This tag is for questions related to definitions and nuances of meaning of a word or phrase.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

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0answers
6 views

Why are the buttons on computer keyboards called “keys”?

A computer keyboard is a board of keys. Why are these buttons called keys? Is it related to the usage of piano "keys"?
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0answers
6 views

What is proverbial town pump?

"Patrick Wethered was as well known as the proverbial town pump; his mysterious and tragic death filled all Dublin with dismay. The lawyer, who was a man sixty years of age, had been struck on the ...
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0answers
13 views

Meaning of disposition

Is it correct to say "My disposition and dedication have become more rooted in this field"? What does disposition mean here? Thank you very much!
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0answers
18 views

Thats a treat thats hard to beat [on hold]

What is the meaning of " thats a treat thats hard to beat" ?
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1answer
35 views

What does Sovereign mean in this context?

How would you explain what "Sovereign General Insurance Company" means to a child? Does it literally mean: The ultimate/ruler general insurance company EDIT: Or is it just a name? Just like Joe's ...
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3answers
51 views

I'm stuck on finding a word to say “you can try anything” or “anything goes”

I'm stuck on finding a word to say "you can try anything" or "anything goes" - Thanks in advance homies :)
2
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1answer
49 views

Is it common to refer to the person steering a ship as 'pilot'?

According to its M-W entry (supported by some other dictionaries), a pilot (used of a person) can mean, among other things: a : one employed to steer a ship : helmsman b : a person who is ...
1
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1answer
59 views

What does “one” refer to in this sentence?

Here I am with a Hitchens sentence again! I can't come up with an exact part or parts one might be referring to in the following sentence. (Please note, however, that I will give the whole preceding ...
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3answers
118 views

What is the meaning of “cop” in this sentence : “He says if London cops it, he'll cop it” [on hold]

What is the meaning of the bold part,: I have found these meanings for "cop", but none of them seems relevant in this sentence: 1. a. To get hold of; gain or win b. To perceive by one of the senses ...
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1answer
24 views

Is “a-blink” an adjective form of “blink” in old days?

Under his breath, with a furtive exultation, he began once again the paean of victory and devastation. And presently his eyes were rewarded: out through that doorway came a long, low, ...
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2answers
46 views

How do i know if the word is step or glide in English [on hold]

today I have a lesson in school about steps and glides and i didn't understand it. My first question what are steps and glides? My second question is how do i know if the sentence ends with steps or ...
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2answers
60 views

what is the difference between verbal and oral? [on hold]

what is the difference between verbal and oral ? I am looking forward to the answer and I appreciate your effort
1
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1answer
48 views

When do you use the plural of “medicine”?

Or in other words, I am asking: How do you "count" medicine? Is the word "medicine" like "gas" where a collection of gas is still called gas: The air was filled with nitrogen gas. Instead of: ...
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1answer
91 views

Using 'tedious' to mean 'annoying'

Some of my British friends use the word 'tedious' to mean 'annoying.' A recent example: The museums in Oslo aren't open on Mondays. That's a bit tedious. I'm a native American English speaker ...
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1answer
37 views

What is the meaning of “constituent” in this phrase?

Site Location : This is a process that organizations use to identify retail locations most suitable to the "constituent customer profiles ".
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3answers
2k views

What is this type of idiom called: “I know he's not the smartest person in the world, but…”

Basically, when someone says something along the lines of "I know he's not the smartest person in the world, but he should at least pass first grade math." It's peculiar because they are ...
0
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2answers
47 views

Are there any differences? - to buy x to purchase [on hold]

Are there any differences between the meanings of "purchase" and "buy"? Thanks in advance.
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2answers
71 views

“I don't mistake” or “I don't make a mistake” Which one is correct? [on hold]

I have a query about these sentences: If I do not mistake, she would be his fiancée ... but my teacher told me that it must be expressed in another way If I do not make a mistake, she ...
1
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1answer
31 views

Cannot understand sentence in preface to “Old Indian Legends” by Zitkala-Ša

I'm reading the preface to Old Indian Legends by Zitkala-Ša, originally published in 1901. My mother tongue is not English, and I am having some trouble understanding - in detail - what she actually ...
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5answers
122 views

a word for a person who never attains a desire or goal

Is there a word in English that describes a person who never attains a desire or goal? I have found loser or dud or flop but these all seem to be informal, is there a better, more formal word that ...
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0answers
34 views

How many objects do you need before it becomes a stack of objects? [on hold]

A stack is defined by the OED as: A pile of objects, typically one that is neatly arranged In turn, a pile is defined as: A heap of things laid or lying one on top of another and A ...
4
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3answers
216 views

Meaning of “all shelves about me towards the worse”?

"Here am I now upon my high place," he said to himself. "Life may be no better; this is the mountain top; and all shelves about me towards the worse. For the first time I will light up the ...
0
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0answers
41 views

“when it's snowing and when it isn't” vs “when it's snowing and when it isn't snowing” [on hold]

Are either of the following sentences grammatically incorrect? Assuming they are both correct, is one preferred over the other? If so, in what situations is each preferred? I eat puppies when it's ...
0
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3answers
56 views

What does “delinquent” mean in this context? [on hold]

I'm more or less aware of the meanings of the word delinquent. However, I can't decide what it exaclty means in the following quote which is from god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and where he ...
0
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1answer
40 views

“Charges levied” Actually a thing?

I am positive I've heard of "charges levied," as in "criminal charges brought against" (e.g. the sentence "The charge levied against my client is unfounded."). However, while searching for a ...
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2answers
43 views

On a shady street

I wonder what image does the expression'on a shady street'invoke in a native speaker if he or she comes upon following paragraph. "They were from a nice family in a nice house on a shady street. ...
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1answer
43 views

“How are we?” vs. “How are you?”

What's the appropriate response to "How are we?" and what is it actually referring to?
0
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1answer
51 views

Meaning of word “nicy” [on hold]

Can you explain me the meaning of word "nicy"? I'm newbie in english, and I've already tried google translate, but I'm not sure. Maybe there is some informal forms, or other ways of using this word.
1
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1answer
28 views

What counts as a polearm?

Based on the definition, I would think both lances and spears are a type of polearm. However, in some cases, I have seen the word polearm used separately to lances or spears. For example, in the game ...
1
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2answers
59 views

Help on interpreting this sentence? [on hold]

These same perspectives may contribute to a 'glass ceiling' prohibiting relationship-oriented (i.e. feminine) leadership behaviors from being integrated into organization management structures. I ...
1
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2answers
66 views

Single word that could mean three other words [on hold]

I would like to know whether there's a word which could mean these 3 things: Support Like Congratulate I hoping to use it in my website for user's status. I would really appreciate if you could ...
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3answers
56 views

what does “First quality” mean?

My English teacher asked me what "First quality" means? No website on internet gives any definition of that term. is it correct to say like this? Starbucks is famous for its first quality coffee
1
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2answers
84 views

what is the meaning of “dry up and blow away” in this sentences?

"The Canadian flag's supposed to be a symbol of power... it's a leaf! Yeah, don't mess with us or we'll dry up and blow away!"-Jeremy Hotz Suppose that truth had simply dried up and blown away in the ...
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2answers
51 views

Difficult sentence strucure [on hold]

His thesis works relatively well when applied to discrimination against blacks in the US, but his definition of racial prejudice as "racially-based negative prejudgements against a group generally ...
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5answers
1k views

Is “I can't stop laughing” the same as “I can't help laughing”?

I know "I can't help laughing" means I can't stop myself from laughing. What I want to know is "I can't stop laughing"* also means the same. Thank you guys for helping me out especially prem, your ...
79
votes
5answers
29k views

“Here's looking at you, kid” meaning?

I'm sure many will know Rick's famous line from the film Casablanca: Here's looking at you, kid. While I can guess at it, I was never fully confident about the meaning of this phrase. I am not ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Does a comma indicate the conjunction “and”?

Does a comma mean "and" when used to separate items in a list?
0
votes
1answer
73 views

How to describe this fact with a independent clause?

In fact, with more time being left to myself, I started to read books I had aspired to read when I was in high school. I mean I had more time for leisure, so I spent them on books. My usage ...
0
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3answers
194k views

What is the full form of RSVP? [closed]

I just wanted to know what is the English full form of "RSVP", a word which we usually use on invitation cards? I read somewhere it's a French word. So I wanted to confirm if it has any English full ...
2
votes
4answers
38k views

What is the meaning of 'in the ether'?

In the following sentence, what is the meaning of 'in the ether'? Rather than calling some function in the ether and passing arguments, we call a method on one particular object providing ...
2
votes
3answers
415 views

Hard real time in user space with preempt_rt patch [closed]

From: https://rt.wiki.kernel.org/articles/f/r/e/Frequently_Asked_Questions_7407.html Real-time only has impact on the kernel; Userspace does not notice the difference except for better real ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“Are you having a good day?” Is it about me or about the weather?

When I'm asked over the phone in a long-distance call "Are you having a good day?" is this a question about me (my mood, my health), or about the weather? Assuming I'm speaking with a Brit, that ...
8
votes
3answers
30k views

“Next Friday” vs. “This Friday” [duplicate]

Duplicate: What day is next Tuesday? I have always considered next Friday to be not this coming Friday, but the one after. This Friday is the Friday at the end of this week. I have a ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning and etymology of the adjective “jammy”, of Yorkshire English?

What is the etymology of the adjective jammy? As in, Thou art a jammy bugger! I confess I've never seen the word before. When I looked it up, I found confusing etymologies: one source says it ...
59
votes
23answers
317k views

“Lunch” vs. “dinner” vs. “supper” — times and meanings?

I've seen cases where a noon-time meal is referred to as dinner, and the evening meal is called supper. There's also lunch around noon followed by dinner in the evening. Is there a particular ...
5
votes
5answers
23k views

What is the difference between “assess” and “evaluate”? [closed]

What is the difference between assess and evaluate?
27
votes
6answers
22k views

“Status” vs. “state”

Can anyone explain what the difference between status and state is when I talk about the condition or situation of an object? Here's what I got from Longman English Dictionary. status: a ...
19
votes
5answers
21k views

Is “curiouser” in fact a word (like in the famous phrase “curiouser and curiouser”)?

Is curiouser, in fact, a word?                                 (Yes, this question is very short, but that’s really all I need to ask.)
53
votes
6answers
45k views

Which day does “next Tuesday” refer to?

At what point does next Tuesday mean the next Tuesday that will come to pass and no longer the Tuesday after the Tuesday that will come to pass? And, when does the meaning switch back? ...
10
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4answers
7k views

What are: province, territory, protectorate, state…?

Often a country will have regions called "provinces" or "states". Other times they are called "territories" and "protectorates". Is there a generic term for these words? Is there a full list of ...