Why is the word “pants” plural?

We wear a shirt, a jacket but a pair of pants. Why is pants plural? Answer A quick search led me to the excellent site World Wide Words run by Michael Quinion The site has an entire page on this issue. Here’s a brief snippet. Before the days of modern tailoring, such garments, whether underwear … Read more

Why is there no “autumntime” or “falltime”?

Why is “autumntime” (or “falltime”) not a word? wintertime => sure springtime => fine summertime => lovely But apparently autumn/fall has no equivalent. Why? Answer The Anglo-Saxon calendar only had two seasons, winter and summer, each six months long. They had words for other periods of the year, but they weren’t considered seasons. At some … Read more

What is the difference between “tits” and “boobs”?

What is the difference between “tits” and “boobs”? P.S. I’m not sure if this question is appropriate but as English is not my native language I really would love to know the difference. Answer From Word Net Search: Boob Noun S: (n) dumbbell, dummy, dope, boob, booby, pinhead (an ignorant or foolish person) S: (n) … Read more

“Lunch” vs. “dinner” vs. “supper” — times and meanings?

I’ve seen cases where a noon-time meal is referred to as dinner, and the evening meal is called supper. There’s also lunch around noon followed by dinner in the evening. Is there a particular difference between dinner and supper, or a circumstance where lunch becomes dinner? Answer Dinner is considered to be the “main” or … Read more

The plural of “index”–”indexes” or “indices”?

A table may have one index, or it could have more […]? Is it indexes or indices? I’m just asking because I’ve noticed they’re both used quite often. Even Wikipedia seems to support both variants (as in this article). Though, it prefers to use indices. Simply put, which is the preferred plural? Answer From Oxford … Read more

“Status” vs. “state”

Can anyone explain what the difference between status and state is when I talk about the condition or situation of an object? Here’s what I got from Longman English Dictionary. status: a situation at a particular time, especially in an argument, discussion etc. state: the physical or mental condition that someone or something is in … Read more

What is the plural form of “zero”?

I tried looking on Google, but there are some fairly contradictory results. I thought I’d ask you guys so we could get an authoritative answer on the subject! Answer Both zeros and zeroes are acceptable, see e.g. Merriam-Webster, Wiktionary or TheFreeDictionary. The usage stats from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and the British … Read more

What is the plural form of “status”?

What is the plural form of “status”? Answer There are some situations where status may be considered countable. In those cases, the plural form can be used as statuses. MacMillan dictionary gives 4 definitions for status, and 3 of them are referred to as countable. Personally, I would use status as the plural form instead … Read more