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

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3
votes
4answers
659 views

Word to describe a person who expresses his or her feelings frequently?

I'm looking for a word to describe a person (it can be a term of animal behavior) who expresses his or her feelings frequently, particularly through facial expressions.
19
votes
4answers
30k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
15k views

What are the differences between “assumption” and “presumption”?

I was told the following: A presumption is something you think is true before you know any facts about the matter. An assumption is something you think is true when you miss information, but ...
6
votes
3answers
16k views

“Homeland” vs. “motherland” vs. “fatherland”

What is the distinction between homeland, motherland and fatherland? Is there any difference in meaning of such terms? When it comes to connotations are there any differences, except for the ...
0
votes
3answers
29 views

“Do not … and …” grammar confusion

I recently read this sentence: Do not declare this callback function with a void return type and cast the function pointer to LPTHREAD_START_ROUTINE when creating the thread. and wasn't sure if ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

What does it mean to be the 'strong, silent type'?

If someone says you're the strong, silent type is it a compliment?
0
votes
3answers
38 views

What is the difference in meaning between “wouldn't be spending” and “wouldn't spend”?

The sentence in the text goes: You wouldn't be spending it for fun. The "it" refers to some money the husband wants to spend on expanding his business and his wife is saying she agrees with that ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Which word should I choose in this context?

I have participated in many campaigns aiming at providing some opportunities for students to perceive vicariously what was going on in the real life behind the economic data which they were familiar ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Difference between “place” and “position”

Can these words be used interchangeably when referring to a point in the world?
6
votes
6answers
3k views

The meaning of 0% and 100% as opposed to other percentages?

Oftentimes, percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. A $49.99 item may be marked 50% off, even if the price becomes $24.99 (it should be 50.03% off). However, I have come to notice that ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What’s the meaning of “there are more of somebody than there are of somebody”?

Their yellowish eyes were fixed upon Harry’s wand, and they looked scared. There might be a lot more of them than there were of him but Harry could tell, by the looks on their faces, that they knew ...
-3
votes
4answers
91 views

Is the word “acronym”, in fact, clearly defined? [duplicate]

I was about to ask the following question: “Is 'CIA' an acronym, or is only 'laser' an acronym?” Now, in another question, I've been asking about the earliest use of words which started as ...
-1
votes
3answers
64 views

It didn't last long

Could anyone explain what is the exact meaning for Last Long? When to use this?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What does “I'm a while.” mean?

Would someone tell me what does the meaning of second sentence: Text me when you have time. Will do, I am a while. Thank you.
1
vote
2answers
67 views

What does have drunk freely mean?

Does it mean having been drunken? http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/8887/how-to-interpret-john-210 says that methiosin in the bible means alcoholic intoxication Words similar to it ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

What is the meaning of this sentence? [on hold]

What is the meaning of this sentence? They had heard so very little of this; yet it was enough to build up wretched dolorous dreams upon, there in the shade of the night. (Thomas Hardy, Tess of ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

When you feel Grim Amusement [on hold]

When one feels grimly amused, exactly what kind of emotion is described? It seems to me that grim and amused are mutually contradictory so they do not conjure any consistent image in my mind. Thanks ...
-3
votes
1answer
34 views
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Different words with the same meaning [on hold]

I need help with different words that have about the same meaning ( to me ), when would you use: feared frightened scared afraid anxious terrified Are there specific cases or are some just ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

What does the word 'mandles' mean?

It was just mentioned in one of NPR word games as one of the choices that might be a word. The contestant, after some hesitation, picked this as one that is an actual meaning: Mandles is "candles for ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

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

I saw this phrase in a sentence. Here it is: He read of the room that was prepared at the palace at Rheims for the use of Queen. What does it mean?
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

What does “nimble-witted” mean? [on hold]

I've just read a book and it said: Ron is a nimble-witted and silent guy.
0
votes
1answer
12 views

Nouns denoting a state and the point of its initiation

The word incarnation, according to Webster, has two meanings: 1) the act of incarnating 2) the state of being incarnate So, this word can denote a state, as well as the moment of initiation of that ...
1
vote
6answers
158 views

what is the opposite way of an expression of “win-win situation”?

I am just trying to find out an expression that is an opposite of "win-win situation? when you are having problems or in troubles and trying to get out or to solve those problems in multiple way but ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Meaning of the word “FOR” used at the beginning of a sentence

I have encountered the word "for" many times. But, even if I use the dictionary, I can not understand the meaning of this word used at the beginning of a sentence. Here is an example: It would be an ...
3
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the difference between “attribute” and “property”? [on hold]

Could you please clear up the meaning of these two words for me? I don't understand this sentence: Attributes introduced by RDFA have names. For example, property is one such attribute.
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Meaning of “count in”

The German Fischer, the two Americans no longer count in the outcome of the race, the Hungarian alone is battling the three Japanese. I happened to read this sentence while browsing web and ...
0
votes
3answers
8k views

“See you in the funny papers”: etymology and meaning

I've heard people saying that "See you in the funny papers" means "I'll see you later," as in "Good Bye," but I always thought that it means "Good bye," as in "I'll never see you again." I thought ...
2
votes
3answers
212 views

What does “Deal with it [as Trump would say]” mean?

There was the following passage in Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times (August 22) under the title, “Donald Trump struts in his own pageant” starts with the following lines; “It’s ...
1
vote
3answers
53 views

What does “Your team kicking serious butt” mean?

Someone said "Your team kicking serious butt" to me in an email. Does that mean that he thinks my team is awesome? I feel it may have a similar meaning to "kick ass" but I'm not sure and can't find ...
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

What connotations does the word “semblance” have?

Is the meaning of the word "semblance" closer to that of "fake" or that of "illusion"? I mean, does it have the negative connotations that "fake" or "counterfeit" have, or is it something that can be ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

Can 'how easy something is' be used as equivalent to 'how difficult something is' or are they already implying something?

I'm currently writing a text and I want to explain that I conducted some tests to see how easy/difficult it is do perform a certain process. Therefore I want to write: We now want to test how easy it ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

“I never was” vs. “I was never”

What is the difference between "I never was" and "I was never"? It seems that there is a subtle difference, but I can't quite grasp it. Is one of them informal? For example: I never was a good ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

What's the difference between “roe” and “caviar”?

What's the difference between "roe" and "caviar". Wikipedia has two different articles, however, the difference is not explain in the either one.
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Some or more of something

I want to say "some 50 or more yards apart" (meaning at least 50 yards apart) but I'm not quite sure it's correct. I couldn't find the answer or an example of its use in google search. However, I ...
4
votes
5answers
133 views

Can “some” be more than 50%?

The word "some" has often the sense of "few" if given in a bound. Does this mean more than 50%? It would be good if some historical account mentioned, who uses "some" to be more than 50%?
-2
votes
0answers
23 views

I need alittle help in golf [closed]

what is the meaning of (hinge) in golf? I read about it but I didnt get it :( can some explain it to me in a simple way please? and thank you :)
0
votes
1answer
18k views

“Listen to music” vs. “listen to the music”

English is not my mother tongue. I once came across information that listening to music and listening to the music mean something different. Listening to the music would mean you put whole heart into ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views
0
votes
3answers
51 views

Word for a person who starts a project, then starts another one?

What do you call a person who starts projects, doesn't ever finish, then starts another project?
-2
votes
2answers
38 views

Whats does sharp as a tack and bright as a button mean? [closed]

What does it exactly mean to be as sharp as a tack or a bright as a button?
2
votes
1answer
76 views

I didn't come here for an argument

Is there any consensus on how the word for a heated discussion (which apparently comes from the same root as Silver/Argent) also came to mean a parameter passed to a function? Edit: ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Etymology of the phrase “Dependency injection” in computer science

It's my understanding that this used to be simply referred to as "reference passing" but later became formalized into a pattern that implemented a design principle and acquired the new name. Can you ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What does it exactly mean to be sharp? [closed]

Examples of being sharp, and what sharp people usually do?
5
votes
6answers
16k views

Meaning and usage of “to no end”

What does the phrase mean in "He annoys me to no end"? Literally, does it mean that he annoys me forever? Or does it mean that he annoys me to no result?
1
vote
2answers
66 views

On a shady street

I wonder what image does the expression'on a shady street'invoke in a native speaker if he or she comes upon following paragraph. "They were from a nice family in a nice house on a shady street. ...
-5
votes
0answers
31 views

Your misuse of the apostrophe [duplicate]

You profess to explain the correct use of grammar in the English language, yet you use the apostrophe incorrectly in the following extract on your own website example! from circa early 1990's up ...
17
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

How do you mean vs What do you mean?

What do people mean when they say How do you mean? Are they asking me to explain what I just said? Then how is it different from What do you mean?
4
votes
3answers
71 views

Is it “tomorrow” after midnight? Or is it still “today”?

Let me start with an observation: Let's say it's half past 12 and you're heading off to bed, I personally would say Tomorrow I have to get up early for work And as far as I know all my friends ...