Tagged Questions

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

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1
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1answer
72 views

Meaning of Roll sevens or Rolling sevens

What is the meaning of the phrase " you rolled them sevens with nothing to lose " ? In the song entitled " The weary kind " which is a sound track of the "Crazy heart" movie , there is a line that i ...
2
votes
3answers
149 views

What really is a “Yester” in Yesterday or Yesteryear?

Apparently, Yester cannot be used alone in a sentence, except when accompanied by "day (yesterday) or year (yesteryear)". It cannot be used incombination with other portions of time like; yestermonth, ...
8
votes
4answers
902 views

Why are ferries associated with “boat” and never “ship”?

Even when a ferry is 150+ feet in length - clearly a ship, albeit a smallish one - why is it always referred to as a "boat" and not "ship" (As in "I'm going to catch the noon boat")?
-1
votes
0answers
24 views

Words that describe the “barterer” and the one doing the “bartering”

Two people are bartering. one person has something he wants to trade to another person. What would this person be called? The second person is approached by the person who wants to barter. What ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Is “eclectic combination” a pleonasm?

Doesn't the term eclectic also describe a mix/combination? Is it correct to use this expression?
0
votes
1answer
30 views

“Big” and “Diminutive” are what kind of words…? [duplicate]

What do you call a word that look different than it means? For example, the words "big" and "diminutive"?
0
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4answers
118 views

what is it called when someone talks about something they dont know about [closed]

What is it called when someone says something inaccurate about something they know nothing about??
3
votes
1answer
44 views

What's the meaning of “vertical” in a software project description?

I'm a programmer from Brazil and have here a software project to estimate. In the description I found these sentences: ...to provide the use cases for the vertical they might be interested. ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Is there a difference between the two sentences? [duplicate]

-The train could leave Boston. -The train would leave Boston. Is there a difference? Are they interchangeable?
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Is the use of “conversely” to mean “on the other hand” correct?

I've previously used "conversely" to mean "on the other hand". For example. I always thought this the correct usage. Conversely, I might be wrong. However, the OED defines it as: In the ...
4
votes
2answers
374 views

Meaning of “It was a line”

The title sentence is a dialogue from "Friends" (the sitcom): Monica has become acquainted with a man named Paul. On a date Paul says to Monica: "Since my girlfriend left me I haven't had sex with ...
-1
votes
1answer
57 views

Inherently verses Innately [closed]

What is the difference between inherent and innate? I did a quick google but I would like a more concrete comparison and examples. This initially came up from trying to decide on the correct ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Meaning of “Let's big out”

"Let's big out". What does it mean? It is a sentence I have to translate with no context. Thank you in advance!
1
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1answer
53 views

What do the expressions “offshore”, “blind filing” and “operating at a total loss” mean?

In the 2014 film The Other Woman, there is an exchange between several characters: Carmela - Yay.- Mark's not just a cheating scumbag, he's also a thief. Look what I found. This is a list of all ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the collective noun for a group of scorpions?

I was reading Walter O'Brien's AMA on Reddit and came across this: oscarveli: How did you choose your hacker name? O'Brien: It was chosen for me in high school as I was a very docile person ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Can you vs. Do you think you can

Is there a right or wrong way to ask someone to do something? The other day I said to my husband, "Do you think you can fax this paper for me?" He said that was insulting and I should say "Can you fax ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

different meanings of 'number'

My motherlanguage is german, in german there are several words for slightly different meanings of the term number, or do I just not know their english counterparts? Examples: German term Ziffer: ...
1
vote
2answers
507 views

A barbell economy

Good morning! Just read the expression "barbell economy" in USA Today. As a non-native speaker I wonder what that might mean?
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Are these interchangeable?

He's not here. Can I take a message? He's not here. Can I get a message? Are these two sentences 'Can I take a message?/Can I get a message?' interchangeable?
1
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0answers
29 views

What does this mean? Especially the word “ahead” [migrated]

I had dates ahead that I disliked to cancel. If there were no “ahead”, I would assume it means there were dates the speaker wouldn’t like to cancel. With “ahead”, however, I can't clearly ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “The city (Ferguson) learned too late that the well was dry” mean?

I scratched my head in understanding the meaning of the following passage in the article titled, “The tragedy of Ferguson” of Time magazine (September 1 issue). [Some excerpts appear at ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

What 's meaning of “ Business fit, not best in class ”?

I have seen in a HR magazine that "HR should focus on 'business fit, not best in class', says Panasonic HRD ". and i dont understand what is " business fit" and what's "best in class ". Please help me ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What is the meaning of “highway shops”?

I was curious what the meaning of "highway shops" is. It's related to the software industry, but I could not find much information about it. Also, I only found it being used in 2 places. From this SO ...
1
vote
4answers
84 views

Nietzsche quote meaning [closed]

I came across following quote attributed Friedrich Nietzsche: It is the most sensual men who need to flee women and torment their bodies What context does it appear in and what is its meaning? ...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

Figurative usage of “astride”

Can "astride" be used in the figurative meaning of "half one on side and half on the other side"? The specific concept I'm trying to express is that a certain span of values with a certain length is ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Can an institution “attest to its highest academic standards”? Is that kind of attesting something only a person can do?

My full quotation is for a formal letter to a university president, congratulating her on becoming president. "Under your leadership, I believe that Anytown University will continue to attest to its ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Correct usage of the word “decimated”? [closed]

I was reading this article about humans destroying 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years and noticed the word "decimated" in the introduction. I thought decimated meant to destroy a tenth or ten ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

“Online Chinese course” or “Chinese online course”?

I intend to teach Chinese online. But I was just wondering which course title would be appropriate and if there's any difference: Online Chinese course Chinese online course They sound a bit ...
2
votes
4answers
66 views

Noun usage of “optimum”

Another teacher came to me with a potential test question. In the text, she uses "optimum" to refer to the fastest route for a lifeguard to save a swimmer. I forget the exact wording. "The optimum, ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

What is difference between “huge” and “massive”? [closed]

What are the differences in meaning between huge and massive?
14
votes
3answers
1k views

It's all downhill from here

The phrase "it was all downhill from there" seems to have two, contradictory meanings. The first indicates that things have since gotten a lot worse. For example (from ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Treasure Island: What is a squire as Mr Trelawney's?

I'm reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and wonder what is a district squire, as Mr. Trelawney in the novel. Squire, as wiki explains: Beginning in the Middle Ages, a squire was ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What does the “removed” mean in this sentence?

Boston College, two weeks removed from upsetting USC, took a home loss to Colorado State, 24-21. Host Pittsburgh, two weeks removed from an impressive 3-0 start, stumbled for a second straight game, ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Nonetheless or nevertheless? [duplicate]

I have looked up the difference but I cannot decide which word to use. I am talking about my high school experience. "There was always something to be done, from [this] to [that]. ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

What wouldst thou beg, Laertes, That shall not be my offer, not thy asking [closed]

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2 And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? You told us of some suit; what is't, Laertes? You cannot speak of reason to the Dane, And lose your ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Is there a difference between “note-taking” & “notation”?

Is there a difference between "note-taking" & "notation" when referring to the process of writing notes? I've read the dictionary definitions and I'm still not clear on it.
2
votes
1answer
150 views

How is 'Tacenda' used in a sentence?

I am confused about the usage of this word. I know the meaning it conveys. Help?
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Morpheme Division

I just have a short question regarding the morpheme contextualizes. When I divide it into morphemes, is it: 1. contextual ize s lexical derivational inflectional ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Does the term 'noon' have exact meaning? [closed]

Say I have a meeting at 10:00 and want to postpone it to around 13:00, can I ask the other to "postpone it to noon, around 13:00"? Or the term 'noon' means exactly 12:00?
0
votes
2answers
215 views

What's the difference between “Mediary” and “Intermediary”?

I can't find a definition for Mediary, I thought they kind of mean the same thing. But how they each precisely defined? And can someone use a good example of both? Thanks
5
votes
3answers
109 views

What is the origin and sense of the phrase “put up or shut up”?

In researching the recent EL&U question Origins and Interpretations of "Put your money where your mouth is", I repeatedly came across the seemingly related but older phrase “put up or ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

What is the provenance of “ring the cherries”?

I was drawn to the phrase, “ring the cherries” in the following passage in Thomas Harris’ “The Silence of Lambs” in a part officer, Jerry Burroughs telling the profile of a suspect killer to FBI ...
1
vote
3answers
52 views

Which name should I use for a category of pictures: lifeless/still life/?

I created a website for my photographs which are organized into three categories: people, nature, and lifeless (see here). It seems to me lifeless could seem derogatory. Is it? If it is, what would ...
1
vote
3answers
135 views

Origins and meaning of “Put your money where your mouth is”

I heard this phrase uttered by a Canadian (from Vancouver) once; it left me in awe and elicited my curiosity. Wikipedia was not helpful. What is its origin? Is this expression used more in certain ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

What are “crutch words”?

Please tell me what crutch words are. I think they are used to fill spaces between sentences like a filler word, but I am not sure.
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Farewell; and let your haste commend your duty

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2. and we here dispatch You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand, For bearers of this greeting to old Norway; Giving to you no further personal power ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Which is or are grammatically correct: “Cats are carnivores / carnivorous or carnivorous animals”? [closed]

Cats are carnivores Cats are carnivorous Cats are carnivorous animals I often hear people say those sentences and I wonder which among them is/are correct. And are there any differences in ...
0
votes
2answers
118 views

Is “Drop the big hammer” American slang?

In a trailer for the movie "Black Hat", one person says "The guy we're working with will drop the big hammer and not think twice about it" Is this some sort of American slang, possibly for a ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What is a self-contained, rhetoric phrase? (Brevity is soul of wit)

This related question touched on redundancy which appeared as a strict upgrade from an autological "word" to a "phrase" to me. It would be enlightening to find more instances that provokes a string ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

meaning of spatter

“Nancy,” directed her mistress, sharply, “you may set the muffins down and go at once to Miss Pollyanna’s room and shut the windows. Shut the doors, also. Later, when your morning work is done, ...