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

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0
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0answers
30 views

What does insolent mean?

I was looking up the definition of "impertinent" and dictionary.com defined it as "insolently rude." I was always under the impression that insolent meant excessively rude/disrespectful so the phrase ...
0
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0answers
37 views

what is the meaning of “spell” in that context [on hold]

Would you please help to understand the meaning of the word spell in the follwoing context? Over the past five years, Egypt has seen revolution and counter-revolution, a brief spell of civilian ...
4
votes
2answers
54 views

What can “impolitic” really mean?

I stumbled upon the word "impolitic". The original text deals with Chinese philosophy and would probably be more of a distraction than a help. I did my best to clarify the question through searches. ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

When can I use the word Temporal?

I'm wondering about the word "temporal." The definitions I've read are as follows: adjective adjective: temporal relating to worldly as opposed to spiritual affairs; secular. synonyms: ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Usage of 'last June' in newspaper archive

I found a UK newspaper article from October 1918, which made reference to 'last June'. What's the likelihood of that meaning June 1917, as opposed to June 1918? I assume if it was 1917, they would ...
-2
votes
1answer
35 views

Please let me know which is correct? [on hold]

1,Is there any difference between If only every single person in a dark, loud nightclub was carrying a gun, as soon as the first shot is fired, everyone could have joined in and begun firing at ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

“Touched” in “This one is touched, folks.”

Today I was reading an article on a classic computer game, and was struck by the following interesting turn of phrase: "Give it a shot [...] I think you’ll be glad you did. This one is touched, folks....
2
votes
2answers
31 views

usage of “but” in a sentence

can anyone tell me the meaning of "There was not anyone in the room but liked his singing" Is this sentence correct and if it is, then could anyone explain to me it's meaning.
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Go out for a beer

What does the sentence "We should go out for some beer." mean? We should go somewhere and drink beer there. We should go somewhere, buy some beer and come back. Maybe both meanings are right? ...
8
votes
2answers
880 views

What's a the word for people who make fun of themselves?

I don't mean people with low self esteem. But there are people who feel happy at being able to make other people laugh at their own expense. I remember someone telling me there is a word for them, I ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

What does “semantic” mean when used dismissively? [duplicate]

The word "semantic" means "related to the meaning of things". I understand, for example, the difference between syntax and semantics. But people also say "X is just semantics", "they're just arguing ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

How does “I never had nothing” mean “I never had anything”?

In a BBC Documentary about Brexit, an interviewee stated his reason for voting out as following: We are giving to some of the eastern Europeans who come in here at that time. they have more priority ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

What are some less ambiguous words for “choice,” “decision,” “option,” etc.?

1) You come to a fork in the road. You need to make a choice between going left or right. You face a decision between the left path and the right path. You have the option to advance in either ...
4
votes
2answers
275 views

What are fanners?

In the Rudyard Kipling poem The Bee-Boy's Song there is a section that goes: Tell 'em coming in an' out, Where the Fanners fan, What are these fanners that the bees are so curious to know ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Sunscreen vs sunblock

These two words have very similar definitions on Google. One protects against UVA and one protects against UVB rays. The question is, at what times should I use one word, and the other? Or can they be ...
-4
votes
0answers
44 views

What is the man saying? [on hold]

What is the man saying when he says: What are you doing after work. You need to get out and have a beer.
-1
votes
0answers
52 views

Meaning of the phrase “keep the blues at bay”? [on hold]

What is the meaning of the phrase "keep the blues at bay" ant what is the right context or situation for it? Please explain.
-4
votes
1answer
38 views

Sentence Meaning [on hold]

What is the meaning of the sentence ? Even as a young man, Bob had some bias against poor people, but during his years in social services, his bad opinions ossified into unshiftable views.
2
votes
0answers
56 views

What is the role/function and origin of “to” being used in the idiomatic phrases “there's something to him/her/it” & “there's nothing to him/her/it”?

"something to him/her/it" Google Books (to him): Google Books (to her): Google Books (to it): The phrase meaning "there's something (with respect to/about) him/her/it (that is observable/...
3
votes
4answers
69 views

The word that describes maintaining your body on the water surface

What is the verb or the word indicating the following action: when you are in the water and you can't swim but you just move you extremities so hard and quickly to remain on the water surface and to ...
-3
votes
0answers
51 views

Is it right to say “that and all…”? [on hold]

My many friends are using “that and all”. For example (context):  I was talking to my coworker about our project.  He has been assigned to do some part, and he is doing it.  But some of the ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

the difference meaning between humiliate and ridicule [on hold]

i get new word, ridicule, that means making fun of someone in harsh way how about humiliate. i think there both have similiarity but there both not a synonym. what is the difference ? thanks
3
votes
2answers
61 views

how to correctly rephrase the sentence [on hold]

in the following sentence: ..such poor educational system produces scientifically sterile generations able just to regurgitate what i ment be "scientifically sterile generations" is, a ...
6
votes
2answers
67 views

How many is many? [on hold]

Many is a great word for its ambiguity. You needn't know the actual number and you're still fine to say many. It lets you speak without knowing, or focus on the main idea without getting lost in the ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

which is the meaning and in which occasions you use the expression: “out and about”? [on hold]

My colleague used "out and about" in a work environment and I'm not sure what she was meaning. Could you help me. Thank you. Lorenzo
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Difference between individual and standalone [on hold]

I am wondering what is difference between these two words. My dictionary says that they both stands for the same thing. Is that true? I do not think so. Please can you explain me usage of both of ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

I dislike his/him being blunt [on hold]

What is the difference between the two sentences below? Are they both grammatically correct? I dislike his being blunt. I dislike him being blunt.
1
vote
0answers
39 views

How has pathetic fallacy's meaning changed?

When John Ruskin first coined the term pathetic fallacy he truly did mean that people were committing a fallacy when describing inanimate objects as having characteristics (or having pathos so were ...
8
votes
2answers
83 views

What does “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT” mean?

Washington Post July 21 issue carries an article under the headline, “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT,” followed by the lead copy; And now the finale. Tonight is "Making America One ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What does 'one' in this sentence refer to?

The past decade has seen a growing public fascination with the complex “connectedness” of modern society. At the heart of this fascination is the idea of a network – a pattern of interconnections ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views
+100

What is the 'office of call-boy'?

From the short story Percival Bland's Proxy, by Austin Freeman written in 1913; And thus was the curtain rung down on the first act. The second act opened only a couple of days later, the office ...
4
votes
3answers
71 views

What would be the proper usage of “Qua” in a sentence?

I'm a native English speaker, but I'm trying to expand my vocabulary slightly. I looked this up online, and the definition for it baffled me. How exactly would I go about using this particular word?
-2
votes
1answer
25 views

Should I say “education resources” or “educational resources”?

In the following sentence: The stagnation in the educational process in middle east is quasi attributed to the deficit in the budget allotted to the education resources. Should it have been "......
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Significance of the term “London town”?

I have heard multiple instances of "London town" in Gwen Stefani's song Rich Girl, and in a commercial for the second Garfield movie (just a TV spot, not a trailer). I want to know what it means and ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

What might be the name of the educational stages prior to the university?

What could one call the educational stages prior to university? I know that there are the primary, elementary and secondary levels of education. But is there a hypernym for just the aforementioned ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Is chicken coop acceptable in written journalism [on hold]

Can we use chicken coop in a research, or there is a better word for that? The context is a refugee blaming the government for leaving her family in tents for so long. She says to the researcher that ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

What do we call a person who does shoe polishing

In many countries, there are people in the streets who do shoe polishing on the go. Please refer to the attached image. What is the word for such a person?
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Figurative usage of “salvific”

Note that English is not my mother-tongue. Would a native speaker understand that the following sentence is trying to convey that the protagonist is relieved by the fact that he'd been able to set ...
-3
votes
0answers
22 views

Is there any difference between the meanings of “phonetic translation”, “phonetic transcription”, and “transliteration”? [on hold]

I was asked to provide phonetic translation for legal name (as original characters are none-Latin characters), does it mean I must make transliteration (or phonetic transcription)?
2
votes
2answers
41 views

A strange meaning of the word “handle”. Can it mean “a leader”?

I encountered an occurrence of the word "handle", which is strange to me, in an article, here is an excerpt: The cow, revered by Indian upper caste Hindus as a Mata (mother), has been used to spur ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Is there a word for “ someone who hates people from their own country”? [duplicate]

A xenophobe is someone who holds a strong dislike toward people from other countries. My question is: is there a word for someone who holds a strong dislike toward people from their own country? I ...
1
vote
2answers
23 views

What does “Culture Devourer” mean?

So I've seen this expression in a sentence which seems to be a career. Can anyone tell me what does it mean? Poya was in his earlier days a culture devourer. He once went to a record store and ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

What is the meaning of “plumbing”? [on hold]

I ran into the following sentence from this article: ...“Swarmkit” to refer to the plumbing open source orchestration project. After referring dictionary, I still can't figure out what is the ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What does “move his bust around” mean in this context? [closed]

Quite the contrary, actually. Winston Churchill, on the other hand, was terrible to his servants and family, and he was such a well-regarded leader that you can’t even move his bust around now without ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

How to spell [kæʃt] in the sense of “expended”

I have Googled but can't even find this word sense in online dictionaries. I've heard the word [kæʃt] used in the sense of "expended", such as in the following examples: My drink is [kæʃt]. (...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Meaning of the bold part [on hold]

I was reading an article and I came across this sentence : Glover is a moral philosopher,whose stock in trade is the hypothetical moral dilemma. What does the bold part mean?
-5
votes
0answers
34 views

What does “howl about” exactly mean in the following text ? [duplicate]

The original text is : Mikhail Gorbachev complains that NATO’s rhetoric at its summit in Warsaw “simply howls about the effort to almost announce war against Russia.”
-3
votes
2answers
54 views

Meaning of phrase “keep car in drive” [on hold]

I found this phrase while listening to John Mayer's song Why Georgia; tried searching for its meaning to no avail. I am tempted to keep the car in drive And leave it all behind What does ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What does “A question of singular importance” mean? [on hold]

I keep searching for this on Google but can't find its meaning. I was reading a question on Quora and I couldn't grasp the answerer's first line because I didn't know what this meant. Does it mean "a ...
-2
votes
0answers
45 views

What is the meaning of “melancholy”? [on hold]

I want to know the meaning of the name "melancholy". Secondly, while watching movie Pirates of the Caribbean at Stranger Tides I came across the word "melancholy" I am not sure of its spelling. But ...