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

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4
votes
4answers
230 views

“It was turning out the dining-room done it.”

“It was turning out the dining-room done it, if you ask me,” said Mrs. Sutton. “Now, don’t you overdo yourself, ma’am,” I says to her; but you know how she is, sir. She gets that restless, she can’t ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

Impel and compel and the finer nuances

I was contemplating over the two words - impel and compel. consider the examples: 1. she impelled me to take the job 2. she compelled me to take the job. is the word compel somewhat derogatory or ...
1
vote
3answers
42 views

“Small Latin and Less Greek”

About a third of the way through his poem "To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare and What He Hath Left Us," Ben Jonson writes: And though thou hadst small Latin and less ...
10
votes
16answers
14k views

What is the meaning of the term “herbert” in British slang?

In the song Get Out of My House by The Business, the chorus is: Out, out get out of my house, you'd better take your sheepskin too no son of mine's going round as a hippie or a scruffy little ...
1
vote
3answers
59 views

What is the meaning of “as of” in this context?

The moon shone on his face as he spoke, and the girl was pleased to watch it, it seemed to breathe such an innocent and old-world kindness of disposition, yet with something high too, as of a ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Meaning of “Military Cuts Our Specialty” in a barbershop window [migrated]

I don't understand the meaning of "Military cuts our specialty".
1
vote
1answer
66 views

What does “where's waldo” mean in this context?

The student thinks that he can where's waldo their way to the answer Now, does it mean it's gonna be a cinch or a sisyphean task? Again, if I add a little detail, The student thinks that he ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Only a waning candle sheds its light around

I found above mentioned sentence in a article is it some proverb? What does this mean? Below I am copying paragraph where I found this. May be this would be helpful to answer. Only a waning candle ...
1
vote
3answers
562 views

Meaning of “at least Dick Turpin wore a mask”

I tried to sell my stuff and one of the guys asked me if I could bargain on the item and I said no. He replied with the message, At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. What does that mean?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the meaning of “plays in the minds of someone”?

What's the meaning of the phrase "plays in minds of someone". For example, in the sentence below. The significance of the IELTS is a fact that plays in the minds of hopeful migrants like Mr. ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Why use “modestly” to describe Moller in this paragraph?

I have copied this excerpt from a NPR news transcript below ALSOP: Isn't it nice? It's very pleasant and sunny and sounds like spring time. And, you know, it really belies the enormity of this ...
0
votes
3answers
41 views

Got their wires crossed. [on hold]

Regarding a policy meeting I read: the meeting was a complete disaster, all members got their wires crossed before everybody left. Does it mean that they quarrelled and came to blows?
1
vote
3answers
199 views
2
votes
2answers
74 views

“than such as” + Predicate

To Alexander Hamilton Mount Vernon Novr 10th 1787. ... The new Constitution has, as the public prints will have informed you, been handed to the people of this state by an unanimous ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

Meaning of “call it” in The Avengers [migrated]

I have been studying English by reading The Avengers script. Here are two passages. The Avengers look up, watching as more Leviathans and hundreds of warriors fly through the portal. — Natasha: ...
2
votes
2answers
246 views

What exactly does “tally ho” mean?

I heard this tally ho in a youtube video (British). I also heard it in the movies "Jack the Giant Slayer", and "Spiderman 1". I understand it's some kind of expression or exclamation or idiom to say ...
0
votes
0answers
4 views

Insert or Enter? [migrated]

What is the difference between Insert and Enter? If I have a form to fill in, which legend is better? Insert your data or Enter your data Thanks, Nk
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there a difference between “select” and “selected”?

When flying, I often read phrases like the following: Special Meals only available on select flights […] Then again, wouldn't it also make sense to say Special Meals only available on ...
2
votes
4answers
497 views

Meaning of “phoenix” in “Japan was a phoenix destroyed by the war”

An excerpt from the transcript of a lecture: And after that MacArthur stayed in Japan for six years working with the Emperor Hirohito and the new Japanese government, building its government and ...
0
votes
5answers
82 views

Why are there a lot of different types of the same verb?

Sometimes, I come across with strange 'ordinary' verbs which has two forms and they are not phrasal verbs: You have to bandage that cut. You have to bandage up that cut. Chop the onions ...
4
votes
2answers
379 views

'Mushed' meaning

I've been translating the song by Johnny Horton, North to Alaska and was stuck on the word mushed: He talked to his team of huskies as he mushed on through the snow Searching through the ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

What is a “travel validation”?

I'm currently trying to understand the DS-2019 form that I need to fill for a J1 visa. One thing I don't understand is this: What is a "travel validation"? What does it (in this context) mean to ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

“I do” in the end of a sentence

In the sentence "I love my veg I do" what is the purpose of the "I do" part? It seems to me that it gives a sprinkle of assertiveness, but a definite explanation would really help.
1
vote
5answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “she can be obtuse”?

A friend of mine once described a mutual acquaintance in this way: She can be obtuse. The dictionary definition of "obtuse" seems to suggest a "lack of intellect or intelligence". However, this ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“Useless like tits on a log” vs. “tits on a bull” vs. “tits on a turtle” and so forth

I was reading an online book and there was the expression "useless like tits on a log". I googled to find more about this expression and I found a similar one: "useless like tits on a bull". Which ...
2
votes
4answers
224 views

Etymology of the phrase “Twenty-three Skidoo” as used in “Hey Arnold!”

The phrase “Twenty-Three Skidoo” has a very interesting and mysterious history described very thoroughly by the wikipedia article on the phrase. However, this article seems to indicate it’s usually ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Meaning of “Preparation of x, y and z and …”

I have a question related to this example sentence: Preparation of Isometrics, bill of material of all lines and supporting details of all lines below 2-1/2" except lines under IBR and get ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

What does “Soviet time tactics - No give bucks and muddy the water” (If I heard it right) mean?

In our English language listening circle, we unanimously heard AP Radio News (aired on March 31) refering to Russia’s action on Crimea anexation by force as follows: Former ambassador, Michael ...
0
votes
3answers
70 views

How do I answer “Where do you work?”

What are the main purposes to ask someone 'Where do you work?' apart from to find out the type of place he or she works in? I can answer: I work in a shop. I work in a hospital. I work in an ...
1
vote
3answers
73 views

What is the difference between deep space and outer space?

Outer space is frequently defined as the area outside the atmosphere of Earth (or another planetary or stellar body). Deep space is defined as either a synonym for outer space (Google's definition) ...
-1
votes
4answers
74 views

What word (e.g. eventually vs potentially) does express better the following scenario? [closed]

The scenario: a) John believes that Peter Parker has a PhD degree. b) Peter Parker is the spider man, but John does not know about this. Which sentence does express the scenario in the best ...
12
votes
5answers
7k views

What does “canonical” mean?

Sometimes I read a sentence containing the word canonical, but I cannot find appropriate meaning of the word. For example, in this link: Returns a canonical representation for the string object. ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

“Lick on a trick for a Rolex” — meaning?

I heard this line in the rap song Ghetto Bird by Ice Cube (full lyrics here) and I'm completely puzzled by its meaning. My homey's here to lick on a trick for a Rolex And let me try the four ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Meaning of “In a medium” [closed]

What is the meaning of “in a medium” in the following sentence? A major objective in a heat transfer problem is to determine the temperature distribution in a medium resulting from imposed ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Is “…written by the author it claims to be and not by someone passing themselves for them” correct?

I have a question to this sentence: Sometimes you need to know if the book was really written by the author it claims to be and not by someone passing themselves off as them. Is that correct? I ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Meaning of “even as”

Anjou and Maine both given unto the French! Cold news for me; for I had hope of France, Even as I have of fertile England's soil. (2H6 I.i.236) What does even as mean in this verse? I ...
-4
votes
1answer
31 views

What is the meaning of 'dismiss'? [closed]

I cannot understand the meaning of 'dismiss' in this sentence. 'Dismiss' doesn't mean 'ignore' or 'fire'? In this context, I guess 'dismiss' would have the positive meaning, but the meaning in ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Meaning of pull-out in education?

What is the meaning of "pull-out" in this sentence? I can't figure out the exact meaning even though I looked up the dictionary. Schools that have adopted pull-out, team teaching, or block ...
2
votes
2answers
245 views

“Quainted the auto supplier has hit share of potholes.” Did I hear right? What does it mean?

I’ve been practicing listening of English language news on FEN for years, and heard the latest (March 24) Wall Street Journal Barron’s magazine news as follows: “Visteon is maneuvering to be a key ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Can you explain the meaning of sentence and the word “run”?

I am not the native English reader. I want to know what the "sentence 3" means, especially with the meaning of "run." The reason why I quoted "sentence 1" and "sentence 2" is to help you understand ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

The meaning of “meaning”

I'd like to know the meaning of "meaning" in the following sentences: Please note that we have implemented a 1 post approval process for new users. Meaning, a newly registered user with no posts ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

What is the meaning of 'compel'? [closed]

I am reading a book and found a sentence which wasn't able to understand: The Pensées is simply the compelling "Thoughts" of mathematician, physicist, and religious thinker Blaise Pascal. To ...
0
votes
1answer
272 views

Can I say “in one respect..in other respect”?

It is clear that there is only one legal system, which in one respect should be designed rationally and discreetly, not conflicting with each other, in other respect should be good in the sense ...
3
votes
4answers
89 views

Is “has made it his business to” polite or impolite?

In this sentence: He has made it his business to reintroduce the theory to a new generation of activists. Is "has made it his business to" an impolite expression? Is it a radical expression? ...
7
votes
2answers
536 views

In what senses are 'at' and 'all' used in the phrase “at all”?

I understand that the phrase at all means in any way or in the slightest, e.g. What is the opposite of “to stink” (v)? Is there one at all?, or Not bad at all I don't understand how the individual ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What is meant by “to him” in this title?

The title of a chapter in Herman Melville's Moby Dick is named: Enter Ahab; to him, Stubb What is meant by this title? (I can't tell by the chapter's contents, it simply tells of the interaction ...
0
votes
3answers
92 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 ?
-2
votes
1answer
54 views

Can “only” be a question word? [closed]

I remember hearing, more than once, the word "only" in a context that can only be a question. Is that true? For example: "Only you a student?", "Only you think that.... ?"
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What does “another” mean in this sentence?

If someone says “Tom broke another lamp,” does it imply that Tom already broke a lamp or that another lamp was previously broken by someone?
10
votes
3answers
484 views

“This box of matches is empty”

There are several Japanese books teaching Japanese students how to write in English. I found this example in 『英作文参考書の誤りを正す』 (Correcting Errors in English Composition Manuals) by Michio Kawakami and ...