Americans either favor or oppose a significant government intervention in the nation's banks, depending on how it is phrased, a new Gallup poll suggests.

The poll, conducted Feb. 20 through Feb. 22, found that respondents don't like the idea of "temporarily nationalizing" the country's banks but do support "temporarily taking over" banks.

This probably explains why the Obama administration has avoided the word "nationalization" at all costs thus far in discussing its plans for the banks. Gallup writes: "Taken together, these results reflect the power of language when it comes to describing government policies: the words 'taking over' are significantly more palatable to the average American than 'nationalizing.'"

There was a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points in the poll.