ARMiller's Freight Trains

A collection of long strings of attributive adjectives


A freight train in English writing is a seemingly endless sequence of nouns posing as adjectives. There is often no punctuation, between the article and the noun. The name derives from the puzzled motorist waiting at a grade crossing for a freight train to pass. The end of the train is not apparent, only a sequence of car after car. A flatcar that is invisible sometimes suggests the end, but then a boxcar appears. So it is with a freight train of nouns posing as adjectives. Where is the noun? Is this it? No, here come some more adjectives. When we finally see the caboose, we know what the noun is.

The following examples are taken from various sources.


Also see: Matt Young, Karen Petersen, ParfittLab,

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Revised: April 29, 2007