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

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0
votes
2answers
66 views

English equivalent or Expression for “Who take care of a Pregnant Mother”

English is not my language and I need help with this... I need create a name for an mobile app that will help pregnant womens for 9 months giving tips about everything about she and her babe. So ...
2
votes
3answers
90 views

Is there a term for the phenomenon of adding more words to a sentence makes it less clear?

This article ends with "Judicial races in Washtenaw County are nonpartisan ...". This is technically accurate, but is also misleading (or is it?) as it implies races elsewhere (such as Wayne County) ...
4
votes
4answers
27k views

Wholistic vs holistic

This reference states: The two words "wholistic" and "holistic" have very different meanings, but there is some confusion and they are often used in an incorrect manner. The two words have very ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

When to use “pending” vs. “impending” [duplicate]

Although someone has previously answered a question as to the difference between "pending" and impending", I'm still struggling on when to use which word, and if one is preferred in a more formal ...
1
vote
1answer
905 views

Correct pronunciation of the word “Mature”? [closed]

I need to know the correct pronunciation of the word "mature". Is it məˈtʃʊr, məˈtjʊə(r) or məˈtʊr? And which one is mostly used, across the globe.
7
votes
3answers
12k views

Meaning of 'cf.' [closed]

it refers to a discrete life form that has properties of mind (i.e. experience and character, cf. sentience)
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Which antecedent does “them” refer to in this sentence?

He knew people as only people of great sensitivity are able to know them, as somebody who is alone and sees people almost prophetically, from one flash of a face. (Jana Cerna, Milena Jesenska; ...
15
votes
3answers
760 views

How do you tell if synonyms of “almost” default to meaning “less than”?

Having just had a chat with Em1, I noticed that some words or phrases that mean almost will mean less than when used alone, and other synonyms will mean greater than. For example, nearly and close to ...
5
votes
2answers
322 views

What does “Mercy within mercy within mercy" mean?

I saw a lot of articles in these couple of days about Pope Francis’ reflection of his style, influences and priorities as pope in the recent interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit journal in ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What's the original meaning of “Abraxis”?

Today I realized that I'd been running into the name 'Abraxis' in quite a few different places, and I didn't know what it meant. If it appeared once or twice as the name of a fictional character or a ...
1
vote
3answers
150 views

What does “soda” mean in places where it doesn't mean soft drink? [closed]

The title is pretty self explanatory. "Soda", "Pop", "Coke", etc. all refer to the same thing in different parts of the world. Where the word for soft drink is "soda", "pop" is a verb, and "Coke" is ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Meaning - 'the sword and the purse'

Because it lacks the legitimacy and accountability that come with election and the power that derives from the sword and the purse, the Supreme Court’s authority rests on public acceptance of its ...
4
votes
5answers
906 views

What do you call someone who believes in ghosts?

What do you call someone who believes in ghosts and ghost stories?
4
votes
6answers
1k views

The meaning of “blue canoe” in the lyrics of “Where to Now, St. Peter” sung by Elton John

In his song Where to Now, St. Peter, Sir Elton John sings: I took myself a blue canoe, And I floated like a leaf Dazzling, dancing half enchanted In my Merlin sleep. Crazy was the ...
0
votes
1answer
193 views

Grand (as in parents) — singular or plural?

In his song "White Wine in the Sun", Tim Minchin sings I'll be seeing ... my grand and my Mum. This apparently stands for grandparents, but what is the 'default' visualization of that word ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

Can the term evergreening be used outside a legal context?

I have used the term evergreening in the context of replacing PC systems at a pre-determined rate; that is, that such a scheme would replace every PC in an office every 3 years by gradually replacing ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Quite a lot / quite a few / quite a bit

Recently I’ve got stumbled upon the question: What’s the difference between quite a lot, quite a few, and quite a bit? This is very confusing considering a lot and a few have almost opposite ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

Register vs Apply

I'm trying to wrap my mind around the semantic differences between the words "Register" and "Apply". For example, are there any real differences between these two sentences: "I will apply for this ...
4
votes
5answers
220 views

Meaning of headline “Goldman Stunned by Op-Ed Loses $2.2 Billion for Shareholders”

What does this headline mean? Goldman Stunned by Op-Ed Loses $2.2 Billion for Shareholders I am not sure what "Op-Ed loses" means in this context.
2
votes
6answers
90 views

Misusing 'hone' to express subtly different idea that combines 'hone' and 'home in' [duplicate]

This question is similar, but I'm looking for something subtly different. Suppose you have a philosophy describing a way of thinking and acting. Acting on this philosophy requires work: your mind ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Connotation of “intestinal fortitude”

I have heard the expression intestinal fortitude to mean courage or endurance to achieve something. Is there a connotation for stubbornness in this expression?
37
votes
5answers
13k views

What is the difference between “illicit” and “illegal”?

What is the difference between "illicit" and "illegal"? Are they just synonymous? Used in different contexts?
7
votes
5answers
315 views

What is the “sports” in “sports car”?

Why are nice cars called "sports cars"? Where does the "sports" come from? Is it simply because they are eligible for racing and racing is a sport (or is it)? Or is there some other origin?
1
vote
2answers
178 views

The use of “So X as to Y”

First of all, note that this is not a duplicate question of another one asking about the usage of so as to, since this one is asking about the structure of so . . . as to. . . . I understand this ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views
1
vote
1answer
240 views

“Visible strap of the bra on shoulder”?

Is there any word for the strap of the bra that is visible on shoulder.? Mostly it is addressed as strap which is obviously a common word not specific to bra or any inner-wear.
3
votes
0answers
26 views

How does “to subsist in” come to mean “to be attributed to”? [closed]

What's the logical derivation behind this definition of subsist [Definition 2.1] Be attributable to: the effect of genetic maldevelopment may subsist in chromosomal mutation In that link, the ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Meaning: deconstruct (cooking)?

In cooking what exactly does it mean to deconstruct something? Haven't seen this covered much in dictionaries, etc. edit: as per @Frank's request this is everywhere in cooking recently: ...
3
votes
3answers
187 views

Meaning of “Cheeky” in Australian Aboriginal English

In Australian Aboriginal English, does "Cheeky" have meanings different from those found in other varieties of English? In the Baz Luhrmann movie "Australia", the word "Cheeky" was used by the ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Difference between “solicitor” and “barrister”

What is the difference between solicitor and barrister?
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Help with understanding the phrase “to the effect” in this context

What does to the effect mean in this sentence? Consider suppositions to the effect that someone is supposing something.
-5
votes
1answer
29 views

Difference between “Reason” and “Helplessness” [closed]

Today i was wishing happy birthday to my friend so i was suggesting to him for not doing bad work because he did a bad work in past. and after wishing the birthday i asked to him for his bad worked, ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Age old question: What's the meaning of 'word'? [duplicate]

An old question, for which I could find absolutely NO reference on the internet for many years. Perhaps I wasn't looking in the right places, but I have no clue about its usage either. Then I ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

we are in receipt of something

what does it mean "to be in receipt of something"? I have checked the meaning but have not figured it out fully, since I am a translator I need a literal translation for me to build out a meaningful, ...
4
votes
4answers
89 views

Can you “regret” someone else's action?

I have rarely heard regret used like this, and while it sounds wrong to me, the dictionary doesn't appear to preclude this usage. Dictionary.com: Regret 1. to feel sorrow or remorse for (an ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

What does “take out your book” mean? [closed]

What does this phrase mean? "take out your book" Because I have found no relevant meaning of take+out as a phrasal verb in the online dictionaries. Can any one help me?
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Can the word ‘fillet” be used as a verb to mean criticize or ridicule?

There was the following sentence in the New York Times article titled “Marry first, Then cheat” dealing with François Hollande’s “mistress scandals”: “Over good wine and small portions across ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Meaning of “black on black” in Nickelback's “Animals”

The song "Animals" by Nickelback starts with the following lines: I, I'm driving black on black Just got my license back I got this feeling in my veins This train is coming off the ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

If Atheism is the rejection of all religions equally what is the polar opposite?

If an 'atheist' is someone that does not believe in all deities with equal disbelief, what would you call someone that believed in 'all deities' equally?
2
votes
1answer
36 views

meaning of 'play point'

What made Tinder Tinder was the work of a team: Joe Munoz, who built the technical back end; Jonathan Badeen, who wrote the iOS code; Christopher Gulczynski, who created the design; Rad, who ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

meaning of “i'd kill for that …” [closed]

there is an conversation between two guys in Bigbang Theory. I really don't understand what "I'd kill for taht women's bone structure" mean. A: which celebrity would you say i look like the most ...
0
votes
4answers
970 views

“All X are not made equal” - ambiguous meaning?

A phrase commonly heard in English (at least informal English) is something like the following: Well, this car is good, but all cars are not made equal! This would be commonly understood by most ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

“no longer…when…”--ambiguity?

I was reading this sentence and thought it ambiguous: The trees must have grown since he died because they were no longer young when I first saw them. This could mean: 1) The trees were already old ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Sweating on Somebody: meaning?

I listen to my fair share of Hip-Hop but I'm still not sure what * exactly* it means for a guy to be " sweating" on a girl or vice-versa. I had a look on Urban Dictionary but couldn't really find ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Open the rivers of Heaven?

I've heard someone saying "Their task in worship is to open the rivers of Heaven", and I understand that it means something like "Their task is to make worship extremely beautiful", but is there a ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

Question about meaning of “Object” in the Declaration of Independence

Referring to this: "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, ...
4
votes
9answers
915 views

Dilution of the word “hero” to include sports personalities

I have often wondered what makes sports personalities heroes. I have always thought of hero referring to someone who risks their life to save others. For example soldiers and to a lesser extent ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

“Charge it by the blink” vs. “charge it in blinks”

Which of these sentences is grammatically and semantically more appropriate? Lawyers measure time and charge it by the blink. Lawyers measure time and charge it in blinks.
8
votes
2answers
505 views

What is “the culinary chops”?

The article of Time magazine (June 23, 2014) titled “Don’t blame fat” says “New science reveals fat isn’t what hurting our health, and wraps up with the following sentence. How we eat –whether we ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

meaning of “or”

is the word nuclear assumed after the "or" in the following sentence? "by nuclear action or radiation or radioactive contamination" In other words, does the "or" assume that the Nuclear applies to ...