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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

1
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1answer
12 views

At Up To together in a sentence?

Does it make sense to say "At Up To 30% off"? Shouldn't it either be "At" or "Up To"...not "At Up To"?
0
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0answers
14 views

Can you help me find the definition and purpose of these satirical strategies?

The bolded words are the category of satire the terms have been placed into. (ignore the ordering of the numbers used, they're merely being used like bullet points) Parody twisted saying Word ...
1
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2answers
33 views

Does -able have an imperative meaning?

In a question on SO I ran into a question about the meaning of word "closeable". As far as I know (and my teachers taught me so) it has two meanings: possible to close should be closed The ...
4
votes
2answers
67 views

What is a term describing the destruction of crops by insects, bugs, or vermin?

The term pestilence has some application of use to generally describe 2: something that is destructive or pernicious I have seen it used in reference to destruction of plants and crops by ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Meaning of “repay” in “the book repays close study”

What does the word "repay" in essence mean in the phrase "the book repays close study"? My OED defines "repay" as to make return for; requite [a service, action, etc.]... must repay their ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

What does “not far wrong” mean?

First, what does the sentence below mean? He may not have been far wrong Second, why do we use have rather than has?
0
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2answers
45 views

Need help identifying subject in sentence with a conjunction

Currently, I am involved in a disagreement as to interpreting the grammatical meaning of the following sentence: “Restores 10% of Att as HP in battle.” Given that “Att” and “HP” are nouns (with ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

What is the meaning behind “wag imagined”?

Today I read these sentences in The Economist "Lying, cheating bankers" “IF YOU can only be good at one thing, be good at lying…because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.” ...
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0answers
18 views

“Same procedure as last year?” [on hold]

Kann mir jemand helfen mit der Analyse dieses Dialogs in Dinner for one? Wieso ändert sich die Bedeutung dieses Dialogs während des Films? "Same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?" - "Same procedure ...
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2answers
34 views

what's the meaning of “time-tagged” [on hold]

i don't understand the meaning of "time-tagged" e.g. The event data is encoded into time-tagged actions (assault, kidnap,flee, assassinate)
0
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1answer
69 views

What is the objection of Siddhartha here? [on hold]

I am reading Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse and I am not able to understand this passage But according to your very own teachings, this unity and necessary sequence of all things is ...
1
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0answers
38 views

Spill the metaphorical beans?

I was reading a comic book and ran into this phrase. Is there any difference between 'spill the beans' and 'spill the metaphorical beans'? here is the context. Talk show host: "But seriously, Reed. ...
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votes
2answers
44 views

Meaning of smah

I was helping my child with her homework and noticed that she has learn words starting with with sm..., st.... I found word "smuh" which i had never seen before as English is not my native language ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Is “the best thing since sliced bread” supposed to be taken sarcastically?

On one day my boss said that a tool I had created to speed up my work was “probably the best thing since sliced bread”. Neither one of us is a native english speaker and we don’t also have any similar ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What does commute/commutation mean in this context?

I am trying to understand the following sentence from a legal document. Can anyone explain me what 'commutation' means? Immovable property presently sold is free and clear of all seigniorial ...
4
votes
3answers
305 views

How to appropriately use the word “baby” as in the pattern “ ____ baby ___”; for example, “run baby run”?

As a non-native English speaker, I am not sure what is the meaning of this pattern "_ baby _" as in "run baby run"? Another example: "USA continues to "drill baby drill" (referring to oil). What other ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

What’s the difference between a software “developer” and a software “maker”? [on hold]

We usually call someone who makes software a software developer. Why don’t we call them a software maker instead? What’s the different between software developer and software maker?
1
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0answers
31 views

conniption origin?

I viewed the thread about conniption dido - which I'd never heard before. But was wondering what true meaning of conniption was? I always figured it was an old medical term for seizure or ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Can we say “the must info” in the sense of valuable information?

I heard the phrase once but don't know the context of conversation. Additionally, is "the must info" grammatically correct?
1
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1answer
72 views

What does “Obama goes big” mean?

The article of New Yorker (November 21) begins with the following sentence under the title “Obama Goes Big on Immigration”: For a two-term President whom his critics used to call “the ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

“if and as” - Does it mean what I think it means and is it even grammatically sound?

Very infrequently, I'll use the fragment "if and as" in a sentence. For instance: Having it be double fudge chocolate cake in both cases comes off as needless frippery if and as the recipe is ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

What does “provocative fictions” mean? Are they one kind of fiction?

I see this phrase in such sentence"The world knows his name, knows his reputation as the prolific author of provocative fictions, novels that..." But i wonder whether "provacative fiction"is a type of ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Difference between the prefixes, “mis” and “dis” [duplicate]

What is the difference between mistrust and distrust?
1
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1answer
45 views

What does “falling and missing the ground” mean?

I don't understand the use of the phrase "falling and missing the ground". How can one fall and miss the ground? What does it mean? Update Apologies. I found the use of the phrase at ...
62
votes
4answers
5k views

What does 'TL;DR' mean and how is it used?

I do my best, at my advanced age, to come to grips with the apparent acceptability of such widely used words/expressions/abbreviations as lol/LOL, IMHO, AFAIK, etc. However, TLDR/tl;dr defeats me. ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Arrogancy vs. Humility

Is there a word or phrase to describe a state of mind within an arrogant person who has been overwhelmed in a debate by another person who is humble in his/her demeanor, but armed with the truth to ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Eytymology of the expression “Pissy Pants McGee.” [on hold]

What is the origin of the expression "Pissy Pants McGee"? Thanks!
1
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3answers
77 views

“Is that good?” vs “Is that any good?”

Is there any difference between the meaning implied by: Is that good? and Is that any good? I would appreciate if you give examples to show the differences, if there is any. ...
0
votes
3answers
48 views

I'm looking for a word like “routing out” that also describes a “blind gamble”

When my old dog and I had a regular local park, upon entering, she used to immediately run through all the bushes, hoping to flush out any squirrels. She didn't know if there were any squirrels ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Why is it “Thank you! You’re subscribed,” not “You subscribed,” or “You’ve subscribed”?

I received e-mail from New York Times that reads; What We’re Reading: Get recommendations from New York Times reporters and editors, highlighting great stories from around the web. “What We’re ...
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1answer
41 views

An expression for someone who causes “pain” and for those who receive this “pain” [duplicate]

What do you call a person who gives only pain to his dear ones (whom he cares about the most)? What do you call a person who gets only agony from the person he cares most?
0
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3answers
80 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct? [on hold]

1) Suppose there is a very stupid person. Is it correct to tell that he/she is 'literally nuts'? 2) What about using it if the person is mentally ill? This came up in an informal talk with my ...
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0answers
35 views

description of the sentence [on hold]

What do you call a person who gives pain to all those he loves or being loved What do you call a person who gets only agony from his loved ones
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1answer
26 views

What does “optic stems” mean?

I'm watching an episode, some may recall which one, of a comedy show and one guy says something like this if I hear correctly: "I looked this woman in her optic stems" which is part of the joke, ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

in fact, in point of fact, as a matter of fact

Today I was tempted to write "in point of fact" and immediately wondered if this expression differed at all from "in fact" or "as a matter of fact." Dictionaries define one with the others. ...
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votes
1answer
34 views

what is meant by “ I but a tell ” [closed]

I've been searching the meaning of this sentence " I but a tell ", but I couldn't even find any answer, Does anyone know about it?
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2answers
61 views

What is the difference between a “vapor” and a “mist”?

What's the difference between "vapour" and "mist"? I ask because I was reading the Wikipedia article for Electronic Cigarettes and there is a lengthy and acrimonious discussion. I don't want to get ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the difference between supposed to and meant to

It is because it was always meant to be so. It is because it was always supposed to be so. What is the difference between meant and supposed? There must be more but all I can deconstruct ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

What does “She is tall for her age” mean?

I read the following sentence She is tall for her age. Now I'm greatly confused about its meaning. Does it mean "she would have as long age as she is tall" (perhaps showing prediction) Or ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Safe Deposit Box

I get really annoyed when I hear "Safety Deposit Box" - to me, the thing the box is deposited in is a Safe, not a Safety. Is my annoyance justified? Why do people say "Safety" when it's both harder to ...
38
votes
18answers
6k views

What is a word that means unforgettable but with a negative connotation?

When I look up unforgettable in a thesaurus, I get words like enduring, remarkable, or exceptional. These all are positive; I just cannot forget such a wondrous thing! I, however, want a word that ...
3
votes
4answers
827 views

What does “There’s less to the deal than meets the eye,” mean?

There was the following passage in New Yorker’s (November 18) article that came under the title, ”Is China really going green?”: “But here was President Xi Jinping pledging that, by 2030, his ...
0
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0answers
26 views

What is a filler gap dependency? [closed]

I can't find a clear cut answer on what it means. Does it mean someone who constantly uses fillers in their speech? Please clarify for me if you can. Thank you
1
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3answers
57 views

Distress vs anguish

Is there any difference between the words (nouns) distress and anguish? They seem to be quite similar.
0
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3answers
49 views

Meaning of “or” in “working on applications to sell or for any other purpose”

A licence reads: If you are an individual working on your own applications to sell or for any other purpose, you may use the software to develop and test those applications. I'm having ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Good men in robes

It is time for good men in robes to rethink their responsibilities while heeding Edmund Burke's warning: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ...
0
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0answers
28 views

Difference between “recap” and “round up” [closed]

Is there any difference between "recap" and "round-up"? I'm looking for some roundups online but I'm seeing recaps and it's a bit confusing.
4
votes
2answers
664 views

What's the meaning of “flatlands of paper”

In the following paragraph, Edward Tufte speaks of "flatlands of paper." I don't understand its meaning: Even though we navigate daily through a perceptual world of three dimensions and reason ...
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1answer
76 views

“Do you ever get hit” and “Have you ever gotten hit” [closed]

Do they have the same meaning? If not when to use each of them.
0
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1answer
39 views

Meaning of a sentence in a play

What is the meaning of the sentence said by Derry in the Susan Hill play On the Face of It given below? In case I see you looking and mind and get upset