Is there a term for using color to describe taste or flavor, instead of using the actual flavor?

For example, if someone says “this tastes purple” instead of saying it tastes like grape, or if asked what flavor of Gatorade you prefer you answer with, “blue”. It also seems common with candy and artificial flavors (or flavors perceived as artificial), and I’m wondering if there’s specifically a name or term for this type … Read more

What is the word for someone who finds value and ambition in as many people as possible giving them positive regard and support?

What is the word for someone who finds value and ambition in other people giving them positive regard and support? A person who wants as many people as possible to give them positive regard and support. I’m not looking for words that describe attention seekers, and the word egocentric doesn’t help as egocentric people are … Read more

Is there a phrase to refer to the moment of the full moon?

From Wikipedia: A full moon is often thought of as an event of a full night’s duration. This is somewhat misleading because its phase seen from Earth continuously waxes or wanes (though much too slowly to notice in real time with the naked eye). Its maximum illumination occurs at the moment waxing has stopped. Many … Read more

What’s the origin of “and sh*t”

I’m referring specifically to phrases like, “kissing and shit” or “baseball and shit”. Sometimes it is contracted: “n’shit”. Answer “And stuff” has been used in this way since the late 17th century, according to Green’s Dictionary of Slang. The OED has this definition: Worthless ideas, discourse, or writing; nonsense, rubbish. Often coupled with nonsense (chiefly … Read more

“Your fly is open” “You mean my flies?”

Apparently, when a gentleman has forgotten to zip his pants, in the US they remind him thusly Your fly is open lists the noun fly meaning: 20. a strip of material sewn along one edge of a garment opening for concealing buttons, zippers, or other fasteners. But in the UK a trouser zipper is … Read more

“Seriously?” as a response

When someone says “seriously?” in response to a statement, in my experience it either means: Really? How stupid or How interesting! Tell me more I’ve mostly seen it as a response to #1, and only #2 when it’s truly interesting, and usually only when it’s unexpected. Are there other ways to interpret “seriously?” Answer Seriously … Read more

Are there any dialects of English where it is possible to say ‘same to’ instead of ‘same as’?

“different” can be used colloquially by many speakers of English with either “than”, “to” or “from”. Does anyone know of any varieties of English where people might say “same to”? For instance, younger speakers, bilingual speakers with a particular language, speakers from a particular region. For instance: “That’s the same bike to John’s!” meaning “That’s … Read more

What does it take for a colloquial meaning to become canon?

I’ve been listening to Alanis Morissette, so I started thinking about why there is such a fuss about how she used the word “ironic” incorrectly. In my experience, literary irony is generally just as well described by the term “sarcasm”, but there is no one word that really describes the “unfortunate coincidence” meaning that “irony” … Read more

What is the earliest example of “tops/at tops” for “at the most,” and is it now more common outside of AmE?

The OED’s entry and earliest citation for tops are: plural tops n. (also at tops) at the most, at the latest. Usually finally. colloquial (originally and chiefly U.S.). 1956 ‘B. Holiday’ & W. Dufty Lady sings Blues xii. 129 So she was only thirty-eight when she died. I’m going to do the same thing. I’m … Read more