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

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2
votes
4answers
120 views

Context on using available vs accessible

Consider the following two sentences: 1) Please put the medicine in the living room so that it is available to everyone. 2) Please put the medicine in the living room so that it is accessible for ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Meaning of “a window to the world”

What does the phrase "a window to the world mean"? Is this the correct format of the phrase. How can I use it in a sentence? (e.g. The plants in this garden provide a window to the world of flora ...
7
votes
3answers
88 views

The usage of “banzai”

I started to reread a pretty old mystery of Thomas Harris, “The silence of the lambs,” which I once gave up reading because of difficulty of understanding the narrative studded with technical jargons ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

What is the difference between “matter-containing media” and “matter”?

I'm reading the english wikipedia entry titled "Radiation". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation you can find the word in the first paragraph, or by searching. so... What is the difference between ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

“Comportment” vs. “deportment”

What is the difference between comportment and deportment? I have tried looking up a comparison, but with very little results. The few discussions I found were contradictory. I also tried looking ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Meaning of “boroughs of New York City”

What does borough mean? Does the word have a different meaning when used in the five boroughs of New York City?
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Meaning of “to be responsible for being…” [migrated]

The external safety unit is therefore responsible for the functions and applications being correct. What is meant by the sentence above? The external safety unit is therefore responsible for ...
0
votes
1answer
963 views

What does 'fist bump' mean? [closed]

I have seen fist bump mentioned in some books, and would like to know what it means.
4
votes
2answers
51 views

What does “media (news) disruptor” mean?

There is the following passage in the article titled, “Why disruptors are always white guys” in New York Magazine September 10 issue: “It’s happening again. There’s a list of “media disruptors.” ...
12
votes
2answers
842 views

Why does common usage of “random” feel so incorrect?

I am bothered by the modern usage of the term "random", and am wondering if "it's just me" or if there is a reason for my being discomfited. Take for instance, this lovely bit: The column and table ...
1
vote
3answers
545 views

Difference Between “Plot” and “Storyline”

What is the difference in story writing between a "plot," and a "storyline"? Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Edition) says a "story line" is "the plot of a story or drama," and Collin's ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Origin and meaning of “every cloud has a silver lining”

Every cloud has a silver lining. Please provide some historical perspective and meaning of this expression.
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Why is “back” used here even though it is the first action?

I knew I must reach the body for the key, so I raised the lid, and laid it back against the wall. This is the first time he has laid the lid against the wall, but why is back used here?
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Marlin mate means [closed]

Marlin is a type of swordfish, that's fine. But what does the marlin mate mean? Does the word "mate" have a similar meaning as in the "first mate" or something? Is a marlin mate someone who harpoons ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

treated him as a child [duplicate]

1-His wife treats him like a child. 2-His wife treats him as a child. Is there a difference between the meanings of 1 and 2? 3-His wife talks to him like a child. 4-His wife talks to him as a ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Does “Each product is defined into final detail” have a meaning?

I was asked to proof-read an english text. The sentence "Each product is defined into final detail" caught my eyes, as I do not know if it is valid. I believe the client wants to say "Each product is ...
2
votes
6answers
231 views

What is “skat”?

I have been reading a report of a mining accident involving a skat conveyor. But I can't find out what the skat conveyor is conveying. I have found some references to a card game:- 1 : a ...
4
votes
4answers
390 views

What does “Lose the Drama” mean as one of 7 ways for women at work to negotiate?

In an interview of co-host of NBS Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski by Erin Skarda of Time magazine, Brzezinski gave 7 tips for women to take into their next career generation starting “Don’t act like a ...
-1
votes
0answers
37 views

the meaning of this 'knew' [closed]

“Who was Miss Jennie?” “She was an angel straight out of Heaven,” breathed the man, fervently; “but the old master and missus knew her as their oldest daughter. She was twenty when she married ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

What is the usage of “in it fat” in this sentence?

I found this sentence: It has in it fat, which gives energy. I can't figure out the usage of the part "in it fat". Can anyone kindly explain it or maybe give some examples please?
4
votes
0answers
77 views

When did the word “intercourse” become sexual? [closed]

When reading books written in the 1800's, the word intercourse is used without any sexual connotation. Example: during our intercourse with others. It is similar to relationship or dealings.
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Meaning of “What gave it away”

I came across a phrase in Seinfeld, it wrotes: (Claire passes the table; George stops her and writes something on his notepad.) GEORGE: Claire, Claire, you’re a woman, right? CLAIRE: ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Exact meaning of “Tyranny of Distance”

In Australia, I often hear the phrase "the Tyranny of Distance", but I'm not exactly sure what it means. I know that the phrase originated from The Tyranny of Distance: How Distance Shaped ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

Did Shakespeare really mean meat pies by baked meats?

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2(The Arden Shakespeare edited by Harold Jenkins). Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral bak'd meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. Jenkins ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Meaning of “They are so used to me” [closed]

Can you tell me meaning of this: "They are so used to me that they know my schedule." Which means that they know him or something else?
2
votes
3answers
486 views

Is it “close the door” or “shut the door”?

I am confused about which one to use. Do the phrases have the same meanings or different meanings? Close the door. Shut the door.
32
votes
16answers
9k views

Is there a word which means whatever you want it to mean? Or has no meaning?

I'm looking for a word which can be used in any situation to describe something in whatever way you want, i.e it's not a word and just fits in to places..., but is there an actual word which does ...
2
votes
3answers
544 views

What is the difference between “count” and “matter” in this quote?

I came across a quote today, it is, As a person it's what's on the inside that counts. It's what's on the outside that matters. Please explain the quote for me. Are count and matter opposites?
25
votes
5answers
5k views

Difference between “I am really sorry” and “I really am sorry”

I know they are slightly different, but I can't tell how. I've read about the usage of the word "really" in a negative sentence. But it didn't tell me about how the position of the word "really" can ...
-4
votes
0answers
48 views

thanks again, Many thanks or thanks and Regards [closed]

Most of the time we write Thanks and Regards in mail , recently i observed most people or humble UK they write Ta (thanks Again.) wanted to understand which one is more effective while writing mail ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Words that changed meaning in past hundred years [closed]

I am looking for a list of words that were used to mean something different from for what they are used now. some words are such that whose meaning has changed completely and some words have more ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is “to wear” also used as a “dynamic verb” meaning “to don”, “to put on”?

My intuition was that the verb to wear could be used in two ways (besides all its other senses that is.) A "stative" sense related to the state of having clothes (etc) on. A "dynamic" sense related ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Word/Phrase for the 'news is always wrong'

Not entirely sure this is the best placeto ask, but I'm looking for a word or phrase that I possibly heard a long time ago. It encapsulates one or two ideas: The first (and possibly more important) ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Meaning of “I know for a fact don’t anybody go by there”

I know for a fact don’t anybody go by there. What is the meaning of the italicised part?
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Meaning and Usage of the word 'Welter' [closed]

Could anyone make this understand to me the meaning and usage of the word 'Welter'? I gone through Vocabulary.com and found this. Use the noun welter to describe an enormous, messy pile, like the ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Gut-wrenching or -retching?

It was the most gut-retching thing I have ever heard. Wrenching sounds like it would make sense, but so does retching.
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Question of Initialisms vs Acronyms [duplicate]

Today I was driving by a UPS truck, which for those unfamiliar is a delivery truck used by a shipping company. By standard definition UPS could be seen as an acronym as you can pronounce it "ups" ...
18
votes
1answer
983 views

What is the meaning of the word “inriation”?

I looked up the definition of the word elation in Webster's Revised Unabridged 1913 dictionary and found the following definition (Page: 476): Elation E*la"tion (?), n. [L. elatio. See ...
4
votes
6answers
7k views

“I kindly ask to” vs “I ask to kindly”

Let's take the following two sentences as examples: I kindly ask you to send the letter to your boss. I ask you to kindly send the letter to your boss. It would be kind of you to send the letter to ...
1
vote
3answers
200 views

“Sit down” vs. “sit up”

When someone is lying down, you say sit up. When someone is standing in an upright position, you say sit down. What in the situation when you want to ask a very small kid to sit down to a chair, but ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

BrEng: “pull your finger out”, “cock up” and “stuff it” What do they mean?

In the British sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, Detective Grim makes three intelligently crafted sentences, which are given below. What do they mean? It's my arse on the line, so you better pull your ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

What does this “ they could not quite picture to themselves” mean [closed]

I tried to expand my vocabulary with reading book but always found the difficult sentences like these one
5
votes
6answers
486 views

Which is the older sense of the word “linguist”?

I have been listening to some rants on YouTube against people learning a bunch of languages calling themselves "linguists". I'm personally interested in both linguistics and languages as a hobby but ...
7
votes
1answer
411 views

Why is something fried on a griddle called grilled?

To my understanding, to grill is cooking with a heat source located beneath an open slatted grate (or ribbed closed pan). (For example, using a barbecue grill on one's patio.) The word grill is ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Favorites is/are empty [closed]

I'm not English native speaker and I'd like to know correct form of this sentence. If I want to say that my favorites folder is empty what's the verb I should use in this case? I mean when the ...
12
votes
6answers
43k views

Origin of the idiom “falling off the wagon”

I often hear the idiom "falling off the wagon", as in "Has Robert Downey Jr. fallen off the wagon?" (i.e. Is he drinking alcohol again?). Where did the phrase originate? What wagon? And why is being ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Usage of “fanny” as verb

I am not a native English speaker, hence please bear with me. I understand that fanny means mess around and waste time. Can someone suggest how I might make a sentence which uses fanny, as an ...
4
votes
3answers
163 views

Difference between “would have + past participle” and “would + bare infinitive” in the main clause of a past subjunctive sentence

I'm wondering about the difference in meaning, if any, between the two sentences in each of the following examples. Example 1. a. If he was a serious leader, tackling the debt would have been a ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

'balls have dropped' what does it mean?

I am seeing an episode of a British sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, where an officer makes a remark Just once in a while, I'd like to nick someone whose balls have dropped! What does this sentence ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Different between 'effect' and 'impact'

Someone asks me this question: 'How much work is it to fix issue? then I'm trying to determine potential impact.' My answer is that 'very little work should to be done to fix this issue. And there is ...