Questions tagged [vocabulary]

This tag is for questions about a body of words. It should not be used to inquire about the definition of a specific word.

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59 votes
16 answers
28k views

What do you call the act of drinking a whole bottle of, say, water in one go?

What do you call the act of drinking a whole bottle of, say, water in one go? It doesn't have to be water.
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  • 593
43 votes
2 answers
376k views

Photo Vs. Picture Vs. Image : What is the difference between them?

Sometimes I hear people say 'Photos' and some time I hear them say 'Pictures'. In addition, I sometimes encounter the word 'Image'. In my understanding I feel that all of them are the same but I'm not ...
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  • 613
40 votes
6 answers
29k views

What is the brown cardboard covering coffee cups called in English?

I recently got into an awkward situation when I wasn't able to ask for a 'warmth protector thingy' in Starbucks, and wasn't accurately able to describe it, so could someone tell me what you would call ...
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  • 768
30 votes
10 answers
6k views

When should I use 'thaw' and 'melt'?

Thaw seems to be used when thawing something, like food. Melt seems to be used with ice. Some dictionary definitions seem to conflict with these statements. When should each word be used?
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  • 703
29 votes
3 answers
11k views

Why is it correct to say "me busy."?

I was playing Warcraft. I clicked on my peon. He told me: "me busy. leave me alone." Why is it OK to say it that way instead of just "I'm busy."?
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25 votes
6 answers
10k views

What do you call the imprinted pattern left behind a car in mud?

What's the name for this ... chase? stria? groove? In Czech, we call it "stopa" - which literally translates as "footprint" but has a lot of other meanings as well so I can't really work out which of ...
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  • 1,549
24 votes
3 answers
37k views

Difference between "uptown", "downtown" and "midtown"

I've noticed a frequent usage of the words uptown and downtown while watching movies made in the USA. Also the word midtown is seldom used. What is the difference between them? Is possible they can ...
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22 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does the believoisie mean?

Examples: Thankfully, though, Hitchens' score-settling asides to the believoisie don't take up the bulk of Mortality. It has something to do with a litany of grievances against the believoisie so ...
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20 votes
3 answers
4k views

The origin of 'feed' in 'line feed'

A line feed means moving one line forward. It's definition references feed. In summary,'feed' has three meanings Give food to. Supply with material or power. Cause to pass gradually and steadily, ...
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  • 2,650
20 votes
6 answers
3k views

What do native speakers think of word roots?

As the number of English vocabularies required by my English literature teacher is increasing, I am now confronting a great problem memorizing them in a short time. Simple words are okay to me, but it'...
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18 votes
7 answers
7k views

What do you call this thing? "bag"?

I always need this when I buy stuff from the market. So, I need to know the real name for it. I always call it "bag" but it seems that it is not the correct name.
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16 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is PC used as an English expression for a computer in English speaking countries?

Japanese people call computers PC in Japanese-made katakana expression. English speakers usually use laptops for that. Is PC used to mean a computer in English-speaking countries?
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  • 331
16 votes
4 answers
52k views

What is the difference between “within” and “inside”?

Here is the definition of the word within from Oxford Dictionary: inside (something) So does that mean the two words have no difference, and can be used exchangingly? Is there any connotation that ...
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15 votes
2 answers
12k views

"Mobile homes" in American and British English

I'm always getting these types of mobile homes mixed up. Could someone please explain the difference between the following? A mobile home. Is this any home that can be towed by a car? Is this ...
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  • 22.3k
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

What does "I am all stomach" mean?

What does I am all stomach mean? A: ‘’It’s my turn for a gift. I would like to take you to lunch. To my favorite spot.’’ B: ‘’I am all stomach, professor!’’ Lonely Man Full of Love
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  • 189
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Does the idiom «to cross the pond» exist?

Recently I had a conversation with a native speaker. During it he has mentioned some movie reference. I guess he was not sure whether I have got it so he has also sent me a link to that movie ...
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14 votes
5 answers
5k views

What is the difference between scissors and shears?

I never saw this word "shears", but I found it on the internet and I went to search the meaning of that. Well, if scissors and shears have the same meaning. Let me know how to use each one.
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  • 303
14 votes
4 answers
12k views

What does "scaredy" mean in 'Don't be a scaredy cat'?

Don't be a scaredy cat. What does scaredy mean in the given sentence? Can I use it singly or is it always paired with cat? Does it refer to someone who is a coward or is shy? That is, would it be ...
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  • 908
14 votes
3 answers
828 views

A different concept of difficult English words

I’m interested in building up my English vocabulary, but whenever I look for “difficult English words” or “advanced vocabulary” I’m presented with a list of polysyllabic words such as: aberration, ...
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  • 157
13 votes
5 answers
4k views

What is the grandchild of a parents's siblings called? [duplicate]

I know that my parents' siblings' child is my cousin. But what about the grandchild of my parents' siblings?
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  • 235
13 votes
3 answers
6k views

Are body parts like thighs, hips etc. considered private parts too?

When we use the phrase 'private parts' do we refer to 'thighs' also or this phrase only refers to parts like urinary organ, hips, etc?
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is "drawable" a correct word?

In French, we have the word "dessinable" which is an adjective for something that can be "dessiné" or in English that can be drawn. However, when I search the term "drawable&...
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  • 671
13 votes
5 answers
9k views

Can I say "I was born in a place but bred in another place" instead of using "born and bred" in pair?

I am wondering If I tell people that I was born in Melbourne but bred in Sydney, will the people think that I am married and have many children in Sydney? Because when someone "breeds" then it ...
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  • 5,465
12 votes
5 answers
3k views

Does "legal poaching" exist?

I heard the illegal poaching being uttered so many times in a TV show, about animals, that my ear of a non-native speaker, made me questioning the validity of the term. I have made some Ngram ...
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  • 11.3k
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there a difference between "spectacles" and "glasses"? Is there a US-UK English difference or is it just preference for one word over other?

I recall that "spectacles" would be the preferred word when I was growing up. It was often shortened to "specs". "Glasses" were the ones you wore either in the sun (...
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  • 327
12 votes
4 answers
14k views

What is the difference between "job" and "job opportunity"?

Currently, I am looking for a job. Or am I looking for a job opportunity? Or is the hiring company having a job opportunity for people like me? Can I use "I am looking for a job/job opportunity" ...
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Broken patches on a road

Are the broken patches on the road called holes? If not, then what do we call them? What exactly a hole is? One that is from one surface to another?
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12 votes
2 answers
64k views

butt, bottom, buttock and ass?

A woman's butt was allegedly touched by a man several times during a commute on the MRT. How to use butt, bottom, buttock and ass? I am confusing with these words.
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  • 617
12 votes
5 answers
48k views

Informatics vs. Computer Science

In French, we use the term informatique for computer science, as the latter can be seen as the science that studies the treatment of information. Is informatics a synonym for computer science? If not, ...
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12 votes
7 answers
1k views

"The notice reads" vs. "The notice recites"

To my US English ear, "The notice recites" sounds wrong. I think one recites poetry but the notice itself can't recite anything. I checked with Merriam Webster and it seems to back up my point of ...
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  • 1,662
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is "hunch" the right word for this situation?

When I was leaving home for a language learning center, something inside my mind was trying to tell me to walk instead of taking a bus or I would be late for the class. I might be too tired to walk ...
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  • 5,465
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the difference between the verbs "put on" and "wear"?

I ... my new shoes at the party. Which option is appropriate to complete that sentence: wore put on was wearing was putting on
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What do you call in English for the words like this 'rotor'?

Consider the word rotor. Whichever way you read it, from left to right or from right to left, you get the same word. Is there any specific word for words like this?
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  • 267
11 votes
4 answers
64k views

shore, shoreline, beach, coast, coastline

I have browsed the Internet several times, and eventually, I failed to learn what is the difference exactly between those. It would be appreciated, if someone please through a marked or signed ...
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  • 5,767
11 votes
2 answers
602 views

Meaning of 'earth'

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and ...
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  • 24.1k
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Meaning of "just" in "she just doesn't know..."

She just doesn‘t know how to bring up children. In the above sentence, what does just mean?
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  • 351
10 votes
8 answers
7k views

Grey hair or white hair

In my region is it usual that we say 'white' for hair which is not black or brown anymore as the age passes. But I've recently come to know that the word 'grey' can also be used instead of 'white'. ...
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10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is "stove element" a common name for this object?

I read in a book it's called a oven stove element, and I used this word. But it might sound formal, is there another more common name for it? If not, what else is it called?
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  • 1,242
10 votes
1 answer
4k views

If something happened again, did it recur or reoccur?

This video (from 8 min.53 sec.) shows that the verb recur is often pronounced as reoccur, and the host of the show explains this as a case of a mispronunciation: there's no such word as "reoccur" and ...
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  • 9,283
10 votes
2 answers
50k views

What we can use "there" or "over there" [closed]

When we can use word "there" and when "over there"? I could not find the answer in the dictionary.Thanks
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  • 163
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is "obey" a stronger word than "observe" in the following sentence?

In a film from an English teaching youtube channel at 5:40 around, the female teacher is expressing that using "obey" instead of "observe" is a little too odd and strong in the ...
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9 votes
4 answers
14k views

What's the difference between verbs pee and piss?

I wonder what's the difference between these two verbs given that the dictionaries translate it the same way?
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  • 1,890
9 votes
2 answers
52k views

get to know VS. come to know

Would you please tell me if the following mean the same? if so, which one do native speakers use more? Get to know VS. come to know I am sure there is some subtle difference between these. I am ...
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  • 5,767
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the difference between 'shop' and 'store'?

Why can't 'convenience store' be 'convenience shop'? And why can't 'coffee shop' be 'coffee store'? Can you tell me the exact difference between the two words?
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9 votes
1 answer
82k views

What is the difference between "it seems" and "it looks like"?

Many times while I talked to others or wrote some text messages I got confusion about which phrase I should use to express the actual meaning of the words It seems . . . and It looks like . ....
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between "electric", "electrical", and "electronic"?

Looking at all the adjective forms, I wonder what is the differences between "electric", "electrical", and "electronic"? I get so confused and want to know the usage.
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  • 353
9 votes
1 answer
759 views

What is the meaning of 'furled' in "The smoke furled dreamily from its navy blue nostrils"?

The smoke furled dreamily from its navy blue nostrils and wafted gently into the evening, almost indistinguishable from the exhaust fumes of the cars below it. I'm unsure what the meaning of ...
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8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is there a noun for a man who wrote a best-seller book?

Is there a noun for a man who wrote a best-seller book? Or shall we describe by "this man who wrote a best-seller book"?
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  • 671
8 votes
5 answers
19k views

“puked” vs. “vomited”

You puked a lot last night. You vomited a lot last night. Which verb is more suitable for stating that a baby vomited milk?
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  • 1,377
8 votes
5 answers
5k views

"Spare time" or "Spend time"

I wonder how these two verbs differ in meaning? I know that You spare time for your loved ones, but You spend time with your loved ones. However, it is difficult to distinguish between them in an ...
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  • 13.7k

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