Is “girl” a valid synonym for “young woman”?

This question emerged out of a discussion on Mastodon about Ivanka Trump being called a girl, where it was claimed that “girl’ is synonymous with ‘young woman’ in English”. Is this true? Is it sexism if adult women are called “girls”? Answer First, a necessary disclaimer: context and audience matter a lot in what is … Read more

Why is “modish” a derogatory word?

“Modish” appears as a derogatory word on website Lexico: Do you know why this is the case? Is the word often used in derogatory contexts? Answer Modish is actually an old term now outdated: “fashionable, stylish,” often with a hint of contempt, 1650s, from mode (n.2) + -ish. “Very common in 17-18 c.; … Read more

Is Autistic the new “spaz” or “retard”?

Has autistic become an accepted cool pejorative through constant misuse? While I usually would not bother with Urban, the theme was taken up… Autism is typically said with a negative connotation. For this reason, people like to use autism as an insult, which would make sense if autism was actually bad. …and for once I … Read more

Is the use of the word “cracker” as a racial slur so common that it cannot safely be used to refer to certain hackers?

I always liked to use the word “crackers” to refer to people who overcome computer software or security restrictions, as opposed to “hackers,” which (supposedly) originally meant people skilled at computing. A while ago, I used the word in my conversation with a speaker of AmE, who did not know of that use of the … Read more

What would you call a person pejoratively who enjoys perks of a job post but responsibility of a lower rung assistant

What would you call a person pejoratively who is on a professional privileged position such as Engineer, geologist, senior engineer etc (earning what the post demands) but chooses to do a job of a say a postman or peon or secretary or a clerk and get away with it. In other word he is doing … Read more

Term for the mental state of a new recruit

Is there a word (probably slang), that describes the slight state of shock common to new recruits in the first days (weeks) of military training, or the recruit suffering from that mild state of shock? I’m looking for a term that’s slightly pejorative, but used in the understanding that the speaker has been there too. … Read more

Is “Go wash the dishes” a typical English expression used against women?

I’m from Argentina and it’s very common to hear men saying Go, wash the dishes to women when they don’t know how to do something or they do something wrong. For example, when a woman is driving. Is that also a typical expression in English speaking countries? If not, is there a similar (sexist) expression … Read more

Can “mongrel” be used to refer to people?

I’m translating a fantasy novel into English. In the story there are a bunch of races. Among them, there are mixed-race people. "Pure races" mock mixed-race people and usually refer to them as ‘mongrels‘. Now, taking into consideration that this word is also used to describe dogs that live on the streets, would it be … Read more

What to call someone who is unable/bad in holding a converstation

Okay, So I am in often in a conversation with this person. But I have now realized that all our talks have been futile because he keeps on repeating the same topics. Topics I have talked about before. I just want to tell him you are ‘x word‘ and don’t want to continue having conversations … Read more