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

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0
votes
0answers
42 views

what is the meaning of “spell” in that context [on hold]

Would you please help to understand the meaning of the word spell in the follwoing context? Over the past five years, Egypt has seen revolution and counter-revolution, a brief spell of civilian ...
4
votes
2answers
60 views

What can “impolitic” really mean?

I stumbled upon the word "impolitic". The original text deals with Chinese philosophy and would probably be more of a distraction than a help. I did my best to clarify the question through searches. ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

When can I use the word Temporal?

I'm wondering about the word "temporal." The definitions I've read are as follows: adjective adjective: temporal relating to worldly as opposed to spiritual affairs; secular. synonyms: ...
-2
votes
1answer
38 views

Please let me know which is correct? [on hold]

1,Is there any difference between If only every single person in a dark, loud nightclub was carrying a gun, as soon as the first shot is fired, everyone could have joined in and begun firing at ...
0
votes
3answers
88 views

What word or phrase is like a more negative version of “astonished”?

Is there a better word for the following example than astonished? I was astonished at the lack of respect Joe showed to his parents. I’m trying to use the word astonished in a sentence, but I ...
8
votes
2answers
911 views

What's a the word for people who make fun of themselves?

I don't mean people with low self esteem. But there are people who feel happy at being able to make other people laugh at their own expense. I remember someone telling me there is a word for them, I ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

Usage of 'last June' in newspaper archive

I found a UK newspaper article from October 1918, which made reference to 'last June'. What's the likelihood of that meaning June 1917, as opposed to June 1918? I assume if it was 1917, they would ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

“Touched” in “This one is touched, folks.”

Today I was reading an article on a classic computer game, and was struck by the following interesting turn of phrase: "Give it a shot [...] I think you’ll be glad you did. This one is touched, folks....
2
votes
2answers
31 views

usage of “but” in a sentence

can anyone tell me the meaning of "There was not anyone in the room but liked his singing" Is this sentence correct and if it is, then could anyone explain to me it's meaning.
0
votes
2answers
41 views

What do sentences without adjectival complements refer to?

This event is very exciting. This event is very exciting to me. "To me" is an adjectival complement to "exciting," so the two sentences can't be the same. However, if that's the case, what ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

Go out for a beer [on hold]

What does the sentence "We should go out for some beer." mean? We should go somewhere and drink beer there. We should go somewhere, buy some beer and come back. Maybe both meanings are right? ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

What does “semantic” mean when used dismissively? [duplicate]

The word "semantic" means "related to the meaning of things". I understand, for example, the difference between syntax and semantics. But people also say "X is just semantics", "they're just arguing ...
-2
votes
0answers
47 views

What is the meaning of “melancholy”? [closed]

I want to know the meaning of the name "melancholy". Secondly, while watching movie Pirates of the Caribbean at Stranger Tides I came across the word "melancholy" I am not sure of its spelling. But ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

How does “I never had nothing” mean “I never had anything”? [duplicate]

In a BBC Documentary about Brexit, an interviewee stated his reason for voting out as following: We are giving to some of the eastern Europeans who come in here at that time. they have more priority ...
4
votes
2answers
279 views

What are fanners?

In the Rudyard Kipling poem The Bee-Boy's Song there is a section that goes: Tell 'em coming in an' out, Where the Fanners fan, What are these fanners that the bees are so curious to know ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Sunscreen vs sunblock

These two words have very similar definitions on Google. One protects against UVA and one protects against UVB rays. The question is, at what times should I use one word, and the other? Or can they be ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

“make a change” or “make a difference”

I was reading a book with tests when I encountered this question: < "If you quit your job, you'll have to make do with fewer material possessions. Those who've decided to (make a change/make a ...
-1
votes
0answers
53 views

Meaning of the phrase “keep the blues at bay”? [on hold]

What is the meaning of the phrase "keep the blues at bay" ant what is the right context or situation for it? Please explain.
15
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the term for the double consecutive use of a word with stress on one of the words to alter its severity?

What is the term when a word is used consecutively twice, with intentional stress placed on the first word, as a means to alter the severity of the word's meaning? I am not referring to a past ...
-3
votes
0answers
52 views

Is it right to say “that and all…”? [closed]

My many friends are using “that and all”. For example (context):  I was talking to my coworker about our project.  He has been assigned to do some part, and he is doing it.  But some of the ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Definition of paradigm, abstraction and metaphor

UNIX based operating systems uses the concept of paradigm to identify everything from files, folders, hard drives, networking interfaces as files. Also it uses the concept of abstraction to reduce ...
3
votes
4answers
71 views

The word that describes maintaining your body on the water surface

What is the verb or the word indicating the following action: when you are in the water and you can't swim but you just move you extremities so hard and quickly to remain on the water surface and to ...
-4
votes
0answers
44 views

What is the man saying? [on hold]

What is the man saying when he says: What are you doing after work. You need to get out and have a beer.
-4
votes
1answer
38 views

Sentence Meaning [on hold]

What is the meaning of the sentence ? Even as a young man, Bob had some bias against poor people, but during his years in social services, his bad opinions ossified into unshiftable views.
2
votes
0answers
62 views

What is the role/function and origin of “to” being used in the idiomatic phrases “there's something to him/her/it” & “there's nothing to him/her/it”?

"something to him/her/it" Google Books (to him): Google Books (to her): Google Books (to it): The phrase meaning "there's something (with respect to/about) him/her/it (that is observable/...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Word for Crowdsourcing in the reverse direction (or antonym for Crowdsourcing)

Generally, Crowdsourcing means leveraging others' abilities and facilities to perform tasks. Simply someone assign its work to a group. So, what's the word for the reverse operation: a group of ...
3
votes
2answers
174 views
0
votes
5answers
578 views

Noun or Adjective for someone who is good in managing resources and/or money

I am looking to describe someone who is good at keeping track of hir resource use and goods usage behaviour. This can be either for monetary currencies, but also for food, material or other ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Word that describes a clown who weakens an argument by taking a side

When there is more than one side in a debate, an argument can be weakened by someone who is seen as stupid or a joker if they are vocal about it. This invalidates your beliefs because if crazy person ...
2
votes
3answers
917 views

Difference between eloquent and articulate

Is there an intended difference between the words "eloquent" and "articulate," or are they simply two synonymous adjectives? When I use the adjective "eloquent" I most often think of flowery, ...
8
votes
3answers
947 views

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside 'be one’s “friend”'?

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside be one’s “friend”? I was drawn to the phrase, “My short game’s always been my buddy” appearing in the following quote of Tiger Woods in the Time magazine’s (...
2
votes
2answers
209 views

Understanding “whistleblower”

The term, according to the Oxford Online Dictionary, means: whistle-blower A person who informs on a person or organization regarded as engaging in an unlawful or immoral activity. Also from ...
-2
votes
1answer
35 views

Who are sales-wannabes?

I googled the word "wannabe" and found the following definitions "Someone who wants to be what they are not" and "someone who wants to be famous or successful". But how can it applied to sales? Here ...
5
votes
4answers
14k views

Origin of street names ending in “-hurst”

There is a large number of streets in the UK whose names end in -hurst, for example Ravenhurst, Gathurst, Oakhurst, Amhurst, Bonehurst, Eaglehurst, etc. Is there a common meaning for this -hurst ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Term for someone who leaves a relationship after the other person buys them a bunch of stuff

I'm looking for the proper term. So there's a female. Her name is Kaylee. Knows this guy that is madly in love with her and would give anything to be with her. Well, she is struggling and needs ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Is calling someone 'didactic' risking offense?

As I understand it, 'didactic' is used to mean something that has the ulterior motive of teaching especially in a moral connotation and also to mean patronising, or appearing patronising. So does ...
17
votes
4answers
12k views

Why does “fishwife” mean “mean woman”?

I have looked at the meaning of fishwife at Collins Language (I can't link directly to the definition) and it tells me: fishwife n (pl -wives) a coarse or bad-tempered woman with a loud voice ...
9
votes
3answers
15k views

What does ‘Camel gets his nose under the tent’ mean?

In the article of New York Times co-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd dealing with Republicans’ objection of the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ under the title, “Mad Men and Mad Women”, I came across an ...
28
votes
19answers
24k views

Single-word synonym for a “pedantic rule-follower”?

What do you call a person who always follows the rules, at the expense of everything else? I’m thinking there’s one word that can describe this, but I can’t place it.
1
vote
4answers
69 views

Specifics of “occupy” (and alternatives)

I'm writing some game rules where players' in-game areas move around in cities. The different cities are divided by zones, which basically means that different tiles are put together to form a city. ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

the difference meaning between humiliate and ridicule [closed]

i get new word, ridicule, that means making fun of someone in harsh way how about humiliate. i think there both have similiarity but there both not a synonym. what is the difference ? thanks
1
vote
2answers
43 views

“Artists Take on Architecture”

"Psycho Buildings: Artists Take on Architecture" is the title of an exhibition. Does it mean "artists' understanding of architecture"? Thus, is "take" here a noun? If so, wasn't it better to say "...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

What is the meaning of “plumbing”? [on hold]

I ran into the following sentence from this article: ...“Swarmkit” to refer to the plumbing open source orchestration project. After referring dictionary, I still can't figure out what is the ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

which is the meaning and in which occasions you use the expression: “out and about”? [on hold]

My colleague used "out and about" in a work environment and I'm not sure what she was meaning. Could you help me. Thank you. Lorenzo
6
votes
2answers
70 views

How many is many? [on hold]

Many is a great word for its ambiguity. You needn't know the actual number and you're still fine to say many. It lets you speak without knowing, or focus on the main idea without getting lost in the ...
8
votes
2answers
86 views

What does “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT” mean?

Washington Post July 21 issue carries an article under the headline, “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT,” followed by the lead copy; And now the finale. Tonight is "Making America One ...
15
votes
6answers
100k views

What is a “street address”?

What does the term "street address" mean, as opposed to just "address"?
3
votes
2answers
67 views

how to correctly rephrase the sentence [closed]

in the following sentence: ..such poor educational system produces scientifically sterile generations able just to regurgitate what i ment be "scientifically sterile generations" is, a ...
4
votes
3answers
73 views

What would be the proper usage of “Qua” in a sentence?

I'm a native English speaker, but I'm trying to expand my vocabulary slightly. I looked this up online, and the definition for it baffled me. How exactly would I go about using this particular word?
1
vote
2answers
385 views

What is the meaning of “phantastic” and what does a dated form of a word mean?

I recently saw this word used in a Android SE post and at first I thought the user misspelt the word but actually I found that a word "phantastic" exists. The phantastic meaning of yourdictionary ...