2
votes
1answer
77 views

Meaning and use of girl child

I just stumbled across the name of the United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child To be honest, I have never heard the term "girl child" before, and could not find it in online ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

Definition of “ How Shakespearian” [closed]

Could you explain what " How Shakespearian" means? I've heard it recently but I can't remember in which situation the phrase was used.
7
votes
2answers
450 views

Is “It (North Korea) had a deep bench of (brutal madmen)” a common English phrase?

New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz Report (October 10) runs an article under the title, “North Korean government reassures citizens “It had deep bench of brutal madmen.” It begins with the following passage: ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Why do we say “Eastern Europe” but “East Asia”?

My girlfriend, who is not a native English speaker, asked me this yesterday: why are some geographical regions prefixed with the nouns North, South, East and West, but others are prefixed with the ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Meaning of Roll sevens or Rolling sevens

What is the meaning of the phrase " you rolled them sevens with nothing to lose " ? In the song entitled " The weary kind " which is a sound track of the "Crazy heart" movie , there is a line that i ...
4
votes
2answers
359 views

Meaning of “It was a line”

The title sentence is a dialogue from "Friends" (the sitcom): Monica has become acquainted with a man named Paul. On a date Paul says to Monica: "Since my girlfriend left me I haven't had sex with ...
5
votes
3answers
99 views

What is the origin and sense of the phrase “put up or shut up”?

In researching the recent EL&U question Origins and Interpretations of "Put your money where your mouth is", I repeatedly came across the seemingly related but older phrase “put up or ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

What is the provenance of “ring the cherries”?

I was drawn to the phrase, “ring the cherries” in the following passage in Thomas Harris’ “The Silence of Lambs” in a part officer, Jerry Burroughs telling the profile of a suspect killer to FBI ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “I got a bee up my ass about you two” mean?

The context is: Just so you know, I got a bee up my ass about you two.
1
vote
2answers
99 views

'computer programming is quite literally black and white'

I was thinking about this in the context of creating task requirements, having having to explicitly define how a program is to function. One might say: Law is often described as black and ...
2
votes
3answers
154 views

What does a patient and doctor “got off” to a rough start mean?

To a non-native English learner like me, understanding of, and familiarizing with the wide scope of usages of idioms associated with basic verbs such as “do, get, go, let, make, and have” are always a ...
0
votes
3answers
115 views

How to say that event is happening now? [closed]

Imagine if I sit in the classroom and I want to say that some lecture is going in another classroom. I what to express that meaning using active voice, like Lecture is happening now But for me, ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

What kind of figurative language is this phrase?

What figurative language is this phrase? Is it an idiom or personification? Or something else? I have tried to figure it out but I can't. "to drive the idea out of my mind"
0
votes
1answer
93 views

What does “straight out of [person]” mean?

I know the meaning of the straight out. But what does it mean with of? For example: It’s straight out of Alice Miller.
1
vote
2answers
84 views

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

Idiom meaning of "right hand of" Example. Right hand of GOD.
2
votes
1answer
84 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
731 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
90 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
274 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
2k 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
50 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
84 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
1k 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
94 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
274 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
152 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
4answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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
129 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
6k 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
68 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
295 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
105 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
186 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
87 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
125 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
58 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
565 views

What exactly does “heavy conversation” mean?

I think it is a serious conversation which has become boring. Am I right?
5
votes
1answer
143 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
156 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
499 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
162 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
271 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
616 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
139 views
3
votes
1answer
767 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
164 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
841 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
73 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.