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

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0
votes
2answers
40 views

Difference between “Registration” and “Enrollment”

I'm developing a scholar system which I have to support english(and others) language. This system haves an "Enrollment" proccess. I've called it as "Enrollment" after some research because I could not ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Meaning of 'Some nose puts the bulls on me tomorrow..'

"It don't make any difference," he said. "I'm washed up anyway. Some nose puts the bulls on me tomorrow, next week, what the hell? I just didn't like your map, pal. A nose means a person, I ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

Is the meaning of “to grant the freedom to” closer to “to permit”/“to allow” or closer to “to facilitate”?

What is meant by saying that you grant X the freedom to do Y? that X can do Y and you are free to present obstacles other than outright forbidding X to do Y that X can do Y and you must not ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “funny farm” mean?

What does funny farm mean in the following lyrics? They're coming to take me away ha ha They're coming to take me away ho ho hee hee ha ha To the funny farm Where life is beautiful all the ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

What does “No choice, no problem” mean?

Recently, I watched an interview where the interviewee said "No choice, no problem". I tried googling but didn't come across anything useful. I suspect it means that if you have no choice then there ...
1
vote
4answers
210 views

Wondering if the use of the word “gotta” is correct here

You gotta be very angry. From an American movie. My intuation is that is to say you are really very angry or it seems you are angry. Why the guy used gotta here. gotta implies force, like saying ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

To outstay vs. overstay one's welcome

I came across the expression "outstayed my welcome" in the following excerpt of a novel I glance around and see that the café has filled up with people ordering lunch and that a couple is queuing ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Is “wannabe” strictly negative?

Let's say I want to become social good entrepreneur but I am not there yet. I don't want it to sound up nose and say I am an entrepreneur when I am not so I used this in my social media profile (for ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

what does “wonder” mean in this sentence?

He would remember his expression, remember the tears starting to well up in dark green eyes, and wonder. Is the "wonder" here a noun or a verb? What does it exactly mean?
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Fever Dream Out of Something Meaning

What is the exact meaning of the second part of the sentence below? This underground bomb shelter, built by Tito, seemed as large and as crazy as a small country, not to mention a fever dream ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do rivers 'burst' their banks?

We have had a lot of flooding in the UK in the last week or two, with reports, among other things, of rivers 'bursting their banks'. The verb 'to burst' implies 'breaking or splitting as a result of ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

Safer alternative to “opaque”?

As a child I was taught that opaque means doesn't let any light through at all, as opposed to translucent (lets some light through, but diffused/frosted) or transparent (completely clear, lets you see ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

can “coexist” cover animate and inanimate things?

We can talk about different animals, plants, groups of people, and belief systems "coexisting," by which we mean not just To exist together, at the same time, or in the same place. [definition 1 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Does “No screenshots any more from your phone” sound rude? [on hold]

Could native speakers tell the first expression of meaning "No screenshots any more from your phone" Does it sound rude?
1
vote
2answers
38 views

If I'm “dictating” am I recording what you say or telling you what to do?

In a document that I'm writing, I am trying to state that, in the course of conducting a user interview, I am "not simply dictating the desires of the user." My intention is to indicate that I am not ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Is it correct to say what and all, than what all things? [on hold]

I have heard people saying "what and all things are there?" instead of " what all things are there?" which one is correct?
0
votes
2answers
83 views

references on the usage of 'ish'

Can anyone please help me. Is there any work/literature available to suggest that the suffix 'ish' can stand alone, or be used for approximation etc? any other information on the suffix 'ish' will be ...
0
votes
3answers
66 views

Word for: feeling of relief in realizing you don't have a responsibility you thought you had

For example, waking up from a dream where you had an assignment due you didn't do but in waking you realize it was only a dream and you didn't actually have an assignment due, and feeling relief. ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

What does “bit-bearing” mean?

Firstly, sorry if this is a very specific question. I am trying to translate A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace and I stuck at this phrase "bit-bearing": In China, Germany, France, ...
-3
votes
0answers
31 views
7
votes
6answers
20k views

Being in love with someone

Is there a difference between loving someone and being in love with them? I sort of think that being in love with someone might imply that there are reciprocal feelings, but I'm not sure. If someone ...
7
votes
4answers
17k views

What is the meaning and usage of the word “beknownst”?

I've used "beknownst" and "unbeknownst" a couple times but I never really bothered to look it up until now. But it's not in most of the online dictionaries websites I frequent. I'm under the ...
3
votes
3answers
288 views

Meaning of the political phrase “he has bottom”

What is origin & meaning of the phrase "he has bottom" or "he lacks bottom"? This is a phrase used in UK politics a great deal.
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Is 'arrogant' a masculine word? [on hold]

I was trying to think of a word to describe a female acquaintance and came up with arrogant, but immediately wanted to discard this as the word itself felt masculine to me. I later settled on ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

What does “stand to” mean in the sentence, “China’s Health Ministry stands to profit from the industry’s growth?”

I found the following sentence in an archive of the Financial Times articles dated August 29, 2007, which was titled “Chinese? Don’t get ill.” “The problems of the health system are tangled up in the ...
38
votes
2answers
79k views

Which is correct: “rack my brain” or “wrack my brain”?

Which is the correct usage: "rack my brain" or "wrack my brain"? Google turned up pages with conflicting recommendations. One argument is that to "rack a brain" comes from the torture device known ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

What does fuzzy means in this context?

I am working a narrative which is told by a five year old girl, and somewhere she says "Momma will pluck me out of bed and feed me bacon. I want to ask out loud but my teeth are too fuzzy." I could ...
7
votes
11answers
2k views

Word that describes both skills and experience together

What is an English word that means together a combination of both experience and innate skills? I thought of the word talent but it conveys much more about skills than experience. I am looking for a ...
41
votes
9answers
15k views

Is it “alright” or “allright”?

In practice I find both spellings being used. From a logical point of view, "allright" (as in: "all's right — everything is fine") seems correct. However, I recall hearing that "alright" is the ...
72
votes
5answers
9k views

“Here's looking at you, kid” meaning?

I'm sure many will know Rick's famous line from the film Casablanca: Here's looking at you, kid. While I can guess at it, I was never fully confident about the meaning of this phrase. I am not ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Origins of round in “round of applause”

A round of applause is a short period or burst of applause. What are the origins of the meaning of round in this phrase, and indeed the phrase itself? Are there any other phrases that use round in ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

For statements using the following words/phrases [on hold]

1. to music/ Marlin/ is listening/ now 2. did/ I/ my homework/ in my room/ not I choose. 1. Now Marlin is listening to music. (but i think is not correct that phrase.. my opinion is to add ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Is it correct to use the phrase - “he / she fights on”?

Is it correct to use the phrase "he / she fights on" to say that a person is fighting / struggling for a cause?
1
vote
1answer
58 views

I love you for like ever [on hold]

Can I say: "I love you for like ever" or I should say "I will love you for like ever" or both forms are correct? Thank you very much!
3
votes
8answers
4k views

Is “New and Improved” an oxymoron?

It irritates me that advertisers often claim a product is "New and Improved". Surely, if something is new (ie, has not existed previously), it can't be improved! And vice versa!
3
votes
6answers
28k views

Different meaning of “looks good” vs. “looks well”

While I use "looks well" because of good being an adverb here, I mainly read "looks good" in the web. I'm quite unsure about the ngrams chart, has the grammatically incorrect "looks good" simply ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

A new use for the word Alibi [on hold]

At recent teleconference meetings, I've notice that the meeting leader will sometimes end the call with a phrase like, "So does anyone have any alibi's?" The context (and people's response) suggests ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What's the difference between Earthed Line and the Earth Line?

What's the difference between Earthed Line and the Earth Line? Are they same meaning?
15
votes
3answers
114k views
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Sift and Sieve definition

Recently, while reading a novel, I stumbled upon the word 'sifted'. This immediately got me questioning the difference between the verb 'sift' and the verb 'sieve'. Some dictionaries say 'sieve' is ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

What is an “aglet-baby” exactly?

This is a line from the Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare Grumio [to Hortensio]: Marry him to a puppet or an aglet-baby . . . Although 'aglet' is an extremely uncommon word, its meaning can ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Overcast and forecast [on hold]

Talking about the weather, I have always been confused with these two words: overcast and forecast. I wonder to know why they are so similar and in that time they have completely different meaning. ...
4
votes
1answer
16k views

What does 'on-premises' mean?

Here is the example sentence. Windows Azure Caching was developed from an on-premises Caching solution that shipped with Microsoft AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server. What does 'on-premises' ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Scientific” versus “scientifical”

Is there any substantive difference in the meanings of these two words? Is the latter considered a proper word at all? If the answer to either of the above questions is yes, what are these words' ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

semantic difference for the forms: “x of y” vs. “x of the y” vs. “y x”

As a non-native speaker, I have a problem understanding the difference in meaning of the following forms: "… of …" "… of the …" "… …" To be more specific, let me give some instances: "theory of ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Information unavailable to the audience

What is it called when a character knows something the audience doesn't? For example, if the character was stating something obvious like "today is your birthday", saying it only to inform the ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

'Upgradation' not universally accepted?

While copy-editing an article for a journal, I came across the word 'upgradation' underlined red by MS Word (It's underlined red even as I type it in Chrome). The publishers of the journal recommend ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Can “anachronism” refer to things that have not been done in the proper order?

I've looked in a few online dictionaries, and I don't see any definitions of "anachronism" that seem to encompass this situation. However, I feel like, etymologically, this term could be used in the ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Distinction between pagan and heathen?

I'm trying to understand the precise distinction between pagan and heathen. My immediate motivation is that I'm reading Sir Frank Stenton's Anglo-Saxon England. Online dictionaries have been ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Parsing lyrics from “Blank Space”

I find myself getting mentally stuck on one particular line from Taylor Swift's "Blank Space": Don't say I didn't say I didn't warn ya Normally, I don't have a problem with song lyrics, even ...