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

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7
votes
4answers
11k views

“Oath” vs “pledge” vs “vow”

Oath, pledge, and vow: What is the difference between these words and where should I use each word? A simple example would help me to understand.
0
votes
2answers
91 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 ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

The meaning of “blue canoe” in the lyrics of “Where to Now, St. Peter” sung by Elton John

In his song Where to Now, St. Peter, Sir Elton John sings: I took myself a blue canoe, And I floated like a leaf Dazzling, dancing half enchanted In my Merlin sleep. Crazy was the ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

It was the freshest movie for a long time [on hold]

In a listening of my English course book there is this sentence: "It was the freshest movie for a long time". A film critic is talking about the best movies in the last ten years. For example: For me ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Meaning of 'insider hiring' [on hold]

there is an article about hiring. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/iphone-article/.premium-1.637980 one of the headers is 'Insider hiring'. what does it exactly mean? hiring someone you know? does it have ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

The meaning and etymology of the exclamation “Lawdy me!”

What does a speaker mean if he/she exclaims "Lawdy me!"? I noticed this exclamation when I was reading a short story "the Conscience of the Court" by Zora Neale Hurston. There was one brown-skinned ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Is it inflammable or flammable? [duplicate]

You sometimes see on tank trucks or petrol tankers carrying gas or oil or other liquids that catch fire quickly the word inflammable painted in bold red on them.Should not the correct word be ...
3
votes
3answers
118 views

Word for development or improvement in art

In human race you call evolution to upgrade mankind, in technology innovation , how about the art work? how u call it? from painting to graphic design
0
votes
4answers
3k views

Does “freak somebody out” has the meaning of “make somebody angry”?

This is an excerpt from the LDOCE. freak out phrasal verb informal to become very anxious, upset, or afraid, or make someone very anxious, upset, or afraid : People just freaked out when they ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

using word “Responsive” correctly? [on hold]

I wrote this sentence for my report, but I am not fully comfortable in using "responsive". Can any one check and point out the mistakes? Various constraints relating RGB cameras were found to be ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

To be stoked on/about/ to do something [on hold]

What's the difference, if any, between these: I'm stoked on going there I'm stoked about going there I'm stoked to go there What's the most common?
2
votes
1answer
396 views

Is the use of “conversely” to mean “on the other hand” correct?

I've previously used "conversely" to mean "on the other hand". For example. I always thought this the correct usage. Conversely, I might be wrong. However, the OED defines it as: In the ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

How to punctuate the following sentence? [on hold]

The sentence: Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. It is from ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

How offensive is the expression “I am sick of you”?

Question 1: What is the meaning of "I am sick of you" exactly? Question 2: Does the meaning of this expression change depending on the context? Question 3: How offensive is this expression in ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Clarification on sarcasm/type of personality-stumped

I am hoping to get some help. I have always been told that I am the most sarcastic person people have ever met. After 20 years, I decided to dive a little deeper to see if I fit the definition. It ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

What does this quote mean?

What does this quote mean: Oh, beauty is a beguiling call to death and I'm addicted to the sweet pitch of its siren." The quote is attributed to Johnny Quid in the movie RocknRolla.
0
votes
2answers
23 views

Levelized in“ levelized cost of energy” [on hold]

I have read the one report with title of Lazard's levelized cost of energy analysys. Is there any one to tell what is the meaning of "levelized" in "levelized cost of energy"? Tnx
-4
votes
0answers
60 views

Harry Potter strange question [closed]

In Harry Potter 6 when Dumbledore went to visit Tom Riddle for the first time he said: "How do you do, Tom?" and Tom answered "Don't" What does this "Don't" mean? I can't understand.
0
votes
2answers
43 views

What does “you happen to be on” mean in the context? [closed]

Here is a sentence from the Rework book written by Jason Fred: "When you're really tired, it always seems easier to plow down whatever bad path you happen to be on instead of reconsidering the ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Non-repudiable vs non-refutable vs non-reputable in computer security

In computer security there is a concept known as: non-repudiation "Non-repudiation refers to a state of affairs where the purported maker of a statement will not be able to successfully challenge the ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Is this usage of “account for” correct?

Can "account for" mean "take into consideration", such as in the sentence "I forgot to account for the time it would take to drive here, so I'm late"? Oddly, I couldn't find such usage in any ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

How would you label someone that generates ruses?

Someone who constantly tells lies can be labeled as a liar. Is there a word that describes someone as a person that constantly uses ruses(sp?)? I found that in the definition, if you go to the old ...
1
vote
4answers
77 views

“Nothing but” + adjective? [closed]

Can "nothing but" be used before an adjective? E.g.: I'm nothing but certain we will win.
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “sunset” mean when used as a verb? [duplicate]

There was the following quote from Adam B. Schiff, Democrat Representative on President Obama’s request for a formal authorization of Congress to fight the Islamic State in New York Times article ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

A “cold opening” like by Saturday Night Live [closed]

I could not find it on my favorite translator dict.leo.org, so I ask the resident AI, what is a cold opening, as found in many titles of Saturday Night Live episodes on your favorite video clip ...
7
votes
5answers
943 views

What does “Anyone who is married” mean in “Anyone who is married should know that facts and logic are not always helpful to one’s cause”? [closed]

I’m drawn to the phrase, “anyone who is married” taken from Benn Steil's recently published book, The Battle of Bretton Woods that deals with the battle engaged by Maynard Keynes and Harry White, each ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

Need help understanding sentence with term “over constraining”

"We do not believe in over constraining the team beyond its capacity." I'm having trouble understanding the above. What does "over constraining" mean? I found this but I don't see how those ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

what does “ attention whore” mean?

I heard "attention whore" from a radio,my finding in this case is that whore means somebody who does anything in order to achieve what they want,so they do anything to get attention of others, how do ...
0
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

does the slogan “furniture made by makers” make sense? [closed]

I am working on a slogan for a new furniture website that will feature furniture made by different individual makers and English isn't my first language, so I was wondering if this slogan made sense: ...
2
votes
2answers
102 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
71 views

Is “I cannot best you” valid sentence? [closed]

In video game "Skyrim" enemy warriors some times cry I cannot best you! and run away. Is "I cannot best you" valid sentence? Does it mean: "I cannot defeat you"? Can I ask question: "Can you ...
3
votes
3answers
213 views

Is “Grey tsunami” a mere metaphor, or acknowledged phrase to represent for accelerated global increase of old age population?

The article of the Economics (April 26, 2014) titled “Demography, growth and inequality; Age invaders” ends up with the following passages: It (shift to ageing population) will be a world in which ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

what is the difference between 'same', 'typical' and 'similar'?

What is the difference between 'same', 'typical' and 'similar', as all conveys the same meaning.
3
votes
2answers
117 views

What does “cheffed-up” in “Traditional ramen that hasn’t been cheffed-up” mean?

In connection with my previous question about the meaning of the line, “This is a lot of cargo for noodle soup” in NYT’s (March 4, 2014) article, “Ramen’s Big Splash,” in its Dining & Wine ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Alternate, archaic meanings of “such as”

such as {prepositional phrase} = 1. For example 2. Of a kind that; like 3. (archaic) Those who I tolerate and so ask NOT about 1 above. Despite this dated 2014 Nov 30 and this dated 2013 Oct ...
10
votes
3answers
19k views

Can “sir” be used to address female officers?

The use of the term sir as a form of address for men, especially those of higher rank or status, is discussed in several prior questions including this one. They all indicate that the term is reserved ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

What does “All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat” mean? [duplicate]

I don't understand this sentence: All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. What does it mean? Can a scar be a bath of heat?
4
votes
4answers
125 views

Meaning of 'sunlines'

He was a man of perhaps forty five, and his face was thick featured, phlegmatic, with sunlines around small light eyes — the face of a deliberate man. Nightmare Town Stories By Dashiell ...
1
vote
0answers
70 views

Does name + “boss” mean something?

One of my colleagues in Britain keeps addressing me as "Armen boss" in mails and skype. Like, Hi, Armen boss. Can you please verify...? I am in no conceivable way his boss and our relationship ...
2
votes
2answers
375 views

“Inter-”, “multi-”, “cross-”, “trans-” in relation to disciplines

In academia the words inter-discipline, multi-discipline, trans-discipline, or cross-discipline are used to describe a type of combination between different disciplines or the uniqueness of a field. ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the difference between “mincing” and “grinding”?

What, if any, are essential differences between mincing and grinding? I tend to associate mincing with soft foods (other materials?) such as meat. In particular, Merriam Webster has the following ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

What does “hype job” mean?

There was the following passage in February 25 Washington Post Style section article that came under the headline, “The heights of Hype”: “Mr. (Neely) Tucker uses historical documents and ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

“I don't agree totally” vs. “I don't totally agree” vs. “I totally don't agree”

What is the difference between the following? I don't agree with him totally. I don't totally agree with him. I totally don't agree with him. I'm puzzled at the meaning of negative ...
0
votes
3answers
40 views

What does “intergeneric writing” mean?

What is intergeneric writing? I did a Google search to no avail. I am interested in learning about this genre, or something else that I could search for to draw more knowledge.
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Difference between destroyed, terminated and suspended [closed]

I'm a mobile app developer. I have experience in android and iOS app development. In android,there is a state called destroyed and in iOS,there is a state called suspended. Both states have same ...
2
votes
4answers
152 views

Is the misuse of “literally” an example of a malapropism?

The new Father John Misty album takes up the "people keep misusing the word 'literally' and I'm mad as hell about it" cry and calls its misuse a malapropism. I think of things like "french benefits" ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Help understanding a sentence/reference

The introductory paragraph of the book An Introduction to Mathematics, written for general audience by the great British mathematician Alfred North Whitehead goes like this: Chapter 1: THE ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Is there any negative connotation to the word SpoonTalk or Spoon [closed]

This is my first question here. It is not exactly related to English usage. -- Providing more details as suggested by John-- I am currently building a Software product and have named it SpoonTalk. ...
0
votes
0answers
65 views

Meaning of “make cupcake” [closed]

Could you please explain the meaning when someone says "He/She makes cupcakes"? It is definitely not about small cupcakes. I think it could be some kind of slang phrase. Thank you! Upd: UD says that ...