0
votes
3answers
69 views

Derogative vs Offensive

Is a derogative comment an offensive comment? To what extent are these two words synonyms?
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Does the electricity “go or cut” “off or out”? [closed]

Which of the following choices are correct? While I was reading a book last night, suddenly the electricity ______. cut off cut out went off went out What are the differences ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

“Nuke the fridge”

I don't get what this phrase means. I tried googling it, but the answers weren't satisfactory. Could someone please tell me its meaning? I'm guessing it has something to do with TV shows (I first ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

What does “could use a friend” mean?

I heard this word on some TV show and i have been trying to find its meaning(but they weren't of help much). Could someone please tell me ?
1
vote
4answers
80 views

Word for “growing in intelligence”

I'm looking for a word whose definition is something along the lines of "growing in intelligence". I'm trying to use it in a sentence like "the people are getting smarter and smarter throughout the ...
3
votes
1answer
30 views

Is it acceptable to use the noun “swing” for both a short round trip and an extensive circular tour in AmE?

I remember once coming across, while browsing some bilingual dictionary, the noun "swing" pointed up as an AmE equivalent for "circuit". But, sadly enough, what the bilingual dictionary didn't say ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

“Latch onto [something/someone]” for “obtain, get (hold of) [something/someone]” in AE

I just rediscovered the colloquial expression "latch on to [something]" online and would like to know the story to its meaning of "obtain, get", which is presented by CD as AE and CE. ...
-3
votes
1answer
90 views

What does this joke mean?

You wanna know what line doesn't work on a harp player? “Hey baby, wanna pluck?” It's a joke from a sitcom. I think I understood its general meaning but I don't understand what a "line on a ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

What do these two sentences mean in Time's Sports?

Manning has enraptured the rapidly growing ranks of the formerly young in places far beyond the valley of the South Platte River. I hardly understand what this sentence means in this context; ...
1
vote
1answer
262 views

What does “cynical confidence” mean?

I know that cynical means something along the lines of believing the worst in people, but how does this word coincide with confidence? For instance, what would this line mean? The witness had a ...
1
vote
7answers
193 views

Appropriate word for smile

I'm looking for an appropriate word for a certain kind of a smile. Are you in love with that girl' asked she with a grin on her face. I have used the word grin but I guess grin is a broad ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Etymology & Colloquialism

I'm writing an essay for college applications in which I have to create a class. My idea is a class about the origin, change, and regional dialects of the English language. As an example, one would ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

American 'cup' measurement — for cheese

One recipe states "one cup of cheese, shredded". Now, does this mean you need a "cup" of cheese (i.e. 8oz.) and then grate it (I am English), or do you grate it first and then measure your "cup" of ...
0
votes
1answer
207 views

How can I explain a word used in a previous sentence?

I am defining a "thing" with an adjective. Example: X is a small y. Then I want to give a clean and simple explanation for the adjective small --because it can mean several things and I want to ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Who uses the term 'freehold'?

I am interested to discover in which countries, where English is used, the term 'freehold' and 'freeholder' is in everyday use. I know the question of 'freehold' has come up on this site before in ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Proper usage of the word “racism”?

It seems that historical definitions of the word "racism" use it to mean something similar to "racial prejudice" and "racial discrimination", without any reference to which race has power or doesn't ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Helping with a book?

I have been reading a book about programming and i came across a sentence which says: but if you don’t reuse some of what you’re doing, you’ll eventually wear your fingers down to painful ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

What is § called and how do I type it? [closed]

I copy pasted this symbol from http://docs.oracle.com/javase/specs/jls/se7/html/jls-15.html#jls-15.8.3 but I want to know what it is called and how to make it.
1
vote
1answer
267 views

What's the meaning of `We're on our way` [closed]

I wanted to know the definition of We're on our way? Does it mean being together? or We do stuff together?
1
vote
3answers
555 views

Which word to use, “again” or “anymore”?

I'd like to describe an action which I'm used to do but I won't do it in the future. Which word is correct, for example: Just a little more work, I'll never need that tool again. Or: Just a little ...
7
votes
1answer
19k views

Meaning of “watch your six”

What does "watch your six" mean? Does it mean "watch your back", like in a dangerous area?
0
votes
1answer
9k views

What does “though” mean in these sentences?

I knew these are American English sentences, and they are informal. However, I would like to know what exactly it means, or it simply means nothing, and people merely want to add something unnecessary ...
3
votes
4answers
548 views

Is it customary to call the former President George W. Bush “W.”, and Mrs. Bush “Bar”, in public?

Maureen Dowd deals with the comments of the former first lady, Barbara Bush in NBC’s the Today Show in her article titled ‘Silver Fox’s pink slip’ in New York Times (April 27): “Asked on the ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

“On Tap” in the Sense of “Coming Up”

Starting with the Fifth Edition (1936), seven generations of the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary have included (under the entry for tap) three definitions of "on tap," currently worded as ...
0
votes
3answers
205 views

“I went to bed hungry” vs. “I went to bed hungrily” [closed]

What is the exact difference between "I went to bed hungry" and "I went to bed hungrily"?
1
vote
2answers
4k views

“Do you have” vs “Have you got”

I am studying English and I want to know the main difference between “Have you got?” and “Do you have?” questions. Are they the same? Is one more formal than the other?
6
votes
2answers
348 views

Meaning of “Y-o-u-u Tom!”

In the opening chapter of Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom's aunt Polly calls out to him in a rather peculiar fashion: She went to the open door and stood in it, and looked out among the ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Is “august public official” considered an idiom, and has august always been used to refer to public officials? [closed]

Reading this article they referred to Justice Scalia as an "august public official." The phrase is also used in the book "Parade's End" by Ford Madox Ford on page 423. I can't seem to find the ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

What does “Blast” mean? [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding this word's meaning. On Google Translate, it means explosion or something like that. But when I see that word in a sentence, there's no relation, at least for me at ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the idiom “to sound a little off” mean?

What does the idiom "to sound a little off" mean in American English?
5
votes
1answer
412 views

What does “state” in “State University” refer to? [closed]

There are many universities and colleges in the United States with names such as "... State University". The word state has many distinct meanings, but pertinent to this question are: government, ...
10
votes
4answers
612 views

Ambiguous connotation of “just” - How do natives interpret these?

First of all, these questions are a bit related but not what I'm actually asking about: Is “I just spent all my money” grammatically incorrect? “I just ate them” and “I've just eaten them” - What's ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is this sentence correct in grammar and does it even make sense [closed]

This sentence: You have the right to ask for someone in the United States of America. Does it have any grammatical errors? Does it even make sense? I think it is usually ...to ask for ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

What are the differences between litigator, counsel, and attorney?

I'm watching a law and court related TV show and the following terms are being used. What are the differences between them? I'm interested in the differences in connotation if there are any. Or are ...
6
votes
1answer
343 views

What is an 'Iron Ring Event'

In a recent podcast of .Net rocks (at 45 minutes 29 seconds), regarding the future of software craftsmanship, it is postulated that there will be an 'Iron Ring Event' (if I heard it correctly). From ...
5
votes
2answers
361 views

Meaning of the verb “to pooch”?

I'm familiar with the word pooch as a cute synonym of doggy, but here is pooch used as a verb: It was just a poorly done deal and it just so happens to be the biggest deal ever for Nasdaq and they ...
14
votes
3answers
21k views

What does the sentence “Butter my butt, call me a biscuit” mean?

What does this sentence mean? How do I use it? Butter my butt, call me a biscuit.
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Trapezium/trapezoid — why are the US/UK definitions swapped around?

These are the US definitions... Trapezoid — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides that has a pair of opposite sides parallel. Trapezium — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides and NO parallel ...
3
votes
3answers
358 views

Is “Most of the world does not distinguish captions from subtitles” true?

In the wikipedia article about closed captioning one reads Most of the world does not distinguish captions from subtitles. In the United States and Canada, these terms do have different meanings, ...
3
votes
2answers
932 views

What is a “cracker-barrel sage”?

What is a cracker-barrel sage? Context: The influence of many years spent in America talking to (and often down to) Americans also gave his performance a kind of Barnum quality: Hitchens the ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Meaning of “float a deadpoint”

In a book about climbing technique (written by an American) I found the following expression: ...: floating a deadpoint from any one of a million different body positions. While the meaning of ...
2
votes
1answer
284 views

What is the origin of using the term “lease” to signify a financing agreement with option to buy out an asset, as opposed to simple rent?

A formal definition of the word "lease" makes a lease out to be very similar to "rent" in meaning: noun \ˈlēs\ Definition of LEASE a contract by which one conveys real estate, ...
3
votes
2answers
565 views

“cold cash” vs. “hard cash”

Context (New York Times): Besides piling into Treasuries, institutional investors are also seeking out the safety of cold, hard cash, pouring billions into commercial bank accounts backed up ...
3
votes
3answers
403 views

“Transitioning” vs. “transitional” phase

I am wondering if it is correct to say: This is a transitioning phase. Personally, I would say This is a transitional phase. but my friend insists that the above is just as correct as my ...
4
votes
3answers
606 views

“Never mind” in AmE and BrE

Reading some forum pages about the meaning of this phrase, I realized that there's a difference in usage of it, between American and British English. What's the difference in meaning of "never mind" ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Does this ‘be going to’ have an emotional meaning?

Here is a skit from a radio English conversation program, dealing with American English. A: guest B: front desk clerk C: A's wife (at the front desk of a hotel) A: I have a reservation ...
5
votes
4answers
819 views

What does “interstitial effect” mean?

Googled, but still do not understand what "interstitial effect" means. Can someone please explain?
10
votes
5answers
1k views

When and how did “momentarily” come to mean “in a moment”, rather than “for a moment”?

"Momentarily" used to mean "for a moment" only, and not "in a moment". Thus, newscasters could be divided into two clear groups: those who would say "we'll be back momentarily," and those who would ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

How many of the “Top 10 favorite British words” are understood by Americans?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary online shows “Top 10 Favorite British Words”. I’m interested in knowing how many of the listed words are understood or accepted by Americans as English, whichever British ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken” mean?

I read it here. The New Jersey guy said that the Unix solution was right because the design philosophy of Unix was simplicity and that the right thing was too complex. Besides, programmers could ...