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

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0
votes
1answer
29 views

Preposition for “Alternative”

I've found out that there are several prepositions for the word alternative that all seem to be correct, however, I think there should be a best choice. Do these prepositions affect the meaning in ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

Can “obviously” be used in a sentence which is related to past event?

Let's say there would be a sentence like this: I obviously still don't speak Danish and therefore I am having a hard time living here. Is it correct if you consider that, in the past, I had a ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

The Hollies ´ song [on hold]

What´s the meaning of "the early bird´s been up all morning" second verse of I am down by The Hollies. Thank you
1
vote
1answer
29 views

what is the meaning of 'there are worse ways doing this than that'

what is the meaning of There are worse ways doing this than that. For example: There are worse ways spending this evening than coming to the meeting. Does this mean coming to the ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What doe Ev. followed by a number mean in a footnote?

I am reading a document with numerous footnotes providing references to the source of the information in the main text. However, some of the notes just give Ev. followed by a single digit number. All ...
1
vote
2answers
38 views

“single in a run off”

Kang Jung-jo of the Pittsburgh Pirates singles in a run off Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Urena during the first inning of their game Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Kang, who started at third base and hit ...
0
votes
3answers
58 views

The most appropriate term for a noisy machine

I've written the following sentence: He had wanted to write a letter to Jimmy, an old comrade of his, but when the boisterous clipper started, he decided to have a second breakfast instead whilst ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Hi! I was wondering: Nostalgia ? Wanderlust? [on hold]

How did these foreign terms for emotions get into English? They all describe a feeling of something imagined. Some examples: Nostalgia Wanderlust Fernweh This group of words amazes me and makes me ...
-3
votes
2answers
42 views

“The largest being” [on hold]

I have gained insight into the challenges this city will face in the future, the largest being growing our business sectors and improving our infrastructure without sacrificing our community's ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Which part of a cap is called the bill?

I came across this line There was only the New York Yankees baseball cap lying there, mold crusted on its bill. I was wondering what part of the cap is called its bill.
1
vote
0answers
41 views

What's the meaning of 'do bits'?

In a video, two people are describing a character from a fictional show and they say: 'he loves bits, he's always doing bits' and they move on to another topic. I don't understand the meaning of ...
15
votes
12answers
4k views

Does a “fact” have to be true? [duplicate]

I'm struggling to decide whether to jettison use of the word fact, because the definition appears to be not solid enough to support continued usage. What do I mean by that? Look at one "meaning ...
-1
votes
3answers
71 views

“Thanks, my lovelies!” [on hold]

I was looking for a phrase to thank multiple people. It's supposed to be an endearment for friends but not super close friends. Is this an appropriate reply to compliments or birthday wishes, e.g. on ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

“Don't get to (a) vow” - is this construction possible (and natural) in English? [on hold]

I've found a song where the performer (rapper) says some text, but this fragment is very hard to understand, and I want to ask – can you get what he said? ...
-1
votes
0answers
45 views

BBC, Playtime: Picnic, don't understand certain parts from audio program [on hold]

The radio program is here: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio/playtime/playtime_20150519-1500a.mp3 Don't understand the following fragments: 08:20: …. You out? 09:40 Said nan …. ? 11:25: ...
-1
votes
0answers
30 views

Difference between often and random [on hold]

I want to know is there any difference between often and random. Are these words same and are used interchangeably.? Here I want to know random in terms of english and not math. Here is a sentence.. ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Whats is the proper definition of guard

While reading Villette, a 19th-century novel by Charlotte Brontë, I came across the word guard used in a different way than I had known hitherto: I was up the next morning an hour before daybreak, ...
0
votes
3answers
87 views

Richard Feynman is certainly not mischievous!

In the introduction of Richard Feynmans book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, a colleague describes Feynman's character. The description makes sense to me - except for one word. The word ...
4
votes
0answers
78 views

What does 'lazy' mean in the sentence 'They bought the mansion for a lazy $10 million.'?

It seems to me that 'lazy' in this context suggests a humorous, off-hand attitude to a sum most would consider serious money. Is it a jocular minimisation of the amount, almost the opposite of the ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What does the extra “e” mean in some names?

Many times, I saw an "e" on some names. For example: blackthorne Is this only for decoration, or is the extra "e" from old english? Or maybe spelling for certain cultures?
-2
votes
2answers
35 views

The difference between quarter and district [on hold]

What is the difference between district and quarter ? e.g. dwarven district and foreign quarter
1
vote
1answer
53 views

What does “looked every day of it” mean?

She was in her late fifties and looked every day of it. In this instance, what does looked every day of it mean?
0
votes
1answer
29 views

I'm looking for a word that defines a situation commonly used in TV/film writing

Is there a definition, or a set of categories that describe situations in tv shows, movies, etc. Example, When the protagonist is a social underdog and his love interest is that of the ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

bleed inside out/got-have got

I've been wondering if there is the expression "I bleed inside out" or if it is correct. For example "someone or something makes me bleed inside out" - as we say "it breaks my heart". And actually I ...
0
votes
3answers
68 views

How should I interpret “Be different like that”?

Be different like that! What does it mean? Is it grammatically correct? I don't think it has any problems, but I am not sure.
1
vote
3answers
59 views

What does “drive a spike” mean? [on hold]

what does drive a spike mean in this sentence : It's like driving a spike through my heart
-1
votes
2answers
35 views

“You look good. The last time I seen you, you looked terrible, your head was busted in and —” [on hold]

“You look good. The last time I seen you, you looked terrible, your head was busted in and —” What's a "busted in" hairstyle? Research I've done ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

The meaning of a noun phase which is modified by an adjective clause

(1)Vin is the smartest guy that can play a piano. (2)Vin is the smartest guy in the class that can play a piano. (3)Vin is the smartest guy in the class that can understand every kind of ...
4
votes
2answers
148 views

Is there a word or term for one who is obsessed with names?

This is for a piece I am currently writing. Since I could not find anything from a Google search, I figured it would be wise to enlist the knowledge of the smart cohort of Stack Exchange. My question ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Synonyms for “big deal”

I have read on The Free Dictionary that the expression big deal may be used as an interjection to answer ironically "to indicate that something is unimportant or unimpressive". If it is the case, what ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What's meaning of “follow the argument through to its conclusion”?

In "But many of those countries have failed to follow the argument through to its conclusion", I don't understand what "follow the argument through to its conclusion" means. Can anybody help me ...
-1
votes
0answers
53 views

Can't remember the word for indicating different options [on hold]

The word I am trying to find sounds like "weather" and I think it is used on some sentences like "I have to decide {weather} I use this or this other thing", I can't remember how it is written. ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

What does “too on the nose” mean?

What does "too on the nose" mean, especially as applied to art? I use the expression but struggle to explicitly articulate what I mean. My best attempt is that I use it to refer to film, music, etc. ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

How do native speakers understand “make an acquaintance”?

Can you explain what it means?
3
votes
5answers
60 views

What does “to have something to them” mean?

I've been reading god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens which is from time to time hard to understand for me. I came across a sentence majority of which makes sense to me, but I lose the track at ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

Be going to have to

I have encountered this phrase on a forum. It was an answer to an unclear question. What does it exactly mean? In particular, what is the function of be going to in this case? You're going to have ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Outdoors vs in the outdoors [on hold]

If somebody likes sleeping in the open, which of the following sentences is correct? And if both are correct, what is the difference (if any) between them? He likes sleeping outdoors. He ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Can you give a clearer definition of “powerhouse” in food industry like dessert powerhouse?

I read an article and the article writer uses the word "dessert powerhouse". I guess "dessert powerhouse" like a big manufacture that makes a lot of dessert and whole-sales to other smaller cake shop ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What does it mean to be the Louis Kirstein Professor?

I have to do a dissertation on William Jay Lorsch and Paul R. Lawrence, so I was looking for information, but I found a term of which I don't know the meaning. The complete sentence is: Jay W. ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

What's the origin/etymology of the phrase “regular old”? Does it have a clearly defined meaning?

It seems to me that the adjective phrase "regular old" seems to have a few distinct usages, but a confusing conversation and some fruitless searches as to a specific definition have me coming to ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

What's the meaning of “I can't imagine why.”? [on hold]

Does it mean "The answer is obvious to me." in a sarcastic way, or does it mean "I really don't know the reason."? I am inclined to go with the former. Surprisingly googling doesn't help. Secondly, ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

“manufacturing time” vs. “manufacture time” [on hold]

Why is the term "manufacturing time" used instead of "manufacture time"? Just like one would say "production time" and not "producing time".
-1
votes
1answer
31 views

Defintion of Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale [closed]

In The Handmaid's Tale written by Margaret Atwood the military government is called Gilead. What is the definition of Gilead? Googling gave me the following definition: Gilead was a mountainous ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

which is all they need in [on hold]

In the week since Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo declared a war on corruption in business circles, prosecutors have launched an investigation into Posco Engineering and Construction (E&C) for ...
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

The meaning of this sentence [closed]

"Time is what you want the most, but what you use worst." what should be the meaning of this sentence , I am unable to comprehend.
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

“Back at his house in…” vs “back in his house in…” [on hold]

What's the correct form? Or at least the most commonly used? I found both instances in Google Books: On the journey home and back in his house in Scy Chazelles Schuman gave the plan his ...
-1
votes
2answers
39 views

meaning of “Operation Stork”

What are the meanings of "Operation Stork"? I know the common meanings of the word "Operation" and "Stork", but putting the meanings together doesn't make sense to me. PS:I saw this phase as the name ...
0
votes
3answers
64 views

Word to describe someone who makes you feel uncomfortable [on hold]

It's more like unsettling and discomforting but not threatening like daunting or menacing.
4
votes
1answer
111 views

What does “a Kosher ham” signify in the line, “Stone described himself as a kosher ham ready to go to the opening of door.”?

I found the article titled, How Jackie O played matchmaker to two of America’s greatest minds appearing in Vanity Fair (May 18) very interesting and informative, but am curious to know what the ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

the phrase: Word of hand

I've heard somewhere: "word of hand" What does "word of hand" mean? Can it mean something like: word of advice | help | aid? Like it does in: "to give hand to smb". UPDATE: (what I could find in ...