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DominicX's avatar

What are some concepts that we have a lot of words for?

Asked by DominicX (28777points) May 7th, 2012

A long time ago I asked a question about exact synonyms, words that are almost completely interchangeable in almost all contexts, and such a thing was quite rare.

But what about a concept in English that has many words for it? They might not all mean the exact same thing, but they may more or less have the same meaning.

What made me think of this was the case of a saying, also known as a truism, an axiom, an aphorism, an adage, a gnome, an apothegm, a proverb, a maxim, etc.

While those words all have nuances that differentiate them, for example, adage and proverb are more similar than axiom and maxim, but, they more or less carry the same idea of a “terse expression of truth”.

Any other concepts that we have many words for?

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12 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

Unclear, ambiguous, nebulous, fuzzy, vague.

CWOTUS's avatar

You know the old saw about Eskimos having something like 23 words for “snow”?

It’s a myth. They only have the same four or five words to represent “snow”, “slush”, “sleet”, freezing rain”, etc. that the rest of us have. The other dozen and a half words in that collection are epithets.

flutherother's avatar

Drunk, inebriated, sloshed, pished, intoxicated, blotto, stewed, tipsy, wasted, plastered, smashed, sozzled, soused, tiddly, loaded, blitzed, sauced, legless, hammered, wrecked and tanked.

DominicX's avatar

@flutherother I asked my friends this question and that was what they thought of. Apparently “drunk” may be the word in English with the most synonyms.

One of my friends thought of marijuana. He will refer to it alternately as weed, pot, cannabis, marijuana, grass, tree, dank, dope, etc.

Sunny2's avatar

The word “good” is supposed to have the most synonyms in English according to Yahoo. My brain doesn’t want to think about it.

DominicX's avatar

Interesting to note that taboo subjects have a lot of synonyms. Many of them of course started out as euphemisms.

majorrich's avatar

Oh my the range of euphamisms that exist for human sexual organs!

MilkyWay's avatar

@flutherother You missed out stoned.

majorrich's avatar

168 synonyms for penis and I know a few more LOL XD you are the greatest Gailcalled!

mowens's avatar

@majorrich That means we really care about it.

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