91 votes

Suggested alternatives for "nice-to-have" as a noun

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 ...
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  • 4,170
90 votes

Appropriate word for internet name of a person

There are various terms for this. Once upon a time, “screen name” would likely have been the most common. However, it seems to me that this convention has been driven by the most pervasive websites. ...
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  • 1,075
88 votes
Accepted

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

One option for a word is whit1 : the smallest part or particle imaginable Don't care a whit2 is even an idiomatic phrase: didn't care at all. Sally thought Joe liked her, but he didn't care ...
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  • 3,527
83 votes
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Word for "lose something temporarily"

Consider either misplace or mislay; both have similar meanings: Misplace to put (something) in the wrong place; to lose (something) for a short time by forgetting where you put it Mislay to ...
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  • 2,192
80 votes

A synonym for "picky" with a positive connotation (food)?

Discerning. Having or showing good taste or judgment; discriminating. Collins English Dictionary, as found at thefreedictionary.com The following would work: "We're discerning about the ...
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  • 8,969
79 votes
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diurnal is to day as "..." is to morning

matutinal adjective [formal] happening in the morning: We chatted over our matutinal coffee. [Cambridge Dictionary] Though normal people have morning coffee.
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75 votes
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Which is more wet: ‘moist’ or ‘damp’?

damp: slightly wet, often in an unpleasant way: moist: slightly wet, especially in a way that is pleasant or suitable The same soil would be moist and damp at the same time: moist for planting seeds,...
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  • 4,093
72 votes
Accepted

Word for metallic “dust”?

I think you're looking for the word shavings. Filings would be ok, too.
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  • 818
70 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

How about 'don't care a bit' it rhymes with your sh... word. Here's a link to 'not a bit'; 'I don't care a bit' is also idiomatic. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/not+one+bit
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  • 5,136
69 votes

An adjective or a single word that means something is "new" and "different" at the same time

novel - of a new kind; different from anything seen or known before (dictionary.com)
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68 votes

Secular phrase for "Heaven only knows" or "God only knows"?

"Who knows?" is the simplest form. I hear it (and use it) regularly.
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  • 929
67 votes

Is the word 'Hitherto' outdated?

Merriam-Webster Unabridged does not flag hitherto as "archaic." Macmillan does mark hitherto as "very formal" but it's by no means outdated. Whoever marked you down for using an "archaic" word is ...
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  • 39.7k
65 votes
Accepted

A word to describe an excessively formal process or procedure

... employees complain that this methodology is byzantine! byzantine OED adj. often not capitalized M-Webster Reminiscent of the manner, style, or spirit of Byzantine politics; intricate, ...
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  • 30.1k
63 votes

A word to describe an excessively formal process or procedure

In almost all cultures and countries on this planet, what you're describing would simply be called bureaucracy and a process that involves a lot of bureaucracy would be referred to as a bureaucratic ...
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62 votes

What was “Herbal Tea” called before ‘tea’ was introduced in Europe?

So, my question: How did they call these herbal infusions? During the Middle English period, the concoction made from the herb was itself referred to as an herb. They would say "Drink this herb". ...
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  • 18.6k
61 votes
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Alternative expression for "xyz Nazi"

As @Araucaria says in the comments, Grammar Police is an excellent alternative that conveys the fascistic tendencies of a police state without the genocidal implications.
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  • 2,085
61 votes
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What is the original connection between "nurse" and "sister"?

Yes, nursing as a career has religious origins and, until fairly recently, nurses were generally nuns - sisters. Take a look at the history of nursing on Wikipedia: From the earliest times most ...
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  • 1,159
59 votes
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What was “Herbal Tea” called before ‘tea’ was introduced in Europe?

Tisane. an infusion (as of dried herbs) used as a beverage or for medicinal effects Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin ptisana, from Greek ptisanē, literally, crushed barley, from ptissein ...
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  • 1,506
59 votes
Accepted

Is there a single word meaning "the thing that attracts me"?

The allure for me at this restaurant is their sumptuous ravioli. allure TFD n. The power to attract; enticement.
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  • 30.1k
58 votes
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Synonym for "increase by one" for use in technical publication

Increment, according to Merriam Webster: the action or process of increasing especially in quantity or value In programming this is often used to add one, for example in a loop. In your shoe ...
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  • 7,050
57 votes

Suggested alternatives for "nice-to-have" as a noun

Bonus carries the non-essential nature of what you're after. Maybe "bonus feature", or "added bonus".
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  • 5,056
56 votes
Accepted

What can be used as formal euphemism of "hack"?

I would go so far as to say that unless you are very sure of your audience, you should not use "escamotage" at all, as it is not in broad circulation (0 hits at the Corpus of Contemporary American ...
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  • 58.4k
53 votes

What is a word for a person who thinks they are going to fail?

A defeatist a person who surrenders easily or is subject to defeatism. defeatism: the attitude, policy, or conduct of a person who admits, expects, or no longer resists defeat, as because of a ...
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53 votes

What is a less controversial name for the clothing item known as a "wife-beater" in the United States?

I've always heard them referred to as tank tops, or tanks. Wife-beater may be regional slang; I never heard the term used while growing up in California.
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  • 39.7k
50 votes

Is there a single word meaning "the thing that attracts me"?

The appeal maybe? "To me, the appeal of this restaurant is their sumptuous ravioli." From Cambridge Dictionary: "the quality in someone or something that makes him, her, or it attractive or ...
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  • 617
50 votes
Accepted

On a scale from Optimist to Pessimist, what would be exactly in the middle?

Perhaps this is the word you're looking for: The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. {William Arthur Ward} Collins defines realist ...
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  • 6,545
48 votes

What is a less controversial name for the clothing item known as a "wife-beater" in the United States?

I've always referred (and heard and read others referring) to them as A-shirts (as opposed to T-shirts). They're sold as A-shirts, too.
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  • 587
48 votes
Accepted

Better alternatives to "Save me!" - meaning to save electricity

I suppose conserve would be a more correct (or at least less ambiguous) term for what's meant. But as I said in the comment, "Save me!" is a bit funnier and draws your attention as it personifies the ...
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