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

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0
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2answers
54 views

What is the correct visualization of “first left down the hallway”?

I hear a lot of native speakers say something like this: Once in the arena take first left down the hallway Take your first left down the hallway. When you come to the second floor, make a left and ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

When advertisers say product X has N times less 'thing' than product Y, what do they mean [duplicate]

Here is an example: NESTLÉ a+ SLIM Milk has 15 times less fat than regular toned milk. Source:http://www.nestle.in/brands/nestleaplusslim So the question is this: say regular toned milk has 100 ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Does a phrase, “something authentic” make sense?

I'm a non-native English speaker recently trying to launch my own company named "Origin Authentic" And I'm also planning to launch a brand named "Honey Authentic" which is to be a name of a dessert ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

a “piece” vs. an “item” of clothing

What is the difference between an item of clothing and a piece of clothing? Can I say "three pieces of clothing" or "three items of clothing"? Are they used identically?
0
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3answers
89 views

Does this sentence have two meanings? If not which one is the true meaning?

So I had a disagreement with a friend of mine in translating a sentence into my mother language. I wonder if it has 2 meanings. I'll give the following 2 sentences too for you to understand the ...
1
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1answer
69 views

Can someone explain this quote from 'The Tempest'?

I was reading a Russian translation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, when the queer word choice by the translator made me open the original work to see what the author actually wrote. And here it is: ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

What does “the must of dried leaves” mean? [closed]

Can I say "must" here, means smell? . . . the smell of the air that day: piñon burning somewhere in the distance, the must of dried leaves, the lingering smoke of a campfire clinging to his ...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

Does “is potentially faster” imply “is not slower”?

Someone said to me, "X is potentially faster than Y". Without any clarification at that point, I immediately assumed that the speaker thought that X was at least not slower than Y. It was revealed in ...
0
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2answers
57 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
16 views

Expression of 'in other quarters'

Of course, Percival Brooks, the eldest son, would inherit the bulk of the old man's property and also probably the larger share in the business; he, too, was good-looking, more so than his brother; ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

What does ramiculated mean?

In the introduction to his 1956 paper A plea for excuses, John Austin writes The subject of this paper, Excuses, is one not to be treated, but only to be introduced, within such limits. It is, or ...
0
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1answer
46 views

Meaning of no more likely

A is no more likely than B. Does this mean 1) A is either as likely or less likely than B 2) A and B occur with the same likelihood.
7
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1answer
2k views

What does “The deck is stacked” in Hillary Clinton’s presidencial candidacy announcement mssage mean?

Washington Post’s (April 15) carries an article under the title, “Hillary Clinton sounded a little like Elizabeth Warren in 2008, too” accompanied with the following lead copy. “Hillary Clinton's ...
-1
votes
2answers
48 views

Is there a word which describes the feeling of wishing you were in an alternative timeline?

This one stems from a conversation with a few friends this morning via Telegram, in which one participant posed that question, netting them a few slightly sarcastic responses (chronodysphoria being my ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

What does “get the effect of” mean?

I quoted this paragraph from internet which is about what is MVC(the pattern of Model-View-Controller). I don't find it terribly useful to think of MVC as a pattern because it contains quite a ...
1
vote
4answers
92 views

What does this sentence mean: “You watched his face crack open and your world shifted, …”?

quoted from: To Forget: The look on your son’s face when you accused him of taking fifty dollars out of your purse. You were so certain; nothing he said could sway you. You watched his face crack ...
8
votes
1answer
75 views

The use of possessive pronouns in phrases like “I don't know my geography” or “He certainly knows his Star Wars”

There's a rather peculiar use of possessive pronouns. In my experience, it normally occurs in the context of referring to someone's familiarity with a particular subject (or lack therof), e.g. You ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

“Down in my boots”

May Sarton, an early 20th century poet, wrote in a letter: "Politically I am down in my boots." What could she mean? Angry? Frustrated? Disheartened?
0
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4answers
355 views

Meaning and Origin of word “Pantheon”? [closed]

I spotted the word "Pantheon" here on the first and second paragraph on The Hindu but not able to understand the editor's view. On the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, on April 14, ...
0
votes
2answers
94 views

What does “make something stick” mean?

There was the following passage in New York Times (April 13) article titled, “Philosophy returns to the real world”: “It was in one of Fish’s seminars that I first read arch-postmodernist, ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

What does “ leadups and outs” mean in following content?

What does "leadups and outs" mean in this quote? The best way to approach learning how to play "Flight of the Bumblebee" is to work on memorizing bits of it at a time. A lot of the piece is ...
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votes
1answer
34 views

Are the two statements equivalent?

"I will refuse nothing to a soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my passion. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for asking" - statement (i) I tried to ...
1
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3answers
42 views

Hyperbolic vs Hyperbolical

I just looked up the word "hyperbolic" in the 3rd edition of "The New Oxford American Dictionary", and the second definition says "(of language) exaggerated; hyperbolical." When I go to hyperbolical, ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

“I will refuse nothing to a soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my passion” - meaning?

"I will refuse nothing to a soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my passion" I am having trouble understanding this sentence because of the statement "in virtue of my passion" that follows ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

What is the meaning of “State-of-the-art closed-loop com gear”?

I`m just reading JET (by Russell Blake) and there I can read: Still watching the alley, she reached her throbbing hand down and quickly went through the fallen attacker’s pockets, noting the telltale ...
0
votes
0answers
86 views

How to identify if a word is positive, negative, or neutral?

I am studying for SAT and English is not my first language. I really struggle with vocabulary. I memorized about 1000 words for the test, but only a few showed up on the test. I am planning on taking ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What do these two figures of speech mean? Embrace the grind and lower your shoulder

I came across these two figures of speech:(a) Embrace the grind and (b) Lower your shoulder in one of the Instagram posts of Dwayne Johnson(The Rock) Since I am not a native English speaker I just ...
0
votes
3answers
44 views

How and in which situation can the word “meditate” be used?

Meditate has 2 meanings: To think calm thoughts in order to relax or as a religious activity: To think seriously about something for a long time: Cambridge definition I can understand ...
0
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0answers
34 views

Along gender, race and ethnicity, and social class lines

Inequality in life expectancy exists within a given society along gender, race and ethnicity, and social class lines. What does along gender, race and ethnicity, and social class lines mean in ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

What does “To join in marriage by me” mean?

Right now I'm translating a marriage license and I'm not sure how to translate the phrase "To join in marriage by me". Fuller context: I hereby certify that, in accordance with the above license, ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

Can you use the word “bearing” to mean causing?

Can you use the word "bearing" to mean when smething causes something? For example, I'm trying to write a poem thing and I'm using the sentence "the bleak bearing blanket of fog" to describe how a ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Night-threaders

In 'The Sandman - Vol.3 - The Dream Country' by Neil Gaiman chapter 2, a cat says to another cat: 'Well-met, fellow night-threaders' Do you know what does 'night-threaders' mean in this context?
0
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5answers
81 views

A word that can mean the “outsider” [closed]

I'm looking for words that can meaning the "outsider" social group but not in context of "loser". Not an "opposition" group but just different; a group that stay aside of mainstream and popular ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

What is the origin of the phrase “hot take”?

I've been seeing this phrase pop up more and more in social media. I wasn't sure of what it meant, so of course I googled it: http://www.vox.com/2014/12/29/7417055/best-worst-words-2014 ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Similar forms to word-making as onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia is defined as; the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g., cuckoo, sizzle). (from Google). They also add: late 16th century: via late Latin from ...
0
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0answers
37 views

I am writing a poem- and am unsure of what to call a character- help?

I have to write a summary of the poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Caroll. There is a person who is talking in it but is not the narrator. What do I call this character?
2
votes
1answer
80 views

What does the perfect infinitive mean?

I came across a sentence recently: Before I turn 40, I want to have written a book. Could someone explain to me what does it actually mean? I'd rather say: Before I turn 40, I want to write a book. ...
0
votes
5answers
56 views

“far from” versus “away from” [closed]

What word should be used when referring to a metaphorical state of two concepts that do not relate to each other? For example: Love is far from hate, Art is far from commercial interests, Artists ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

full length of the counter

What does "walk full length of the counter " mean? The original sentence is: "Where all these technologies in looking for the ideal partner err is in having to make one’s selection before walking the ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Vicious Crusade - is it against vice or is it bad itself? [closed]

There's a music band named Vicious Crusade. How would you understand that naming, is it a crusade against vice and vicious people or is that crusade itself vicious?
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Are "out of the box“ and “(right) off the bat” interchangeable”?

I came across with two idioms associated with immediacy in different context recently: (1) Anyone who was hoping that the Watch would flop out of the box and fall short of the high standard that ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

The meaning of “You cannot go out and hang out with your friends.” [closed]

My mom said "You cannot go out and hang out with your friends." I think there are two possible explanations to this sentence: The first one: It means that I cannot go out and that I ...
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votes
4answers
79 views

Is 'could be possible' the same as 'is possible'?

If I have a bag of dice, and ask, "Is it possible to roll a 7?" what is the answer? I understand that, if I ask if I dump dice out of a bag, it's possible, but once I pick the bag, and don't know if ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

The use of “rift” in Orwell's *Politics and the English Language*

In Orwell's famous article *Politics and the English Language, he writes: DYING METAPHORS. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Feel for you or feel about you? [closed]

So there is this girl I really like. Should I tell her that I feel about her or that I feel for her? What is the difference between using for or about in this context or when would you use for and ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

meaning of word “brythonic” in english [closed]

what does "Brythonic" mean in English? I have heard explanations of who the Brythonic people are, but there has been no translation of the word "Brythonic" denoting the origin and interpretation of ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

What means “jungle`s creep” in the following sentence? [closed]

In the near distance, hulking concrete bunkers, ugly and indifferent, held back the jungle’s creep. Jungle as a forest or rather jungle as a mess/muddle? What do you think?
0
votes
1answer
31 views

“will not long go unsold to” meaning?

What does "will not go unsold to" mean in the following sentence? The King of Portugal, Lord of Spices, has set... prices just as he pleases, for pepper, which, at any cost, no matter how dear, ...
4
votes
3answers
791 views

What does “flop out of the box” mean? Is it a popular turn of phrase?

Washington Post (April 9) carries a review of now topical Apple watch under the title, “Should you buy an Apple watch?” It begins with the following statement: This is a good product with a bright ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

What does the word “phink” in the pink panther cartoon mean?

What does the word "phink" in the pink panther cartoon mean? It's in the title of the episode where the panther and a painter try to repaint a house: The Pink Phink.