not form a plural the same way.


105

icon. from The Free Dictionary (TFD) a person or thing regarded as a symbol of a belief, nation, community, or cultural movement The word icon originally had a deep religious significance, being (TFD) A representation or picture of a sacred or sanctified Christian personage, traditionally used and venerated in the Eastern Church. Rosa Parks has an almost ...


95

You can't drop what you never had. Guard (noun) according to the Oxford English Dictionary comes from: French garde, earlier also guarde (= Italian guarda, Spanish guarda) < Romance *guarda, < Old Germanic *wardâ. The noun "guard" predates the verb in English. The verb to guard comes either from the noun or from the same French word the ...


91

When contrasting with "necessity", Doug's option is a typical contrast. Maintenance shouldn't be an option, but an all-important necessity. Another contrast tends to be luxury. Maintenance shouldn't be a luxury, but an all-important necessity.


83

Pot is short for "potentiometer". It's the doodad behind the panel, connected to the knob, that divides the voltage ("potential") between two ends of an element. It does not mean knob, nor does it mean dial. Loosely also used to refer to a rheostat, which is an adjustable resistance rather than two resistances that are used to divide voltage.


82

The noun for an inhabitant of Britain is Briton. British is an adjective. For many countries, the adjective and noun are identical. As you've found, German and American are good examples. The noun for an inhabitant of China has historically been Chinaman but in recent times, the word Chinese has been increasingly used.


82

A spoon has a bowl. A fork merges at its neck into a root carrying prongs or tines Source: Visual dictionary online 1 and 2


76

"Lemma" is from a Greek word that had t in some of its forms Etymologically, the t in lemmatize comes from the stem of the Greek word λῆμμα, which is the source of the English word lemma. Greek nouns have many inflected forms: the citation form λῆμμα is just the nominative (and accusative) singular form. Most other forms of a Greek noun are built ...


75

For one thing, you cannot say “came back from the death”: death takes no article here. Death works as an abstract condition not a particular instance of one, much like life or hope or joy or sadness or despair. You would not lose the hope; you would just lose hope in general. You would not return from the sadness — unless it were the sadness that befell you ...


73

My guess is that distro might have been inspired by shortenings like repo[sitory], algo[rithm], memo[randum] &c.


70

These words are in the sci. fi. vernacular, and have been since the 1970s. link hoopy really together guy frood really amazingly together guy They are often used together for emphasis. That Ford Prefect's one really hoopy frood.


70

Consider tenet. ODO: tenet NOUN A principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy: ‘the tenets of classical liberalism’ ‘No culture or religion can boast that its tenets are unique.’ ‘He was no stranger to the tenets of humanist educational theory.’


69

If the policeman is wearing everyday clothes as part of an assignment, if he or she is on duty at the moment and normally wears a uniform but not for this particular job, then I would say undercover. Undercover implies that the policeman is actively trying to hide the fact that they are police. Plainclothes is usually used to describe officers who don't ...


69

According to etymonline.com, the word pussy is a diminutive of the word puss, which means cat, and which was also used as both an insult and, subsequently, a term of endearment for women (emphasis mine): puss (n.1)  "cat," 1520s, but probably much older than the record, perhaps imitative of the hissing sound commonly used to get a cat's attention....


68

I can't think of a noun, but you can say "that person is apathetic". Apathetic at Oxford Dictionaries adjective showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern


68

The rhetorical term for the phenomenon you describe is catachresis. Catachresis has been defined by Robert A. Harris as "an extravagant, implied metaphor using words in an alien or unusual way." A noun, for example, could be used as a verb, as in the case of "I'm gonna have to science . . .." Harris gives an example which is similar to Matt Damon's sentence:...


64

"Translate" here refers to the name of the product: Google Translate. This makes it a noun-adjunct, I believe. You can see them use the full name elsewhere, when they have more room (emphasis added): Help improve Google Translate You can help make our translations better, and even add new languages, as part of the Google Translate Community.


63

The letters we think of as vowels 'a, e, i, o, u' are commonly associated with (at least) two different actual vowel sounds. These are so deeply embedded into the minds of English speakers that most speakers won't stop to think that in contemporary English there is no phonetic relationship between these vowels at all. In British English RP we can observe ...


63

I wasn't able to find any dictionary which included plant-based food in the definition of "seafood." Merriam-Webster (American English): edible marine fish and shellfish American Heritage: Edible fish or shellfish from the sea. Chambers (British): Shellfish and other edible marine fish. Some other sources: The US FDA has a searchable "seafood ...


61

The simple answer is that you’re asking the question the wrong way about. In language, the central and most important way to inflect words is always what might be termed the ‘regular’ ones. The patterns that occur most frequently and are most flexible and applicable to the most roots. In English, the regular pluralising pattern is adding /z/ (with some ...


57

Due to the Latin influence, "-o" is a much more natural-sounding ending for a singular noun in English than "-i". My best guess is that this subconsciously affected the coinage.


57

Bonus carries the non-essential nature of what you're after. Maybe "bonus feature", or "added bonus".


54

There is a class of noun called, interestingly, Picture Nouns. These include picture, description, story, painting, and any other noun that refers to a representation of something else. There are hundreds, and they have very peculiar syntax, because they're very peculiar semantically. All nouns are representations of something else, but picture nouns are ...


53

TL;DR: The premise that autumntime “is not a word” is faulty: it is a word. Unlike most dictionaries, the OED does include autumn-time. It is quite rare in comparison with the other seasons’ versions. Variations in punctuation, spacing, and capitalization do not matter. This answer is not meant to detract from Peter Shor’s, which I believe is both ...


53

I decided to turn to existing forms rather than just reaching into the air for an obscure term. Here's the USCIS I-129F form, which is a government form that might be prepared by someone other than the petitioner. They call this person the preparer.


51

As Sven Yargs suggests, you eat a can of Pringles, or a tube of Pringles. Bottle is definitely not a suitable word here. A bottle is something that has a narrow opening, and would typically be used to contain fluid. A glass or plastic container with a narrow neck, used for storing drinks or other liquids: he opened the bottle of beer Oxford dictionaries


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