1
vote
2answers
56 views

Is “right hand of” means right hand of anybody else? [on hold]

Idiom meaning of "right hand of" Example. Right hand of GOD.
2
votes
1answer
67 views

What is this usage of harrumph?

So this question was just asked and it made me realize I didn't understand what was going on this particular movie scene (Mel Brooks' 1974 Blazing Saddles). Transcript: Governor William J. Le ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

we are in receipt of something

what does it mean "to be in receipt of something"? I have checked the meaning but have not figured it out fully, since I am a translator I need a literal translation for me to build out a meaningful, ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Meaning of palm [closed]

What is the meaning of Palm and grease in this sentence. He then listed out the palms we had to grease in order to open a place to teach kids in our country. I read this sentence from the book ...
3
votes
2answers
148 views

What does the term “night moves” mean?

There are a number of songs, films, and other cultural artefacts that use or reference this term, but I can't figure out if it has some kind of idiomatic meaning. Any ideas?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “Nothing doing as he took it right to him” mean?

I regularly read chess articles on chessbase.com and quite often I find myself struggling with the English they are using. Sometimes it just doesn't feel correct. OK, I am not a native English speaker ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

The meaning of “minking it”

There's a line in the musical Guys and Dolls: When you see a Joe saving half of his dough, You can bet he'll be minking it for some doll. My initial instinct is that this is a ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

(almost solved) “all I had to see me through”: Explain & how to look up?

Edit: Supplemented "through" in the title. I tried an intermediate summary after the original questions. It seems that "all I had to see me" simply means "all I had", or "all that was available for ...
4
votes
2answers
586 views

Meaning of 'a third leg'

When Dr. Barclay was called, I was surprised. I had expected an elderly man, but he was only in the late thirties and good-looking. Knowing Elinor, I wondered. Except for Fred, who had no looks ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Is “Arriving late to the party, but dancing on all the clichés” an adaptation of a cliché?

Yesterday’s (June 12) New York Times introduced Guggenheim’s new ventures of collecting artworks from South and South east Asia, Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America, which it has paid little ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Alternative Meanings of “Don't waste time with…”

Consider the phrase "Don't waste time with American literature." Is it legitimate to interpret it as meaning, spend your time cautiously while reading American literature, and don't spend too much ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Does “you don't want X” mean “I don't recommend X to you”?

Quite often I read exchanges like this: — I want [something], I tried this and that but still no luck, how can I do that? — You don't want [it]. An example: example. I'm Russian, and this ...
3
votes
3answers
627 views

What is the meaning of “paint it black” and when to use it?

I stumbled upon the phrase "paint it black" in a tv series (Elementary) and was wondering what does it exactly mean? Also, in which situations would you use it normally? Except when you tell the ...
6
votes
4answers
849 views

Meaning of “Put an egg in your shoe and beat it”

Go on! Put an egg in your shoe and beat it. What does "Put an egg in your shoe and beat it" mean?
2
votes
2answers
103 views

What is opposite of “Love”? [closed]

In a argument with my friend who lost her love, I came across her experience of life and what she said is : Opposite of love is NOT Hate. why, Because in love people have feeling and think about ...
3
votes
4answers
776 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
54 views

Is “Everyone tends to get the best of my worst” a valid sentence?

Is there any alternatives to the above sentence? I just needed to know how to say : "everyone tends to find my worst qualities easily" in a subtle way. And i really had no what to tag it with :)
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “stuff one's nose into another's orifices” mean?

According to Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (May 20) under the headline, “Remember to forget,” the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Google and other search engines can be ...
8
votes
3answers
242 views

Is there a term for a word that serves as its own antonym? [duplicate]

For example: "transparent" can mean both "obvious" and "hidden" "aught" can mean both "all" and "nothing" Is there a term for a word which has multiple definitions that are antonyms?
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Meaning of the idiom “here falls the shadow”

What does the expression "here falls the shadow" mean? The context is a list describing how to teach your kids to become entrepreneurs:  6. Teach the mental nexus. Here falls the shadow. ...
0
votes
3answers
100 views

Word for word meaning of “to beard a lion in his den” [closed]

I'm going to illustrate a word for word meaning of some English idioms. Just a fun drawing. Get stuck with the phrase “to beard a lion in his own den”. I understand the meaning “to confront someone on ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Tower of Babel, what is the meaning of the following verse?

What is the meaning of the following verse from Bernie Taupin's Tower of Babel as sung by Elton John on the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy? Those hungry hunters Tracking down the ...
2
votes
3answers
100 views

Meaning of the phrase “Four pounds if he's an ounce” [duplicate]

In The Thirty-Nine Steps, Sir Walter is describing a fish and says "Look at that big fellow. Four pounds if he's an ounce." I've heard similar phrases before but never understood what is being said ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Is William Blake's usage of “to break a net” idiomatic or metaphorical?

The following passage is from William Blake's 1793 work "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell": A man carried a monkey about for a shew, & because he was a little wiser than the monkey, grew vain, ...
1
vote
1answer
224 views

What exactly does “heavy conversation” mean?

I think it is a serious conversation which has become boring. Am I right?
5
votes
1answer
96 views

What's the meaning and the origin of “skewer a sacred cow ?” [closed]

I've read this idom from an article, and it seems that the phrase "skewer a sacred cow" mean "to criticize" but I am not very sure. Does anyone know the exact meaning and the origin of this idom?
0
votes
2answers
91 views

Meaning of “man of his own invention”

There is a song "Something That I Want" (ending theme from Tangled). It has the following lines: She's a girl with the best intentions. He's a man of his own invention. What is the meaning ...
0
votes
2answers
218 views

What does “make it last” mean?

There is a song but I am not sure about the meaning of "make it last" in that song. Please let me know what it means and which situation I should use this? Make it last - Tim Mc Morris ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

What does 'to be maxed out' mean?

I want to understand what Chandler means when he says he's maxed out after thinking he's embarrassed by his bunny costume.
2
votes
1answer
152 views

The person who marries for money usually earns every penny of it

The person who marries for money usually earns every penny of it. ...anonymous quote. What does this phrase mean? It seems to suggest that if you marry for money, you will earn all of the money ...
0
votes
3answers
301 views

'Blowing Dixie double four time' and 'He can play the honky tonk like anything' meaning

in Dire Straits "Sultans of Swing" what is the meaning of these two lines: In the first verse: You get a shiver in the dark It's been raining in the park but meantime South of the ...
0
votes
2answers
120 views
3
votes
1answer
287 views

What does “wishy-washy” mean?

Question: What does it mean when something is "wishy-washy"? Is it informal? Is it American English, British English or both?
1
vote
3answers
121 views

Bike Race question - Loser gets to be the girl [closed]

I don't remember which movie it was in, but there were two men (filled with testosterone), and they had this bet that the loser would be the girl. It was never specified what ''gets to be the girl'' ...
1
vote
7answers
529 views

When you say a man is a coward, does it imply femininity by default? Is ''girlish coward'' a common expression?

I was wondering about this and would appreciate your take on the question.
0
votes
1answer
63 views

What does “something eats into somebody” mean? [closed]

What does it eats into you mean? I have read this in a play It eats you, which is normal I like to know what the meaning is and how many meaning I can consider for it.
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Job interview question [closed]

I'm a French man in my late 20s and I'm applying for a job for a prestigious American company. I've had a job interview with an American woman and she told me all was well but I'd have to be molded to ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

get the boot courtesy - idiom, meaning

It seems that William and Susan aren’t getting along very well together, so one of them has got to go. Since William was there first, Susan will get the boot courtesy of the delete statement... ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

“Nuke the fridge”

I don't get what this phrase means. I tried googling it, but the answers weren't satisfactory. Could someone please tell me its meaning? I'm guessing it has something to do with TV shows (I first ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What does “My duh on” mean?

What does "My duh on X" mean? Does it mean "I like X" or "I don't like X" or something else? What does "duh" mean in general?
0
votes
2answers
246 views

“Latch onto [something/someone]” for “obtain, get (hold of) [something/someone]” in AE

I just rediscovered the colloquial expression "latch on to [something]" online and would like to know the story to its meaning of "obtain, get", which is presented by CD as AE and CE. ...
3
votes
5answers
681 views

What does “Press the point” exactly mean?

The New York Times (March 14) Fashion & Style column reports under the headline, “Walking the Walk to Increase Diversity” that Bethann Hardison, the fashion industry gadfly is to receive the ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

“Buy the farm” meaning

In Alice Cooper’s song “Hey Stoopid” from his 1991 album, there is a verse that runs like this: Now I know you’ve been kicked around. You ain’t alone in this ugly town. You stick a needle ...
2
votes
3answers
823 views

If you say in English: wear the pants in a relationship, then can you also say wear the skirt in a relationship?

What I mean is: if the person wearing the pants assumes a masculine/dominant role, then can we say someone assumes a feminine/submissive role by saying they wear a skirt in a relationship? Especially ...
1
vote
4answers
251 views

What is the meaning of “having one's kitten in one's pocket”?

This is an extract from 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' by Alexander Baron: Corporal Turnbull was a young man, but he was not a man to be trifled with. He had come back from Dunkirk with all his ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

What does “keeping someone in shoe leather” means?

In the following sentence: Unless your work is pro-bono, you should make sure that your customers keep you in shoe leather. What does "keeping someone in shoe leather" means?
4
votes
4answers
869 views

Is “Know how to cook leeks”an idiom? What does “Read “Hamlet” and know how to cook leeks” mean?

There was the following sentence in New York Times’ article (February 28) titled “What you learn at 40s.”: "Victor Hugo supposedly called 40 “the old age of youth.” - - The conventional wisdom ...
0
votes
2answers
180 views

When the waitress at a diner calls her male customer a ''good girl'' after getting tipped, is it meant to be offensive?

My friend got called that and since neither of us are American, it just sounded offensive to us.
3
votes
2answers
750 views

“Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” meaning and etymology

In my experience, referring to someone in an organization as "chief cook and bottle washer" has multiple possible meanings: person has a wide variety of duties in the organization person is very, ...
1
vote
1answer
635 views

Are “the fact of the matter” and “as a matter of fact” the same?

For a long time, I had only known the phrase "matter of fact" to be used in "as a matter of fact..." However, for quite a few days, I have also been hearing, "the fact of the matter is..." in news ...