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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

2
votes
1answer
18 views

This long sentence is ambiguous, and difficult for me to understand

I got this sentence Property value litigation is no different than any other type of litigation where experts are used in that expert opinions are fair game for attack by the opposing side in ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

What does “state-bearing” mean?

I came across this term "state-bearing" yesterday and did not get it. As in the following example: "There was an emergence of state-bearing elite groups (civil servants and bourgeoisie) – we get an ...
-1
votes
0answers
34 views

Can you use “Flesh of the god” [on hold]

Can you use "Flesh of the god" or should it be "Flesh of the gods? Or something else? I am using this as a title for text. I am from Finland so I really don't know, is it correct way to say this. I ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Meaning of “pull one's lips”

from "Collectors" by Raymond Carver. His(Aubrey's) eyes had lighted and then dimmed at the sight of the carpet. He shuddered. Then he took off his coat... Aubrey Bell stared at the carpet. He pulled ...
-1
votes
0answers
18 views

Is “Awaiting your heirloom advice” valid? [on hold]

At Thesaurus.com, I found heirloom for "old object, often of great value, very important; priceless". Is this a valid sentence where "heirloom" means valuable? Awaiting your heirloom advice.
0
votes
1answer
16 views

Using the word “maintenance” with “repair”?

I read a document and quoted one sentence. Yet even in the auto industry, the bulk of the work lies not in manufacturing but in maintenance —or its avoidance. In software, 80% or more of what we ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Use of the word “chance” to mean a number

In the Song I'm a Good Ol' Rebel the lyrics include the verse But I killed a chance of Yankees I'm unable to find a definition of chance that fits this usage. I presume it means a number but ...
7
votes
2answers
966 views

Knock On Wood in the UK?

In the US, it is common to use the idiomatic expression "knock on wood" to keep "a good thing going." Is it the same in the UK, or do they use a different idiomatic expression?
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Difference between “content” and “contentment”?

Given this sentence: I find (content/contentment) when sitting on a crowded subway train. or in the sentence fragment: my place of (content/contentment) In the dictionary, I see that ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

What does “curfew” mean in the context of a concert?

I am going to buy a ticket for a concert, and the show description says: Door time: 7pm Curfew: 10pm I was thinking that curfew means the latest time you can access the venue, is this correct? ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

“You are not your f***ing khakis” - What does “khakis” exactly mean in the Fight Club movie?

You are not the car you drive You are not your fucking khakis! I absolutely love Fight Club - this is a cult movie. I know that khakis mean a special color used for army dresses; but I want to ...
2
votes
3answers
437 views

What does the word 'Joll' mean in 18th century English?

What does joll mean in the following sentence? ... give him the upper or right hand, and walk not just even with him cheek be joll, but a little behind him, yet not so distant as that it shall be ...
-4
votes
1answer
30 views

Meaning of paint out [on hold]

I came across with the following sentence while reading my book; George O.may paints out the following major users of financial statements What is the meaning of paints out here?
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Meaning-based taxonomical data on English words

Words can belong to abstract classes, based on their meanings. For example, 'red' and 'blue' are both elements of the abstract class 'color'. I'm looking for general, meaning-based taxonomical data ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

collapse vs minimize [migrated]

Is it right to use the word "Collapse" to describe what this button do or "Minimize" is more correct? What the difference in meanings of words "collapse" and "minimize" in context of computer ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

What is a courtesy message?

I have seen the term a few times in notification e-mails. Does it mean just a polite notification?
0
votes
0answers
26 views

What is “unilateral superiority over the public”

What does it mean? Is it when one party had complete control over the other?
1
vote
0answers
56 views

When did “to forgive” lose its primary meaning for pardoning and become solely about an emotional response?

During a recent debate I was having with a peer, I was shocked to find out that the word "forgive" no longer carries a primary association with the act of pardoning another individual (i.e., ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

'Birthdate vs birthday'- I know three other people who share my birthdate

We say birthday and not birthdate Generally, birthplace is used for place of birth but not birthdate for date of birth. What is the reason that birthday scores over birthdate when it comes to ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?
5
votes
0answers
81 views

“If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be…” What does this mean?

I'm translating a book, which involves logic and quoted the sentence from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass: "If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

What is the “WWJD” standard for?

I often see some young people wearing bracelets with 4 letters "WWJD". So, what is it?
-1
votes
0answers
41 views

How do I rephrase this?

As a result of seeing these sad situations, I have volunteered in clubs I want to say that due to the sad sightings that I've seen before, I am now volunteering in various clubs.
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Is “Click bait” an Internet buzzword? How can I rephrase it?

I found a video showing a fireman who rescued a suffocating kitten from a fire smoke and resuscitated her by oxygen inhalation introduced in the article titled “Why that video went viral” in New York ...
-1
votes
1answer
63 views

Meaning of “get it on”

What does phrase "get it on" mean in sentence "Am I wrong, cause I wanna get it on, till I die". I found a translation where "get it on" is translated as "to have sex" but i think it is not ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

“right of say” — legal term? poor translation?

I'm looking at a political document where Country A is saying Country B has no right of say over Area C. A cursory search did not turn up a legal term but I do not have an adequate legal dictionary ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

“Shamefully presents” vs. “ashamedly presents”

I'm editing a short movie. In the title screens, after the production company is listed, there needs to be a play on the common "Proudly Presents" text. It is with some chagrin that the production ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

What's the difference in meaning between “grandiose” and “elaborate”? [on hold]

What's the difference in meaning between adjectives: "grandiose" and "elaborate" ? Thanks in advance.
0
votes
0answers
18 views

What is the negation of “last”? [duplicate]

If the opposite of "last" is "first", is there a word for the negation, i.e. non-last element in a list?
3
votes
3answers
103 views

What do you call someone who has passed deadline? [duplicate]

What do you call someone who has passed deadline or someone who should return book to the library, but has passed due date?
3
votes
2answers
178 views

Define “plate” from Sweeney Todd musical

The opening song of the Sweeney Todd musical contains the following passage about his wife: There was another man who saw that she was beautiful... A pious vulture of the law who, with a ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Meaning of “I'm surprised you ever do that.”

While reading some quotes from a book, I came across a quote consisting of the phrase whose structure I found hard to figure out. "You're so slow. I'm surprised you ever get anywhere." (From Aesop's ...
1
vote
3answers
56 views

Does “bankroll” mean “cash” if used as a verb?

I was watching the TV show "White Collar" (episode: Forging Bonds). Neal Caffrey is a bond forger. Neal is planning to steal money from a rich man named Adler. Neal needs some money to meet Adler, so ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Origin, logic, and range of use of the verb ‘untrack’ and the phrase 'get untracked'

One of the terms that appears in Merriam-Webster’s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) but not in the Tenth Collegiate (1993) or earlier editions of the Collegiate series is untrack: untrack vt ...
-1
votes
2answers
82 views

What does “Booting these guys” mean? [on hold]

I am not native English speaker, but in a conversation with an American guy, I come across this line. I am adding the situation where that guy used this sentence. He gave me some things to do, I did ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

need a word FAST because i am writing a story! [on hold]

OK, so I'm writing a story and I have a part when someone finds out that someone has an ability and the person who has the ability didn't tell anyone about it and it gets found out and someone asks ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

At Up To together in a sentence?

Does it make sense to say "At Up To 30% off"? Shouldn't it either be "At" or "Up To"...not "At Up To"?
-1
votes
0answers
28 views

Can you help me find the definition and purpose of these satirical strategies? [on hold]

The bolded words are the category of satire the terms have been placed into. (ignore the ordering of the numbers used, they're merely being used like bullet points) Parody twisted saying Word ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Does -able have an imperative meaning?

In a question on SO I ran into a question about the meaning of word "closeable". As far as I know (and my teachers taught me so) it has two meanings: possible to close should be closed The ...
4
votes
3answers
119 views

What is a term describing the destruction of crops by insects, bugs, or vermin?

The term pestilence has some application of use to generally describe 2: something that is destructive or pernicious I have seen it used in reference to destruction of plants and crops by ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Meaning of “repay” in “the book repays close study”

What does the word "repay" in essence mean in the phrase "the book repays close study"? My OED defines "repay" as to make return for; requite [a service, action, etc.]... must repay their ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What does “not far wrong” mean?

First, what does the sentence below mean? He may not have been far wrong Second, why do we use have rather than has?
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Need help identifying subject in sentence with a conjunction

Currently, I am involved in a disagreement as to interpreting the grammatical meaning of the following sentence: “Restores 10% of Att as HP in battle.” Given that “Att” and “HP” are nouns (with ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

What is the meaning behind “wag imagined”?

Today I read these sentences in The Economist "Lying, cheating bankers" “IF YOU can only be good at one thing, be good at lying…because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.” ...
-1
votes
0answers
19 views

“Same procedure as last year?” [closed]

Kann mir jemand helfen mit der Analyse dieses Dialogs in Dinner for one? Wieso ändert sich die Bedeutung dieses Dialogs während des Films? "Same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?" - "Same procedure ...
-2
votes
2answers
37 views

what's the meaning of “time-tagged” [on hold]

i don't understand the meaning of "time-tagged" e.g. The event data is encoded into time-tagged actions (assault, kidnap,flee, assassinate)
0
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the objection of Siddhartha here? [closed]

I am reading Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse and I am not able to understand this passage But according to your very own teachings, this unity and necessary sequence of all things is ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Spill the metaphorical beans?

I was reading a comic book and ran into this phrase. Is there any difference between 'spill the beans' and 'spill the metaphorical beans'? here is the context. Talk show host: "But seriously, Reed. ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Teaching of smuh? [on hold]

I was helping my child with her homework and noticed that she has to learn words starting with with sm..., st.... I found word "smuh" which i had never seen before as English is not my native ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Is “the best thing since sliced bread” supposed to be taken sarcastically?

On one day my boss said that a tool I had created to speed up my work was “probably the best thing since sliced bread”. Neither one of us is a native english speaker and we don’t also have any similar ...