This tag is for questions related to definitions and nuances of meaning of a word or phrase.

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5
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the exact meaning of “You've got yourself a deal”? Is it only an American slang?

I came across the phrase, ‘got yourself a deal’ being introduced as a vulgar American English by a character in Jeffery Archer’s, fiction “The Fourth Estate.” In the scene Keith Townsend, Australian ...
3
votes
3answers
722 views

What does “The man that once did sell the lion’s skin While the beast liv’d was killed with hunting him” mean?

I came across the following sentence in the context of four professional men discussing a plot to retrieve their lost $1 million, swindled from them by a nouveau riche American banker in Jeffery ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

for + period of time + present continuous/past perfect tense

What is the difference between (1) I've taken antibiotics for 10 weeks. (2) I've been taking antibiotics for 10 weeks. (3) I'm taking antibiotics for 10 weeks. (4) I take antibiotics for 10 weeks. ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What does “doing press” mean in the following context?

From this scan of Paul we were able to turn him into a 3D printable figure. Some of you may already have seen photos of the figure. Paul had them with him whilst doing press for the 'Hope For ...
0
votes
2answers
21 views

What does “Of such” mean in this context?

I do not know what "of such" means in the following quotation: “Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

What does “Take care sweets” mean?

A good friend wrote me an email and at the end she added Take care sweets. I guess it's something good, but not sure what is the exact meaning. I searched a little bit what does that mean and didn't ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Meaning of “would have to do”

Please help me to understand intonation of this message: You would have to do the graphics. Is it proposal, designation or expectation?
1
vote
2answers
41 views

What does “Retail politics” mean? Is it an established political term?

I come across the word, “retail (oriented) politics” in an article under the title, “All presidential politics is local” in Conway Daily Sun (December 23, 2015), which contained the following ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

What's a word that means a person tries to find an easier, cheaper way?

My mother has always been that type of person who tried to find an easier/cheaper way. For example, let's say I need something for school she then says "oh no there is notebooks and pencils at the ...
2
votes
2answers
191 views

Is this meaning of “scurrilous” only known/understood to speakers of American English?

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the word "scurrilous", meaning "given to the use of coarse or vulgar language". I shared this word with two other people, but they had taken it to mean "scandalous". ...
3
votes
4answers
174 views

What is the word for knowing how to use something (phone, car, etc), but not understanding how it works?

I'm looking for a word which encapsulates the above concept. An example: when someone knows how to use their phone, but doesn't understand how to take it apart, put it together, etc.
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Meaning of “to have seconds” [on hold]

I'm watching Futurama now, and on episode s1e7 there is Zoidberg's quote I cannot understand nor find out the explanation. The dialog is: Amy Wong: Is this salt water? Bender: It's salt with ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Wid = Widow or Wid = With

In the 1800s the abbreviation "wid" is used in city directories. The first speculation is with a female listed first at an address, the term is used to designate a Widow with the male name following. ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

'Meeting us' or 'meeting with us'?

What is the difference between meeting with someone or meeting someone? For example when I would like to ask someone if he is happy to meet with me and my friend for the first time, how should I ask? ...
0
votes
4answers
44 views

What is the difference between “perpetrator” and “transgressor”?

I don't quite understand when one might be applied, but not the other. Also, is anyone who committed a transgression a transgressor, or might they also be perpetrators? Does it make a difference? ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

What does “should likely” mean?

For example You should likely do something. Does it mean "you should do something" or "you can do something"?
1
vote
3answers
12k views

What's the difference between “I am busy right now” and “I am busy at the moment”?

What's the difference between "I am busy right now" and "I am busy at the moment"? I mean, is there any shades in meaning that would be implied in one, but not not in the other phrase?
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Keeping my soul and my senses apart

Trying to translate a famous song. Something's gotten hold of my heart Keeping my soul and my senses apart What is the meaning of "senses" here? Is it "mind, clear state of mind" or ...
3
votes
5answers
11k views

Difference between “now” and “right now”

Is there any difference between the two following sentences? We can't connect to Outlook right now. We can't connect to Outlook now.
16
votes
8answers
3k views

What is the English equivalent of the Persian word “Saghi” (ساقی)?

About the word: In Persian, Saghi is someone who pours wine and hands it. In Iran, when friends gather to drink wine together, they sit around and one of them (with a rather higher social status ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

“Try to open the car” vs. “Try opening the car”

I have a few questions. Do the following structures sound natural to native speakers? Is there any difference in meaning between them? Try to open the car. Try opening the car. You ...
2
votes
2answers
30 views

Usage of “Sufferer” in Diseases and Disorders

So I've recently seen a few people use the word "sufferer" to describe themselves having a certain mental disorder. I know that a person thinking that they are suffering a certain disorder may be ...
9
votes
8answers
490 views

Why is this use of the word “meaning” not quite right?

Today one of my students gave me some writing as part of her preparation for a Cambridge Proficiency exam. She was describing how after she'd moved away to go to university she'd temporarily lost ...
-1
votes
0answers
21 views

Difference of “I visited / have visited the museum many times when I was a university student.” [on hold]

(a) I visited the museum many times when I was a university student. (b) I have visited the museum many times when I was a university student. What is the difference between (a) and (b)?
0
votes
2answers
62 views

The word quite “ very and not very” [on hold]

I have a question. The word quite has two meanings, very and not very. How can I distinguish between them?
10
votes
6answers
34k views

What is the metaphoric meaning of silo?

Process-oriented organizations break down the barriers of structural departments and try to avoid functional silos. I was wondering what silo means here? Is it a metaphor?
0
votes
2answers
27 views

What does “Take a collective look” mean?

Surely the fortieth anniversary is a good time to take a collective look at this problem. What does Take a collective look mean?
6
votes
4answers
320 views

What does the author actually means when he says “ underestimate the value of gold.”

Excerpt from Honor Among Thieves: "The reason for numbers being limited on this occasion will become all too obvious to you. The issue we are about to discuss is so sensitive that the fewer ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

To do something is something - what use of the infinitive is this?

I teach English and a student of mine recently came out with the following sentence: She thinks that to become a marketing manager is the opportunity she seeks for. I thought this was a curious ...
12
votes
3answers
849 views

“Oojakapiv”: what does this word mean?

A lot of people in my family use this word, not regularly, but enough for me to ask what it means. I know it’s not a “real word”, but how come people from different sides of my family use it? It must ...
2
votes
6answers
24k views

Usage of “being” in sentence

Why is being used in the sentence below, and what does it mean? Lisa is upset about not being invited to the party Are they trying to use the passive voice? If yes, how would the sentence look ...
8
votes
6answers
44k views

“Get to do something”

What's the meaning of "get to do something"? I get to spend a lot of time with you and the kids.
0
votes
2answers
436 views

What is the difference between “extended from” and “extending from”?

Scenario 1: part A is extended from part B Scenario 2: part A is extending from part B Is there any difference between these two descriptions? Would any one so kind to help me about this? Thanks in ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

I have bought a car this year too

I have bought a car this year, too. What does this sentence mean? "Me, too," or "I have done something else and have bought too," or "I have something else and a car too," or "this year too." ...
-1
votes
0answers
33 views

“Clutching” vs. “Flinging”: Which one is correct here? [on hold]

I think option C is correct. Option A and B are clearly ruled out. I don't understand what is the difference between option C and D. From Cambridge Dictionary Clutch : to take or ​try to ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Is listen-hear parallel with read-understand?

I'm trying to speak about the nature of music; I want to say that the very nature of the medium of sound, a kind of universal language, makes it impossible not to interpret what is presented to us. ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Use of “well” in “Britain’s Labour Party is in thrall to a man well to the left of Mr Sanders”

I have a question about a sentence from an article of The Economist Magazine: Britain’s Labour Party is in thrall to a man well to the left of Mr Sanders. Does the word "well" in this sentence ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

crack of the door [duplicate]

Through the the open window and the crack of the door, the wind came in, and rustled the book pages. the preposition is "of" as opposed to "around". What does "crack of the door" refer to? 1) the ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Can something be disgusting without something else to feel disgust?

Disgusting means Causing disgust; repulsive; distasteful and is a deverbal adjective in that it behaves purely as an adjective, not a present participle. If we take an adjective such as ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

“To come undone”

"Oh, it'll take a little time, might take a little crime to come undone (...) Who do you need, who do you love, when you come undone?" Please, can someone help me with this? I'm pretty sure that ...
2
votes
4answers
14k views

“because of” vs. “on account of”

Can I always replace “because of” with “on account of”? As in I could not enjoy the day because of the awful weather. I could not enjoy the day on account of the awful weather. If these two ...
3
votes
2answers
291 views

Meaning of the sentence, “she is the kind of lawyer most skilled at finding reasons not to do things”

I have read a passage from wikileak: AIT/T has had regular contact with Tsai Ing-wen on economic, political and cross-Strait issues (ref B). She is a savvy insider on formulating and ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

subjective or objective role of “let alone…”

A Navaho sand painting ritual for a sick child is a mystery – we literally cannot read the signs nor subscribe to the belief, let alone the science, that she can be made better this way. Does ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

A question in a sentence of the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

I have a question in another sentence of the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". The sentence is in the paragraph below. Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Date as a synonym for anus

In the Song "Ten Foot Cock And A Few Hundred Virgins" Tim Minchin uses the phrase "it's a sin to take it up the date, even if it's great, even with your cowboy mate". I'm not a native English speaker ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

what does that's a first mean [on hold]

It's a first! I'm not familiar with the meaning of this phrase. I was explaining a situation and this is the response that I received via email.
-1
votes
1answer
758 views

“That strikes one for me”…what's it mean? [on hold]

What's the "one" mean here? Is this taken from baseball? Can the idiom be grammatically used in other persons besides the first?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

“Feel bad about someone” versus “feel bad for someone”

Does the sentence "I feel bad about you" have the same meaning as "I feel bad for you"?
-3
votes
0answers
39 views

Meaning of “Context” [on hold]

I received the following comment on one of my paragraphs in my article: Provide some context what do you mean. I don't understand what he actually means by "context". Any suggestion, please.
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Meaning of “high in reach” regarding a training session

If an educational company described their session methodology as "high in reach" does it mean: the size of the audience the effectiveness of the training other? The original sentence in a press ...