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Can you name the 25 most commonly used nouns in the English language?
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Most Common Nouns Quiz
Created Feb 26, 2009 in
Featured Feb 26, 2009
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Feb 26th, 2009 at 04:55 GMT
Feb 26th, 2009 at 04:56 GMT
Wow, this was way harder than I would have guessed. Take away the pronouns and its just a lot of random guesses. Way harder than the 100 most common words quiz.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 04:58 GMT
Interesting. I'm surprised government is on here. I'm wondering where a few common words rank on the list: food, television, phone or telephone, computer, drink.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 05:00 GMT
People must say "case in point" a lot more than I thought.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 05:01 GMT
feeling isn't on there. wow.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 05:17 GMT
happy i got 9
Feb 26th, 2009 at 06:00 GMT
"Time's person of the year" knows how to do it.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 06:51 GMT
I should have kept going with my body parts guesses. I missed the two that were actually on there. Government's the only answer that really surprised me.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:14 GMT
I Can't believe ninja didn't make the cut
Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:20 GMT
work but not home - a sad indictment. No mother father wife or husband either.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:29 GMT
Happy too, I got 11 though English is not my language.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 08:08 GMT
i'm shocked that #20 is on the list, but cheese isnt
Feb 26th, 2009 at 08:57 GMT
the word 'government' is used more than 'food'? Oh what a sorry time we live in...
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Feb 26th, 2009 at 10:47 GMT
Are you kidding, I don't use hardly any of these words, in fact, I haven't used a single one in this comment.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 10:48 GMT
2 more things: You'd think word would be up there, and number one makes sense, since even the smartest people keep aking about it.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:05 GMT
You should definitely point out in the title that the list is written language not spoken (according to your source), which i think makes a world of difference to the kind of words that come up. i spent the first minute listing the most common babies' first words (when you can only say 5 words then tend to come out alot, was my thinking)
Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:11 GMT
@JoeGrzzly: Actually, you used #25.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 13:19 GMT
I thought this game was broken when I had zero over 2 minutes into it so I gave up. I put up about 25 guesses including dog,foot,cat,food,computer,car,face,chair,floor,road,house and home,etc... I don't know where Oxford researched these facts but they didnt ask me
Feb 26th, 2009 at 13:21 GMT
great point ribhump. i was about to call bs because as a new parent, at least 60% of the words used in our house now are forms of mama or dada. i couldnt believe that those weren't in the top 10... but if it's written language, it makes sense. unless your newborn is some kind of prodigy i guess.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 13:35 GMT
Got 10, but that was tough!
Feb 26th, 2009 at 14:32 GMT
surprisingly very hard!
Feb 26th, 2009 at 14:38 GMT
that was hard! ps-lol at davidr's comment, owned.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 14:44 GMT
ye you should put its written, cos otherwise, money would definatly be up there ( as sad as that is)
Feb 26th, 2009 at 15:39 GMT
I'm surprised common numbers don't make the list: one, five, ten, etc. Numbers are nouns, right?
Feb 26th, 2009 at 15:40 GMT
'love' was my first guess, sappy fool I am.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 16:20 GMT
that was a lot harder than I thought it would be!
Feb 26th, 2009 at 16:23 GMT
I realize this was already mentioned by others but I just wanted to reiterate that it would be very helpful to know that this was based off written English and not spoken. I kept trying to think of nouns that I commonly use in conversation and I only got a handful. Still a great quiz though :-D
Feb 26th, 2009 at 18:13 GMT
Only 9. How disappointing. Much, much harder than it at first appears. Didn't even get time at #1.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 18:35 GMT
I need to learn to generalize, I guess, since I got man, woman, and child, but not person, and day, week, and year but not time.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 19:28 GMT
newspapers must have a big say in this cos some are a bit odd
Feb 26th, 2009 at 19:46 GMT
interesting & surprising what's not on there - as some have mentioned, there's work but not play (or house or home); hand & eye but not head or heart (though the former are probably used figuratively - "on the other hand"; "keep an eye on it"); numerous references to time measurements but nothing referring to measurements of space; and virtually nothing referring to human cognition or emotions (idea, dream, love). would be very interesting to see what the top 25 are in other languages / cultures and what that might suggest about our respective priorities.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 20:16 GMT
I got 4.. who the heck got them all??? 1% someoen must have done the quiz twice.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 23:33 GMT
@ JoeGrzzly: really? I use 'em all the time. In fact, my dear Grandmamma used to use them in the bedtime story she read to me nightly, with the exact order of usage: Once upon a TIME, there was a PERSON named Jack who entered a bar to complain about his job. "I can’t handle this stress, YEAR after YEAR (double word score!)...and the WAY my boss rides me all DAY, I can’t take it anymore." "Here’s the THING, MAN," said the barkeep, "That’s just the way the WORLD is. That’s LIFE, you know? Here, take my HAND." This PART of the story gets a little weird, so if you’re a CHILD, you should close one EYE, then the other. Just kidding. Suddenly, a WOMAN walked into the bar. "Eww," she said, "what a disgusting PLACE." "Hey!" exclaimed the barman, "You try running a bar with utter slobs coming in, complaining about WORK, WEEK after WEEK (did it again..)." Just then, Jack, in his haste to ogle at the woman, knocked over his beer. "CASE in POINT," said the barkeeper. "Say, who are ya, anyway, missy? Youse from the health department? Damn GOVERNMENT interfering with my affairs..." "No," she said, "I’m from a dictionary COMPANY that, among other things, catalogues and lists the most commonly used words. Actually, we have used a NUMBER of words from the noun GROUP in this very conversation." "Wow," said Jack, "this has turned into one boring-ass story." "Is that going to be a PROBLEM?" asked the lady. "As a matter of FACT, yes," affirmed Jack. "Please let this be the end." Needless to say, my Grandmamma hated me. Also, I dunno why the barkeeper gained a tough philly accent mid-way through.
Feb 26th, 2009 at 23:39 GMT
damn, I wasted a lot of TIME on that. Oh, and I should probably add a retroactive "SPOILERS:"
Feb 26th, 2009 at 23:53 GMT
Four and I'm absolutely delighted. That's harder than the bingo calls.
Feb 27th, 2009 at 02:01 GMT
I'm surprised "money" wasn't on there...
Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:02 GMT
This list seems really media based. That is, words commonly used in the media and newspapers rather than in everyday conversation. Who says 'government' more than they say 'home'. Also 'point' is a common word, but I'd have thought in most cases the word would be used as a verb, not a noun. @Jelle, love can be a noun, but is used much more commonly as a verb, such 'I love it'.
Feb 27th, 2009 at 10:46 GMT
I guess the big question is "Who's counting?"
Feb 27th, 2009 at 11:54 GMT
am surprised problem and governemtn are there and not more regular nouns like food, house etc. most kids books use simple nouns repetitively.
Feb 27th, 2009 at 13:01 GMT
@lemur: Young children use simple nouns but most people in English speaking countries aren't young children.
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