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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

0
votes
2answers
56 views

hit the road (meaning in context)

I was watching a show on TV (I escaped my killer) and Lisa Noland is dropped off after being raped several times by her attacker and to her surprise he doesn't kill her, drops her off at her ...
0
votes
5answers
75 views

How fitting is the term “Unruly allies” to describe a group of people with different alignments/interests

English is not my native language, so I have a bit of a hard time figuring out how fitting the term is: Can "unruly allies" / "unruly alliance" describe a group of people with completly different ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

“political calculus”

It's the start of the presidential election season in the US again. In several news articles I have read this week, the phrase "political calculus" has been used. This must be an acceptable phrasing ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the correct word (verb) for death due to a run in crowds in English?

What is the word in English which perfectly defines the death due to run and collision in a crowd? It should be a verb and can be used something like in a street where people begin to run when some ...
4
votes
10answers
267 views

Word for the feeling of dread/complacency that comes when starting something new

Is there a word for the feeling of that comes when faced with something new and you really have to push yourself hard to actually start and get into the flow of said task or situation? It seems to be ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Why is the word “Raubritter” (from German) used in English as the name of a rose? [on hold]

The German word "Raubritter" was used as an alias for a German knight with Robin Hood's style. Now it is used in English as a name of a rose. How did this come to be?
0
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
93 views

Difference between 'Insidious' and 'Pernicious'

Do the words 'insidious' and 'pernicious' have the same meaning? And can they be used in place of each other? On some places on the web (eg : http://www.dailywritingtips.com/insidious-vs-invidious/), ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

one's accusations [closed]

I have a question about the following sentence. "The detective tried to corroborate the woman's accusations." In this case, which is correct? a. She was accused. b. She accused someone. Thank ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

difference in meaning: morphology / structure

What is the difference in meaning between "morphology" and "structure"? Coming from a physics background and being a native German speaker, I tend to use "structure" when describing an internal ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't it go like “him and his wife”?

Please take a look at this excerpt from The Catcher in the Rye: I think I probably woke he and his wife up, because it took them a helluva long time to answer the phone. This phrase confused me. ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

If I were to have or If I should have [duplicate]

I am not native English. My question regards the conditional form of the verb have to, must. I was wondering if I could use in interchangeable way the expressions "If I were to have" and "If I should ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Is “scant little” redundant?

I have seen this written (and have used it myself as well) but never really bothered to notice the meaning before. However, upon further inspection, "scant" is defined as "barely sufficient or ...
-1
votes
4answers
407 views

What does “Eat Lunch or be lunch” mean in this context?

I came across this phrase: The problem facing companies today is that there are too many fishermen and not enough fish in the market. It’s a matter of eat lunch or be lunch — or, as stated by ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

“A meeting” vs “a meetup”

I've seen questions here and here and also tried googling but it's still kinda confusing to me. Is there any difference between the meanings of "a meeting" and "a meetup", and when can/can't I use one ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

What's the difference between “course” and “training course”? [on hold]

What's the difference between these two words "course" and "training course"?
3
votes
0answers
69 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
819 views

“Verity” vs. “veracity”

Verity and veracity have similar spellings and meanings. Why? What exactly is the difference between them that warrants the need for these two separate words?
0
votes
2answers
618 views

Is “sh*t” rude, or can it be a compliment? [closed]

Is it rude to say shit? I heard someone say it today and I think they used it as a compliment. I think they said this: You look shit. I looked in the dictionary, but I couldn't find anything.
1
vote
0answers
53 views

I want to know a quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson [closed]

A quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson is, Do what you know and perception is converted into character. I don't understand its meaning well. Would you convert this old sentence into modern ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Guess, second-guess, and higher-order guesses

I'm having a hard time understanding the difference between guess and second-guess. From Merriam-Webster's: guess means 1: to form an opinion of from little or no evidence 2: believe, ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

nothing is holding *thinks up* if you need something [closed]

I received an email with: "I just want to ensure that nothing is holding thinks up if you need something." I know what he meant:"I just want to ensure that you're ready (or you can use what you need) ...
0
votes
2answers
261 views

How to correctly use the expression “safe travel(s)”?

A colleague of mine recently reached out to me. I asked if he would like to meet up sometime to which he notified me that he would be traveling the remainder of this week. In what context is it okay ...
1
vote
4answers
61 views

Numerate versus Enumerate [on hold]

I am not a native speaker. I am writing a technical report and I should numerate/enumerate several equations in the entire document. Thus, is there any difference in using Numerate or Enumerate as ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

By definition, can you believe in something that's not true? [closed]

Just wondering what people's thoughts are on this. If something isn't true - can it be believed?
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Difference between “Introduction” and “Background summary” in report writing

I have a task to do, a report writing. This one needs to be of 4 pages as directed by the assigner. I was told to write 1/4, 3/4, 2 and 1/4 pages of Introduction, Background Summary, Discussion and ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

I missed the flying f*** out of you. Meaning [migrated]

Please explain me why FF uses here as meaning of missing?
3
votes
2answers
967 views

“I live on beans and rice” vs. “I live off beans and rice”

I wanted to refocus a related question on ell.se. towards a possible deeper and direct relationship to "on vs. off". Consider the following two phrases: I live off beans and rice. (Approx 94,000 ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

What does being a team player mean? [closed]

Today I was told I would not be hired because I give the impression that I'm not a team player. I shrugged my shoulders and never denied the accusation. If someone is a team player, what kind of ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

“Come Hell or high water” vs “Lord willing and the creek don't rise”

Recently I've wondered about two idioms which have a strange relationship. Come Hell or high water and Lord willing and the creek don't rise Grammatical accuracy, alternative ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

What does an apostrophe before a word mean?

I am reading The Rifters Trilogy by Peter Watts and wonder, what does it mean, when the author sometimes uses words with an apostrophe before them? As I have figured, that is some sort of way of ...
14
votes
6answers
13k views

Can you still call a woman “handsome”?

On the recommendation of some regulars here, I managed to watch the movie The Madness of King George over the weekend, and found it excellent. Anyway, one funny scene in the movie is when King ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

how to use the word “Best” correctly?

Ok, in the dictionary, the word best has this meaning: Best:of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality So, it seems that we only use best for the top highest quality of a ...
0
votes
4answers
295 views

Do these sentences mean the same thing?

Do these sentences all mean the same thing? You are not great because you know many things. You are great not because you know many things. You are great for another reason. As another example, ...
3
votes
3answers
248 views

What is the usage of “in it fat” in this sentence?

I found this sentence: It has in it fat, which gives energy. I can't figure out the usage of the part "in it fat". Can anyone kindly explain it or maybe give some examples please?
52
votes
11answers
9k views

What is the difference between “gender” and “sex”?

What is the difference between gender and sex? Wiktionary says that gender is The mental analog of sex but that's too high English for me. Basically, I'm developing a web-application that stores ...
1
vote
3answers
183 views

What is the difference between 'finished' and 'completed'?

What is the difference between 'finished' and 'completed', As both words gives the same meaning. Ex 1: He finished his homework. Ex 2: He completed his homework. And also how to use or ...
3
votes
6answers
21k views

What is the word to describe something that has hidden meaning?

I'm writing an essay (yay) on I'm the King of the Castle, by Susan Hill. I am trying to explain how the description of the atmosphere may have hidden meanings (e.g. the fact that Warings is a ...
0
votes
3answers
63 views

Using the word “Influential”

A Japanese friend asked me this: When I want to say that someone has influenced me, I can say "influenced by". When I am skeptical of someone or doubtful of someone, I can say, "skeptical of" and ...
0
votes
3answers
98 views

What does the west wind signify to New Yorkers?

The New Yorker carries the archives of entertaining old articles. Among them there was a short piece titled “The street and into the grill” written by E.B. White and published in October 1950. A man ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Interpreting trucker lingo

I am translating a text from English, and I have a problem with two expressions. I was not able to find anything on the internet, and I'm not sure I understand the meaning of them. Basically these ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

What does “rally behind one another” mean? [closed]

Can someone explain to me what this expression means? Also if possible, how can I translate it to a Romantic language, such as Spanish? Below are some sentences that make use of this expression: ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Customer to be called means? [closed]

My courier service provided updated the status as "Customer to be called". What does that means? Should I need to call them or they will call me?
12
votes
4answers
8k views

What does “I’ve had a little bit too much” mean?

I don't understand this sentence: I’ve had a little bit too much. What does it mean? PS. My native language is Ukrainian (Russian)
2
votes
4answers
572 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.
6
votes
5answers
5k views

How long is a 'wink'?

If I'm off to catch forty winks, how long will I be asleep? I'm interested to know if there is a specific amount of time associated with a 'wink', or if there's no actual amount of time behind it?
1
vote
3answers
56 views

“squeamish” and “relishing in” [closed]

"It looks at the somewhat squeamish work being produced by artists relishing in new gene technologies." What type of artworks are "squeamish works"? What does "relishing in" mean here? Does it mean ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

meaning of as - as in following sentence [duplicate]

"The Plaza hotel is as near as it gets to the best shopping along New York's famous Fifth Avenue." Whats the meaning of this sentence?and what does as-as means here?
2
votes
2answers
90 views

What is the difference between 'in the bed' and 'in bed'?

I really don't know the detail meaning between 'in the bed' and 'in bed' I think that generally 'countable noun' has 'article' like 'a/an' or 'the' But I can find the sentence like 'I usually read ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Lift is for car so what is for bike?

The word lift generally means for car. Then what is for bike? Eg: Can I get a lift? Meaning, can I ride in your car? Similarly, I want to know how can we say for "Can I get a lift with you on ...