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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

2
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3answers
68 views

More polite word to address a 'cleaner'

Is there a polite way to address someone who is responsible for cleaning at work?
-2
votes
2answers
33 views

What does this mean: “Why would that be the case?”

What does a person mean when they ask this question: "Why would that be the case?"
0
votes
3answers
46 views

What does “very notion” mean?

What does "very notion" mean in this sentence "The second epistemological consequence derives from the very notion ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Does the verb 'to tank' meaning to lose deliberately, or fail to finish, only apply to lawn tennis?

The Australian tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, is proposed in the Australian press to have tanked in his second set at Wimbledon, yesterday. According to the OED sense 6 of tank when used as a verb ...
-1
votes
0answers
20 views

what is the production process of recycled paper?

What is the production process of recycled paper? What is the production process of recycled paper?
2
votes
0answers
33 views

If I were to have or If I should have

I am not native English. My question regards the conditional form of the verb have to, must. I was wondering if I could use in interchangeable way the expressions "If I were to have" and "If I should ...
0
votes
3answers
55 views

What does “rally behind one another” mean? [on hold]

Can someone explain me what this expression means, and if possible, how can I translate it to a Romantic language, such as Spanish? Below are some sentences that make use of this expression: They ...
-2
votes
0answers
27 views

a paragraph in plain English [on hold]

Can anybody rewrite this paragraph in plain English, please? "Much like a work of science, a work of art represents both more and less than a simulacrum of pleasure – it is foregrounded by the values ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth [on hold]

What does this quote by Theodor Adorno mean? Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth. What do magic, lie, and deliver mean here?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

What is the meaning of “If I can survive to him”? [on hold]

I saw this sentence: I still have all of my body organs. If I can survive to him (about other person), I think I still be okay. What is the meaning of it? It's not as "If I can survive for him"? ...
-1
votes
0answers
30 views

What do these idioms with “bring” mean? [on hold]

To bring is to: take or go with (someone or something) to a place. cause (someone or something) to be in a particular state or condition But in an idiom, what does the idioms mean? and how does it ...
-3
votes
0answers
59 views

Who may submit to this literary magazine? [on hold]

The following is a solicitation from a literary magazine that wants diverse submissions. WE DEFINE DIVERSITY AS THE FOLLOWING: ANYONE WHO - (1) DOES NOT CONSIDER THEMSELVES TO BE: WHITE, ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

First name vs. Forename

I really don't understand why others are using "forename" instead of "first name". Can someone explain the difference to me?
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What does thunderous silence mean? Shouldn't it 'deafening silence'?

I encountered this in an article..., English is my second language so I am very curious..
2
votes
2answers
312 views

What does the phrase “woman who does” mean?

I've first heard the phrase on QI (season 3 episode 6) where Stephen Fry uses it as rhyming slang for "buzz" Bill: "Woman"? Stephen: "Woman who does": buzz. Bill: Buzz. Phill: ...
2
votes
9answers
451 views

Can shoving someone be nonviolent?

I'm trying to express a situation were someone is being forced/persuaded to move in a certain direction by another person, not in a violent, but rather a humorous, way. The word I'm thinking of ...
1
vote
3answers
48 views

“squeamish” and “relishing in”

"It looks at the somewhat squeamish work being produced by artists relishing in new gene technologies." What type of artworks are "squeamish works"? What does "relishing in" mean here? Does it mean ...
1
vote
1answer
18 views

In the context of tertiary education in nursing, what does “traditional” mean?

Someone described themselves as doing a traditional nursing university degree. In this context, what does "traditional" mean? Nursing using traditional medicine? Nursing involving traditional ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

mom-husband-wife thing [on hold]

I heard this one on TV, too. Here is the quote: Narrator: Sara is isolated geographically and emotionally from her family and friends. A friend: Five years had gone by where we were doing ...
-1
votes
0answers
24 views

Is it autological? [on hold]

I believe that from a business and personal perspective, leadership defines itself because it is too complex, has too many variables, and any attempt at defining it is severely lacking. Is there a ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

hit the road (meaning in context)

I was watching a show on TV (I escaped my killer) and Lisa Noland is dropped off after being raped several times by her attacker and to her surprise he doesn't kill her, drops her off at her ...
34
votes
13answers
5k views

What is it called when a highly respected person commits an immoral act but people don't believe that he committed the act?

I was wondering. It just came up. It has no real world relevancy. An example: A highly respected businessman commits child abuse and one day his wife finds out about it. She shares what she had ...
1
vote
1answer
15 views

What does “a media splash” mean? [on hold]

What does the expression "a media splash" mean? Is it something like a reference or mention appearing in the media?
-4
votes
0answers
44 views

What is “comeforpie”? [on hold]

what is comeforpie? and what's the -pie suffix mean?
2
votes
0answers
66 views

What is the meaning of 'Austenian'? [on hold]

Yesterday evening the other half and I took a delightful drive into the countryside about 30 miles away, and sat for a while in the Hampshire village of Chawton (whilst listening on the car radio to ...
1
vote
4answers
120 views

What is the difference of lavatory from toilet?

I was so far in understanding that lavatory and toilet are synonyms. But they are different in the following passage of Jeffery Archer’s “Be careful what you wish for.” A mastermind of IRA related ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

Can “fainted” and “lost consciousness” be interchanged?

Fainted (dictionary.com): A temporary loss of consciousness resulting from a decreased flow of blood to the brain It says that "fainted" is a loss of consciousness from a decreased flow of ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

What is the difference between 'ceremonial' and 'ceremonious'?

Even having looked in the OED I am still slightly unclear as to which contexts require the adjective ceremonious and which ceremonial. The OED treatment of ceremonious is as below with some of the ...
3
votes
3answers
157 views

Is there a word similar to Verbatim that means “Too many meaningless words used”? [duplicate]

Is there a word similar to Verbatim that means "Too many meaningless words used" ? I am looking for a word which describes the statement is meaningless with too many words.
1
vote
1answer
44 views

What word describes a self -created word/expression with an intuitive meaning?

Otherwise, the Court says, there would be no qualified individuals on federal Exchanges, contradicting (for example) the provision requiring every Exchange to take the "'interests of qualified ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Pure Applesauce: What does it mean and when/how was it created?

I could find out what jiggery–pokery means (dishonest or suspicious activity), but what does "pure applesauce" mean? And when, where, by whom, and how was this expression created? Context: ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

What is 'understanding' involving learning?

It appears the word "understanding" is nebulous when used in an educational setting. What's the most rigorous definition you've found for "understanding" when used for learning? Background: Every ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

meaning of a paragraph!

Can any one help me with the meaning of this paragraph: "We have insights into reality, we continually reshape them, putting oppositions together, arguing, reconciling on different systems of ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Does the phrase “Do you want a hand in this” make sense?

From someone, somewhere, I remember hearing the phrase do you want a hand in this? I was told that it meant do you want to be a part of this? However, when I googled this phrase, nothing turned up. ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Is there a single word or phrase for something that looks/sounds wrong, but is right?

Is there a single word or phrase for something that is so commonly spelt or said incorrectly, that when said properly looks or sounds odd? E.g. "Company staff is expert in management..." Saying the ...
1
vote
2answers
25 views

History and meaning of the word “clientelist” as in “clientelist politics”

In relation to news reports about modern Greece I see the term "clientelist politics" which I assume to refer to some sort of corruption. In order to learn more I looked up clientelist in the OED only ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Why are the buttons on computer keyboards called “keys”? [on hold]

A computer keyboard is a board of keys. Why are these buttons called keys? Is it related to the usage of piano "keys"?
2
votes
1answer
44 views

What is proverbial town pump?

"Patrick Wethered was as well known as the proverbial town pump; his mysterious and tragic death filled all Dublin with dismay. The lawyer, who was a man sixty years of age, had been struck on the ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

Meaning of disposition

Is it correct to say "My disposition and dedication have become more rooted in this field"? What does disposition mean here? I looked it up in a dictionary, but still can't completely feel the ...
-1
votes
0answers
19 views

Thats a treat thats hard to beat [on hold]

What is the meaning of " thats a treat thats hard to beat" ?
1
vote
1answer
36 views

What does Sovereign mean in this context?

How would you explain what "Sovereign General Insurance Company" means to a child? Does it literally mean: The ultimate/ruler general insurance company EDIT: Or is it just a name? Just like Joe's ...
1
vote
3answers
58 views

I'm stuck on finding a word to say “you can try anything” or “anything goes” [on hold]

I'm stuck on finding a word to say "you can try anything" or "anything goes" - Thanks in advance homies :) For context, I mean a word to tell a street kid or poor child who goes to a grand buffet ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Is it common to refer to the person steering a ship as 'pilot'? [on hold]

According to its M-W entry (supported by some other dictionaries), a pilot (used of a person) can mean, among other things: a : one employed to steer a ship : helmsman b : a person who is ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

What does “one” refer to in this sentence? [on hold]

Here I am with a Hitchens sentence again! I can't come up with an exact part or parts one might be referring to in the following sentence. (Please note, however, that I will give the whole preceding ...
1
vote
3answers
145 views

What is the meaning of “cop” in this sentence : “He says if London cops it, he'll cop it” [on hold]

What is the meaning of the bold part,: I have found these meanings for "cop", but none of them seems relevant in this sentence: 1. a. To get hold of; gain or win b. To perceive by one of the senses ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Is “a-blink” an adjective form of “blink” in old days?

Under his breath, with a furtive exultation, he began once again the paean of victory and devastation. And presently his eyes were rewarded: out through that doorway came a long, low, ...
-1
votes
2answers
51 views

How do i know if the word is step or glide in English [closed]

today I have a lesson in school about steps and glides and i didn't understand it. My first question what are steps and glides? My second question is how do i know if the sentence ends with steps or ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

what is the difference between verbal and oral? [closed]

what is the difference between verbal and oral ? I am looking forward to the answer and I appreciate your effort
1
vote
1answer
51 views

When do you use the plural of “medicine”?

Or in other words, I am asking: How do you "count" medicine? Is the word "medicine" like "gas" where a collection of gas is still called gas: The air was filled with nitrogen gas. Instead of: ...
5
votes
3answers
142 views

Using 'tedious' to mean 'annoying'

Some of my British friends use the word 'tedious' to mean 'annoying.' A recent example: The museums in Oslo aren't open on Mondays. That's a bit tedious. I'm a native American English speaker ...