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

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

Postby Amoeba » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:11 pm UTC

I'll start: I am convinced there is a word meaning 'a plausible lie', but I can't find at all. Any ideas?
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Bobber » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:02 pm UTC

A half-truth?

On a related note, I hate it when people go "It sucks that there isn't a word for "the back of the neck"" since "neck" MEANS (in the sense that it used to mean it before people changed it) "the back of the neck", i.e. the part between your back and the back of your head. The word for the front part between your chest and chin is your "hals", and this word was fairly common in Middle English until they borrowed "hnakkr" from Old Norse and changed it to "hnecca" and through further mutations "neck".
Cognates of "hals" and "neck" are found throughout Germanic languages (German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian) and in these languages they mean front- and back of the neck, respectively.

I think that it's weird.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby SD-Knex » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:35 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:I think that it's weird.

Being German, I second that; yet I got used to it.

For a few weeks now I can't seem to remember a certain term which I think was rather familiar before. It means something like "calling" or "vocation" but in a less secular and more spiritual sense.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Amoeba » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:42 pm UTC

It's not half-truth, but thanks. It may not even exist, of course...

SD-Knex wrote:
Bobber wrote:I think that it's weird.

Being German, I second that; yet I got used to it.

For a few weeks now I can't seem to remember a certain term which I think was rather familiar before. It means something like "calling" or "vocation" but in a less secular and more spiritual sense.


I was always taught vocation applied to religious callings too. But maybe 'mission'?
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby SD-Knex » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:54 pm UTC

Yes, "vocation" has way more spirituality potential than "calling" but my word was quite commonplace really and allowed for no ambiguity about the divine nature of what it described. Then again it might have been the coffee; it tends to do things with my brain.

About the lie, I looked through a couple of words in the first entry here but couldn't find anything. Then again my search might have lacked thoroughority.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby goofy » Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:07 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:"the back of the neck"


nape

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

Postby Bobber » Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:07 pm UTC

goofy wrote:
Bobber wrote:"the back of the neck"


nape


Nape was introduced to the language in the fourteenth century - a long time after neck had changed its meaning from back of the neck to the whole neck.
The language needed nape because neck didn't retain its original meaning - it was introduced to fill a gap that was only there because of a mutation in neck's "real" meaning from before nape was introduced.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby goofy » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:17 am UTC

Bobber wrote:
goofy wrote:
Bobber wrote:"the back of the neck"


nape


Nape was introduced to the language in the fourteenth century - a long time after neck had changed its meaning from back of the neck to the whole neck.
The language needed nape because neck didn't retain its original meaning - it was introduced to fill a gap that was only there because of a mutation in neck's "real" meaning from before nape was introduced.


Yeah I know. It's weird that people would complain that there's no word for "back of the neck" when there is!

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

Postby evilbeanfiend » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:42 am UTC

scruff also which looks like it might pre-date nape

as for the plausible lie, hows about colorable
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:31 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:On a related note, I hate it when people go "It sucks that there isn't a word for "the back of the neck"" since "neck" MEANS (in the sense that it used to mean it before people changed it) "the back of the neck", i.e. the part between your back and the back of your head.

My favourite (probably been pointed out a million times by anyone who has read Fowler's) is that 'island' was once spelt 'iland' but was changed to suit the word 'isle.'

Bobber wrote:Nape was introduced to the language in the fourteenth century - a long time after neck had changed its meaning from back of the neck to the whole neck.

In language there is always a certain sense of 'who gives a damn? It was six hundred years ago!' I mean, i work in hospitality and once, when I responded 'good' when asked how I was, I was lectured that I was not being asked about my morality, but about my well-being. Of course, I said 'umm... well, ahh..' but what I SHOULD have said was 'languages evolve, or else we'd still be speaking Old German, foolio!'

Besides, i like nape. It has a nice sound to it: nnnaape.

As to the OP's question: I'm stumped.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby goofy » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:09 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:In language there is always a certain sense of 'who gives a damn? It was six hundred years ago!' I mean, i work in hospitality and once, when I responded 'good' when asked how I was, I was lectured that I was not being asked about my morality, but about my well-being. Of course, I said 'umm... well, ahh..' but what I SHOULD have said was 'languages evolve, or else we'd still be speaking Old German, foolio!'


I know this is insanely pedantic, but Old German refers to the German spoken around 500. There was never a time when English speakers spoke something called Old German.

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

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:17 am UTC

goofy wrote:
Pez Dispens3r wrote:In language there is always a certain sense of 'who gives a damn? It was six hundred years ago!' I mean, i work in hospitality and once, when I responded 'good' when asked how I was, I was lectured that I was not being asked about my morality, but about my well-being. Of course, I said 'umm... well, ahh..' but what I SHOULD have said was 'languages evolve, or else we'd still be speaking Old German, foolio!'


I know this is insanely pedantic, but Old German refers to the German spoken around 500. There was never a time when English speakers spoke something called Old German.


Is why I should research things before I say them. I was, of course, referring to whatever the Anglo Saxons spoke.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:13 pm UTC

Anglo Saxon, perhaps?
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Simbera » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:44 pm UTC

To be even more pedantic, English speakers never spoke any kind of German, simply by virtue of being English speakers. Similarly, English speakers never spoke Anglo Saxon either - Anglo Saxon speakers spoke Anglo Saxon.

Hmm. I have accidentally invented a tongue-twister. Awesome.

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

Postby goofy » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:01 pm UTC

Simbera wrote:To be even more pedantic, English speakers never spoke any kind of German, simply by virtue of being English speakers. Similarly, English speakers never spoke Anglo Saxon either - Anglo Saxon speakers spoke Anglo Saxon.


But Anglo-Saxon and English are the same language, spoken at different points in time. so in that sense, the Anglo-Saxons spoke English, and we're speaking Anglo-Saxon.

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

Postby natraj » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:03 am UTC

Amoeba wrote:I'll start: I am convinced there is a word meaning 'a plausible lie', but I can't find at all. Any ideas?


I'm not sure, but sophistry/sophism has that feeling to me, in that it is generally a lie that sounds reasonable enough to convince people, though it is intended to deceive.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Amoeba » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:34 am UTC

natraj wrote:
Amoeba wrote:I'll start: I am convinced there is a word meaning 'a plausible lie', but I can't find at all. Any ideas?


I'm not sure, but sophistry/sophism has that feeling to me, in that it is generally a lie that sounds reasonable enough to convince people, though it is intended to deceive.


Thaaat's the one. Thanks!
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Hayden » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:48 pm UTC

My English teacher for year ten (tenth grade) marked me down in an assessment paper for using the word "fantastical". I defended myself, claiming it was indeed a word. It much bothered me that she: for one; did not recognise it as a word, and two; I knew that I had heard or read that word used before in that exact English class. I never remembered where I had heard it or thought to look it up until it was too late and I had left the school. I had heard and read it in Macbeth, the play that almost half our entire school year was based upon. I'm going to find her one day, and tell how very wrong she was.

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

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:02 pm UTC

Hayden wrote:My English teacher for year ten (tenth grade) marked me down in an assessment paper for using the word "fantastical". I defended myself, claiming it was indeed a word. It much bothered me that she: for one; did not recognise it as a word, and two; I knew that I had heard or read that word used before in that exact English class. I never remembered where I had heard it or thought to look it up until it was too late and I had left the school. I had heard and read it in Macbeth, the play that almost half our entire school year was based upon. I'm going to find her one day, and tell how very wrong she was.


One time my year-ten English teacher told the class 'scape-goat' meant someone who got away with everything. I timidly raised my hand and said 'doesn't it mean the opposite?' 'no' 'I thought it meant..' 'shut up, Justin!'

Then she looked it up and well, me: 1, teacher: 0. She got me back, though. Wasn't pretty. Moral: the teacher is always correct, even when she's a flipping flip.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Velifer » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:04 pm UTC

Every time I've used "evince" in a graded assignment (n=3) it has been marked as a spelling error. I suppose that balances a paper I wrote discussing measures and evaluations where I left a very important "s" out of "assess" every time I used it--dozens of times in the paper.

I need a word for when I'm asked a professional opinion about a technical matter, but am expected to give a bullshit answer to fit someone's political agenda. It's becoming synonymous with my job title.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby BrainMagMo » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:59 am UTC

Velifer wrote:Every time I've used "evince" in a graded assignment (n=3) it has been marked as a spelling error. I suppose that balances a paper I wrote discussing measures and evaluations where I left a very important "s" out of "assess" every time I used it--dozens of times in the paper.

I need a word for when I'm asked a professional opinion about a technical matter, but am expected to give a bullshit answer to fit someone's political agenda. It's becoming synonymous with my job title.


You're being asked for sophistry.
Same word OP wanted, incidentally.

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

Postby Luthen » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:04 am UTC

Velifer wrote:Every time I've used "evince" in a graded assignment (n=3) it has been marked as a spelling error. I suppose that balances a paper I wrote discussing measures and evaluations where I left a very important "s" out of "assess" every time I used it--dozens of times in the paper.
What did the teacher think it was a misspelling of? Also accidentally writing about donkeys isn't that bad.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Velifer » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:33 pm UTC

evinced ~ evidenced
I've seen "evidenced" used in a similar way often. I suppose that's what the teachers and professor thought I should use.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby csam » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:39 pm UTC

Hayden wrote:My English teacher for year ten (tenth grade) marked me down in an assessment paper for using the word "fantastical". I defended myself, claiming it was indeed a word. It much bothered me that she: for one; did not recognise it as a word, and two; I knew that I had heard or read that word used before in that exact English class. I never remembered where I had heard it or thought to look it up until it was too late and I had left the school. I had heard and read it in Macbeth, the play that almost half our entire school year was based upon. I'm going to find her one day, and tell how very wrong she was.


Sorry, but being used in a piece of literature does not necessarily make something an actual English word - cf. anything E.E. Cummings wrote. I may love the word "mudluscious" (and I do), but that doesn't mean I can use it in a paper unrelated to Mr. Cummings without consequences. Shakespeare often made up words - because he was Shakespeare, bitches - but normal human beings have more trouble getting away with it.

That being said...yeah, I'll give you fantastical. (and I know you were waiting on pins and needles for my important opinion :wink: )

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

Postby Emperor Max » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

There must be a word for a surface where you temporarily put things while not using them. Like a table in your garage where you put your tools and parts you don't use for the moment while working with other things on the car.

Please tell me I am just stupid, and that there is a word! It have been nagging me for some time now. :?
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Bobber » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:17 am UTC

Emperor Max wrote:There must be a word for a surface where you temporarily put things while not using them. Like a table in your garage where you put your tools and parts you don't use for the moment while working with other things on the car.

Please tell me I am just stupid, and that there is a word! It have been nagging me for some time now. :?


I suggest a "temporable" (with the a in able sounding like, well, able, not as in "miserable" or "comparable" but "able" as in "able-bodied" etc... Tempo-RAH-ble.)
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby wisnij » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:54 am UTC

Bobber wrote:On a related note, I hate it when people go "It sucks that there isn't a word for "the back of the neck"" since "neck" MEANS (in the sense that it used to mean it before people changed it) "the back of the neck", i.e. the part between your back and the back of your head. The word for the front part between your chest and chin is your "hals", and this word was fairly common in Middle English until they borrowed "hnakkr" from Old Norse and changed it to "hnecca" and through further mutations "neck".

Oh! That must be where the word "halsband" comes from.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Bobber » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:07 am UTC

wisnij wrote:
Bobber wrote:On a related note, I hate it when people go "It sucks that there isn't a word for "the back of the neck"" since "neck" MEANS (in the sense that it used to mean it before people changed it) "the back of the neck", i.e. the part between your back and the back of your head. The word for the front part between your chest and chin is your "hals", and this word was fairly common in Middle English until they borrowed "hnakkr" from Old Norse and changed it to "hnecca" and through further mutations "neck".

Oh! That must be where the word "halsband" comes from.

Yeah, that does sound likely. Interesting - "halsbånd" is leash in Danish (and probably Norwegian).
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Sockmonkey » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:16 pm UTC

Is there a word for dying of thirst that could be used to complete the sentence "Without water we will all..?"

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

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:31 pm UTC

An analogue to "starve", you mean? Hmm... nothing I can think of.
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby csam » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Is there a word for dying of thirst that could be used to complete the sentence "Without water we will all..?"

Sorry, the strongest words in the thesaurus I could find related to thirst were drought and quench - which are wonderful words, but not at all what you're going for. Frankly, the first word that popped into my head when I read "without water we will all..." was perish.

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

Postby 4=5 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:05 am UTC

csam wrote:
Hayden wrote:My English teacher for year ten (tenth grade) marked me down in an assessment paper for using the word "fantastical". I defended myself, claiming it was indeed a word. It much bothered me that she: for one; did not recognise it as a word, and two; I knew that I had heard or read that word used before in that exact English class. I never remembered where I had heard it or thought to look it up until it was too late and I had left the school. I had heard and read it in Macbeth, the play that almost half our entire school year was based upon. I'm going to find her one day, and tell how very wrong she was.


Sorry, but being used in a piece of literature does not necessarily make something an actual English word - cf. anything E.E. Cummings wrote. I may love the word "mudluscious" (and I do), but that doesn't mean I can use it in a paper unrelated to Mr. Cummings without consequences. Shakespeare often made up words - because he was Shakespeare, bitches - but normal human beings have more trouble getting away with it.

That being said...yeah, I'll give you fantastical. (and I know you were waiting on pins and needles for my important opinion :wink: )

But people do makeup words all the time, and no one comments becuase they understood the meaning, otherwise it wouldn't be a word that they made up.

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

Postby Velifer » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:50 pm UTC

Emperor Max wrote:There must be a word for a surface where you temporarily put things while not using them. Like a table in your garage where you put your tools and parts you don't use for the moment while working with other things on the car.


Prep area? Staging area? A whole host of "carts" are used with this sense in many disciplines.

In the garage, the temporary place I put things is "Behind the grawlix distributor, between the jarn firewall and the quimp wires where I can't nittle reach."
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Re: Words that you are sure exist, but can't find

Postby Antihero » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:27 pm UTC

Is there a term for someone who has 'first' names for both their family and first name (eg "Tom George" or "Ken David")?

Also is there a word for a consequence that was directly (but unintentionally) caused by trying to prevent the consequence (say, attempting to grab a gun from a toddler only to accidentally pull the trigger in the process)?

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

Postby Fuzzypickles » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:39 am UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Is there a word for dying of thirst that could be used to complete the sentence "Without water we will all..?"

I came in this topic to post about this.

I've actually joked with my friends about this word. Basically, we were thinking of this. I frequently say "relevation" instead of "revelation" since I'm silly like that. Since I had a word that didn't have a meaning and we had a meaning that didn't have a word, we put two and two together. Relevate now means to die of thirst. Spread the word... literally. (okay, that was a terrible pun)

Antihero wrote:Also is there a word for a consequence that was directly (but unintentionally) caused by trying to prevent the consequence (say, attempting to grab a gun from a toddler only to accidentally pull the trigger in the process)?

I'd use ironic for this, personally.

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

Postby csam » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:29 am UTC

Fuzzypickles wrote:
Antihero wrote:Also is there a word for a consequence that was directly (but unintentionally) caused by trying to prevent the consequence (say, attempting to grab a gun from a toddler only to accidentally pull the trigger in the process)?

I'd use ironic for this, personally.

Damn you, Alanis Morrissette, for ruining the word ironic! Not that your usage is wrong, but the word "ironic" is a pet peeve of mine, so I just wanted to draw attention to this:
The American Heritage Dictionary says:
"Usage Note: The words ironic, irony, and ironically are sometimes used of events and circumstances that might better be described as simply "coincidental" or "improbable," in that they suggest no particular lessons about human vanity or folly. Thus 78 percent of the Usage Panel rejects the use of ironically in the sentence "In 1969 Susie moved from Ithaca to California where she met her husband-to-be, who, ironically, also came from upstate New York." Some Panelists noted that this particular usage might be acceptable if Susie had in fact moved to California in order to find a husband, in which case the story could be taken as exemplifying the folly of supposing that we can know what fate has in store for us. By contrast, 73 percent accepted the sentence "Ironically, even as the government was fulminating against American policy, American jeans and videocassettes were the hottest items in the stalls of the market", where the incongruity can be seen as an example of human inconsistency."

I personally would call the sentence tragic, but more general words to use would be unintended, inadvertent, unwitting, or, the old favorite, accident.

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

Postby gibberishtwist » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:31 am UTC

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

Postby Grop » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:47 am UTC

Wikipedia covers the idea but gives no great word. Well, I don't think metonymy is exactly the same thing (all metonymies aren't of this kind).

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

Postby gibberishtwist » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:31 am UTC

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

Postby goofy » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:46 pm UTC

csam wrote:Damn you, Alanis Morrissette, for ruining the word ironic!


Don't blame her. The OED has citations for "irony" meaning the following from 1649.
2. fig. A condition of affairs or events of a character opposite to what was, or might naturally be, expected; a contradictory outcome of events as if in mockery of the promise and fitness of things.


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