This tag is for questions about the meaning of a longer passage of English.

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0answers
7 views

To have designs on something [on hold]

If I said I had designs on something, it means I want it, correct? What is the origin of that saying? What exactly does it mean?
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2answers
51 views

What does the word “treat” mean?

From the U.K. band Kasabian's song "Treat", there's a lyric like this: Everybody knows I work it work it like a treat What's the meaning of the word treat in that phrase?
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1answer
43 views

What is the meaning of “laughing out”? [on hold]

The class didn't seem to mind the plot. They loved it. They were laughing out there. I wonder in that context what the meaning of out is.
1
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1answer
41 views

What does it mean by “bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of…” in Lincoln's 2nd inaugural adress?

I'm not sure who is the bondsman and why his wealth matters here. Here is the quote, from the paragraph of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the ...
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2answers
51 views

Does “freak” have negative connotations when it's used to describe a person's interest in something?

Does freak have negative connotations when it's used to describe a person who's very or overly interested in something? Like football freak or coding freak.
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1answer
45 views

Difference between “injunction”, “mandate” and “verdict”? [on hold]

Could someone please tell me the difference between injunction, mandate, and verdict? I think they are synonyms, but their usage is different. I have software for learning English vocabulary, where ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

“We is who the Earth is for?”

In the film of The Beasts of the Southern Wild, Hushpuppy the main character of the film says, But me and my daddy, we stay right here. “We is who the Earth is for.” What grammatical structure ...
3
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2answers
52 views

What does “black Care” mean in _Uncle Silas_?

What does "black Care" mean in the following passage from Uncle Silas by J.T. Sheridan Le Fanu? Waiting for the train, as we stood upon the platform, I looked back again toward the wooded uplands ...
2
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2answers
25 views

The meaning of “make it as”

NANCY: I know that if you can't take criticism you'll never make it as a writer. I wonder what the meaning of that sentence is. Does it mean if you can't take criticism then you'll never become ...
4
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1answer
35 views

How appropriate is to use 'Nice to e-meet you'

I work in a software organization so email conversations are frequent. Recently one client e-mailed me with "Nice to e-meet you". I want to know how appropriate is it to use 'Nice to e-meet you'. Is ...
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1answer
50 views

difference between emigrate, immigrate, and migrate? [on hold]

what is the difference between emigrate, immigrate, and migrate? I am pretty much confused.
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1answer
36 views

usage of adjective patient in the below sentennce [on hold]

I am enough patient even to listen and take care of a mad man.
5
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2answers
214 views

What did “eating 'mad cow'” mean in the 1800's?

In the December 1885 Lippincott's Magazine article COOKHAM DEAN, about an artistic area 40 miles up the Thames from London, Margaret Bertha Wright (an American author) wrote: Probably nine-tenths ...
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0answers
6 views

Text completion - help? [migrated]

I have a question for which I am doubtful about which to choose among the two .. can someone help ? Please select one option for the blank .. After years of unchecked exploitation of its natural ...
-6
votes
1answer
67 views

How to say Good Morning on Monday to my Boss, the first working day of a week which indicates high level of energy, enthusiasm and freshness in me? [closed]

I want to say Good Morning to my Boss through SMS but I want to say this in a manner which will indicate the high level of energy, enthusiasm and freshness in me. So how should I say? Can you please ...
5
votes
2answers
63 views

What does “be it” mean in this passage?

What does be it mean in this context and what kind of sentence is this? (grammatically) There is no one in our society who is not ethnocentric to some degree, no matter how liberal and open-minded ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

What does “boilerplate” mean? [closed]

I knew the term "boilerplate" in object oriented programming. It means that the programmers create too many classes for just doing a simple programming task. But "boilerplate" is also used in other ...
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0answers
36 views

what is the difference between “For” and “To” [closed]

I'm still confused how I going to use the words "for" and "to" in specific sentence. for example, [1]. To those students..... [2]. For those students.... which would I prefer?
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3answers
70 views

What does “between” mean in this sentence?

"The house is on the right side of the street, between the yard of the prison." Between requires a comparison between at least two things, like "between the yard of the prison and the cemetery", ...
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2answers
185 views

19th century American English “slang”?

As I was doing a bit of research online I stumbled on this Children's Corner page 311 from the American Farmers' Magazine 1858. And, frankly, there are a lot of words that look totally foreign to me. ...
12
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7answers
2k views

What does “and counting” in “Bits of plastic in oceans: 5.25 trillion and counting” mean?

Today’s (December 11) online New York Times carries an article dealing with the quantum increase of plastic material in the ocean under the headline, “Bits of plastic in oceans: 5.25 trillion and ...
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0answers
22 views

In “That patient merit of th'unworthy takes”, what does merit mean exactly?

In the famous Hamlet's soliloquy, I am not quite clear on the role/meaning of merit in the following: The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th'unworthy takes, My ...
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1answer
32 views

“Kick off tracking time in the notepad” means start making notes or stop making notes

I'm not sure for 100% if "Kick off tracking time in the notepad" means to start or, otherwise, to stop tracking time in the notepad. Could anybody explain? Thank you.
0
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1answer
42 views

what does “business” mean?

in a book titled Knowledge Management in the Intelligence Enterprise, the word business has been used very often. I don't understand its meaning— maybe it means trade or job processes (organisational ...
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1answer
81 views

no more feed the children commercials (and so on) [closed]

No more feed the children commercials. With 40 million over weight americans negros to eat, the african cannibals would have food for years I don't understand causality or a causal relationship ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

What does “rummun” mean in this sentence?

"They have had a bitter quarrel I think" said he and bit into the bagel. "They're rummuns" said he chewing it.
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3answers
79 views

sword and chalice attributes

"Bess holds the queenly hand, caresses the royal head and keeps the imperial body intimate company, suggesting that Elizabeth (the Queen) abandoned the metaphoric sword but not the chalice." What did ...
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4answers
2k views

What does “better angel” mean in Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address?

I'm reading the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. It mentioned that Lincoln replaced the phase "guardian angel" to "better angel". I don't understand what the phrase means. ...
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vote
3answers
319 views

Meaning of Top Gun quote

In the movie Top Gun Maverick says: "I'm gonna need a beer to put these flames out." This was part of a compilation of quotes supporting the gay theme of the movie. Urbandictionary doesn't have a ...
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0answers
34 views

This is where you are vs this was where you were? [migrated]

I have some troubles to correctly express myself in a certain situation so I'd appreciate any advice you can share with me. Situation: I'm looking for someone. After some time I walk into a room and ...
0
votes
3answers
59 views

What 'checkout' is supposed to mean in 'git checkout' sentence?

I am learning git, and I have difficulty understanding how some commands relate to english, particularly git checkout --file. From context (https://try.github.io/levels/1/challenges/17 : Files can be ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

What is the right way to say that, “his credit balance is likely to be in deficit” [closed]

I want to say that that 'x' person spends a lot and his credit balance is likely to become negative. "With multiple ...., his balance is likely to be in deficit." OR "With multiple ...., his ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

“Suffer from” use for non human contexts

Is it normal to use "suffer from" for subjects other than humans? For example is it acceptable to say: "this old building suffer from irregular electricity"
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8answers
1k views

What to call a patient's close relatives, friends and family members in one or two words?

It's connected to a scientific paper for a public health topic. I need to name a patient's surrounding of caregivers which can include family members, friends, close relatives. I came up with a ...
2
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2answers
146 views

Why do applications and résumés use the word “sex” instead of “gender”? [duplicate]

We understand what the meaning of the terms name, age, and address when used in applications and résumés, but why is sex used instead of gender? Definitions from the Free Dictionary : meaning ...
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1answer
73 views
6
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2answers
241 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

what is “read out”

Some species of tree have been read out of the party by economics-minded foresters because they grow too slowly. Could anyone tell me what "read out" means here? Obviously, it doesn't mean read ...
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1answer
38 views

What does “over time” mean?

I have problem understanding this: Over time, this is a fragile approach. What does "over time" mean here? Thanks!
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1answer
70 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
98 views

What does “Booting these guys” mean? [closed]

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
26 views

Meaning of “Stakes” [closed]

Can anyone help me with the meaning of "stakes" in the following sentence: "In other words, melodrama is about recognition and clarification, how to be clear what the stakes are and what their ...
0
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1answer
72 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 ...
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votes
1answer
43 views

Use of “although” without a contrasting statement [closed]

In IAS 37 Clause 37 states: Although a constructive obligation is not created solely by a management decision, an obligation may result from other earlier events together with such a decision. ...
1
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1answer
63 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
3answers
64 views

What does “perfect” mean in the following context? [closed]

Man sits and holds a baby, and says: Look at you, so big, so perfect. I can't imagine a joy of spending every day with her... So, I'm trying to understand what it precisely means when you say ...
0
votes
3answers
93 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct? [closed]

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
vote
1answer
42 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What is the right meaning of the sentence: “I should demonstrate restraint”?

I've watched this clip of The Originals TV show. Starting on 00:09 sec there's a dialog between Klaus and Elijah: Klaus: Finn and Kol must be turned to us. Elijah: I should demonstrate ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Meaning of 'action' - 1884 UK

Source: p 115, The Law of Contract, 5 ed (2012), by O’Sullivan and Hilliard Lord Blackburn was even more troubled by the result [in Pinnel's Case (1602)], tantalisingly hinting that he had ...