Word list: N


Your navel is your umbilicus, or belly button in common parlance. Naval means “of the navy”, like a naval officer.


Netherlands, the

Not Holland. Strictly speaking, Holland refers to just the two provinces of North and South Holland, not the whole of the Netherlands.

never mind

Two words (unless it’s part of the obsolete expression “pay something no nevermind”).


There’s no such word as non on its own, except in established (Latin) phrases such as persona non grata. It can usually only be part of a compound: without a hyphen (as in nonentity) or with a hyphen (as in non-executive).

no one

Two words, no hyphen.

Nordic countries

Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland and associated territories. See also Scandinavia.


See compass points.


See compass points.


See compass points.


Some writers seem to feel an urge to emphasise the word “not” in bold or caps, lest the reader fail to spot it, presumably – as in “Abusive or aggressive behaviour towards our staff will NOT be tolerated” or “Applications received after the deadline will NOT be considered”. I can assure you, it’s not necessary. (See what I did there?)