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

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3
votes
1answer
102 views

What is the etymology of “gatefold”?

What does the word "gatefold" mean? Sure, I know what it is (the whole internet is very eager to tell me what it is), but where does it come from? The "gate" part that is, I can guess the "fold" ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

What would “I forgot my keys” mean in this situation? [duplicate]

If you were at the door and found out that you had forgotten your keys you might say: "I have forgotten my keys" .. but what would it mean if you said I forgot my keys instead?
0
votes
2answers
99 views

What does “bright topaz denizens of a world of green” mean

Here is the extract from a poem "Aunt Jennifer's tigers" by Adrienne Rich- Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen bright topaz denizens of a world of green. They do not fear the men beneath ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

What does “I chap easily” mean?

I remember hearing this line in an old American comedy TV program A guy starts kissing his boss's hand because he gave him a promotion, and the boss says "be careful (or was it, Stop it, I think, but ...
2
votes
2answers
49 views

It was the freshest movie for a long time

In a listening of my English course book there is this sentence: "It was the freshest movie for a long time". A film critic is talking about the best movies in the last ten years. For example: For me ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

Meaning of 'insider hiring' [on hold]

there is an article about hiring. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/iphone-article/.premium-1.637980 one of the headers is 'Insider hiring'. what does it exactly mean? hiring someone you know? does it have ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Is it inflammable or flammable? [duplicate]

You sometimes see on tank trucks or petrol tankers carrying gas or oil or other liquids that catch fire quickly the word inflammable painted in bold red on them.Should not the correct word be ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

using word “Responsive” correctly? [on hold]

I wrote this sentence for my report, but I am not fully comfortable in using "responsive". Can any one check and point out the mistakes? Various constraints relating RGB cameras were found to be ...
3
votes
3answers
112 views

Word for development or improvement in art

In human race you call evolution to upgrade mankind, in technology innovation , how about the art work? how u call it? from painting to graphic design
0
votes
1answer
29 views

To be stoked on/about/ to do something [on hold]

What's the difference, if any, between these: I'm stoked on going there I'm stoked about going there I'm stoked to go there What's the most common?
0
votes
1answer
24 views

How to punctuate the following sentence? [on hold]

The sentence: Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. It is from ...
0
votes
2answers
20 views

Levelized in“ levelized cost of energy” [on hold]

I have read the one report with title of Lazard's levelized cost of energy analysys. Is there any one to tell what is the meaning of "levelized" in "levelized cost of energy"? Tnx
-4
votes
0answers
58 views

Harry Potter strange question [on hold]

In Harry Potter 6 when Dumbledore went to visit Tom Riddle for the first time he said: "How do you do, Tom?" and Tom answered "Don't" What does this "Don't" mean? I can't understand.
0
votes
2answers
37 views

What does “you happen to be on” mean in the context? [on hold]

Here is a sentence from the Rework book written by Jason Fred: "When you're really tired, it always seems easier to plow down whatever bad path you happen to be on instead of reconsidering the ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Non-repudiable vs non-refutable vs non-reputable in computer security

In computer security there is a concept known as: non-repudiation "Non-repudiation refers to a state of affairs where the purported maker of a statement will not be able to successfully challenge the ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Clarification on sarcasm/type of personality-stumped

I am hoping to get some help. I have always been told that I am the most sarcastic person people have ever met. After 20 years, I decided to dive a little deeper to see if I fit the definition. It ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Is this usage of “account for” correct?

Can "account for" mean "take into consideration", such as in the sentence "I forgot to account for the time it would take to drive here, so I'm late"? Oddly, I couldn't find such usage in any ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

A “cold opening” like by Saturday Night Live [on hold]

I could not find it on my favorite translator dict.leo.org, so I ask the resident AI, what is a cold opening, as found in many titles of Saturday Night Live episodes on your favorite video clip ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

How would you label someone that generates ruses?

Someone who constantly tells lies can be labeled as a liar. Is there a word that describes someone as a person that constantly uses ruses(sp?)? I found that in the definition, if you go to the old ...
-1
votes
2answers
67 views

Is “I cannot best you” valid sentence? [on hold]

In video game "Skyrim" enemy warriors some times cry I cannot best you! and run away. Is "I cannot best you" valid sentence? Does it mean: "I cannot defeat you"? Can I ask question: "Can you ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “sunset” mean when used as a verb? [duplicate]

There was the following quote from Adam B. Schiff, Democrat Representative on President Obama’s request for a formal authorization of Congress to fight the Islamic State in New York Times article ...
1
vote
4answers
76 views

“Nothing but” + adjective? [on hold]

Can "nothing but" be used before an adjective? E.g.: I'm nothing but certain we will win.
0
votes
0answers
18 views

What does “All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat” mean? [duplicate]

I don't understand this sentence: All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. What does it mean? Can a scar be a bath of heat?
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Does name + “boss” mean something?

One of my colleagues in Britain keeps addressing me as "Armen boss" in mails and skype. Like, Hi, Armen boss. Can you please verify...? I am in no conceivable way his boss and our relationship ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the difference between “mincing” and “grinding”?

What, if any, are essential differences between mincing and grinding? I tend to associate mincing with soft foods (other materials?) such as meat. In particular, Merriam Webster has the following ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

does the slogan “furniture made by makers” make sense? [on hold]

I am working on a slogan for a new furniture website that will feature furniture made by different individual makers and English isn't my first language, so I was wondering if this slogan made sense: ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

“I don't agree totally” vs. “I don't totally agree” vs. “I totally don't agree”

What is the difference between the following? I don't agree with him totally. I don't totally agree with him. I totally don't agree with him. I'm puzzled at the meaning of negative ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Difference between destroyed, terminated and suspended [on hold]

I'm a mobile app developer. I have experience in android and iOS app development. In android,there is a state called destroyed and in iOS,there is a state called suspended. Both states have same ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Is there any negative connotation to the word SpoonTalk or Spoon [on hold]

This is my first question here. It is not exactly related to English usage. -- Providing more details as suggested by John-- I am currently building a Software product and have named it SpoonTalk. ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

The meaning and etymology of the exclamation “Lawdy me!”

What does a speaker mean if he/she exclaims "Lawdy me!"? I noticed this exclamation when I was reading a short story "the Conscience of the Court" by Zora Neale Hurston. There was one brown-skinned ...
4
votes
2answers
233 views

Does “avail” make sense here?

My colleagues in India frequently use "avail" to mean "use" or "take advantage of" as in the following example: Avail our special offer for this event. I have never seen "avail" used in the manner; ...
75
votes
5answers
11k views

“Here's looking at you, kid” meaning?

I'm sure many will know Rick's famous line from the film Casablanca: Here's looking at you, kid. While I can guess at it, I was never fully confident about the meaning of this phrase. I am not ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

Meaning of 'Some nose puts the bulls on me tomorrow..'

"It don't make any difference," he said. "I'm washed up anyway. Some nose puts the bulls on me tomorrow, next week, what the hell? I just didn't like your map, pal. A nose means a person, I ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

what does it mean, when a girl tells a guy, “sounds like a catch”

After you mentioned the good qualities of another female, and desire to have a female like such.
0
votes
2answers
90 views

references on the usage of 'ish'

Can anyone please help me. Is there any work/literature available to suggest that the suffix 'ish' can stand alone, or be used for approximation etc? any other information on the suffix 'ish' will be ...
68
votes
5answers
7k views

What does 'TL;DR' mean and how is it used?

I do my best, at my advanced age, to come to grips with the apparent acceptability of such widely used words/expressions/abbreviations as lol/LOL, IMHO, AFAIK, etc. However, TLDR/tl;dr defeats me. ...
2
votes
1answer
379 views

Is the use of “conversely” to mean “on the other hand” correct?

I've previously used "conversely" to mean "on the other hand". For example. I always thought this the correct usage. Conversely, I might be wrong. However, the OED defines it as: In the ...
-1
votes
2answers
158 views

What does “f***ing pay” mean? [closed]

I have never seen "fucking pay" before. what does it mean. I have read this in this sentences " Let's hope you're right. that's all I have to say. Because otherwise... you know? soneone, somewhere is ...
3
votes
3answers
18k views

Difference between “purpose”, “aim”, “target”, “goal”, “objective”, and “ambition”

What is the difference between “purpose”, “aim”, “target”, “goal”, “objective”, and “ambition”? I found these questions: Difference between “aim” and “purpose” Difference between “purpose” and ...
11
votes
6answers
10k views

What is the difference between a 'rocket' and a 'missile'

Someone pointed out on the BBC News that the Malaysian plane was hit not by a 'rocket' but by a 'missile'. From the dictionary definitions I have looked up I cannot tell the difference. Missile An ...
3
votes
5answers
13k views

What's the origin of “water under the bridge”?

What's the origin/background of the phrase "water under the bridge"? To what does it allude? I understand it means to let bygones be bygones--to move on from the past. But I don't think I understand ...
3
votes
1answer
17k views

what is the difference between “ Beware” and “Be Aware” ?

Can you please explain what is the difference between " Beware" and "Be Aware" ?
2
votes
1answer
697 views

Analyst vs analyzer/analyser?

What are the scenarios where the meanings of these differ? What is the difference between their meanings and if any, why? I have observed that the term 'analyst' is specifically used in cases of ...
7
votes
1answer
19k views

What is the real difference between dilation and dilatation?

In the medical profession we use the terms dilatation and dilation with great frequency. Dilatation is defined as a region of dilation, an area of abnormal enlargement, or the surgical enlargement of ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

What does this quote mean?

What does this quote mean: Oh, beauty is a beguiling call to death and I'm addicted to the sweet pitch of its siren." The quote is attributed to Johnny Quid in the movie RocknRolla.
0
votes
1answer
4k views

How offensive is the expression “I am sick of you”?

Question 1: What is the meaning of "I am sick of you" exactly? Question 2: Does the meaning of this expression change depending on the context? Question 3: How offensive is this expression in ...
0
votes
2answers
458 views

What are the uses of “totality”?

Often I find myself wanting to use 'totality' in a sentence that would otherwise work with 'total'. What are the correct usages of 'totality' given that both nouns describing the sum or completeness ...
2
votes
2answers
15k views

Difference between contract and catch [a disease]

What could be the difference between contracting a disease and catching a disease? I know there isn't any big difference. However, it looks like there are some diseases you can both catch and ...
1
vote
5answers
17k views

Word for “when somebody does something without realizing it”

I can't think of this word. It's when somebody is doing something but they don't realize they are doing it. For example: Suppose you're a girl and you are falling in love with a guy. When he ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “Small-ball crap” mean?

I heard it on House of Cards, the American TV series. The Congressman says it during a political discussion: I hate this small-ball crap! What is its meaning and etymology?