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
17 views

BBC, Playtime: Picnic, don't understand certain parts from audio program

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
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0answers
21 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.. ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Whats is the proper definition of guard

While reading Villette by Charlotte Brontë, a 19th century novel, I came across the word guard used differently than what I had known hitherto, and probably differently than what it can mean as well. ...
-1
votes
3answers
78 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 ...
2
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0answers
39 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
48 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?
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1answer
24 views

The difference between quarter and district

What is the difference between district and quarter ? e.g. dwarven district and foreign quarter
1
vote
1answer
50 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
28 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
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0answers
18 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
58 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
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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 ...
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2answers
37 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
138 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
40 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
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0answers
50 views

Can't remember the word for indicating different options

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
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2answers
38 views

How do native speakers understand “make an acquaintance”?

Can you explain what it means?
3
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5answers
57 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
20 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
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1answer
37 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
84 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
37 views

“manufacturing time” vs. “manufacture time”

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

Defintion of Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale [on hold]

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
18 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
29 views

The meaning of this sentence [on hold]

"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
38 views

“Back at his house in…” vs “back in his house in…”

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
38 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
58 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
109 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
32 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 ...
0
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0answers
55 views

What does “case” mean in the following context? [on hold]

I firmly believe that imagination is coming from knowledge, experience, and most of all, reading. Reading things in our sphere, say, blogging and SEO (if I am the case) there is nothing ...
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

What does “value” mean in the following context? [closed]

Create Value “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” Most people approach the word “success” wrongly. It’s not just being bare-wealthy and having big firm who runs ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Off the turnpike - what does it mean?

In E. L. Doctorow's Book of Daniel I read the following sentence: The state police brought Susan in off the turnpike and that makes her a public charge. Susan is an inmate of a mental ...
0
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0answers
5 views

How many flies does it take to screw in a light bulb? [migrated]

I encountered this lightbulb joke today, but I can’t figure out why it is funny: Q: How many flies does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: Two, but I don't know how they got in there. My ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Does “Fat Fighters” mean that the group fights against fat, or that they are fatty?

We are having an argument about whether naming a gym "Fat Fighters" communicates the right message. The name should suggest that they fight against fat (obviously). The "fat" is both noun and ...
0
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2answers
53 views

What does “in forming a human being” mean?

I just want to understand what the speaker meant in this sentence. I think there is nothing more important in forming a human being than your family.
-3
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2answers
49 views

The experts in the field and the dictionary give the definition of words (such as Wisdom, etc). Which one is more precise?

Ok, the Philosopher defines "Wisdom" as the "the use of knowledge" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom) whereas the dictionary defines "Wisdom" as "the quality of having experience, knowledge, and ...
0
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0answers
45 views

meaning of: “Might be dated though!” [migrated]

Actually, I got a reply from the author of a blog. It is the following I am glad it's of help to someone! Might be dated though! However, I understand the meaning of the first part, that the ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Straight from the horse's mouth

I want to use the phrase "Horse's Mouth" in one of the applications that I am creating to refer to a group that have the original story. In the same application, there is another group of people, who ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

BBC, Playtime: Summer fair, don't understand certain parts from audio program

The radio program is here: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio/playtime/playtime_20150512-0900a.mp3 Don't understand the following fragments: 00:40 – There are lots of brightly … … 01:30 ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

What does “still informant” mean in the following context?

With his ideas still informant, Albert Einstein was 22 years old when he sat out alone on foot across the Alps.
1
vote
2answers
62 views

What does “strip away all the sound and fury” means?

I have seen this quotation from Ed Miliband's current rhetoric: "Strip away all of the sound and fury and what people across England, Scotland and Wales, across every part of the UK, are saying is ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

In (a) broad range of

Should "a" be used in the titular expression? I've found instances in which "a" used : This book presents a practical introduction to signal analysis techniques that are commonly used in a broad ...
1
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2answers
37 views

Of sorts vs A sort of

What basically is the difference (if any) between these two expressions - of sorts and (a) sort of He would wear a coat of sorts. He would wear a sort of coat.
6
votes
2answers
943 views

What is the meaning of “old sport”?

In the film "The Great Gatsby," Mr. Gatsby says "Sorry, old sport, I thought you knew"; what is the meaning of old sport?