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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

0
votes
3answers
11k views

What time is 12.00pm? [duplicate]

There is a sign outside a shop near us which says 'Parking for loading vehicles only from 7 to 12pm'. Does that mean between 7pm and midnight, or between 7am and noon? For me 12.00 is neither ...
11
votes
9answers
12k views

Can the eldest sibling of three males call his younger brother “my older brother”

Had this conversation with a 26 year old male. He has finished a degree at Uni and told me I was wrong when I said you cannot call your younger brother your older brother. He is only older son to ...
3
votes
2answers
456 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “quality stand-down” mean?

What exactly does "quality stand-down" mean? For example, We will have quality stand-down on the following work. I came across this expression in the context of software quality assurance.
2
votes
2answers
17k views

“Nervous” vs. “anxious”

Are these words interchangeable? When would you use one over the other? For example, is it correct to say you "feel nervous" or "feel anxious"? Is it correct to say you are an "anxious person" or a ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

“over his turned temples”, from a poem by G.M.Hopkins

From Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem, "The Furl of fresh-leaved dogrose down" Then over his turnèd temples—here— Was a rose, or, failing that, Rough-Robin or five-lipped campion clear ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Should I consider the phrase “filthy rich” offensive

I am not a native English speaker. Somebody used this sentence when talking about me. Unless his parents are filthy rich everybody needs some form of income. While most dictionaries define it as ...
0
votes
1answer
158 views

Application of a sentence in a situation

In the film The Exorcist, father Demien Karras challenges the daemon Pazuzu to get a bigger dare. That dare would consist in abandon the body of the girl Regan and penetrate Demien's body. My interest ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between “start off” and “start”?

For me they both seem interchangeable, but I suspect there should be at least subtle difference in meaning. When it's more appropriate to use "start off" instead of just "start"?
1
vote
1answer
79 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
601 views

“There's no… ” and “ it's no … ”

Is there any differnce in meanings between the following pair of sentences? 1) a. There's no denying the fact. b. It's no denying the fact. 2) a. There's no point denying the fact. b. It's no ...
1
vote
2answers
269 views

we don't ride same day

A USA friend say that we don't ride same day, we saddle. Does he mean we have time difference? I know the meaning of'ride' and 'saddle', but I don't know they can be used like this.
1
vote
5answers
3k views

describe health without using the word health

I'm looking for a word (or short phrase) that describes a continuum of health, without using the word "health" (or the word "wellness"). We are developing a construct that places people on a ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Meaning of the word “brook” in Rise Against song “Lanterns”

The song lyrics are here, with the following: The black brook calls It sings a chorus While the gathering swells The flames grow tall Right before us As drums keep pounding And the masses now are ...
1
vote
3answers
611 views

Build, manufacture, produce - differences and contexts

to build, to manufacture, to produce something Are these synonyms, and what is the appropriate context for each of them? What would be appropriate in context of a complex product built in small ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Difference between the use of “supplier”, “vendor”, “provider”

Which is the difference between the use of supplier, vendor, provider? The way I see it, they are complete synonyms. Am I right?
3
votes
2answers
257 views

“the stir and keep of pride” in G.M.Hopkins' poem

From The Habit of Perfection by Gerard Manley Hopkins: Nostrils, your careless breath that spend Upon the stir and keep of pride, What relish shall the censers send Along the ...
0
votes
1answer
10k views

Is “a long way to go” the same as “you need to learn a lot”? [closed]

Today I cooked something, but the taste was not good (horrible, in fact). When my roomy tasted it, she said You gotta long way to go. I asked her what exactly it meant, she replied "You need to ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

What's the difference between “if” and “whether”? [duplicate]

Using whether is far more common. It is certainly more formal. I would like to know whether it is a true story or fabricated. But we can use if as well in the same sentence. I would like ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Is “plastic glass” as a container a valid expression?

In another question here (sanity of a plastic glass!) the term "plastic glass" is being used which sounds somewhat odd to me, but has not been brought into question by any respondents. Maybe it is ...
-1
votes
1answer
230 views

What is the verbatim definition of “stigmergy” from Oxford dictionary or similar? [closed]

I'm looking for the verbatim definition of the neologism "stigmergy" from the Oxford or other established dictionary including the phonetic transcription. There is a definition on wiktionary but I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

what's a “sign-off process”?

I am translating a text which says that during the probation period, the direct report monitors the new employee's performance through a sign-off process. what does sign-off mean in this context? Or ...
0
votes
6answers
727 views

What does “gut over” mean?

What does "gutted over" mean in Javad Zarif's recent tweet? Mr.Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of US draft Thursday night? and publicly commented against it Friday morning?
0
votes
3answers
146 views

Apply to a university to study/for studying..?

I'm writing my CV and do not know how to correctly say that: * After I graduated from X (//X is a high school), I applied to a university to study chemistry and also computer systems. * I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
13k views

What's the difference between “lad” and “mate” in British English? [closed]

Can "lad" only be used to address a male, while "mate" both male and female?
-2
votes
2answers
9k views

What's the difference between inform and notify?

What's the difference between those when somebody said: I'll inform you. I'll notify you.
0
votes
4answers
412 views

“Has preserved” or “has been preserved”

Which is correct? Roman temples have not preserved in their original condition Roman temples have not been preserved in their original condition
1
vote
2answers
332 views

What does “crisis-an-hour mentality” mean?

There was the following sentence in the article of Washington Post (November 9) that came under the title, “For Obama, and Democrats, it’s crunch time.” Obama is dismissive of the crisis-an-hour ...
3
votes
3answers
706 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
1answer
411 views

give / lose ground - meaning [closed]

Most stock markets lost ground after their recent gains. They're not prepared to give ground on tax cuts. These are all the examples I could dig up in my dictionaries. I don't quite understand ...
0
votes
1answer
380 views

What does a sentence like “Little if…but…” mean?

I've read it in a news report, "Little if any news will be released during the event(China reform summit), but official news agency Xinhua traditionally issues a dispatch on the last day." Well, I ...
2
votes
4answers
212 views

Is there a word whose basic definition is “To Organize Complexity?”

I recently wrote a document titled "Guidelines for reviewing source code." In the document, one of my statements was: "The core directive is to organize complexity. I feel like I should know a word ...
0
votes
1answer
688 views

Usage of “withal” to mean “in addition”

I understand that 'withal' can be used as a preposition at the end of a clause to mean 'with' or 'therewith' but it can, I think, also be used to mean 'in addition' or 'together with'. Concerning the ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

Would have done

Please read the following passage. I will post my question at the end of it. Here is the passage: At home I locked myself in. Jason, my lawyer and lyn sent texts simultaneously at the point the ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Difference between “deny doing something” and “deny having done something”

What is the difference between "deny doing something" and "deny having done something"? The context is as follows: While being questioned on the court, the man denied [taking/having taken] the ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What does the phrase 'I feel like a pig in a wig' mean?

I heard this phrase in an interview: I feel like a pig in a wig. I understand from the context that it is like nothing, ugly or something similar. I have read that they use words that sound good ...
3
votes
1answer
452 views

What does “have the avocados” for anchorman work mean?

New Yorker (November 6) carries an excerpt from legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy’s book, “Let me off at the top,” which includes the following sentence referring to his experience in Gauntlet, the ...
-1
votes
2answers
664 views

“Its color is brown” vs “It is brown in color” describing nouns

I was wondering what the difference between these two similar ways of describing a noun is. Its color is brown. or It is brown in color. If they are both proper usage please explain to me ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

To find/get/take one's bearings

Is there any difference between these three expressions? to find one's bearings to get one's bearings to take one's bearings
1
vote
1answer
307 views

If someone says, “Shoot, it was a great day to be alive.” , what does he/she mean?

A example sentence from Oxford dictionary: Shoot - exclamation North American informal used as a euphemism for ‘shit’: shoot, it was a great day to be alive What is the tone of this ...
7
votes
5answers
11k views

“Explain” versus “Explicate”

Is there a difference in meaning between the words 'explain' and 'explicate', or are they interchangeable? It seems that explicate is just a very formal (pretentious?) version of explain, that is ...
-2
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the word “s***storm” mean exactly?

The definition of shitstorm in New Oxford American Dictionary: a situation marked by violent controversy. The definition in Wikipedia: a vulgar dysphemism for a chaotic and unpleasant ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

what is allegory how is allegory used in poetry? Can you give some simple examples? [closed]

Allegory and its usages? Simple Examples for allegory.
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

“Across” + “from” structure

Across the street. Across the street from ... Across from the street. Across from the street from the church. I know what the first phrase means but I have problem with the rest. What they mean? ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

“Why it is” vs “Why is it”

What is the difference between these two sentences: 1 ) Please tell me why is it like that.(should i put question mark at the end) 2 ) Please tell me why it is like that.(should i put question mark ...
1
vote
2answers
276 views

Does the word “discussion” imply any length?

Does a discussion among two or more people have to have a certain amount of words or sentences or people involved? I'm interested in both the technically correct definition and the way people use the ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there any difference between “a few relatives” and “a few relations”?

In the following sentence I prefer saying relatives but I am unable to explain why. It's going to be a small wedding. Only a few friends and relatives have been invited On doing research I ...
11
votes
7answers
46k views

Difference between contract and catch [a disease]

What could be the difference between contracting a disease and catching a disease? I know there isn't any big difference. However, it looks like there are some diseases you can both catch and ...
0
votes
2answers
505 views

Emphasis is put on relation of A and B, instead of/on

Having the following sentence, I'm not sure how to use prepositions after 'instead': The emphasis is put on the relation between A and B, instead of on A and B themselves. Is "instead of on" ...
0
votes
2answers
668 views

meaning “upon which the system depends for”

In sentence "A system’s trust model defines the set of software and data upon which the system depends for correct enforcement of system security goals." I don't understand the mean of "upon which the ...