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

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1answer
36 views

What is the meaning of “highway shops”?

I was curious what the meaning of "highway shops" is. It's related to the software industry, but I could not find much information about it. Also, I only found it being used in 2 places. From this SO ...
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4answers
61 views

Nietzsche quote meaning [on hold]

I came across following quote attributed Friedrich Nietzsche: It is the most sensual men who need to flee women and torment their bodies What context does it appear in and what is its meaning? ...
2
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2answers
51 views

Figurative usage of “astride”

Can "astride" be used in the figurative meaning of "half one on side and half on the other side"? The specific concept I'm trying to express is that a certain span of values with a certain length is ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Can an institution “attest to its highest academic standards”? Is that kind of attesting something only a person can do?

My full quotation is for a formal letter to a university president, congratulating her on becoming president. "Under your leadership, I believe that Anytown University will continue to attest to its ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Correct usage of the word “decimated”?

I was reading this article about humans destroying 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years and noticed the word "decimated" in the introduction. I thought decimated meant to destroy a tenth or ten ...
0
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2answers
40 views

“Online Chinese course” or “Chinese online course”?

I intend to teach Chinese online. But I was just wondering which course title would be appropriate and if there's any difference: Online Chinese course Chinese online course They sound a bit ...
2
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4answers
58 views

Noun usage of “optimum”

Another teacher came to me with a potential test question. In the text, she uses "optimum" to refer to the fastest route for a lifeguard to save a swimmer. I forget the exact wording. "The optimum, ...
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0answers
34 views

What is difference between “huge” and “massive”? [on hold]

What are the differences in meaning between huge and massive?
13
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3answers
884 views

It's all downhill from here

The phrase "it was all downhill from there" seems to have two, contradictory meanings. The first indicates that things have since gotten a lot worse. For example (from ...
2
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1answer
43 views

Treasure Island: What is a squire as Mr Trelawney's?

I'm reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and wonder what is a district squire, as Mr. Trelawney in the novel. Squire, as wiki explains: Beginning in the Middle Ages, a squire was ...
0
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0answers
42 views

Is this expression grammaticaly acceptable in English? [on hold]

Since I'm not a native speaker, I decided to ask here because I'm not sure what I heard is correct or not. Can you please tell me if "the better now" is acceptable in English? (it was a talk about ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

What does the “removed” mean in this sentence?

Boston College, two weeks removed from upsetting USC, took a home loss to Colorado State, 24-21. Host Pittsburgh, two weeks removed from an impressive 3-0 start, stumbled for a second straight game, ...
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votes
1answer
44 views

What is golfing money? [on hold]

Here's from The Long Goodby by Raymond Chandler At The Dancers they get the sort of people that disillusion you about what a lot of golfing money can do for the personality. I wonder what ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Nonetheless or nevertheless? [duplicate]

I have looked up the difference but I cannot decide which word to use. I am talking about my high school experience. "There was always something to be done, from [this] to [that]. ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

What does “develops the issue” mean? [on hold]

The full question is "Explain how the example develops the [xxx] issue". I assume it means somewhere along the lines of "explain how the example proves the issue", but it kind of doesn't make sense, ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What wouldst thou beg, Laertes, That shall not be my offer, not thy asking [on hold]

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2 And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? You told us of some suit; what is't, Laertes? You cannot speak of reason to the Dane, And lose your ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Is there a difference between “note-taking” & “notation”?

Is there a difference between "note-taking" & "notation" when referring to the process of writing notes? I've read the dictionary definitions and I'm still not clear on it.
2
votes
1answer
78 views

How is 'Tacenda' used in a sentence?

I am confused about the usage of this word. I know the meaning it conveys. Help?
0
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0answers
33 views

Morpheme Division

I just have a short question regarding the morpheme contextualizes. When I divide it into morphemes, is it: 1. contextual ize s lexical derivational inflectional ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Does the term 'noon' have exact meaning? [on hold]

Say I have a meeting at 10:00 and want to postpone it to around 13:00, can I ask the other to "postpone it to noon, around 13:00"? Or the term 'noon' means exactly 12:00?
0
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2answers
37 views

What's the difference between “Mediary” and “Intermediary”?

I can't find a definition for Mediary, I thought they kind of mean the same thing. But how they each precisely defined? And can someone use a good example of both? Thanks
4
votes
3answers
67 views

What is the origin and sense of the phrase “put up or shut up”?

In researching the recent EL&U question Origins and Interpretations of "Put your money where your mouth is", I repeatedly came across the seemingly related but older phrase “put up or ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

What is the provenance of “ring the cherries”?

I was drawn to the phrase, “ring the cherries” in the following passage in Thomas Harris’ “The Silence of Lambs” in a part officer, Jerry Burroughs telling the profile of a suspect killer to FBI ...
1
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3answers
49 views

Which name should I use for a category of pictures: lifeless/still life/?

I created a website for my photographs which are organized into three categories: people, nature, and lifeless (see here). It seems to me lifeless could seem derogatory. Is it? If it is, what would ...
1
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3answers
73 views

Origins and meaning of “Put your money where your mouth is”

I heard this phrase uttered by a Canadian (from Vancouver) once; it left me in awe and elicited my curiosity. Wikipedia was not helpful. What is its origin? Is this expression used more in certain ...
1
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2answers
74 views

What are “crutch words”?

Please tell me what crutch words are. I think they are used to fill spaces between sentences like a filler word, but I am not sure.
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Farewell; and let your haste commend your duty

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2. and we here dispatch You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand, For bearers of this greeting to old Norway; Giving to you no further personal power ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Which is or are grammatically correct: “Cats are carnivores / carnivorous or carnivorous animals”? [on hold]

Cats are carnivores Cats are carnivorous Cats are carnivorous animals I often hear people say those sentences and I wonder which among them is/are correct. And are there any differences in ...
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votes
0answers
19 views

grammatical name and grammatical function [on hold]

What is the grammatical name and grammatical function of They caught"THE YELLING ANIMAL" yesterday evening What is the grammatical name and grammatical function of"The supervisors all observed"THAT ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

Is “Drop the big hammer” American slang?

In a trailer for the movie "Black Hat", one person says "The guy we're working with will drop the big hammer and not think twice about it" Is this some sort of American slang, possibly for a ...
0
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0answers
26 views

What is a self-contained, rhetoric phrase? (Brevity is soul of wit)

This related question touched on redundancy which appeared as a strict upgrade from an autological "word" to a "phrase" to me. It would be enlightening to find more instances that provokes a string ...
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votes
3answers
41 views

Please help me with the meaning of this quote [on hold]

I ran across this quote: Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. Can someone tell me what this quote means, or what you think it means?
2
votes
1answer
42 views

meaning of spatter

“Nancy,” directed her mistress, sharply, “you may set the muffins down and go at once to Miss Pollyanna’s room and shut the windows. Shut the doors, also. Later, when your morning work is done, ...
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0answers
16 views

Comma placement and meaning? [on hold]

Some time ago I read a common idiom that can reverse its meaning depending on the comma placement. To elaborate, A, WORD B and A WORD, B would have reverse meanings. It might have been on ...
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1answer
18 views

What is the meaning of this “General Government”?

No one section of our country was wholly responsible for its introduction, and, besides, it was recognized and protected for years by the General Government. (from Up from Slavery)
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1answer
15 views

What is the meaning and usage of this “is true of”?

Then, when we rid ourselves of prejudice, or racial feeling, and look facts in the face, we must acknowledge that, notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, the ten million Negroes ...
0
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1answer
46 views

The meaning of a sentence in Dracula [on hold]

"I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth, some of which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him." Would anyone tell me the meaning? thanks in advance.
2
votes
1answer
46 views

meaning of indecipherable part of a novel

“I ain’t a beggar, marm, an’ I don’t want nothin’ o’ you. I was cal’latin’ ter work, of course, fur my board an’ keep. I wouldn’t have come ter your old house, anyhow, if this ‘ere girl hadn’t ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Would you be flattered or offended if you were said to have 'purred'? [on hold]

David Cameron was overheard by microphones saying that 'the Queen purred' when he gave her the result of the Scottish Referendum vote. This is surely not literal, but a figurative use of purr. I did ...
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0answers
50 views

What does “giveness” mean? [closed]

What does this word "giveness" mean? There's no specific context; it happened that I read it many times recently and want to know what is its meaning.
0
votes
1answer
32 views

At the cheapest prices or in the cheapest prices? [closed]

Should i use "at the cheapest prices" or "in the cheapest prices"?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the difference between interaction, communication, conversation, and discussion? [closed]

I think all of these are kinds of communication. But can't think the difference between the other terms
1
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1answer
42 views

Meaning of “Smile Awryls”

My cousin owns an old joke book, of dubious quality, called "Super Jokes and Riddles". It is divided into several catchily-titled sections, mostly based on the subject matter of the jokes (e.g., "Say ...
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votes
0answers
27 views

What is the meaning of this thought? [closed]

In life, you can never be too kind or too fair: everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

What does hand off mean in mobile technology? [on hold]

I am reading a review about iOS 8 but don't know what hand off means and also don't know what versatile means here, I found several meaning for versatile but don't know which one is the best for it ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

The use of the word “ok”

Does adding the word "ok" to the end of a statement imply a choice instead of a command or order? Example: "Wash the dishes now". as opposed to "Wash the dishes now, ok?" Does this weaken your ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

What does “the storm booming without in solemn swells” mean? [closed]

What does "the storm booming without in solemn swells" mean?(from Moby Dick)
24
votes
4answers
3k views

Does “ruptcy” have a meaning?

Does "ruptcy" have a meaning? As in bank_ruptcy. I can google translate it to other languages and it makes sense but no online dictionary has it. Feels weird to have an ending for one specific word ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

impediment-y what's the meaning of this

The sentence I'm trying to figure out is: Unfortunately, the distance, etc are impediment-y enough for me Is it a typo or a neologism? Edit: a little bit more of context: Unfortunately, the ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Meaning of “cross-reference against” [closed]

What does it mean if one thing is "cross referenced against" the other? Like the following example: Each story is cross-referenced against the other.