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

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0answers
56 views

What does “clog the pipes” mean? [closed]

Please tell me what does clog the pipe mean in this sentence? Delegators people who love telling people what to do clog the pipes for others by coming up with busywork.
2
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1answer
95 views

Meaning of “hound” [closed]

I came across this sentence: "He believed that whatever he planned to do was hound to end in failure." I looked up the meaning of the word "hound" in my dictionary. But either the word in this ...
0
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1answer
60 views

“I have not had an answer” - what is the real meaning?

I've been told that when someone says or e.g. writes in an e-mail: "I have not had an answer.", - it means they are very angry. Is this so? thanks for an answer:)
4
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2answers
92 views

How did “party” come to mean “gathering”?

Is it just related to the fact that people participate in it? UPDATE. Judging by the comments, dictionary articles are absolutely exhaustive, and it just must be obvious to everyone how 'to take the ...
2
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2answers
921 views

what does it mean, when a girl tells a guy, “sounds like a catch”

After you mentioned the good qualities of another female, and desire to have a female like such.
0
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1answer
43 views

What does “these” in this sentence refer to?

Here is the quotation: In support of his thesis, Dr Wrangham, who is an anthropologist, has ransacked other fields and come up with an impressive array of material. Cooking increases the share of ...
0
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1answer
46 views

What is the meaning of “the greatest story ever sold”?

Here goes the quotation (my emphasis): Teabing chuckled. "The ivory towers of Harvard have made you soft, Robert. Yes, the clergy in Rome are blessed with potent faith, and because of this, their ...
1
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1answer
56 views

Who are “the perks people”?

I was drawn to the phrase 'the perks people' in the headline of an article which appeared in the Wall Street Journal (November 20, 2014 issue) — The perks people: Meet silicon valley’s ‘Little elves'. ...
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3answers
40 views

Does the term 'heroine' retain its legitimacy in a world of gender equality? [closed]

Though heroine is a legitimate word with an adequate pedigree, Heroine (n.) 1650s, from Latin heroine, heroina (plural heroinae) "a female hero, a demigoddess" (such as Medea), from Greek ...
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1answer
65 views

What is the difference between 'same' and 'identical'? [closed]

As far as I know, these two words (same and identical) have exactly the same meaning. Is there actually any difference between them?
3
votes
1answer
71 views

What does “let alone brain anybody with” mean? [closed]

Yet another a part of Circular Staircase, by Mary Rinehart: "Not out in the hall!" she gasped; "Oh, Miss Rachel, not out in the hall!" trying to hold me back. But I am a large woman and Liddy ...
4
votes
1answer
28 views

What does “literary stylist” mean? Is it a characteristic or a profession?

The following passage in an article in The Guardian titled Occupy was right: Capitalism failed the world (April 13, 2014) comments on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the twenty-first century, a work of ...
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0answers
25 views

To have designs on something [closed]

If I said I had designs on something, it means I want it, correct? What is the origin of that saying? What exactly does it mean?
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3answers
64 views

What do “leaps of faith” and “get the best of somebody” mean? [closed]

I came across these two phrases when reading The Da Vinci Code. Why not-if we're assuming the Church was able to uncover the identities of the Priory members, then certainly they could have ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Meaning of the passage

I said no to him. He had to have me. Once he did, he didn't care. Is the passage above trying to say that the boy wanted to have the girl, and once he had her, he didn't care for her?
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vote
2answers
44 views

Something like antonym for “dependent”

Let's suppose I have two objects – A and B. Their are in pair. I mean that we will give name to them considering their as one logic unit. For example: if I call A as "driven", then B will be called ...
3
votes
4answers
230 views

What does whoopty-skippy-do mean?

What does whoopty-skippy-do mean? Because if that's your plan then whoopty-skippy-do, sign me up!" Tito appeared, leaning over the hood. “My ears are burning. I hope you're not talking about ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

“You wouldn’t want to know” vs “you don’t want to know”

What is the difference between "You wouldn't want to" and "You don't want to"? Also similar uses with You wouldn't want to do You wouldn't want to see
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2answers
57 views

What is the expression or saying “I've got butterflies” used for? [duplicate]

My girlfriend once had a friend pop round her house and he brought his friend with him (both male). I replied "txt me when they're gone and I will come round," as it was early days in our relationship ...
0
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1answer
50 views

Meaning of “he has done little to make the case to leaders that stacking political institutions with tycoons and their cronies will fuel discontent”

When it comes to political reform, Mr Leung's hands are tied by Mr Xi's intransigence. But he has done little to make the obvious case to leaders in Beijing that stacking political institutions ...
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0answers
26 views

In business, what is the “catalog” [closed]

example: New Catalog: The suppliers update their catalog periodically. WGRUS needs to update its pricing and availability based in the new catalogs. it seems that this 'catalog' not only is ...
3
votes
3answers
75 views

What does “[got] a bird-dog on” mean?

I have recently discovered the, in my view, rather splendid song Guitar Town by Steve Earle. It contains the following lyric: Hey pretty baby are you ready for me, It's your good rockin' daddy ...
0
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1answer
48 views

What is the meaning of “laughing out”? [closed]

The class didn't seem to mind the plot. They loved it. They were laughing out there. I wonder in that context what the meaning of out is.
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2answers
56 views

Does “freak” have negative connotations when it's used to describe a person's interest in something?

Does freak have negative connotations when it's used to describe a person who's very or overly interested in something? Like football freak or coding freak.
0
votes
1answer
49 views

What does “even the keel in favour of ” in the sentence mean?

Even the legal framework that is supposed to provide a modicum of protection to workers is fraying. For instance, the state’s unwillingness to use the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act or the ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Difference between “injunction”, “mandate” and “verdict”? [closed]

Could someone please tell me the difference between injunction, mandate, and verdict? I think they are synonyms, but their usage is different. I have software for learning English vocabulary, where ...
0
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3answers
126 views

What is a “plumber's wife”?

This is about an expression used by a female manager at a hotel in Philadelphia (PA) some years ago. She was showing me around as part of my employment interview, and during this made a statement that ...
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4answers
78 views

Where does the expression “at a crack” come from?

The phrase at a crack is sometimes used to mean at one time. For example §§: Companies that have had generations of employees growing up under a no-layoff policy are now dumping 10,000 ...
5
votes
3answers
425 views

“White lie” as in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time? [closed]

I had a discussion about the English language with a couple of native speakers (all British) and we got into the topic of lies. One of them said something along the line of: A white lie is a small ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

What does this sentence imply, as worded, in terms of the amount of Caucasians, e.g. some, all or another amount of Caucasians? [closed]

"Next time Caucasians might think about voting with facts and common sense instead of with their white guilt."
3
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4answers
388 views

Can 'artificial' be used alone?

My dictionary defines artificial as made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural. But since any manufactured substance can only be ...
11
votes
1answer
617 views

What does “Empedocles’ sandal” mean in terms of English usage?

I first heard the expression “Empedocles’ sandal” a long time ago without knowing what it referred to. It seems to derive from the legend of the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles (who was ...
3
votes
5answers
99 views

The phenomenon of someone talking about someone else all the time

I got a friend who keeps talking about a colleague. My friend is pretty disappointed by the other guy's behaviour and keeps on harping about it day in day out. Is there one word/concept which sums up ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

What does “spore” mean here?

What does spore mean in this quote from The Independent? "In the fight against rhino poaching, the dog's nose has proved invaluable in finding poachers," he said. "Our human trackers, which rely ...
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votes
2answers
61 views

What does “coming to be” mean? [closed]

In a blog entry by Ron Dart titled A European Pilgrimage: Erasmus, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Hesse, the writer states It does not take a great deal of reflection to watch the unravelling of ...
3
votes
2answers
65 views

What is the meaning of 'artificial'? [closed]

I have just been munching on a bag of potato crisps (American: chips). (Well it is nearing Christmas and any thoughts of weight control are abandoned for the duration.) They are very nice, an ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How to understand “Please be sure to keep me posted as to your graduation date.” [closed]

The hr manager emailed me with this sentence "Please be sure to keep me posted as to your graduation date." what exactly the manage mean? Thanks.
1
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4answers
153 views

Is there a term for being attracted to dead people? [closed]

Necrophilia is the act of engaging in intercourse– I'm looking for something milder. Maybe even just someone who is attracted to those who have passed. Cobain or Monroe, for example.
2
votes
2answers
94 views

“We is who the Earth is for?” [closed]

In the film of The Beasts of the Southern Wild, Hushpuppy the main character of the film says, But me and my daddy, we stay right here. “We is who the Earth is for.” What grammatical structure ...
4
votes
2answers
53 views

what does “chanced that way” mean in this sentence?

I have a question here, when I read an excerpt from the novel "The Crossing" written by Winston Churchill. I can not understand the following sentence They occurred only when a passing traveler ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

What's the meaning of “a stick called the truth”?

EMMA: I can't believe it. Mum have you seen this? To Nancy Burrows who pushed me to the next level with a stick called the truth. What is the meaning of "with a stick called the truth"? Is it ...
4
votes
3answers
248 views

What does “talk to the hand” mean?

I saw the phrase "talk to the hand" on many funny stickers which seems like expressing the idea that you want to stop the topic or conversation which you feel uncomfortable or not interested in. But ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

how should “…; or …” be understood?

I'm trying to make sense of a phrase like the following The foregoing limitations shall not apply to ... [A] ...; or, subject to the provisions of ... [B] ... , to ... [C] ... . (The actual text ...
5
votes
2answers
112 views

the meaning of “alloy” in Jane Austen's Emma Chapter I

The real evils, indeed, of Emma's situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which ...
3
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2answers
144 views

meaning of “fallen little short of a mother in affection” in Jane Austen's Emma, Chapter I

She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father; ad had, in consequence of her sister's marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early peroid. Her mother ...
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votes
0answers
23 views

Text in another words - help please [duplicate]

Two friends play golf and one of them say to the another: "Put me down for a six, four, three. Three! It's a birdie!" What this means? I need to write this in another words for people who ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

“to save” or “to be saved”

I am translating a technical report from Chinese to English regarding the use of a computer program. I want to remind users to store their data in a specific format. Which of the following ...
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1answer
52 views

difference between emigrate, immigrate, and migrate? [closed]

what is the difference between emigrate, immigrate, and migrate? I am pretty much confused.
1
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0answers
54 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

Is there a word that means “almost rhymes”?

Sometimes you'll see in poetry or song lyrics, that words don't exactly rhyme, but they almost rhyme. I thought I remembered a high school English teacher once telling our long ago English class that ...