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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

1
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0answers
53 views

About lyrics of “There's No Business Like Show Business” [on hold]

I am learning about lyrics of "there's no business like show business'. http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/e/ethel_merman/theres_no_business_like_show_business_lyrics.html Everything about it is ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

difference between “gold standard” and “ground truth”? [closed]

What's the difference between"gold standard" and "ground truth"? Or are these two concepts the same?
3
votes
0answers
39 views

1000 names for snow [closed]

The old saying goes that Innuit have a 1000 names for snow (as @venture2099 says this isn't actually true but you get my point). This kind of makes sense to describe the various states and types of ...
2
votes
4answers
195 views

A single word to define “leave in state of ignorance”

What is a good word that describes the act of purposefully leaving someone else in a state of ignorance with the goal of benefiting from their, well, ignorance?
-1
votes
1answer
59 views

Putting on weight, gaining weight, getting fat [closed]

Which is the correct sentence or what is difference among the following sentences? My friend is putting on weight. My friend is gaining weight. My friend is getting fat.
0
votes
1answer
59 views

“What's been up?” meaning [on hold]

I want to know what exactly "what's been up ?" means cause I think it's pretty confusing with "what's up ?". I think it's not exactly the same expression ?
1
vote
1answer
78 views

“if and as” - Does it mean what I think it means and is it even grammatically sound?

Very infrequently, I'll use the fragment "if and as" in a sentence. For instance: Having it be double fudge chocolate cake in both cases comes off as needless frippery if and as the recipe is ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

“Put on” makeup and “apply” make up [closed]

What is difference between "put on" makeup and "apply" makeup? please explain with some sentences.
-3
votes
2answers
67 views

What does “pitting folk” mean? [closed]

This is from the Economist (Jan 3, 2015). (You can see the full article here - ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

“He is the only one who can see the door to my soul” came across this in marriage invitation, I can't understand it, help please [closed]

"He is the only one who can see the door to my soul" came across this in marriage invitation, what does it mean door to my soul EDIT This was what I found and my confusion was this ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

What does idiom “ thick in the head ” mean? [closed]

My understanding is that: thick in the head ... means inflexible, but I was told it means stupid. Since inflexible doesn't mean stupid all the time, what is the precise meaning of thick in ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

what does “I am not feeling up for it” mean? when can you use this?

What does actually "I am not feeling up for it" mean? Is it ok to use this phrase when somebody ask you to do lunch sometime and you actually do not want to go but want to be polite? If you ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Using “word” to mean “okay” [duplicate]

I tutored an American exchange student in Finland last year and occasionally he, on Facebook, would say something like "word thank you" or simply "word" and he said it means "okay". I was curious and ...
6
votes
3answers
22k views

What does “here's to someone/thing” mean?

I got an email from an instructor today. Towards the end of email she says: "Here is to finishing off the semester in a positive way." What does that mean?
-4
votes
1answer
34 views

What does it mean?please reply fast [closed]

“Postings and transfers are in the public domain;" when Indian diplomats go, the dates are announced and when they leave Sri Lanka", "the dates are available". The dates are in public domain of all ...
8
votes
8answers
5k views

Is the verb “redouble” just a redundant way to say “double”?

A colleague and I were reading a corporate memo that contained the phrase 'redouble our efforts'. His claim was that the word redouble was equivalent to double and simply nonstandard. (Similar to, ...
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

Meaning of “satisfaction pool” in scientific papers [closed]

I have read the following phrase: A final satisfaction pool will be conducted with 30 patients from each intervention group to evaluate their appreciations. Could you please explain the meaning ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

What does “to put things into prospective” mean? [closed]

Note that it's prospective, not perspective. I'm reading a blog post and found below paragraph. It is impossible to resist the urge of exploring in-memory OLTP Engine (code name Hekaton) ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

(looked into )or(looked at) what is the difference? [closed]

She looked into the car Could I use at instead of into? What is the difference?
0
votes
0answers
58 views

Meaning of 'Some nose puts the bulls on me tomorrow..'

"It don't make any difference," he said. "I'm washed up anyway. Some nose puts the bulls on me tomorrow, next week, what the hell? I just didn't like your map, pal. A nose means a person, I ...
1
vote
3answers
79 views

On the circuit - what does it mean?

What does on the circuit mean in the following sentence from Michael A. Stackpole's book 21 days to a novel? She wants to make it big in Hollywood or New York or on the circuit. Update 1 ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Word for belief or prejudice that is held, but it is not conscious

I remember reading about an idea of a belief or prejudice that is subconscious. It had a prefix, and it was something like: belief -> alief or prejudice -> ajudice But I can't remember the ...
7
votes
2answers
646 views

Meaning of 'stabs-sick eyes'

From "Red Wind" by Raymond Chandler: He lowered them slowly and looked at the man on the floor. The man's neck was twitching a little. His eyes moved in short stabs-sick eyes. "Sure it's the ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

What does “what has changed with” means here?

What has changed with this tragedy is people’s willingness to recognize that religion really does make people do terrible things. This is from the latest New Republic, the author means that as ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

When are operational definitions appropriate and when can one conclude that a poor word choice was made?

In the book Making is Creating the author, David Gauntlett, seems to use the word "creativity" to refer to the act of creating anything. The example is given that it is creative to make one's own ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Is there a difference between “predate” and “antedate”?

Collins defines predate (third meaning) as to be or occur at an earlier date than; precede in time The same dictionary defines antedate (first meaning) as to be or occur at an earlier date ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Meaning of 'steel picture racks'

"But we'll get a classification and teletype it to Washington some time tonight. If it don't click, you'll be in for a day on the steel picture racks downstairs." A conversation between police ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

The introduction of manmade structures in the etymology of harbor

In a Stackexchange post, a commenter offers a distinction between ports and harbors: Or to put it another way, "harbor" is a description of the natural geography, while "port" is something made ...
16
votes
4answers
939 views

Can I use “US-American” to disambiguate “American”? If not, what can I use?

Based on this question, I wonder: as an alternative to USAian (which is very nonstandard) is it OK to use US-American to more clearly indicate "inhabitant of the USA"? According to Google Ngram, this ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Meaning of “See more of” [on hold]

I wanted to ask what is the meaning of "see more of", or does it have few meanings? I've read that "see more of someone" equals "see someone more often", but I've also seen the phrase being used in ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

When is it right (and non-pretentious) to use the word “concomitant”?

The word concomitant is present in a lot of academic writing. I find myself wanting to use it frequently, but I usually find that other words like associated are just as suitable and are somewhat less ...
1
vote
5answers
102 views

what is a good word to describe a movie that left a strong feeling or impact in you?

For example what is a better word to replace "struck" in the following example. I watched the Movie ABC today and what John said about gossip really struck me. Update: The word I was looking ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

usage of the term “former” to apply to the dead

I've been told that is it wrong to call FDR a "former president" as "former" means someone who is still alive who was once President,
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Other uses of the word “politics”? [closed]

How can the word politic(s) used besides it's general meaning, that is " the activities of governments concerning the political relations between countries". For example, what does politics mean in ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

What is the meaning of “primarian”?

I'm translating an interview of two musicians. At certain moment, discussing jokes hidden in lyrics, one of the speakers says "I think there's always been a couple of jokes in my work. It's not a ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

What does “by any stretch of the imagination” mean? [closed]

Example sentence would be: She was never a great player, not by any stretch of the imagination.
0
votes
1answer
30 views

What does “one of reinvention” mean?

My life in Japan has coincided with the start of my education as a writer. Although my ideal future as a novelist is one of reinvention, and although I won't be in this place for good, I think ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

What do you call someone who lives for himself?

What do you call someone who lives for himself? If someone lives his life solely to achieve his own life goals and not want to associate his life with others', what would you call him? I know some of ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “shortening” mean? Is it different from “abbreviation”?

What does shortening mean? Is it different from abbreviation? I checked the dictionary, but I don't get the difference clearly.
2
votes
3answers
250 views

What is the word for the movement you make when you give someone your hand?

When someone falls down and you give your hand to her but she doesn't hold your hand, what's the proper word for the gesture you've done. You extend your hand? Is "extending a hand" right usage as a ...
21
votes
10answers
2k views

Use of the term “Cowardly Act” in regards to violence

I've noticed a trend for American leaders to use the word "cowardly" to describe acts of violence: Obama: Navy Yard Shootings “Cowardly Act” - in reference to the Sep 2013 DC Navy Yard shooting ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Meaning of “… for I bought him cheap of a man that was 'bliged to sell out?”

I'm reading Uncle Tom's Cabin now. It contains: He fetched me a good sum, too, for I bought him cheap of a man that was 'bliged to sell out; so I realized six hundred on him. I can't understand ...
-2
votes
0answers
57 views

are you mister or you are mister ?What statement is correct between these two? [closed]

"Are you mister" or "You are mister". What statement is correct between these two?
2
votes
3answers
2k views
5
votes
1answer
241 views

Does the phrase 'human race' allude to the idea of a relay?

Describing the history of humanity as a 'race' might seem odd to a listener who hadn't heard it before. Is the image behind this phrase alluding to the idea that human beings reproduce and pass on ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

Expression: Bag of hammers

I know that there's a film with this title, but is it also a common English expression with stable meaning?
0
votes
3answers
37 views

Can I say that someone creates a tendency?

The lectures on Big data have received positive responses not only from MIS students, but also from students of other majors, even triggering a tendency of technology learning. I have ...
0
votes
3answers
404 views

Is “Drop the big hammer” American slang?

In a trailer for the movie "Black Hat", one person says "The guy we're working with will drop the big hammer and not think twice about it" Is this some sort of American slang, possibly for a ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

Is there a word like “compersion” that isn't just for romantic/sexual situations?

I just saw the word "compersion" for the first time, and love it: A feeling of joy when a loved one invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship. Is there a word ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “bupke” mean?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker's (August 27) article titled, “A scandal at the C.I.A. May be.” : In January I (David Shafer, novelist) filed a Freedom of Information Act request ...