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

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5
votes
2answers
829 views

“Sold” in the meaning of “bought”?

Reading the comments in this blog post I was a little confused when the first one said "sold". Why should he sell his game when they removed the copy protection with the first patch? But it seems ...
2
votes
8answers
4k views

That which comes before the “sequel” [closed]

The word "sequel" comes from the the Latin word sequela which means "that which follows" This Latin word is formed of two parts, "sequi" which is "to follow", and a suffix to make it a noun,"-ela". ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

What does it mean “mulls action”?

Spain mulls action over blame for E. coli outbreak Source: Reuters
4
votes
3answers
785 views

I cannot understand what's being asked here

What are the ways in which the universal, inclusive conception of French nationalism was tested by a (racially-conceived) particularistic, exclusive one? I'm at loss, I don't know what's being ...
1
vote
1answer
332 views

What does “Project is testable” mean?

What does this mean? Project is testable.
2
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the difference between “obscene” and “scatological”?

This question was inspired by the Malvolio's answer to this question. What is the actual difference? In English-Russian dictionary there's almost no difference if speaking about tricky phrases. And ...
5
votes
3answers
178 views

What did Petrucci mean by the book title 'Wild Stringdom'?

His book name is "Wild Stringdom", I don't understand... — what is it? I'm from Russia and I speak English very bad. I want to translate this book for me into Russian.
2
votes
1answer
387 views

Self-conscious vs. self-aware

I've often wondered why the words conscious and aware are synonyms, yet self-conscious and self-aware have such different meanings. Is there any reasoning behind this stark contrast in meaning between ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “bore down” mean?

I found the following sentence in today's New York Times. Inaction and delays by New York as storm bore down. The city's decision not to declare a snow emergency, transit officials' delay in ...
6
votes
2answers
10k views

Usage of “implicate” and “imply”

Looking at what's reported in the NOAD, one of the meanings of implicate is the following: convey (a meaning or intention) indirectly through what one says, rather than stating it explicitly; ...
2
votes
3answers
337 views

Does “All” imply one or more?

Does all imply that there is one or more of something? Does the statement "all of the books are red" imply there is at least one red book? Could there be zero books and the statement still be ...
4
votes
3answers
615 views

Meaning of 'patchy at best'?

Its social web services initiatives have been patchy at best, so Google hasn't managed to muscle in on Facebook or Twitter like it has with Microsoft and Yahoo.
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Does the sentence of “Don’t you …”? have a connotation of accusation?

“Don't you want to know how Ginny got hold of that diary, Mr. Malfoy?” said Harry. Lucius Malfoy rounded on him. “How should I know how the stupid little girl got hold of it?” he said. ...
2
votes
4answers
294 views

Use “get” or not? [closed]

What is the difference between these sentences? Your app may simply get lost Your app may simply lost
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Meaning of “throw some work your way”

I think probably the expression means to find job for someone, Is it a common expression or a word made inside the movie? I talked to him. He said he can "throw some work my way".
2
votes
2answers
215 views

What does “low-growing” mean?

What does low-growing mean in the following sentence? She planted some "low-growing" stuff.
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What is meant by the phrase “Charlie Brown management”?

Recently I came to hear the term "Charlie Brown management" in a news article. I tried searching the net on this term, but didn't get anything useful. Please help me to decipher this idiom.
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a “paying gig”?

I was invited to do a project for someone, and she mentioned "Obviously this is a paying gig." What exactly would this mean?
6
votes
2answers
78k views

Meaning of “hail to the king”

I can't translate that sentence, “hail to the king”. I've found something like “greetings to the king” but is this correct?
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What does the term “delicate genius” refer to?

Do a Google search for delicate genius and you will get many results, none seem to be a definition though. I was referred to as a delicate genius today after making a mistake at work. I am not a ...
4
votes
5answers
593 views

Is there a word that means “Refinement of knowledge over time”?

I am looking for a simple way to describe the occurrence when someone comes up with an idea based on observations (the world is flat and the middle of the universe), and then refines it over time and ...
2
votes
1answer
569 views

Why I remember a wrong sense of the word “moron”? [closed]

I thought that the word "moron" means a very smart person (a genius), but my English teacher has said it means the opposite (an idiot) and it was confirmed by lexicons. Where did I get this incorrect ...
62
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the purpose of using the word “automagically” when we already have “automatically”?

Is there a difference between the two? I see it used regularly in the tech community to mean automatically. Has the word been adopted into any recognised dictionary? For example: That was the ...
3
votes
5answers
542 views

“The place where we promised to meet”

This is talking about a promise to meet at a certain place. However, is it grammatically correct? Is it badly phrased? It seems that it can be misinterpreted to mean that at a certain place a promise ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Meaning of “magazine” from 1845

My wife and I were reading Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, translated into English in 1845 by Henry Beveridge, and we came across this phrase in the first book, chapter 5, section ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Different ways to say “even if”

Are all of these grammatically correct and equivalent? Even if I fail Even should I fail Even if I should fail What are the differences, if any? Could the last example be ...
3
votes
3answers
219 views

Does “decoration” have to be visual?

When I hear the word "decoration" I assume it must be visual. However various definitions don't really require this to be the case (such as "The process or art of decorating or adorning something"). ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

“Should” cannot replace “if?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Are “should” and “if” interchangeable at the beginning of a sentence? A special use of “should”? For sentences that begin with ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“Pretend to not” vs. “Pretend not to” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Order of “not” with infinitive The following are both accepted as grammatically correct, right? You pretend to not notice. You pretend not to ...
1
vote
1answer
692 views

What's a “consumer-tech weblog/website”, and why is it called that way?

When people say consumer-tech, what exactly do they mean? What's a "consumer-tech weblog" / "consumer-tech website" (and why is it called that way)?
1
vote
4answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the sentence, “we should not roam about in the hot sun”?

I would like to know the meaning of "we should not roam about in the hot sun".
3
votes
1answer
415 views

meaning of “grapes in my mouth” [closed]

Lyrics from The National's Ada: Stand inside an empty tuxedo with grapes in my mouth waiting for Ada I've not come across the phrase before, nor can I find an attributed meaning. One of the ...
5
votes
3answers
523 views

Use of the word “theory” in “string theory”, “M-theory”, etc

I came across this question on Yahoo! Answers: Should M-theory read, M-hypothesis? It being limited evidence for further investigation, perhaps not yet a theory. I responded thus: (I realise ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What does the phrase “touch space” mean?

Recently some of my colleagues has started using the phrase "touch space" a lot, for example in sentences like "I just called you to touch space", or "I will touch space with him tomorrow". I can ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does “uncanny” have a negative connotation to it?

Uncanny seems to be the word I'm looking for to describe something, but I'm worried that it might have a negative connotation to it. Does it? What are some words that are very close to having the same ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What does 'mothercanuckers' mean?

First of all, sorry if it is offensive (I think it somewhat is). I was going through http://bleacherreport.com/articles/424590-the-funniest-promos-and-moments-in-wwe-history#page/20 The Rock ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

A phrase or idiom about living one life [closed]

I have a question about a phrase (an idiom), which can be roughly said as: You have only one life (to live) and it's not going to happen again. I'm not sure if it's correct, most likely not. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Having some kind of grit

What does the expression, "You have got some kind of grit," mean? Is it sarcastic, like being a bit crazy?
3
votes
1answer
10k views

What does “to throw down” with somebody mean?

I can't find the following phrase in an dictionary: "to throw down" [with somebody]. What does it mean?
1
vote
3answers
502 views

Housekeeping App — does it make sense?

We are providing an app which manages your finances — like a housekeeping book. Our space is limited; therefore, we want to use the slogan "Housekeeping App". Would an English speaker know what is ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Meaning of “sup my homeslice? harvard jv field hockey is da bomb…”

I completely don't understand what this star's line means, even though the words are simple. sup my homeslice? harvard jv field hockey is da bomb... What's homeslice? What does da mean?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Meaning of the word 'tight'

What's the meaning of “tight” in the following sentence? This is the least tight thing that's ever happened for me.
5
votes
2answers
821 views

What does “hunting” mean in the following sentence?

I was reading a review for a camera lens. I found the sentence there. Slow focus on my 300D, noticeably better on a 400D... Shallow focus field, with lots of hunting.
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of 'meant' in this sentence

This is an actor's line from "waiting for forever". The boy climbs up a big object. and the girls says: This was so not meant for heels.
14
votes
1answer
4k views

The construction of “Known but to God”

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider has the engraving "KNOWN BUT TO GOD", as presumably no man knows his name, but shouldn't it read "unknown, but to God", as the default for everyone is "unknown", with ...
1
vote
3answers
530 views

Meaning of the adverb 'differently' and its position

Perceptual constancy refers to our ability to see things differently without having to reinterpret the object's properties. Is differently referring to we see or things?
4
votes
2answers
659 views

What is the relationship between fame and infamy?

In layman's terms, what is the relationship between fame and infamy? Is fame required to be infamous? Are they (definitively) mutual exclusive?
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What does ‘Long on looks, short on spirit’ mean?

I found the phrase ‘Long on looks, short on spirit’ in the Washington Post article written by Ann Hornaday (http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/jane-eyre,1164774/critic-review.html#reviewNum1). ...
-1
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the meaning of “judgmental comments”? [closed]

What is the meaning of "judgmental comments" and where can it be used?
0
votes
1answer
962 views

Difference between “how you want” and “how you will”

Is there any difference in meaning betweeen these two? Is one a valid grammar construct and the other not?