Davislor
  • Member for 3 years, 8 months
  • Last seen this week
  • Oregon, United States
Where does the expression "triple-A" come from?
Accepted answer
30 votes

The earliest usage of this rating that I’m aware of was by Moody’s in its bond-rating books from the first decade of the twentieth century. (For example, Moody’s Analysis of Railroad Investments 1909....

View answer
What’s a possible one-word replacement for “applicable in every situation”?
26 votes

General, especially in mathematics: involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group the general equation of a straight line One option you have is to say what ...

View answer
What is the word for using one word to replace another for cosmetic reasons?
25 votes

"Despite the superficial changes," works well in this context. Two related definitions from Oxford: "Existing or occurring at or on the surface," and "Appearing to be true or real only until examined ...

View answer
How do you describe, in English, a set of different ethnic groups in one word?
18 votes

Disclaimer: I’m an American, and other people might use the same words differently. You can say ethnicities, and one word for a society with many of them living together is multiethnic. AndyT’s ...

View answer
What is the purpose of (-s) in "Don't hurts us"?
16 votes

It's ungrammatical, but Tolkien knew what he was doing. It's possible that Gollum is purposely trying to sound childlike and pathetic here. Tolkien might also have been trying to represent that ...

View answer
Meaning of the phrase "womp womp" in American English?
14 votes

When I first read about the alleged joke, I charitably assumed that it meant, “What an embarrassing mistake by the agency. They sure failed this time.” While that is an alternative possible meaning ...

View answer
Writing some as (S)ome - What does this really mean?
13 votes

In case 2, “employer(s)” is an abbreviation for “employer or employers.” You will sometimes also see “employer/s,” or “(s)he.” Case 1 is not standard written English. What probably happened is that ...

View answer
Is there a single word for 'without a beginning'?
13 votes

Good question. In traditional English theology, the closest concept is eternal, which also implies endlessness. Atemporal implies not existing in time at all. Ageless or timeless can literally mean ...

View answer
An adjective for "censorship" when it is really strong
12 votes

Orwellian, after the Ministry of Truth in the novel 1984: A. adj. Characteristic or suggestive of the writings of George Orwell, esp. of the totalitarian state depicted in his dystopian account of ...

View answer
English equivalent of the Malayalam saying "don't stab/poke the dead body"?
11 votes

Another is, “rub someone’s nose in it” or “rub someone’s nose in the dirt.” As defined by the Free Dictionary, Bring something, especially an error or fault, repeatedly and forcefully to someone's ...

View answer
Word for a person or entity who is permitted by society to do bad/greedy things because they have been charitable
10 votes

A good deed and a bad deed might cancel out. People who let them get away with one bad deed are giving them a pass. Metaphors include a mulligan (illegally pretending your first shot didn’t count in ...

View answer
What adjective means "accurately representitive of reality"?
10 votes

Authentic 1a : worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact. paints an authentic picture of our society b : conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features. ...

View answer
Why is "Consequences inflicted." not a sentence?
10 votes

It’s not considered a sentence because it contains no subject (even implicitly, like an imperative). “Consequences” is grammatically a direct object of “inflicted.” In formal standard written English,...

View answer
Was the word that is now considered a slur against Japanese people ever considered simply a standard, neutral demonym?
9 votes

A Google ngrams search shows that the term was rare until the late 1930s and its use fell off very rapidly in the late 1940s. It had a small revival in the late ’70s and early ’80s, when Americans ...

View answer
What is the wife of a henpecked husband called?
9 votes

A Kvetch, from Yiddish, has several meanings, including: 1 : a habitual complainer I’ve heard Jews of an older generation use ballbuster to mean a henpecking wife specifically, I think as a pun on ...

View answer
What is an antonym for 'luddite'?
9 votes

One antonym is the vanguard (“The forefront of an action or movement”), leading-edge or cutting-edge. Another is avant-garde, although this connotes being at the cutting edge of social change, and ...

View answer
What's it called when you get a type of award because you didn't get the award you were supposed to get?
8 votes

Weather Vane’s answer, consolation prize, is what first came to my mind. You could also say that the judges made it up to the recipient for not giving her the award she truly deserved. A consolation ...

View answer
Why is "breaking the mould" positively connoted?
8 votes

To expand a bit on TaliesinMerlin’s great answer: the original analogy was to casting a statue by creating a hollow mold and pouring molten metal into it. If the mold is intact, you can make an exact ...

View answer
The company I work at has this thing we have to say every morning. What is it called?
8 votes

This sounds like a company motto. 2: a short expression of a guiding principle Posters like that in the workplace have also been called “motivators,” and parodies of them with cute pictures and ...

View answer
What is a word like "negate" but even worse?
7 votes

Either preclude or perhaps obviate the benefit would work here. Merriam-Webster defines preclude as: to make impossible by necessary consequence : rule out in advance and obviate as to anticipate ...

View answer
Do the English have an ancient (obsolete) verb for the action of the book opening?
7 votes

One obsolete Middle English word for “open” is unschette (the opposite of modern shut), and a word that’s changed meaning and once meant opened is unlokynne (modern unlocked). An old-fashioned word ...

View answer
Sarcasm without contradiction between literal and appeared meaning
6 votes

These days, it largely seems to come down to tone. A “sarcastic” statement is delivered in a sneering tone, a “sardonic” statement in a grim or fatalistic one, and an “ironic” statement with a ...

View answer
Term for "place of death"
6 votes

The closest thing to this would, I think, be to pick a place where someone famously died and use it as a metaphor. If someone died in exile, like Napoleon, you might write of “his Elba.” One that’s ...

View answer
What is the difference between “they” and “it” for people, especially for those people who identify as non-binary?
6 votes

You will still, rarely, hear people call babies “it” without any negative connotations. This is a vestige of the Old English word for child having once been grammatically neuter, and was more common ...

View answer
What do you call a person who keeps talking to someone even though they're clearly not interested in talking with that person?
5 votes

A less common one is buttonholer. Merriam-Webster defines buttonhole as to detain in conversation by or as if by holding on to the outer garments of So, a buttonholder forces you to listen to them ...

View answer
Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays?
5 votes

It’s used to address God in some denominations' prayers, especially those that prefer the King James Version of the Bible.

View answer
Equivalent of "teri lal" a Hindi phrase which means "you are right" said sarcastically (but not actually meant)
5 votes

There's an old joke about an English teacher telling the class, “In English, a double negative is a positive. But a double positive is never negative!” A student tells her, “Yeah, yeah.” (Or @...

View answer
Job market that is structured in favor of people looking for a position
5 votes

Tight, as in “This is super tight,” (in appropriate context) or “a tight labor/job market.” My answer can’t be a single word with a link, so here’s an example of usage. Here’s another. And another, ...

View answer
Is 'stakehold' (used as a noun) an acceptable word, even though no major dictionary lists it?
5 votes

That doesn’t sound like standard written English to me. The accepted word would be stake.

View answer
Looking for the antonym of stigmatizing
5 votes

Antonyms include valorize (in American English) or valorise (in British English), exalt, extol and acclaim (all transitive verbs), or pay homage (intransitive, but can take to and an indirect object). ...

View answer