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

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4answers
1k views

Meaning of the full title of Darwin's “On the origin of species”

The full title of Darwin's work "On the origin of species" is: "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life". My ...
4
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4answers
11k views

Differences among expression and idiom, as well as colloquial and vernacular

Expression and idiom are used interchangeably, and so are colloquial and vernacular; albeit incorrectly. Please advise on differences in meaning and recommend a proper usage.
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1answer
54 views

There you have it again?

I wonder if no one has asked it simply because it is so obvious, but I really can't grasp the exact meaning of there you have it (again). I occasionally infer it from the context but not every single ...
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2answers
104 views

What does “stage-cutch” mean?

I would like to ask about the meaning of "stage-cutch" in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. it appeared in my translation test this afternoon and I didn't find any definition of it. In my opinion, ...
0
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1answer
51 views

what is the meaning of “humanitarian grounds” [closed]

What is the meaning of humanitarian grounds? I see it in the newspaper online, but I don't know the meaning of that.
2
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1answer
56 views

What does this mean: “it's all too easy to come up short when someone has their eyes to the sky .”

Can someone please explain to me what the bolded sentence means in the following passage Anyone who’s been to Sonic knows what unmet expectations feel like. If you’re a small business owner, ...
0
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1answer
45 views

May/can we go? May/Can you do this for me? [duplicate]

Which ones are correct: May/can we go to the game? and May/can you do this for me? can/may you come?
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19answers
3k views

Is there a specific word for “goes without being said”?

I have encountered this problems quite often and usually got stuck trying to nail down what I want to say. English is not my native language so I wonder if any native speakers could explain this to ...
0
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0answers
77 views

Is “a deep red in color” redundant?

The arils contain a smaller seed in a juicier pulp which varies from a light pink to a deep red in color. The arils contain a smaller seed in a juicier pulp which varies from light pink to ...
0
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1answer
44 views

“Who cares here” meaning

What does means "who cares here?" and to whom pronoun "you" refers in the following context? So I went. It was frightening. I played. I thought, who cares here? You played Bach prelude and fugue, ...
1
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1answer
87 views

What does “from your end” mean?

Did they come to you and immediately make you feel a relationship was being offered with the Russians that you’d like to develop? Or did you seek it from your end? I found the phrase in this ...
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5answers
4k views

“Deuce and a half” for body weight

This expression is from the movie There's Something About Mary: She put a lot of weight, about a deuce and a half. Is this used to refer to overweight people? The only reference I could find is ...
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3answers
3k views

“Bearer of good news” & “bearer of bad news” are called?

The person who brings a good(good news messenger) news is called ? similarly the person who brings the bad news(bad news messenger) is called ? In this generation that may be same person. But ...
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2answers
112 views

meaning of “mask out” in screen printing

I'm having a hard time translating a passage about screen printing. For screen prints, mesh (originally silk) is stretched tautly across a frame. An image is glued or otherwise affixed onto the ...
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3answers
2k views

What are differences between “let”, “allow” and “permit”? [duplicate]

Dad doesn't let me watch that program. Can we use "allow" or "permit" instead of "let"? What are the differences in grammar? Which one is common use?
8
votes
3answers
337 views

Why is a “Mystery in the Alley” a side of hash?

American 'Diner Lingo' seems to consist largely of humorous crossword-style references (Noah's boy = Slice of Ham, Mother and child reunion = chicken and egg sandwich, Dog soup = water, etc). Most ...
0
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4answers
11k views

Exact meaning of “sense of well being”?

I want to find the exact/literal/detailed meaning of the phrase "sense of well being". Not just "well being", but "sense of well being". (What exactly is meant by "sense"?) Note: I understand what ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

the meaning of “peripheral glow of our prosperity”

I read a National Geographic's article about light pollution and I have a question about a certain phrase, "peripheral glow of our prosperity." In his article "Our Vanishing Night," Klinkenborg ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

Why is a mule driver called a “skinner”?

An AmE synonym for muleteer is "mule skinner". Where does "skinner" come from in this term, and why does it only apply to mule drivers and not cattle or oxen drivers? The closest I can come is some ...
0
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1answer
17 views

Formatting of defined terms

In my report, I am defining/describing some terms. What is a proper way to start and format a sentences like: The term crawling denotes the practice of ... Should I put the word/term crawling in ...
3
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2answers
73 views

'I eat kittens before ponies' vs 'I eat kittens before I eat ponies'

Are either of the following sentences grammatically incorrect? Assuming they are both correct, is one preferred over the other? If so, in what situations is each preferred? I eat kittens before ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What makes 'admix' different from 'mix'?

A friend of mine (who, as far as I know, doesn't have English as a first language, though is fluent) mentioned how odd it was that English had the word admix, and quoted a dictionary definition that ...
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0answers
23 views

Why cant I answer or comment on a question/answer without being “approved” by someone whom YOU deem fit? [migrated]

For instance.....The question where does the saying "The bees knees" come from was posed on this site. The answers were senseless dribble at best. The correct answer. Ever wondered why we say this ...
1
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1answer
38 views

In that instant vs At that instant

In that instant, xxx or At that instant, xxx I know that "at that instant" is the more correct way of saying it, but can "in that instant" work as well? At the instant that he ...
0
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2answers
31 views

“tolerable elapsed time” meaning and a fancier word for this

Found usage: “Big data is a term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time”. ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

What does President Obama's joke, “Bucket taking executive action on immigration,” “Bucket new climate regulation” mean?

There were the following lines in President Obama’s speech delivered in the White House Correspondents’ Dinner held on April 25 at the Washington Hilton Hotel: “Just this week, Michele Bachmann ...
3
votes
3answers
84 views

What's the “tumbleweed” in tumbleweed badge?

Well I just earned one :). According to the description it's awarded to a question which receives literally no attention in a week. (Snapshot below) So it led me to the notion that a "tumbleweed" ...
0
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0answers
48 views

What does “What Mary said!” mean?

Here is the situation: A: We love ourselves even after we make so many mistakes, so why do we hate others for one or two mistakes they've made? (sad emotion) Mary: everyone makes mistakes but what ...
6
votes
1answer
568 views

What does “in the gods for a pound” means?

First thing I went to was the Götz Friedrich Ring at Covent Garden (pictured left), in the gods for a pound. I found the phrase in this article: ...
5
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4answers
291 views

Temperature vs Temperatures

What is the explanation for the following sentence being written as it is: The newborn baby was discovered by passing cyclists on a day when temperatures surpassed 40 degrees Celsius. The ...
1
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2answers
45 views

What does the phrase “what's the matter” mean in English? [closed]

What does the phrase "what's the matter" mean in English?
4
votes
1answer
48 views

What does lawyering mean apart from its official definition

The dictionaries define it as "practising law", which is not the case in these examples. I guess its an up-and-coming "new" word which is instantly familiar. What does it mean? Language issues. ...
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1answer
380 views

A question about the Ancient Greek word 'πῦρ' in Arher Machen's “The Shining Pyramid” [closed]

Has anyone read this novel? I am quite puzzled. πῦρ is the derivation of fire. Has fire anything to do with Pyramid?
1
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1answer
60 views

Definition and etymology of 'disingratiate'

In Bradbury's story 'The Burning Man' I found: In just two minutes of leaping into the red-hot car, with his jungle hair and jungle smell, he had managed to disingratiate himself with the climate, ...
4
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2answers
351 views

What does “wildin'” mean?

In Rihanna's song "FourFiveSeconds", this line is sung in the chorus: 'Now I'm four, five seconds from wildin'...' I searched on Google for the definition of "wildin'" and got this: wildin' ...
44
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5answers
5k views

How did phobia ever come to mean hatred?

I understand the word 'phobia' to mean an irrational fear of something, tracing its roots to the Greek word ῾φοβια᾽ associated with flight, dread, or terror. How then did this word ever come to ...
0
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2answers
87 views

What does “tend one's spinning wheel” mean?

However hard I tried I've failed to get the exact meaning of tending his spinning wheel here. It would be argued, and indeed I would argue, that Muslim intransigence would have played a ...
1
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2answers
77 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 ...
0
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1answer
50 views

What does “stocked” mean? [closed]

What does this sentence mean "I make sure everything stays clean and stocked"? I don't understand the word "stocked". Please explain to me! Thank you so much!
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What does “a lot of talent sitting in suits” mean?

After Cavalier’s losing the NBA finales game, LeBron James said: “Tried as much as we could to try to make up for those guys, but it’s a lot of talent sitting in suits,” James said. “I’ve had a ...
0
votes
1answer
88 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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1answer
57 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 ...
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1answer
42 views

meaning of comma in between a surname and first name

what does the comma mean when placed in between surname and first name when writing an initial? for example - Elisabeth,George - WHEAT DOES THE COMMA INDICATE ?
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3answers
385 views

“Tommyknockers”: why the “tommy” prefix in AmE?

From The Tommyknockers by Stephen King: Late last night and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door. I want to run, don't know if I can, 'cause I'm so afraid of ...
0
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1answer
49 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
170 views

How different “being ready” is from “being prepared”?

There was the following passage in the New York Times’ (June 17) article that came under the title, “Experts on aging, dying as they lived.": “They told us where we could find copies of their ...
0
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2answers
58 views

How to distinguish “wherefore” from “therefore” [closed]

I'm aware that the word "wherefore" can be used in the same way as "why", as in classic Shakespeare: "Wherefore art thou Romeo" (NOT meaning where). However how else can it be properly used? Please ...
1
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0answers
75 views

Does this essay question make sense?

"The process of changing into new social contexts requires compromise between sacrifice and opportunity" To change is to go from phase A to phase B, where 'phase' is an arbitrary measure of a ...
0
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3answers
75 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 ...
14
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1answer
1k views

What does the road name 'Meend' mean in English?

I live in a road called 'Kells Meend' and for years I've been trying to find out what the word 'Meend' means. Here's the road name on Google maps. And, on Streetmap (if you scroll around)you can see ...