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

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0
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0answers
26 views

Different meanings of blow [on hold]

As' blow' has many different meanings, I always forget which meaning in sentences, like: 'They blew into the charcoal until it glowed red. ' I think that the original meaning is not match, and I ...
0
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4answers
37 views

A question about “common stake”

What does common stake in the sentence below mean? Does it mean a common role? Such overgeneralized beliefs will also be resistant to change, because individuals develop a common stake in their ...
10
votes
7answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
40 views

How to use “near” and “nearby”? [on hold]

Can you guys show me when I should use "near" or "nearby"? I absolutely get confused to use those... :<
0
votes
1answer
25 views

meaning of edge in this sentence

belligerent speeches by leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States throughout the Cold War were keeping the world on edge.
-1
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0answers
27 views

how do i respond to this email? [on hold]

How do i respond in a way that is sincere but has a snide message to make the sender feel awkward for sending it. It is implying that I made them feel awkward for making them have to write it. ...
8
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Meaning of “additive form”

I'm writing a inferential visual analysis and I'm not sure if the phrase "Additive form" makes sense. The phrase is meant to represent a persons added form (for example clothing). I'm using it in the ...
14
votes
3answers
30k views

How does “pussy” come to mean “coward”?

The word pussy is often used to mean "coward". This guy is a pussy. and I am wondering why. How are woman's genitals related to being a "coward"?
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What does “keeping someone in shoe leather” means?

In the following sentence: Unless your work is pro-bono, you should make sure that your customers keep you in shoe leather. What does "keeping someone in shoe leather" means?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Is “further” now used for both physical and metaphorical distances?

Is it true that 'further' and 'farther' are becoming interchangeable? He drove further north. His furthest destination to travel is 167 miles. This link says that further is now widely ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Meaning and etymology of “Hat-trick” and “Brace”

We all know that in the footballing world, when someone scores 3 goals, they call it a Hat-trick and when two, a Brace. I was wondering how these words are related to numbers 3 and 2? Is there any ...
14
votes
4answers
21k views

What's the difference between “Collaborate” and “Cooperate”?

Both of these words seem to mean much the same thing: working together to achieve some goal. I can instinctively feel a difference between them, but I can't easily put it into words. Can you help me? ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

what's the meaning of “To make the larger point”

what's the meaning of "To make the larger point" e.g. To make the larger point, this chapter initiates a detailed study of types of commercial and political alliance making that are impossible ...
10
votes
5answers
47k views

What does “Suit yourself” mean?

I found this on SO and googled the idiom "suit yourself", but I couldn't find a matching translation. The context was that the questioner was nitpicking and the answerer lost his patience.
1
vote
2answers
65 views

what is the difference between later and latter?

As cited above what is the difference between later and latter? Latter : occurring or situated nearer to the end of something than to the beginning, the meaning of latter is similar to later only. so ...
1
vote
3answers
31 views

“similarly to” in the sentence beginning

Similarly to the previous version of this product, this version contains the same feature and .... (a long description of the product) Is the usage of "similarly to" in the sentence beginning ...
1
vote
1answer
19 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Whats the difference between “my”, “i”, “myself”, “my own” [closed]

I always gets confused over these words, please help me understand them more clearly
4
votes
3answers
22k views

What exactly does “sweep me off my feet” mean? (And why?)

Although the phrase "sweep me off my feet" probably means, "make me fall in love with you in a short time", what does it exactly mean, because "sweeping" can be difficult to be associated with "love". ...
6
votes
3answers
17k views

“Hot mess” meaning and etymology

A phrase has started to be used somewhat frequently over the past few years: "hot mess". I have heard it in professional journalism (albeit, admittedly, mostly entertainment and/or gossip ...
20
votes
11answers
3k views

Is “chubby” offensive?

I said to a person that she is "chubby" and, apparently, she took it very seriously. What I meant to say is that she's not skin and bones, she carried more pounds than needed but, precisely because of ...
2
votes
3answers
13k views

When to use “Ok noted”?

I'm a software developer. My situation is, I'm working with my customer (onshore project manager) via chatting using Skype. He helps me to make his side's server available and give me a link to the ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

The adventures of Tom Sawyer sentence meaning

What does this phrase from The adventures of Tom Sawyer sentence mean: "True, the knife would not cut anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and there was inconceivable grandeur in that -- ...
0
votes
3answers
128 views

Use of the subjunctive mood, “be”

Along with the commercial database servers, there has been quite a bit of activity in the open source community in the past five years with the goal of creating a viable alternative to the ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

What is it called when something is described by what it isn't?

I'm not looking for a particular part of speech. A corollary to this idea, and in some ways the opposite, is when something is defined by/as itself. A lot of times you will find this in bad ...
3
votes
3answers
126 views

Why use “on-pass” / “onpass” instead of “pass on”?

Where I work some people use "on-pass" in sentences such as "We get data from the stock exchange and on-pass it to our customers" or "We need to on-pass that information to the other team". Does this ...
5
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the difference between “Sofa” and “Couch”?

Is there any difference between the two? Which one is more common? Which of the two words is more appropriate if the "piece of furniture" is big, comfortable and expensive?
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votes
3answers
68 views

Is “optical illusion” a tautology?

An illusion is a "visual deception", so is there any type other than "optical"?
2
votes
4answers
124 views

Fodder - idiomatic meaning

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/little-sign-progress-obama-putin-speak-231431925--politics.html While U.S. officials denied those accusations, confirmation of Brennan's visit could provide fodder ...
0
votes
4answers
99 views

Is “something appetite” correct as a noun? [closed]

Trying to find a name for a restaurant using appetite word. As my native language is not English, Do combinations such "Apple Appetite", "Pizza Appetite" make sense?
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Difference between “Generally, I am…” and “I am generally…”?

Revisiting my CV, I have stumbled over a small question. I originally wrote: “I am generally willing and able to relocate worldwide.” Today, I noticed I could also write: “Generally, I am ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What does ‘Rock a hat” mean?

There is the following sentence in Tina Fey’s “Bossypants": ”Don Fay dresses well. He has an artist’s eye for mixing colors and prints. He wears tweedy jackets over sweater vests in the winter ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

Optimisation fence [closed]

Could anyone explain what "optimisation fence" mean? I have found it in several papers but don't get the meaning at all.
6
votes
3answers
3k views

“He acted strange(ly?)”

It would make sense if both of these sentences were grammatically correct; but is anything different between them meaning-wise? He acted very strange when I told him about the missing amulet. ...
1
vote
2answers
101 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.
0
votes
2answers
50 views

'Blowing Dixie double four time' and 'He can play the honky tonk like anything' meaning

in Dire Straits "Sultans of Swing" what is the meaning of these two lines: In the first verse: You get a shiver in the dark It's been raining in the park but meantime South of the ...
5
votes
7answers
372 views

Searching for a rare word for “something taken as truth due to having been repeated so much”

I'm searching for a certain single, rare, literary word meaning "something taken as truth due to having been repeated so much". This "something" could be either true or false. It is not necessarily ...
4
votes
4answers
580 views

What does ‘Pinkie-sized’ mean?

I found the word, ‘Pinkie-sized’ in the following examples. From the definition of ‘pinkie’ as ‘small –Scottish / child talk in a dictionary at hand, and ‘small finger’ in Oxford Advanced Learner’s ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What does “slicker than snot on a doorknob” mean?

I have a friend from Mississippi and I've heard him use this expression sometimes: slicker than snot on a doorknob. What exactly does it mean? (I guess it's something positive but I'm not too sure ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

When is a person called a “lightning rod”?

I am aware of the lightning rod used to protect buildings and structures. But, what does it mean to refer to a person as a lightning rod? Also, when is it appropriate to use and when should it be ...
1
vote
7answers
1k views

Word to describe a personality which has many interests?

I'm looking for a word, to be honest I'm not sure if such a word even exists, though this would be a word, or a phrase that describes more of a personality. Take this as an example: Bill works as ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

What does ‘great conk of a nose’ imply?

There was the following sentence in a pretty old (October 7, 2013) article of New York Times titled, “A Jew not quite English enough,” which comments on the life and lifestyle of Ralph Miliband, the ...
0
votes
2answers
45 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
567 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?
1
vote
2answers
32 views

Usage of “In present-day”

Does the sentence In present day technology, the method can be broadly applied. correctly translate the idea that Now, with the development of inexpensive desktop computers, the method can be ...
1
vote
3answers
28 views

Out - usage, meaning

Different databases use different naming conventions for variable-length string datatypes. VARCHAR(n) or TEXT(n) are common naming formats for variable-length strings. Figure 3-6 shows ...
6
votes
3answers
362 views

When and why did competence become “competency”?

I don't remember ever hearing "competency" until circa 1970. When I first heard that form it sounded very silly, as if someone was trying to sound lofty via the addition of superfluous syllables. Is ...
1
vote
3answers
65 views

The word “Overachieving”

Does "Overachieving" have negative connotations? I was considering the title "The Overachieving subconscious" I am trying to convey that 'your subconscious is a very powerful tool' with this title; ...
5
votes
6answers
9k views

What does “fine-grained” mean?

I always see "fine-grained" in technology articles. What does it mean?