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

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3answers
87 views

Meaning of the phrasal verb “divert from”

In this sentence here, do you think diverted from means distracted from or change of course? The second option doesn't seem to make much sense, though. “When the imperial mantle finally falls on ...
0
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1answer
33 views

The patient is 'through'

After the treatment, the patient is through except for follow-up. What does through mean in the above— recovered from the sickness? What about 'except for follow-up'?
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1answer
52 views

What does “value” mean in the following context? [closed]

Create Value “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” Most people approach the word “success” wrongly. It’s not just being bare-wealthy and having big firm who runs ...
2
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4answers
293 views

Is there a word to (best) describe someone who sees and remembers every single thing?

Basically, as the title says. Is there a word to (best) describe someone who sees and remembers every single thing?
2
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1answer
72 views

Off the turnpike - what does it mean?

In E. L. Doctorow's Book of Daniel I read the following sentence: The state police brought Susan in off the turnpike and that makes her a public charge. Susan is an inmate of a mental ...
1
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2answers
81 views

Straight from the horse's mouth

I want to use the phrase "Horse's Mouth" in one of the applications that I am creating to refer to a group that have the original story. In the same application, there is another group of people, who ...
0
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0answers
5 views

How many flies does it take to screw in a light bulb? [migrated]

I encountered this lightbulb joke today, but I can’t figure out why it is funny: Q: How many flies does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: Two, but I don't know how they got in there. My ...
0
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2answers
67 views

Does “Fat Fighters” mean that the group fights against fat, or that they are fatty?

We are having an argument about whether naming a gym "Fat Fighters" communicates the right message. The name should suggest that they fight against fat (obviously). The "fat" is both noun and ...
0
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2answers
53 views

What does “in forming a human being” mean?

I just want to understand what the speaker meant in this sentence. I think there is nothing more important in forming a human being than your family.
0
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1answer
41 views

BBC, Playtime: Summer fair, don't understand certain parts from audio program

The radio program is here: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio/playtime/playtime_20150512-0900a.mp3 Don't understand the following fragments: 00:40 – There are lots of brightly … … 01:30 ...
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0answers
33 views

Does the word “writing” denote all forms of using characters to convey information?

In legal practices it is common to deliver a written notice to a defendant. This may be a physical letter or an email. This got me thinking about the meaning of written. The Oxford dictionary defines ...
0
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0answers
38 views

'look the worse for'

After a night of profound slumber in Margaret’s bed she looked very little the worse for her fright and her wetting. from Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth The above expression of look the worse ...
0
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1answer
44 views

What does “still informant” mean in the following context?

With his ideas still informant, Albert Einstein was 22 years old when he sat out alone on foot across the Alps.
0
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1answer
211 views

What is the meaning of “a winged victory”?

What is the meaning of "a winged victory"? Also, is this an idiom? Thank you
0
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1answer
37 views

In (a) broad range of

Should "a" be used in the titular expression? I've found instances in which "a" used : This book presents a practical introduction to signal analysis techniques that are commonly used in a broad ...
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2answers
37 views

Of sorts vs A sort of

What basically is the difference (if any) between these two expressions - of sorts and (a) sort of He would wear a coat of sorts. He would wear a sort of coat.
6
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2answers
947 views

What is the meaning of “old sport”?

In the film "The Great Gatsby," Mr. Gatsby says "Sorry, old sport, I thought you knew"; what is the meaning of old sport?
0
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0answers
65 views

Chinny chin chin [closed]

In Three Little Pigs they reply to the wolf Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin What Is the meaning of this? Where did it come from?
1
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1answer
57 views

Difference between 'take' and 'steal' w.r.t. kidnapping

As synonyms for kidnapping, is there any difference between Take and Steal. The question raised to me based on two movie titles with almost identical plot: Stolen (Starring Nicolas Cage) and Taken ...
2
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4answers
14k views

Meaning and usage of “to no end”

What does the phrase "He annoys me to no end" mean? Literally, does it mean that he annoys me forever? Or does it mean that he annoys me to no result?
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votes
3answers
152 views

This sign appears in a car park in southern England. What does it mean? [closed]

The wording seems to tell me it was composed by a non-native speaker. But to my mind it is telling me one of two things: Either,(1) not to divide my car into pieces and park the separate parts in ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Is “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” a common or respectable English expression?

Today’s edition of the New York Times (December 16, 2014) carries an article written by Mark Bittman under the headline “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” It begins with the following passage: “What’s ...
1
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1answer
40 views

What is the meaning of "confluent''?

What is the meaning of the word confluent in the context of the phrase the confluent of the river?
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4answers
94k views

What does “fleek” mean and when was it first used?

The word fleek is all over Twitter. The @lovihatibot Twitterbot routinely finds it in searches for "I love the word [X]" and "I hate the word [X]", in fact it's the third most hated word over the ...
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2answers
20 views

what's the meaning of “around”

My aspiration for Dartmouth is to let it soar with its strengths, which are many; become the best it can possibly be around those things which it already does so well. -Jim Yong Kim, World ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

What does “Schmissues” mean in “Issues, schmissues. Can the Presidential candidates sing”? [duplicate]

Today’s (May 7) New York Times carries an article under the title, “Issues, schmissues. Can the Presidential candidates sing?,” which begins with the following passage: “The cacophony of presidential ...
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0answers
21 views

German, the Origin of the name [closed]

DOES THE WORD GERMAN MEAN "WAR MAN"? Is it the name the Romans gave the Assyian people?
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0answers
119 views

What is “Techeuns” and it's transcription [closed]

Examples: The Techeuns gather at the door as the Queen approaches it. Beside her, where the Wolves' Guard used to stand, Techeuns Shuro and Sedia hovered instead, their jewel-like augments gently ...
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1answer
43 views

Run it though / run it thought?

I came across the following dialogue in an American TV show, called Younger. Firstly I figured there was an error typing which the correct one should be run it through instead of run it though as I've ...
0
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1answer
40 views

What does 'Hitlerian' mean, extract from Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita [closed]

“With Mr. West, retired executioner or writer of religious tracts—who cared?—I saw neighbor what’s his name, I think they are French or Swiss, meditate in his frank-windowed study over a typewriter, ...
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0answers
29 views

Soft alternative to however, although, but at the beginning of a sentence [closed]

In technical writing, it is common to have a chain of sentences that convey an idea in the following format: "A sentence that talks about existing works". "A sentence that conveys a common problem ...
0
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0answers
22 views

I'm looking for a psychology term related to behavior motivation or inducement

Its a single word that essentially means motivation. There are both positive and negative versions of it like positive something - motivate by giving reward when someone does a good thing, or ...
3
votes
4answers
748 views

Why use “on-pass” / “onpass” instead of “pass on”?

Where I work some people use "on-pass" in sentences such as "We get data from the stock exchange and on-pass it to our customers" or "We need to on-pass that information to the other team". Does this ...
0
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1answer
18 views

does “willing” imply “allowing”?

I know that just because I am allowing something, it doesn't necessarily mean that I am desiring that something. But does "desiring" automatically imply "allowing"? for instance, does it make sense ...
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votes
3answers
60 views

Does the phrasing 'ever so' always possess an ironic undertone? [closed]

Well, the question is up in the title. Does the phrasing 'ever so' always possess an ironic undertone? I've seen this wording especially in rather aged literature, as some short stories by Bradbury ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

What does Mitt Romney’s “yams” mean?

There was the following passage in Vanity Fair's (May 16) article titled, "Mitt “Bird Legs” Romney is ready for his boxing match.”: Romney also revealed two nicknames. As a high-schooler, he was ...
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0answers
14 views

“elected” vs. “selected” [duplicate]

The board has elected the team members OR The board has selected the team members. Is there a difference between elected and selected in this sentence?
-1
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1answer
33 views

Does this make sense with the use of 'breakthrough'?

Curiosity and imagination are the breakthrough to having any form of discovery. Does "breakthrough", as it is used here, make sense?
4
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1answer
37 views

Is the word “etymology” correct when looking for the origins of a phrase? [duplicate]

I wasn't sure, so I looked it up, and it would seem it's specific to single words. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/etymology 1.) the derivation of a word. Synonyms: word origin, word ...
1
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2answers
61 views

What is the difference between “I have specialized” and “I have been specializing”? [closed]

Since then I have specialised in this work. Since then I have been specialising in this work. Is my thinking right that the first case means I may not now necessarily specialise only in this work, ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Is “over-babble” a common word usable in day-to-day conversation?

There was the following passage in New York Times (May 14) article under the title, “Wow, Jeb Bush is awful.”: "The bottom line is that so far he seems to be a terrible candidate. He couldn’t ...
1
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2answers
125 views

What does “'Avoid plastics' in commencement speeches" mean?

Today’s (May 12) New York Times carries an article written by Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute under the title, “How to avoid commencement clichés”. The author says: ...
8
votes
1answer
111 views

What is the term for replacing a name or brand with a funny pejorative / sardonicism?

What is the term for when one replaces a well-known name [(Proper) noun, company, brand, etc.] with one that tries to be funny yet pejoratively descriptive, different but similar enough that one's ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

What is the term when the other person is doing same or similar thing every time you said I'm doing this or that

I have this person saying that when I said, I just woke up, she will then say the same thing on her reply on our exchange of messages through SMS which most often not believable at all. I know there's ...
1
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1answer
46 views

“Conceal Carry” vs. “Concealed Carry”

I have been doing some research on firearms law lately, and have run across a lot of people using the phrase "conceal carry" to describe people carrying a concealed firearm. In my opinion, this should ...
0
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1answer
76 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 ...
0
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0answers
34 views

What does “doing press” mean in the following context?

From this scan of Paul we were able to turn him into a 3D printable figure. Some of you may already have seen photos of the figure. Paul had them with him whilst doing press for the 'Hope ...
2
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4answers
2k views

“You belong to me” or “You belong with me” [closed]

What's the difference between the titular expressions? if any, at all. Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries could not help!!
1
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1answer
33 views

Some years on/in

It seems both in and on could work for denoting after several years. However, is there any difference between them? Today, a further six years on, they have hardly changed at all. and But ...
2
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0answers
19 views

Meaning of “whether loyalty in its application amounts to virtue depends on its extent and its object” [migrated]

Would you help me interpret the sentence "Whether loyalty in its application amounts to virtue depends on its extent and its object"? I guess it means that loyalty can be good or bad, dependent on ...