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3k views
What word denotes a belief that apparently inanimate objects actually express a malicious, autonomous will?
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85 votes

Resistentialism Resistentialism is a jocular theory to describe "seemingly spiteful behavior manifested by inanimate objects", where objects that cause problems (like lost keys or a runaway bouncy ...

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13 answers
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What is the term for when you become more aware of something?
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80 votes

It is called the "Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon" or "frequency illusion". Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one happens upon some obscure piece of information-- often an ...

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4 answers
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What is the name of this "yawning like" movement?
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63 votes

There is a specific name for it: pandiculation. A stretching and stiffening of the trunk and extremities, as when fatigued and drowsy or on waking, often accompanied by yawning. http://en.wiktionary....

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21 answers
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How to jokingly express an "if you pay me, I'll say it" attitude?
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60 votes

You can consider the proverb He who pays the piper calls the tune. The person who provides the money for something has the right to determine how it’s spent. [OD]

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11 answers
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Is there a word or expression for when someone passionately wants something, and then discovers afterwards that it's different from how he imagined?
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56 votes

I would go with disillusionment. A feeling of disappointment, akin to depression, arising from the realization that something is not what it was expected or believed to be, possibly accompanied by ...

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Is there any English/American equivalent for the Hungarian phrase "beating the nettle with someone else's penis"?
49 votes

There is an idiomatic phrase that conveys this idea and has the metaphoric similarity: to make a cat's paw of someone or use someone as a cat's paw It is more commonly used as just cat's paw in ...

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12 answers
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Is there a word for a "cheap page-turner"?
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47 votes

I think what you are looking for is a potboiler. A potboiler or pot-boiler is a low-quality novel, play, opera, film, or other creative work whose main purpose was to pay for the creator's daily ...

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5 answers
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What's the single word to describe the smell of the perfume of someone who just walked by?
46 votes

The word is unsurprisingly from French: sillage. Sillage (pronounced as see-yazh) is a term used to describe a scented trail left by the fragrance wearer. It comes from the French word for “wake,” ...

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13 answers
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Is there a male equivalent of 'bitch'?
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In most general sense, "bastard" can be an equivalent and it seems like the most universal term. (even in some other languages) As in "You bastard!" versus "You bitch!". ...

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Are there English equivalents to the Japanese saying, “There’s a god who puts you down as well as a god who picks you up”?
38 votes

when one door closes, another opens When one opportunity is lost, another opportunity soon becomes available. Alternative forms when one door closes, another door opens when one door closes, ...

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8 answers
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Name that fallacy: If it's more expensive it must be better
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36 votes

The name of the fallacy is appeal to wealth or argumentum ad crumenam. An appeal to wealth (argumentum ad crumenam) occurs when more money involved means something is truer or better, exploiting the ...

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3 answers
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What's a word or phrase that means "get together with people informally to play music"?
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36 votes

It is called a jam session. It is sometimes shortened as jam. (jam is used as a verb as well.) An informal gathering of musicians to play improvised or unrehearsed music. [TFD]

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18 answers
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What is a non-gendered synonym for "macho"?
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36 votes

In computer world, it seems like hardcore programmer is used in this sense and "Real programmer" phenomenon is compared to No true Scotsman fallacy. [However, hardcore programmer might be used in ...

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20 answers
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4k views
Word or short phrase for something that constantly monitors
34 votes

It is a... monitor. An instrument or device for continuously measuring some quantity or property (in early use chiefly levels of radioactivity). [OED] It is usually used for medical devices but ...

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How did "s***" and "the s***" come to mean opposite things?
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33 votes

It looks like it is originated as a slang term for drugs, then gained a broader usage in time. Below is an excerpt from The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English ...

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4 answers
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Is there any noun in English which changes the first letter in the plural?
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33 votes

The only one I could find is cow/kine. However, kine is mentioned as an archaic plural of cow in most dictionaries including OED but Wikipedia and Wiktionary mentions as regional or dialectal also. ...

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Is there a saying or proverb for a situation where the weakest party will always lose?
33 votes

There is a proverb for this: The weakest go to the wall From the book "The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs" By Martin H. Manser (2007):

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13 answers
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Is there a slang word or idiom for someone who borrows money from friends or relatives and never (or rarely) pays them back?
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33 votes

You can consider welch or welcher. These terms are used for people who fail to repay a small debt. The debt is usually a betting or gambling debt but these terms can be applied to other contexts as ...

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3 answers
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Term for deliberately gaming the preview screen of YouTube
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31 votes

It is called thumbnail cheat. a famous trick used on video sharing sites such as You tube, where users stick a random softcore porn picture (i.e. female assets and chicks seemingly engaged in sensual ...

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7 answers
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Is there a word or phrase for walking into a room to get something but then forgetting what you went in there to get?
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31 votes

In psychology, it is called doorway effect or location updating effect. Researchers already know that walking from one space to another makes people more likely to forget tasks when compared to ...

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What to call someone who always sincerely shows on the outside how and what he feels on the inside?
30 votes

A genuine person fits also. free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere: a genuine person. It can also be applied to personal attributes like feelings, sympathy etc.

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Is there a single word that means “hitting the target but missing the point”?
30 votes

Not a single word but there is a phrase related: the cure is worse than the disease (figuratively) The solution or proposed solution to a problem produces a worse net result than the problem ...

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An idiom for "beginning in the wrong end"
29 votes

There is an idiom that conveys the idea: to put the cart before the horse Fig. to have things in the wrong order; to have things confused and mixed up. (Also with have.) to do things in the wrong ...

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Is there a word for a person who believes all events - past, present and future - have all been predetermined?
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28 votes

A fatalist or a predestinarian. predestinarian: A person who believes in predestination; a fatalist. Also in extended use. [OED] From a philosophical standpoint: In philosophy, a fatalist is ...

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"Country" is to "compatriot" as "species" is to what?
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28 votes

The word is conspecific. It is used both as an adjective and a noun*; and you can use as a noun in your example. Two or more individual organisms, populations, or taxa are conspecific if they belong ...

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10 answers
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What do we call questions which have a definite, known answer?
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28 votes

It is called a factual question. Because the answer is a fact rather than a subjective opinion. factual Concerned with what is actually the case rather than interpretations of or reactions to ...

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What is the term describing someone who has interest in only a narrow field, and nothing else?
27 votes

Consider single-minded having only one purpose, goal, or interest : focused on one thing

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What do you call the habit of looking into smartphone while walking?
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26 votes

There is the term smartphone zombie. A smartphone zombie is a pedestrian who walks slowly and without attention to their surroundings because they are focussed upon their smartphone. Wikipedia ...

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8 answers
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At Night or In the Night?
25 votes

The bottom line is "it's idiomatic" as mentioned but I can offer the below rationale: 1. The origin of "at night" to indicate a point of time and the usage of prepositions "in" and"at" In olden ...

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Is there English proverb or saying equivalent to Chinese / Japanese common proverb 李下に冠を正さず- Don’t touch (redress) your coronet under the plum tree?
25 votes

I'm going to suggest you to remain above suspicion. Because, the main idea in your question is "don't do things that can make you look suspicious". The idiom "above suspicion" comes from Caesar's ...

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