0
votes
2answers
76 views

Is “Drop the big hammer” American slang?

In a trailer for the movie "Black Hat", one person says "The guy we're working with will drop the big hammer and not think twice about it" Is this some sort of American slang, possibly for a ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

How do I interpret “emissions of car operated over” in this sentence?

I was trying to answer a question on skeptics.stackexchange.com, where we found this paragraph in a scientific report: This compares to 1,374 tons per day statewide for passenger cars. While ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

In the cards or on the cards?

This seems to be a BrE/AmE distinction - is it? And do Americans use the phrase with more of a mystical Tarot card slant, compared to its British English meaning of simply 'likely to happen'?
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Difference between “ditch”, “trench” and “gutter” [closed]

I have been trying to understand the difference between the three, is this a usage difference between American English and British English? What is the difference?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

what is the meaning of “the family dynamic” and “Textbook Case”? [closed]

I encountered the terms “the family dynamic” and “Textbook Case” in the play The Pain and the Itch by Bruce Norris. I want to know what they mean. At page 58: Clay: Kelly was abused. Carol: ...
-1
votes
2answers
750 views

a definition of the phrase “ On both accounts” [closed]

hi I have a problem with this phrase " on both accounts". what's the definition? I see this phrase in TOEFL IBT tes 7. the student said two characteristic of something and the teacher said that. ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

to give someone until

I'm reading Women by Charles Bukowski and stumbled upon the following dialog: Dee Dee was standing next to me. "Please tell her," she said, "to give me until September." "Forget her," Lydia ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

Degree Certificate and Diploma

I am hoping to apply to a master's program in the USA. They ask for a "Diploma/Degree Certificate", but I don't really know what that means. When I looked for the definition I found only "Degree", as ...
-4
votes
4answers
90 views

What is synonym of Abide? [closed]

What is synonym of Abide? a) Pays b) Diverts c) Hang Real sentence is "Curse abides on a tyrant for ever!"
2
votes
3answers
60 views

What is the core meaning of the verb “set” in Modern English?

What is the core meaning of the verb "set" in Modern English? I wrote "to put (something or someone) in a particular place" in my assignment, but the teacher said it was wrong.
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What does “Chinese theater” mean?

In a 1904 review of a piece by Maurice Ravel, one critic used the phrase Chinese theater Two years later, a critic in the New York Tribune wrote, "In his String Quartet M. Ravel is content with ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

what is change window?what does that mean when someone says july change window

what is change window?what does that mean when someone says july change window I have been coming across this term quite frequently
5
votes
3answers
215 views

What does the slang term “Joe Gland” mean?

In the 1985 novel Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle I came across the following paragraph: They took out identification cards. Clybourne glanced at them, but Jenny thought he looked at ...
13
votes
7answers
702 views

Which is longer: snooze, nap, kip, 40 winks or siesta?

How long is a snooze? My boyfriend will invariable take an afternoon snooze which might last anything up to two hours. A nap on the other hand, can be short, quick or even long, and sometimes they are ...
0
votes
4answers
201 views

Derogative vs Offensive

Is a derogative comment an offensive comment? To what extent are these two words synonyms?
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Does the electricity “go or cut” “off or out”? [closed]

Which of the following choices are correct? While I was reading a book last night, suddenly the electricity ______. cut off cut out went off went out What are the differences ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
405 views

What does “could use a friend” mean?

I heard this word on some TV show and i have been trying to find its meaning(but they weren't of help much). Could someone please tell me ?
1
vote
5answers
150 views

Word for “growing in intelligence”

I'm looking for a word whose definition is something along the lines of "growing in intelligence". I'm trying to use it in a sentence like "the people are getting smarter and smarter throughout the ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Is it acceptable to use the noun “swing” for both a short round trip and an extensive circular tour in AmE?

I remember once coming across, while browsing some bilingual dictionary, the noun "swing" pointed up as an AmE equivalent for "circuit". But, sadly enough, what the bilingual dictionary didn't say ...
0
votes
2answers
746 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
1answer
163 views

What does this joke mean?

You wanna know what line doesn't work on a harp player? “Hey baby, wanna pluck?” It's a joke from a sitcom. I think I understood its general meaning but I don't understand what a "line on a ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What do these two sentences mean in Time's Sports?

Manning has enraptured the rapidly growing ranks of the formerly young in places far beyond the valley of the South Platte River. I hardly understand what this sentence means in this context; ...
1
vote
1answer
546 views

What does “cynical confidence” mean?

I know that cynical means something along the lines of believing the worst in people, but how does this word coincide with confidence? For instance, what would this line mean? The witness had a ...
1
vote
7answers
351 views

Appropriate word for smile

I'm looking for an appropriate word for a certain kind of a smile. Are you in love with that girl' asked she with a grin on her face. I have used the word grin but I guess grin is a broad ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Etymology & Colloquialism

I'm writing an essay for college applications in which I have to create a class. My idea is a class about the origin, change, and regional dialects of the English language. As an example, one would ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

American 'cup' measurement — for cheese

One recipe states "one cup of cheese, shredded". Now, does this mean you need a "cup" of cheese (i.e. 8oz.) and then grate it (I am English), or do you grate it first and then measure your "cup" of ...
0
votes
1answer
262 views

How can I explain a word used in a previous sentence?

I am defining a "thing" with an adjective. Example: X is a small y. Then I want to give a clean and simple explanation for the adjective small --because it can mean several things and I want to ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Who uses the term 'freehold'?

I am interested to discover in which countries, where English is used, the term 'freehold' and 'freeholder' is in everyday use. I know the question of 'freehold' has come up on this site before in ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Proper usage of the word “racism”?

It seems that historical definitions of the word "racism" use it to mean something similar to "racial prejudice" and "racial discrimination", without any reference to which race has power or doesn't ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Helping with a book?

I have been reading a book about programming and i came across a sentence which says: but if you don’t reuse some of what you’re doing, you’ll eventually wear your fingers down to painful ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

What is § called and how do I type it? [closed]

I copy pasted this symbol from http://docs.oracle.com/javase/specs/jls/se7/html/jls-15.html#jls-15.8.3 but I want to know what it is called and how to make it.
1
vote
3answers
814 views

Which word to use, “again” or “anymore”?

I'd like to describe an action which I'm used to do but I won't do it in the future. Which word is correct, for example: Just a little more work, I'll never need that tool again. Or: Just a little ...
7
votes
2answers
25k views

Meaning of “watch your six”

What does "watch your six" mean? Does it mean "watch your back", like in a dangerous area?
0
votes
1answer
17k views

What does “though” mean in these sentences?

I knew these are American English sentences, and they are informal. However, I would like to know what exactly it means, or it simply means nothing, and people merely want to add something unnecessary ...
3
votes
4answers
626 views

Is it customary to call the former President George W. Bush “W.”, and Mrs. Bush “Bar”, in public?

Maureen Dowd deals with the comments of the former first lady, Barbara Bush in NBC’s the Today Show in her article titled ‘Silver Fox’s pink slip’ in New York Times (April 27): “Asked on the ...
3
votes
4answers
301 views

What is the history of the word “lobby”?

I would like to know if the word "lobby" would have been used in 1890s Georgia (United States) and to what exactly this word would have referred in that time.
2
votes
1answer
323 views

“On Tap” in the Sense of “Coming Up”

Starting with the Fifth Edition (1936), seven generations of the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary have included (under the entry for tap) three definitions of "on tap," currently worded as ...
0
votes
3answers
248 views

“I went to bed hungry” vs. “I went to bed hungrily” [closed]

What is the exact difference between "I went to bed hungry" and "I went to bed hungrily"?
1
vote
2answers
8k views

“Do you have” vs “Have you got”

I am studying English and I want to know the main difference between “Have you got?” and “Do you have?” questions. Are they the same? Is one more formal than the other?
6
votes
2answers
383 views

Meaning of “Y-o-u-u Tom!”

In the opening chapter of Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom's aunt Polly calls out to him in a rather peculiar fashion: She went to the open door and stood in it, and looked out among the ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Is “august public official” considered an idiom, and has august always been used to refer to public officials? [closed]

Reading this article they referred to Justice Scalia as an "august public official." The phrase is also used in the book "Parade's End" by Ford Madox Ford on page 423. I can't seem to find the ...
1
vote
1answer
289 views

What does “Blast” mean? [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding this word's meaning. On Google Translate, it means explosion or something like that. But when I see that word in a sentence, there's no relation, at least for me at ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

What does the idiom “to sound a little off” mean?

What does the idiom "to sound a little off" mean in American English?
5
votes
1answer
490 views

What does “state” in “State University” refer to? [closed]

There are many universities and colleges in the United States with names such as "... State University". The word state has many distinct meanings, but pertinent to this question are: government, ...
10
votes
4answers
701 views

Ambiguous connotation of “just” - How do natives interpret these?

First of all, these questions are a bit related but not what I'm actually asking about: Is “I just spent all my money” grammatically incorrect? “I just ate them” and “I've just eaten them” - What's ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Is this sentence correct in grammar and does it even make sense [closed]

This sentence: You have the right to ask for someone in the United States of America. Does it have any grammatical errors? Does it even make sense? I think it is usually ...to ask for ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

What are the differences between litigator, counsel, and attorney?

I'm watching a law and court related TV show and the following terms are being used. What are the differences between them? I'm interested in the differences in connotation if there are any. Or are ...
6
votes
1answer
370 views

What is an 'Iron Ring Event'

In a recent podcast of .Net rocks (at 45 minutes 29 seconds), regarding the future of software craftsmanship, it is postulated that there will be an 'Iron Ring Event' (if I heard it correctly). From ...