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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1answer
33 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
32 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.
1
vote
2answers
55 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
60 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
58 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
67 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
48 views

What's the difference in meaning between “grandiose” and “elaborate”?

What's the difference in meaning between adjectives: "grandiose" and "elaborate" ? Thanks in advance.
7
votes
12answers
1k views

What's a common phrase that means “To put it simply though not 100% correctly”?

Like when you want to say that you'll tell a short version of something which would alter the accuracy of the original version.
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
97 views

What do you call someone who has passed deadline?

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
173 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
56 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
51 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
38 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

What does “Booting these guys” mean?

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
57 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
25 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
146 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
116 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
0answers
59 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
77 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?
0
votes
2answers
51 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
47 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
18 views

“Same procedure as last year?” [on hold]

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
35 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
73 views

What is the objection of Siddhartha here? [on hold]

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
40 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
67 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
87 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What does commute/commutation mean in this context?

I am trying to understand the following sentence from a legal document. Can anyone explain me what 'commutation' means? Immovable property presently sold is free and clear of all seigniorial ...
4
votes
3answers
309 views

How to appropriately use the word “baby” as in the pattern “ ____ baby ___”; for example, “run baby run”?

As a non-native English speaker, I am not sure what is the meaning of this pattern "_ baby _" as in "run baby run"? Another example: "USA continues to "drill baby drill" (referring to oil). What other ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

What’s the difference between a software “developer” and a software “maker”? [on hold]

We usually call someone who makes software a software developer. Why don’t we call them a software maker instead? What’s the different between software developer and software maker?
1
vote
0answers
37 views

conniption origin?

I viewed the thread about conniption dido - which I'd never heard before. But was wondering what true meaning of conniption was? I always figured it was an old medical term for seizure or ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Can we say “the must info” in the sense of valuable information? [on hold]

I heard the phrase once but don't know the context of conversation. Additionally, is "the must info" grammatically correct?
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What does “Obama goes big” mean?

The article of New Yorker (November 21) begins with the following sentence under the title “Obama Goes Big on Immigration”: For a two-term President whom his critics used to call “the ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

“if and as” - Does it mean what I think it means and is it even grammatically sound?

Very infrequently, I'll use the fragment "if and as" in a sentence. For instance: Having it be double fudge chocolate cake in both cases comes off as needless frippery if and as the recipe is ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

What does “provocative fictions” mean? Are they one kind of fiction?

I see this phrase in such sentence"The world knows his name, knows his reputation as the prolific author of provocative fictions, novels that..." But i wonder whether "provacative fiction"is a type of ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Difference between the prefixes, “mis” and “dis” [duplicate]

What is the difference between mistrust and distrust?
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What does “falling and missing the ground” mean?

I don't understand the use of the phrase "falling and missing the ground". How can one fall and miss the ground? What does it mean? Update Apologies. I found the use of the phrase at ...
64
votes
5answers
6k 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
3answers
61 views

Arrogancy vs. Humility

Is there a word or phrase to describe a state of mind within an arrogant person who has been overwhelmed in a debate by another person who is humble in his/her demeanor, but armed with the truth to ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Eytymology of the expression “Pissy Pants McGee.” [on hold]

What is the origin of the expression "Pissy Pants McGee"? Thanks!
1
vote
3answers
83 views

“Is that good?” vs “Is that any good?”

Is there any difference between the meaning implied by: Is that good? and Is that any good? I would appreciate if you give examples to show the differences, if there is any. ...
0
votes
3answers
49 views

I'm looking for a word like “routing out” that also describes a “blind gamble”

When my old dog and I had a regular local park, upon entering, she used to immediately run through all the bushes, hoping to flush out any squirrels. She didn't know if there were any squirrels ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Why is it “Thank you! You’re subscribed,” not “You subscribed,” or “You’ve subscribed”?

I received e-mail from New York Times that reads; What We’re Reading: Get recommendations from New York Times reporters and editors, highlighting great stories from around the web. “What We’re ...
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

An expression for someone who causes “pain” and for those who receive this “pain” [duplicate]

What do you call a person who gives only pain to his dear ones (whom he cares about the most)? What do you call a person who gets only agony from the person he cares most?
0
votes
3answers
85 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct? [on hold]

1) Suppose there is a very stupid person. Is it correct to tell that he/she is 'literally nuts'? 2) What about using it if the person is mentally ill? This came up in an informal talk with my ...
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

description of the sentence [closed]

What do you call a person who gives pain to all those he loves or being loved What do you call a person who gets only agony from his loved ones
1
vote
1answer
34 views

What does “optic stems” mean?

I'm watching an episode, some may recall which one, of a comedy show and one guy says something like this if I hear correctly: "I looked this woman in her optic stems" which is part of the joke, ...