I usually use the query "possible duplicate" closed:1 to search for questions closed as exact duplicates. It worked well in the past. Now, however, the query now returns considerably fewer results than in the past. It seems that the search engine finds only questions that contain the words "possible duplicate" outside of the "possible duplicate" block that is generated when the question is closed. Is this intended or not?


2 Answers 2


You can now use the duplicate:1 operator to perform this search, enjoy!

  • @NickCraver If possible, is:duplicate or is:d too?
    – hjpotter92
    Oct 2, 2013 at 23:18
  • @hjpotter92 nope...that doesn't really fit, it's for result type like question, answer, comment, possibly users, tag, help, etc. later....not for attributes. Anyway, no need for 2 operators that do the same thing. Oct 3, 2013 at 10:14

Using the following, where words are all now AND matched:

possible duplicate is:question closed:1

found a question whose entire content is this:

Should there be?

But note that you're using exact quoted match.

"possible duplicate"

This returns all those where the phrase is exactly that. Punctuation and all.

But, look closely at the duplicate close block and you'll see it starts like this:

Possible Duplicate:

Now, when you go back and search with this (with the colon):

"possible duplicate:"

you'll get the same numbers as you would if you just used the words in their AND state. It looks like punctuation really matters when you're quoting a phrase to search against.

  • Now that goes out of my experience with other search engines to require the comma in exact quoted searches. Thanks for clearing it up. Maybe you should make that clearer.
    – Peter O.
    Jan 13, 2013 at 23:10
  • Guess the quotes stop any kind of stemming, which would allow for the colons to appear
    – random
    Jan 13, 2013 at 23:31

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