What is an example of 3 or 4 word compound nouns?

I see a ton of examples of compound nouns which are two words combined into one, scattered across the web when you search "compound noun list", such as "blackboard", "aircraft", or "underworld". But there are fewer examples of 2-word compound nouns which remain separated (not even joined by a hyphen), such as town square, or "bus stop". But the question is, can you have long "chains" of compound nouns than just 2, without hyphens (for example, merry-go-round isn’t one)? Are there any 3 or 4 (or more!) word sequences which can be made into compound nouns in English? If not, why not? I am looking for regular nouns, not proper names if that helps. Bonus, if there are some, where is a list of a bunch of them?


It’s easy to find such expressions with the right tool. In COCA, you can search for NOUN NOUN NOUN NOUN to find strings of four nouns. The most popular is "radio talk show host", with more than 500 hits in the corpus. Looking at strings of 5 nouns, I found "health care cost growth benchmark" and even the six noun string "motor vehicle license revenue anticipation certificates", both of which come from legalese. While many examples come from technical contexts like that, there are others that don’t, such as "video game designer job description".

(A lot of the other hits have proper nouns or are garbage, but there are many other good examples.)

There’s not really a limit to how many nouns can be strung together like this, except that after a while it looks ridiculous and becomes hard to understand.

Source : Link , Question Author : Lance , Answer Author : Laurel

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