How should I use the “in-“, “im-“, “il-“, and “ir-” prefixes?

Consider the following words: impossible; incorrect; impatient; illegal; irregular; The meaning of the prefixes is the same (negation the adverb), but they are still different prefixes. How do I know which one to use? In other words, for an arbitrary adjective, how do I choose between “in-“, “im-“, “il-“, and “ir-“? The relevant discussion at … Read more

Any (old?) print literature use of ‘codecessor’?

Summary: Is there a (possibly old) print literature/use of the word codecessor? Background: I intuitively used the word assuming it exists in peer-reviewed publications first around 2008 only to be told recently that codecessor does not exist in English dictionaries. Nobody complained and I was told I was understood when I used word. I then … Read more

Origin and usage of “nu-” (e.g. nu-metal)

Not every dictionary I checked has “nu-” but here are a few examples: nu- — indicating an updated or modern version of something: nu-metal music Bing — new: new, or modern Google — respelling of ‘new,’ used esp. in names of new or revived genres of popular music. Where did this orginate? Etymonline shows … Read more

What does “drunch” mean?

Macmillan Dictionary gives two definitions of drunch which derive from the combination of two different sets of words: 1 – a meal that combines lunch and dinner. Let’s eat early and have drunch this afternoon. 2 – a drink plus lunch. In Barcelona there are some places offering an all you can eat drunch buffet … Read more

Where did the word red-tapism come from?

This question was migrated from English Language & Usage Meta Stack Exchange, our discussion, support, and feature requests site. Migrated 10 days ago. What is the origin of the word red-tapism? And what does it actually mean? Lexico says it first appeared in the mid-19th century in the Cobbett’s Weekly Political Register, a London paper. … Read more

Is ‘she-woman’ an acceptable counterpart of ‘he-man’?

If this is, as it is, a real English example, I wanted to know what role his women played in persuading him that he was this incredible he-man. can this I wanted to know what role her men played in persuading hers that she was this incredible she-woman. be proper, too? If she-woman is not … Read more

What does NOOT mean?

I was listening to Vertigo NCS release, on YouTube and every comment underneath was like “IT’S HIGH NOOT NOOT.” 98%-ITS HIGH NOOT NOOT 2%- Random Comments It’s high NOOT NOOT!!!!!!! I’m not from an English background, so I don’t understand what it means. Does anyone know? Answer All the fuss derives from a mashed first-person … Read more

What effect is the writer trying to create with the use of “bigly?”

This is from the same paragraph that sparked my question about pratfall a few minutes ago. What is the origin of “pratfall?” The full paragraph is here (highlighting is mine): But the first pratfall ― cancelling the vote on the bill after insisting it would go forward ― is not a good sign. Presidencies often … Read more