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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0answers
23 views

Help me make sense of this use of 'hitherto'

The role this word plays in the sentence's meaning is never automatically clear for me, but this one confuses me, it seems off. Exchanging it for "so far" or "up until that point" doesn't work here. ...
2
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1answer
84 views

Is reprocreate a word? [closed]

I am English and my girlfriend is Canadian. We had a dispute about a word she was using. The word is reprocreate, i said I don't believe that is a word and she said it was in Canada. Obviously I know ...
0
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2answers
45 views

A term or word used when finding something great [closed]

I'm looking for a word or term that is used when you find something great or of value. I'm looking particularly for when people find a great sale at a store or find an item for a bargain.
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4answers
72 views

On the throne, they worshipped their king

On the throne, they worshipped their king. On horseback, they cheered him. On his deathbed, they prayed for him. In his grave, they wept for him. And then, when they learned about the crimes he had ...
0
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1answer
66 views

What is a word for someone with no scientific background?

The word Scientifically Illiterate: The condition or quality of being ignorant or unknowledgeable in a particular subject or field related to science. seems to work, however, it seems a little ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Different strengths of words that have the same meaning?

I'm not sure how to ask what I want to ask, but I'll try. Is there a thing like the following and how is it called, maybe some kind of a rule or an explanation ? Let's say I have two nouns : idiot ...
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0answers
30 views

What is the difference between “bind to” and “bind with”?

Water not only binds to cellulose but also binds with additives.
0
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1answer
45 views

What are the meanings of “go over” and “go under”?

I just came across a paragraph which says This is just a rough guideline, not a mandate. Some steps you'll go over and some you'll go under. It'll all work out by the end of the day. :D. in http://...
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0answers
35 views

“Enormity”: Bigness or evil?

A few years ago, I learned that the word "enormity" meant "wickedness" and not (ever!) "bigness"--this according to the official curriculum for a major American standardized test. Upon learning this, ...
5
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2answers
222 views

“Everything is up for grabs”

(from an article in The New Yorker about Donald Trump's campaign) Asked by the Associated Press about the possibility of a Trump Presidency, she said, “I don’t want to think about that possibility,...
0
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2answers
58 views

Prejudiced vs biased

How do "prejudiced" and "biased" exactly differ? Sometimes, they are used interchangeably. Upon consulting the dictionary, I find that "prejudice" is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as − "......
0
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0answers
11 views

“Predication” — the logicians' usage

There are several distinct ways to differentiate men and women — chromosomal analysis, self identification, and visual inspection — we review each predication below… Here predication is referring to ...
2
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0answers
25 views

Meaning {Thing} “decided” to cave in

For example: "My laptop caved in" -> It means that my laptop got broken, right? And when: "My laptop decided to cave in" I wonder what does the "decided" mean or give expression to listeners. Of ...
2
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2answers
46 views

What does the phrase “hold up” mean?

What does the phrase "held up" mean in the following transcript? This campaign season, there's been plenty of name calling and lots of accusations. David Clementson, a PhD candidate at The Ohio ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

How can “confession” mean praise?

I was looking at a short summary of Augustine's Confessions, and came across a statement by the translator that though the word "confession" can mean acknowledgement of sin, it can also be a statement ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

“Left with an '8'” meaning of an expression found on a song (by Talk Talk)

Introduction to the actual question: since song and lyrics are valid tags on this forum, I dare to ask the meaning of an expression found in a song. As a non native English speaker, I have met a lot ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Usage of phrase 'at the end of' [closed]

Is it right to say, "I have my exams at the end of this month"? Can you say, "I have my exams at the end of July (month name)"?
0
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0answers
42 views

Meaning of “write-out”

I was listening to a music and in its lyrics there was this sentence: You're nothing but a write-out What does "write-out" mean? Here's the link to the music lyrics. Thanks!
4
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1answer
52 views

What is the meaning of “shout observations”?

The women who sold their bodies at bargain prices until dawn moved around the house after eleven in the morning, when the heat from the stained glass became unbearable, and they were ...
6
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2answers
103 views

Difference between Grandma and Grandma-ma?

This is my first question here so please be gentle with me. I have a relative staying with me from Mississippi who says things about manners and behavior in reference to his grandma-ma. It goes a ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

What is the meaning of “They are more often a lump than a sum”?

So I was watching a TV show called Hannibal. I was on the last episode of season three, called "The Wrath of the Lamb". So Will Graham (a character from the show) was having a talk with psychiatrist ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

What does it mean when someone says “I'm so over myself”?

I'm not native and I listened this statement in a film, in a contention between lovers: A: "... Get over yourself" B: "... I'm so over myself" Based on the context the meaning should be obvious ...
11
votes
3answers
481 views

“Struggle with” vs. “struggle against”

Somewhat related to: Is "to fight with" ambiguous? For some reason prepositions are presenting me problems lately. To struggle with and to struggle against basically have identical ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Coeval and Coterminous [closed]

I am having trouble distinguishing between the words coeval and coterminous. Several thesauruses list them as synonyms, but some dictionaries offer different meanings. Do have the same meaning? Does ...
0
votes
3answers
137 views

Word For Horribly Complicated For No Reason? [closed]

I've noticed that some people really love to overcomplicate things to seem intellectually superior. For instance, say I somehow dropped a pile of clothes on the ground. They'd then ask me: "When would ...
0
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0answers
40 views

Definition of 'including a and b' [duplicate]

I have just stumbled upon a reddit argument that perplexed the language geek in me. The argument is over the phrase In addition, Season Pass owners gain special monthly exclusive content drops ...
4
votes
2answers
57 views

When did 'College' change from meaning a “group of professionals” to a school for non-professionals?

The word 'College' is presumably related to Collegial and Colleague, originally referring to a group of professionals (not necessarily having anything to do with teaching). When did it change meaning ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

What does “to stall around” mean? [closed]

Please, tell me the meaning of "to stall around" in the sentences, for instance: I stall around outside the cafe. He was stalling around her house two days ago. She heard a click and the fighting ...
3
votes
2answers
43 views

How to translate “acting reel”? [closed]

I can not understand the meaning of phrase "acting reel". I hear it several times. As far as I understand in one case it means to act in a movie, but I am not sure. So, how to translate "acting reel"?...
4
votes
1answer
47 views

A word without a meaning?

From Geoffrey Hunter's Metalogic, p.5: ... a thing is an English word only if it has meaning. It got me thinking: is this really so? Is it possible for there to be an English word that is ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Do these two sentences have the same meaning?

(1) Advertisers are not getting as much value for the money spent with violent content as with non-violent content. (2) Advertisers are not getting as much value with violent content as with non-...
2
votes
1answer
26 views

“Opensource” equivalent for hardware

Generally being open source is a description for software and computer programs. What should be called a hardware device, robot, etc. that people could freely take benefits of that and manipulate its ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Word for Crowdsourcing in the reverse direction (or antonym for Crowdsourcing)

Generally, Crowdsourcing means leveraging others' abilities and facilities to perform tasks. Simply someone assign its work to a group. So, what's the word for the reverse operation: a group of ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

“Duration of the time” or “duration”?

I am not sure whether or not we can, for "duration of the time", write just "duration". Here is the text which I encountered the problem in writing: The expressions "bosom friends" and "bosom ...
0
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0answers
13 views

it is simply an imperative that

I know the meaning of "Imperative", but I have some problem about the exact meaning of it in the provided context. Can I here replace "it is simply an imperative that this dancing..." with it was ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

What is “unfortunate luck”? [closed]

What is "unfortunate luck"? I had the unfortunate luck of working under your guidance. I think it is just bad wording or a tremendous typo (instead of "[...] fortunately the luck [...]"). Am I ...
2
votes
2answers
226 views

Nameday vs Birthday

In "Game of Thrones Season 1, Episode 4", Samwell Tarly explains to Jon Snow why he ended up taking the black (joining Nightwatch) as follows: On the morning of my 18th Nameday, my father came to ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Interpreting the meaning of “same amount” in a question

3 containers A B C contain water, milk and acid respectively in equal quantities. 10% of the content of A is taken out and poured to B. Then same amount from B is transferred to C reference: a ...
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4answers
736 views

What is the origin of the phrase “hurt(s) like a bitch/motherf***er/bastard”?

Intuitively, what would make a 'bitch' hurt? Perhaps calling a woman 'bitch' after she breaks up with you, hence it 'hurts'? A 'motherfucker' hurts, for good reason (no one likes their mother to be ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Meaning of 'to put sth. under the mind for sth.'

I found the following phrase when reading Ralph W. Emerson's The Poet: The world being thus put under the mind for verb and noun, the poet is he who can articulate it. I am not entirely sure ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

What is “policy crumb”?

What is the meaning "policy crumb"? "That's just a tragic economic policy crumb since the middle class won't be touched by it ..." " I believe it's more a policy crumb being thrown to the media in ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

What does “Apportionment” exactly mean?

If you're well acquainted with the politics of Iraq, you should know that the current Iraqi government isn't exclusive to one dominating sect like it used to be. Is that called "apportionment"? If ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

using the or a wrong formula [migrated]

I'm trying to conceive the difference between the use of a definite article and an indefinite article here. You are using a wrong formula (for the math problem). You are using the wrong formula (for ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

What is “as American as April in Arizona” meant for?

I was reading an article that was telling a story about Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov: Paris Review asked the Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov, "Do you consider yourself an American?" He said, "...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

What does “ago” mean in this sentence?

She told me last year that she went to Europe two years ago. Did she go to Europe in 2014 (two years before today), or 2013 (two years before she spoke the sentence)? I checked Merriam-Webster, ...
81
votes
3answers
14k views

Why does “Mickey Mouse Operation” refer to a poorly run company?

A phrase I commonly hear (and use myself) when a company (or individual, in some cases) does something that seems foolish or not planned is to ask What kind of Mickey Mouse operation are you ...
5
votes
2answers
185 views

Why is the conflict in the UK Labour Party described by some as the “chicken coup”?

In the current conflict in the UK Labour Party, some are using the phrase Chicken Coup: Morning Star: Chicken Coup rebels are running out of room David Graeber in The Guardian: As the rolling ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Difference between 'roam' and 'ramble' [closed]

Both of these words mean "move about aimlessly or without any destination". Is there any difference between them? Is there any context in which you'd use "ramble" instead of "roam", or vice versa? P....
1
vote
2answers
42 views

How to say that you wish and make efforts to do something?

I am looking for a short way to say that I wish and (simultaneously) make efforts / prepare to achieve something, however, so far I have come up only with candidate phrases which express just one of ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

meaning of “democratising”

Does "the artwork’s twin" mean "the practical version of the slides that would be used in everyday life"? Does "democratising premises of participants engaging in a process of risk- and responsibility-...