Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby ahammel » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:49 am UTC

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Derek » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:34 pm UTC

"Nape" is often used with "of the neck". There is no other nape, not that I'm aware of anyways, but it's still usually qualified that way. I don't think there's any particular reason for it, it's just one of those oddities of language.

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Sizik » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:46 pm UTC

Derek wrote:"Nape" is often used with "of the neck". There is no other nape, not that I'm aware of anyways, but it's still usually qualified that way. I don't think there's any particular reason for it, it's just one of those oddities of language.


Similar to "the palm of your hand".
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby chridd » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:46 am UTC

Derek wrote:"Nape" is often used with "of the neck". There is no other nape, not that I'm aware of anyways, but it's still usually qualified that way. I don't think there's any particular reason for it, it's just one of those oddities of language.
It's useful when the listener doesn't know (or can't remember) what a nape is (since "nape" isn't that common of a word); that way, at least the listener knows it's something involving the neck.

Sizik wrote:Similar to "the palm of your hand".
...as opposed to a palm tree or a Palm Pilot. (Though there probably isn't that much opportunity for confusion there.)
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Eugo » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:36 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Datum isn't really used because data is a mass noun now rather than a plural form except in formal writing and a few pretentious people's speech. I don't really understand why cartographers use datum that way though, it is a mystery.

I do see nape occasionally. Specifically it's the base of the back of the neck. It's used particularly with animals like cats where mothers will pick their young up by the nape of the neck (the paralysing reflexes related to this can be helpful for vets). I'm not sure I've ever heard it without "of the neck" there so I guess it's not really much of a word in its own right.


Perhaps it would be, if there was a nape of anything else but the neck.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Znirk » Wed May 06, 2015 1:18 pm UTC

You could be discussing Severus' nape.

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby mathmannix » Wed May 06, 2015 2:29 pm UTC

or the nape of the woods
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby puppysized » Wed May 20, 2015 12:51 am UTC

Is there a word for your fingers and toes? Like appendages or limbs... I feel like there should be one, but I can't think of it.
edit: Or for hands and feet?

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Deva » Wed May 20, 2015 12:56 am UTC

Extremities?
Changes its form depending on the observer.

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Angua » Wed May 20, 2015 6:48 am UTC

Digits for fingers/toes. Not sure about one for hands/feet.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby puppysized » Wed May 20, 2015 2:33 pm UTC

Digits is good! Thank you.

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:10 am UTC

Is there an antonym for the prefix retro-?
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Angua » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:07 am UTC

Neo?

Or, for biological stuff

Antero-
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:42 pm UTC

Also pro- in some contexts.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:43 pm UTC

Antero- is the one I was missing, thanks!
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby jdaster64 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:30 pm UTC

Couple of language-based ones I've wondered about for a while:

- There definitely seems like there ought to be a noun for the general category that "vowel" and "consonant" fall under (specifically for letters of the alphabet, as opposed to sounds); e.g. "a" and "e" are the same type of ( ... ).
- Less likely this exists, but is there a word to describe words that have letters that alternate between vowels and consonants, e.g. "monotonic"?

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Sizik » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:49 pm UTC

jdaster64 wrote:Couple of language-based ones I've wondered about for a while:

- There definitely seems like there ought to be a noun for the general category that "vowel" and "consonant" fall under (specifically for letters of the alphabet, as opposed to sounds); e.g. "a" and "e" are the same type of ( ... ).


"Letter"? Or do you mean words for "a letter representing a vowel" and "a letter representing a consonant"?
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Flumble » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

jdaster64 wrote:- There definitely seems like there ought to be a noun for the general category that "vowel" and "consonant" fall under (specifically for letters of the alphabet, as opposed to sounds); e.g. "a" and "e" are the same type of ( ... ).

Letter. There's not much to it, unlike phones and phonemes. Fine, if you want to generalize it for other types of scripts, you can use words like characters and graphemes.
You're also free to call them graphs or smses (as a written analogue to phones), but you have to explain the word every time to your audience.

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby jdaster64 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:49 pm UTC

I don't know, "b" and "e" not being the same "type of letter" could mean something other than whether they're vowels or consonants; whether they're uppercase vs. lowercase, for instance. I was more wondering if there was an overarching noun that solely has to do with the consonant-ness / vowel-ness of the letter, like "case" does for uppercase / lowercase. I guess that kind of a term only makes sense for alphabets that consist of consonants and vowels, though...

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Derek » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:21 am UTC

"Consonant letter" and "vowel letter" are the best you're going to do. Of course, since letters are arbitrary, these aren't hard distinctions. For example, "y" and "w" can be either consonants or vowels in various contexts and languages.

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby jobriath » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:08 pm UTC

jdaster64 wrote:- Less likely this exists, but is there a word to describe words that have letters that alternate between vowels and consonants, e.g. "monotonic"?

This isn't correct, but if you're just looking for a cute name for the concept, it made me think of an abugida. So, "monotonic is abugidaic", or something. An abugida is an alphabet consisting of consonants which have a vowel sound baked in to them (though the vowel can be overridden---e.g., using diacritics). Apparently the largest family of abugidas is the "Brahmic" family, which may sound nicer for your purposes.

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:59 pm UTC

Derek wrote:"Consonant letter" and "vowel letter" are the best you're going to do. Of course, since letters are arbitrary, these aren't hard distinctions. For example, "y" and "w" can be either consonants or vowels in various contexts and languages.

I've misused "consonance" and "assonance" to mean consonantiness and voweliness in the past. People seemed to follow what I was saying.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:46 pm UTC

Derek wrote:"Consonant letter" and "vowel letter" are the best you're going to do. Of course, since letters are arbitrary, these aren't hard distinctions. For example, "y" and "w" can be either consonants or vowels in various contexts and languages.
Not to mention "u" and "eu" which can make words sound like they start with "y", and "once" and "one" which sound like they start with "w".

jdaster64 isn't looking for separate terms like "consonant letter" and "vowel letter", though, but for a single word like "vowelness". I still don't think such exists for letters, but that's what's being asked.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby somitomi » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:47 pm UTC

What I'm going to ask does fit the thread title, but not the discussion itself. I found, that it's quite hard to find the proper translation of some tehcnical term, because either their common meaning is different (usually broader) or they are very specific to that profession (and so no "general" dictionary will cover them). For example I've been loking for the English equivalent of Zugschlussscheibe, but couldn't find it. The German term describes it very well, because it is a (usually metal) plate (scheibe) placed on the end (schluss) of a train (zug) to mark it. Come to think of it, I don't know the English word for Zugschlusslaterne either. Every time I try to find it, I end up with the end of train device used by North American railroads, and while it sort of fits (a piece of metal can be considered a device), it's not exactly what I'm looking for.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Bloopy » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:16 am UTC

somitomi wrote:What I'm going to ask does fit the thread title, but not the discussion itself. I found, that it's quite hard to find the proper translation of some tehcnical term, because either their common meaning is different (usually broader) or they are very specific to that profession (and so no "general" dictionary will cover them). For example I've been loking for the English equivalent of Zugschlussscheibe, but couldn't find it. The German term describes it very well, because it is a (usually metal) plate (scheibe) placed on the end (schluss) of a train (zug) to mark it. Come to think of it, I don't know the English word for Zugschlusslaterne either. Every time I try to find it, I end up with the end of train device used by North American railroads, and while it sort of fits (a piece of metal can be considered a device), it's not exactly what I'm looking for.

I'm not sure about other languages, but in English there are usually lots of names to choose from for those sorts of things, even within one locality. The first option on each list seems to be most common in this part of the world:

Zugschlussscheibe
end(-of-train) marker
tail marker
rear marker
last vehicle board
last vehicle marker

Zugschlusslaterne
tail light/lamp
tail lantern
caboose lamp
end(-of-train) marker lamp/light
rear marker lamp/light

I work in the utilities industry, and for example the pipe that connects a house to the water supply could be known as the household connection, service connection, service line, service pipe, water lateral, and so on...

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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby somitomi » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:16 pm UTC

Bloopy wrote:I'm not sure about other languages, but in English there are usually lots of names to choose from for those sorts of things, even within one locality. The first option on each list seems to be most common in this part of the world.

Thank you, those seem to be what I've been looking for. This abundance seems a bit odd to me, as my native language has only one or two terms for these things. On the other hand, those terms are compound words with no other meaning to them, for example the term for a train's tail light is different from the term for a car tail light.
I find it interesting how languages use certain words, that are said to mean the same thing. A dictionary would list them as translations of one another, but often the meaning of the words only overlaps. Language A might use its word in a sense language B doesn't, and the other way around, which I suppose is part of the reason why learning a language (or translating) can be difficult.

(I know this is probably not much news to linguists, so excuse the jabber of an outsider)
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