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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1answer
46 views

The meaning of “that” in this case? [closed]

"He was given no direction or no influence, other than that of fair chance." Here, what meaning does that have?
4
votes
2answers
380 views

'Mushed' meaning

I've been translating the song by Johnny Horton, North to Alaska and was stuck on the word mushed: He talked to his team of huskies as he mushed on through the snow Searching through the ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

What is a “travel validation”?

I'm currently trying to understand the DS-2019 form that I need to fill for a J1 visa. One thing I don't understand is this: What is a "travel validation"? What does it (in this context) mean to ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Does “the N-word” have implications other than a word used for racial discrimination?

The New York Times (February 21) carried an article introducing the travelling exhibition of “The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia” to the U.S. at the Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum, Asian Art ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

What does 'engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance' mean?

..., for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner, as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. (My question) What does 'engage the general good opinion ...
0
votes
1answer
710 views

Difference in naming between consulting and consultants

I have a domain research for a company and since English is not my first language I was wondering about the difference between e.g. Boston Consulting and Boston Consultants My guess is that the ...
2
votes
4answers
700 views

What special implication does ‘totally’ have in “He’s totally going to call you”?

There was the following sentence in an article titled, “Like, Degrading the Language? No Way” in New York Times (April 5), in which the author says Americans are moving backward on language: ...
2
votes
3answers
51 views

Outlier - meaning [closed]

People are rarely interested in looking at raw data; instead, people engaging in data analysis will want to manipulate the raw data to better suit their needs. Examples of common data ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Usage of “being” in sentence

Why is being used in the sentence below, and what does it mean? Lisa is upset about not being invited to the party Are they trying to use the passive voice? If yes, how would the sentence look ...
21
votes
9answers
55k views

Is “receival” a valid word for the act of receiving something?

In the course of reviewing a standard operating procedure, I came across the subheading: "Receival, Costing and Charging of Work". I immediately began to doubt whether the word "receival" was a ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Expression: Bag of hammers

I know that there's a film with this title, but is it also a common English expression with stable meaning?
0
votes
1answer
23 views

what's the meaning of “in the understanding of the times” [closed]

what's the meaning of "in the understanding of the times" When a power center (state) seeks to grow, consolidate its authority, or modernize (in the understanding of the times), it is likely to ...
1
vote
5answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “she can be obtuse”?

A friend of mine once described a mutual acquaintance in this way: She can be obtuse. The dictionary definition of "obtuse" seems to suggest a "lack of intellect or intelligence". However, this ...
-1
votes
1answer
20 views

Scaled the facade to plant… - meaning [closed]

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/pro-russians-storm-ukraine-government-buildings-145538760.html In Luhansk, to the northeast from Donetsk, hundreds of people surrounded the local headquarters of the ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

What does “feeling a little precious” mean? [duplicate]

I ran across this phrase in a video made by an Australian walking the Camino de Santiago. He describes a horrible sleep-deprived night and suffering from food poisoning, and states that he's feeling a ...
-1
votes
2answers
58 views

What does 'in 10 minutes' mean? [closed]

We'll be landing in 10 minutes. Are they landing within 10 minutes or after 10 minutes?
0
votes
2answers
30 views

Does “get a diagnosis” imply you think the result will be positive?

If x said to someone I want to get a diagnosis for Parkinson's Does that imply that x already believes they have Parkinson's and want confirmation, or does it just imply that x wants a result no ...
9
votes
7answers
57k views

Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth

Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth. What is a gift-horse? Why shouldn't you look in its mouth? What does this idiom actually mean and how is it used?
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Breaking the set - meaning

Breaking the set What does this expression mean? I hear this expression often used in the context of alternative media reports and debates. Here's the link, right at the beginning the host uses that ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Want something applied - grammar

While it may be obvious to you that you want the aggregate functions applied to each set of products found in the account table, this query fails because you have not explicitly specified how the ...
2
votes
4answers
225 views

Etymology of the phrase “Twenty-three Skidoo” as used in “Hey Arnold!”

The phrase “Twenty-Three Skidoo” has a very interesting and mysterious history described very thoroughly by the wikipedia article on the phrase. However, this article seems to indicate it’s usually ...
2
votes
5answers
940 views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
1
vote
3answers
77 views

“Must be” with a meaning like “must do”

I see that somebody must do something usually means that someone is obliged to do something. I also see that you must be kidding me means that it is highly likely that you are kidding me. But can ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

“professions' and ”occupations" what's the differnce?

"professions' and "occupations" difference "Transborder activities and the general dynamics that they produce can be performed by socioeconomic categories, such as professions, occupations, or ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the meaning of this sentence - “Were it not for the bodies there on the ground, it would have appeared to be a normal day at the oasis.”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Conditional sentences not starting with “if” What is the meaning of this sentence - "Were it not for the bodies there on the ground, it would have appeared to be a ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

The term “My best to you” at the end of an email

What does the above mean? A form of goodbye? Or the best to you until we speak or communicate again? Best wishes? A male acquaintance wrote this at the end of his email when responding to my ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Meaning of “Preparation of x, y and z and …”

I have a question related to this example sentence: Preparation of Isometrics, bill of material of all lines and supporting details of all lines below 2-1/2" except lines under IBR and get ...
-2
votes
2answers
67 views

What is the meaning of “have a big row” in friendship? [closed]

In friendship, what does have a big row mean? Is it a common expression? What about its style (formal or informal)? Example: It is not long before Soosan falls out with Hooshang, and Kobra and ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

What does “plenary intervention” mean?

What does "plenary intervention" mean, for example in the following sentence? The country chose to provide a record of its plenary intervention on the agenda item for the informational annex to the ...
1
vote
3answers
87 views

Another way of saying “easily deceived”?

What's another way of saying easily deceived? I want to have a better vocabulary. Easily deceived sounds a bit basic to me. Is there a better word for that phrase?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Usage of the word “orthogonal” outside of mathematics

From the roots ortho (straight) and gon (angle), its meaning in mathematics is understandable. Outside of mathematics it has various meanings depending on the context: Debate - orthogonal: not ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

What does “wishy-washy” mean?

Question: What does it mean when something is "wishy-washy"? Is it informal? Is it American English, British English or both?
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Meaning of 'All doubtless nourish the soul, but not all fatten the wallet'

I was going through an article on The Economist about returns of higher education and comparison of returns of various fields of study when I encoutered aforementioned phrase. It was quoted in the ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Bike Race question - Loser gets to be the girl [closed]

I don't remember which movie it was in, but there were two men (filled with testosterone), and they had this bet that the loser would be the girl. It was never specified what ''gets to be the girl'' ...
1
vote
3answers
195 views

How Offensive is ''Grow a Pair?'' [closed]

What does ''grow a pair'' mean exactly? Is it offensive? Does it bring a man to a level of a girl/woman? Is it more offensive when a woman says it? Thank you for the answers, especially from women. ...
1
vote
2answers
175 views

If you say in English: wear the pants in a relationship, then can you also say wear the skirt in a relationship?

What I mean is: if the person wearing the pants assumes a masculine/dominant role, then can we say someone assumes a feminine/submissive role by saying they wear a skirt in a relationship? Especially ...
2
votes
5answers
119 views

Do readers think of the word “ejaculate” beyond its common sexual meaning? [closed]

I am an editor, and a poet whom I work with has included the expression "I ejaculated little prayers" in one of his stanzas, which we all know has the dictionary meaning of "intensely calling out." ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“Appointed as” or just “appointed”?

Is it more correct to say a) John was appointed as manager of ACME. or b) John was appointed manager of ACME. Or are they interchangeable?
1
vote
7answers
176 views
0
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3answers
65 views

The phrase “that is” in the middle of the sentence [closed]

The mosquito drinks its fill, that is, it drinks all the blood it wants. The molecules of water, that is, the tiny pieces of water that include oxygen and hydrogen, are very small. What does ...
1
vote
2answers
648 views

Explanation for “them's”

Recently someone said to me: Them's the rules I thought he had the sentence wrong, but as it turns out it is slang. I am learning English as a second language and I would really appreciate if ...
2
votes
6answers
15k views

Appropriate replacement of “nice to meet you” for online salutation?

I would like to use "nice to meet you" in an online email exchange but I feel that "meet" and "see" are not appropriate for online use. There is also a question about it. I have also read somewhere ...
10
votes
4answers
919 views

What would be a word for describing a tendency to take the literal meaning of words above the accepted meaning?

For example someone accused of homophobia would answer that isn't correct as he is not afraid of homosexuals. The accepted meaning of homophobia is, of course, a much wider range of negative ...
5
votes
2answers
474 views

Capo = Cheerleader?

I noticed that the demi-official USA national (soccer) team supporter's group has a name for the folks who lead their section of the stands in chants/cheers; a word I'd never seen used for that ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Can the eldest sibling of three males call his younger brother “my older brother”

Had this conversation with a 26 year old male. He has finished a degree at Uni and told me I was wrong when I said you cannot call your younger brother your older brother. He is only older son to ...
7
votes
5answers
13k views

What does the British idiom “taking the piss” mean?

I most recently heard this in the context of a business deal: Sorry gents, looks like we'll be taking the piss on that one. I understood that the business had suffered a financial loss, although ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

What does “something eats into somebody” mean? [closed]

What does it eats into you mean? I have read this in a play It eats you, which is normal I like to know what the meaning is and how many meaning I can consider for it.
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Job interview question [closed]

I'm a French man in my late 20s and I'm applying for a job for a prestigious American company. I've had a job interview with an American woman and she told me all was well but I'd have to be molded to ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

Does “eff” mean to describe in words?

If one dissects the word "ineffable", there are three main roots in - not able - able to be done eff The meaning of the root able implies that some part of the word before it must refer to an ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

What's the meaning of “what was it over”? [closed]

Is it like "what was it about"? For example: - I had a test earlier - oh, really? What was the test over?