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

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2answers
8 views

The rhetorical effect of “no more … than” construction

The following is a part of the section 15.70 of A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (Longman). Rachel is no more courageous than Saul(is). The sentence implies that both ...
0
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1answer
15 views

Meaning of “Green” and “GreenBack” in American english?

I found 2 new words on my American Slang book (Talk the way americans do). 1) Green 2) GreenBack Meaning of these words on my book : Green : money (Referring to the color green seen on U.S. paper ...
0
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1answer
20 views

meaning of “beat the measure”

When Keawe came to himself a little, he was aware it was the night when the band played at the hotel. Thither he went, because he feared to be alone; and there, among happy faces, walked to and fro, ...
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0answers
14 views

“thick loaves”: meaning

I would like to ask you what do the native speakers of English mean when they say a thick loaf of bread? Does the adjective "thick" describe the bread's texture or size? Does it just mean that the ...
0
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1answer
27 views

“until late afternoon”: when is that?

Here is a phrase about supermarkets in Belgium: The idea for brewing with bread came when 31-year-old Frenchman Sebastien Morvan talked to a friend about food waste, specifically the bread ...
0
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2answers
41 views

I need to know why a hyphen was used in this sentence

I just found this sentence from the book I am reading now. "The revelation reminded of Stacey J., a would-be assassin I know well." I think I got a nuance, but I need some logical explanation of the ...
-2
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1answer
62 views

What does the phrase “He’s holding a cat” mean or does it only have a direct meaning? [on hold]

What does the phrase He’s holding a cat mean, or does it only have a direct meaning? This phrase hasn’t any context. Perhaps is it an idiom?
0
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1answer
37 views

What does “due to any reason other than” mean?

I tried to translate this phrase (due to any reason other than) using Google Translate but it does not seem accurate. Could someone please help me to understand it? Does it mean "just only a reason"? ...
1
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1answer
56 views

What does “Come on, let's wrangle up the cattle” mean?

Andy said this to Woody in Toy Story 1. Is this idiom?
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3answers
44 views

What does “Bo Peep” mean in this context?

Quiet, Bo Beep, or your sheep get run over! Source: Quora
0
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1answer
19 views

Meaning of 'noted lights'

;prominent individuals of both political parties, Society hostesses, well-known dramatic authors and novelists, and distinguished aeroplanists were dimly recognizable in that doomed throng; noted ...
0
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4answers
46 views

How should I call “summer prepared” for a car?

When a car has been made ready for summer, there is a word for it, at least in Dutch: the car is "zomerklaar". In case of winter it is called "winterklaar". Is there a word for it in English? A word ...
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1answer
34 views

Any and some don´t have rules

In my university, in English Grammar, I learned I can use any for negative and interrogation sentences and some in positive sentences, but when I watch English movies, any is used in positive ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Is there a difference between “heir” and “legatee”?

Merriam-Webster defines heir as "one who inherits or is entitled to inherit property" and legatee as "someone who receives money or property from a person who has died." Is there any difference ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

In Gary Bernhardt's talk about Ruby and JavaScript surprises, what does “wat” mean?

There's a video of a conference presentation by Gary Bernhardt about surprising behavior in the Ruby and JavaScript computer programming languages. At the beginning of the video, Seth asks the ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

What does “wound for sound” mean and where did it come from?

This is a figure of speech that's been in my lexicon virtually forever. I used it in something that's being translated to another language and the translator is asking me what it means. I wanted to ...
1
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1answer
53 views

I’m trying to please to the calling

Van Morrison’s song Moondance has these lines “And I'm trying to please to the calling / Of your heart-strings that play soft and low.” What are we to make of “please to the calling” -- an ...
5
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4answers
605 views

Word/phrase for a feature that could be both good and bad for something

Take this scenario: a tool has a specific feature that could be regarded as an invaluable benefit for. However, this feature, if used in opposite direction may be counterproductive. In other ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

What does “pass it” mean?

I love the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but I can't understand the meaning of this sentence: We eat a bag of dirt, pass it in a kiddie pool, and move on... What does pass it mean? Is it to ...
2
votes
1answer
273 views

Is 'artisks' a word? (I met this word in 'The Invisible Man')

In 'The Invisible Man' by H.G.Wells, there is a sentence;"Wait till the summer," said Mrs. Hall sagely, "when the artisks are beginning to come. ..." Mrs.Hall is the wife of Mr.Hall, who is the ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Racialization definition

I am completing a PhD. It is imperative that I find a reasonable definition of the term racialization. I am not using it as a verb for racism. Rather I am attempting to use the term to describe hoe ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

What is an “American style shopping mall”?

Consider the phrase: "American style shopping mall?" Implicit here is a large multi-story enclosed gallery with lots of shops on a passageway that connects the "Generators" (large department stores ...
1
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3answers
45 views

What's a word (in any language) for “a setting for adventure/an epic”?

For an rpg worldbuilding blog I'd like to make.
1
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3answers
63 views

What does salt and slug mean in IT?

salt: For web developers, exposing your .git folder to the world is a novice mistake. It allows anyone to download your entire source code repository, which often includes database passwords, ...
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0answers
42 views

Is there any other way of the expression on this phrase? His breathing was becoming less labored

Or, "Eventually, the old guinea pig was unable to move and her breathing was labored." I am looking for other way of saying in an exactly same meaning.
0
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0answers
43 views

Screp - definition

I encountered the following sentence, which is supposed to be related to how managers of a company can improve quality, I am especially unsure about the word "screp"... Screp of cross-dock totes. ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Difference between Paper and Article for scientific writings

As I know, in most of situations (in scientific context) these two terms are used to point to same thing and even they are used interchangeably. For example, Theory of value with public goods: A ...
1
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1answer
36 views

What is a state pair?

In the beginning of the first chapter of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain I read: The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and ...
0
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1answer
50 views

What does bimonthly really mean? [duplicate]

Does the bi prefix mean that it is every second month or twice a month?
0
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2answers
46 views

Word for “Writing phrase on something”

Is there a word that represents the act of writing a phrase on something? In this case, I'm trying to advertise a club by "engraving" or "inking" ping pong balls with a phrase such as "Join this ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

the fairest to be Patakied

Bea was attractive, though by no means the fairest to be Patakied. This is the sentence that comes from the novel by Tibor Fischer Under the Frog. The official translation of this clause to my native ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

“Code of Alabama” usage in this sentence

From Harper Lee’s 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus’s office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkerboard and an unsullied Code of Alabama. Isn’t ...
1
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2answers
76 views

What does mean “snap right back to your book”

I need help to know what this sentence means? I have trouble understanding phrase "just snap right back to your book" Sometimes it feels as though your attention has wandered for just an instant. ...
1
vote
4answers
73 views

When should hyphens be used to make text clearer

In an earlier post - Phonetic understanding of tongue twisters - a comment was made that "hyphens ...(are) ...not needed in speech, so they must be extraneous". The phrase prompting this assertion ...
1
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1answer
88 views

Which one is correct “delivered to” or “delivered at”?

Should I say Food delivered to your doorsteps or Food delivered at your doorsteps?
0
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1answer
28 views

Are these two meanings of “phenomenal” related?

I had seen the word phenomenal translated into Chinese words with an equivalent meaning "of phenomenon" in more and more text especially regarding sports. For example, LeBron James had a ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What does “lift their skirts … and grab the eyeglasses right off someone's face” mean?

From Gavin De Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence (1998): "That's true," she said. "Every day I have to predict what the kids will do, and I succeed for ...
2
votes
7answers
83 views

What is a good word I can use for the talking I do with myself in my mind?

'Monologue' seems like a close fit, but I think more people associate it with one-sided conversation. Correct me if I'm wrong. 'Soliloquy' seems to be only concerned with plays and dramas. Can I use ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

Is there a single word (or expression) used to describe a person who only does their job when the boss/manager is watching?

"Quick the boss is coming, we need to look busy" Is there a single word (or expression) to describe a person who only does their job while someone (the boss/manager) is watching, but who does ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

GRE Sentence Completion -2

It comes as no surprise that societies have codes of behavior; the character of the codes, on the other hand, can often be _________ . A) predictable B) unexpected C) admirable D) explicit E) ...
0
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2answers
51 views

the meaning of “they should not look nearly as different as they do”

The three species (Man, the chimpanzee and the gorilla) share almost 99 percent of their DNA, and on that basis, surely, they should not look nearly as different as they do. Am I right in ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Is there any difference between 'artfully' and 'artistically'? [on hold]

Is there any difference between 'artfully' and 'artistically'? e.g., are there any subtle differences between an 'artfully plated' dish and an 'artistically plated' one?
0
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1answer
49 views

What does “over-formal” means? [on hold]

An ideal article should have the following: • Appropriate and Correct English Professional, but not over-formal, U.S. English.
0
votes
2answers
46 views

what is a cross signature?

I am told to get the cross signature done on the envelope containing my recomendation letter by principal but i have no idea of what a cross sign is? and how it is to be done on the envelope?
3
votes
4answers
114 views

“Premise” as a location

Can the word "premise" ever refer to a location or building? I have noticed that "premise" is being used in the computer industry to refer to a computer system that is located at a customer's place ...
-2
votes
2answers
34 views

What's the difference between “in the room” and “in room”? [on hold]

I usually tend to tell i'm in the room. But i get confused when i get doubts with respect to what to use between "in the room" and "in room" for the formation of error free sentence.
2
votes
3answers
145 views

GRE Sentence Completion Question

Select the two answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole and produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning. As my eyesight began ...
18
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8answers
2k views

Is there a term for ascribing acts of the human mind to non-human objects, and when is it appropriate to do this?

Nota bene: English isn't my native language, so when I say acts of the human mind, I attempt to generalize things such as making assumptions, drawing conclusions and (to some extent) to reject. To me ...
0
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2answers
35 views

Comparing laws, regulations, and rules

As I understand it, laws are made to protect property, regulations are made to control our behavior (both are made by governments), but rules are made by individuals or organizations. Please explain ...
0
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2answers
35 views

“piecemeal” (about a theatre prop)

I'm translating an American article on a theatre production that is really challenging for a non-native speaker. Here's a passage describing one of the props, a car: Indeed, the set, by Maria ...