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

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3
votes
1answer
96 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?
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?
1
vote
3answers
101 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'' ...
2
votes
5answers
949 views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
2
votes
5answers
121 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." ...
1
vote
7answers
188 views

When you say a man is a coward, does it imply femininity by default? Is ''girlish coward'' a common expression?

I was wondering about this and would appreciate your take on the question.
0
votes
1answer
56 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.
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
52 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?
2
votes
2answers
111 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
1answer
53 views

How does one define rigorous empathy?

How does one define rigorous empathy? I don't even know where to begin. What does it mean? On their own I know what each word means, but I know it's a lot deeper than that.
6
votes
7answers
858 views

“Make of that what you will” – meaning of “will”

Make of that what you will or Do what you will What is the meaning of 'will' in these expressions? Here's some examples: I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

What's the English equivalent to the German “Manufaktur”?

I'm looking for the English equivalent to the German word Manufaktur. Basically, a Manufaktur is just a factory, but in German it is assigned with "premium" and "hand-made". The term comes up as a ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

is “purile” a word? [closed]

I can't find it on any dictionary. It could be spelt wrong but google doesn't correct it. it could be obsolete but any such (outdated) record doesn't seem to be in existence. the word could either be ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Iambs, Trochees, Spondees, Dactyls, and Anapests [closed]

What are the uses of Iambs, Trochees, Spondees, Dactyls, and Anapests (in poetry? are they forms of different units in poetry?)? I'm looking for clear definitions and some relevant examples that do ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

what is the difference between 'same', 'typical' and 'similar'?

What is the difference between 'same', 'typical' and 'similar', as all conveys the same meaning.
3
votes
1answer
93 views

What does “what for” mean and where did it come from?"

There is a fight scene in one of my favorite movies in which the main character says "Give them what for!" I've hear this term many times before (usually from old south-eastern Americans,) but no ...
10
votes
4answers
927 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

What is free-form data entry?

If you are creating a column for free-form data entry, such as a notes column to hold data about customer interactions with your company’s customer service department, then varchar will probably be ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Phrase for pooling funds with others for a purchase

I got an email today from a parent in my son's K class for a party the kids will be hosting for their teacher. Part of the content was this: I'm asking for volunteers for the following: ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

get the boot courtesy - idiom, meaning

It seems that William and Susan aren’t getting along very well together, so one of them has got to go. Since William was there first, Susan will get the boot courtesy of the delete statement... ...
-1
votes
3answers
41 views

By the close, meaning

The Russian ruble strengthened the most since September 2012, adding 1.6 percent to 35.2230 per dollar by 6 p.m. in Moscow and trimming its quarterly decline to 6.8 percent. The Micex Index ...
-4
votes
1answer
57 views

Antedecent of “naked” in “I would like to paint a picture of you naked”

You’re such a pretty person, I would like to paint a picture of you naked. Does this mean "you’ll undress while I get my brushes", or does it mean "strike a pose while I take my clothes off"?
-1
votes
1answer
13 views

Use “scope” to refer to a book's sections

I would like to know whether it is correct or not to use the word "scope" to refer to a book's section, subsection or paragraph. For instance We will address these matters in the next scope.
14
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the meaning of 'life'? [closed]

Seeing that I have 75 Unicoins, I decided to buy "Guaranteed answer" because it claims "No more need to wait: We guarantee you an answer on all of your questions." I'm very curious to know what ...
1
vote
4answers
129 views

Can you shorten this sentence?

Is there a shorter phrase with this meaning: I invited him to my party verbally when I met him. I thought perhaps the phrase I invited him personally meant this until I saw personal in written ...
7
votes
4answers
446 views

Usage of diffuse vs. defuse

I often hear phrases such as "infantry were sent in to diffuse/defuse the situation," and I am never quite sure which people are saying, and which is correct. Both seem to make sense. To me (a ...
0
votes
3answers
128 views

Use of the subjunctive mood, “be”

Along with the commercial database servers, there has been quite a bit of activity in the open source community in the past five years with the goal of creating a viable alternative to the ...
1
vote
3answers
126 views

Difference between “intelligent” and “clever”

I know that dolphins are intelligent creatures, and young people can be intelligent as well. Students can be clever. But can a student be intelligent and a dolphin be clever? What's the difference ...
-2
votes
3answers
43 views

What's the meaning of “spin-off”? [closed]

What's the meanining of spin-off? like the spin-off of a TV series.
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Where does the word “button-down” come from?

I was wondering where the term 'button-down' comes from. I tried to do some research but I was not very successful... How was the word button-down formed? Is it a compound ? Does it originate from ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

doubling as a “door stop”? [closed]

With only a handful of commands, the SQL data statements look deceptively simple. In my opinion, many of the available SQL books help to foster this notion by only skimming the surface of what ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

In publishing, what does the acronym “P/U” or “PU” mean?

I have come across this acronym in reference to a project I have been given to revise. Usually it is in a context such as "PU and modify."
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

what does “neediest” mean? [closed]

What does the word "neediest" mean? Is this word regularly used in academic writing? "Tying teacher evaluation and sanctions to test score results can discourage teachers from wanting to work in ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

What does “Cultures are circular” mean?

There was the following sentence in the commentary of Joshua Rothman, the New Yorker’s archive editor on Amy Chua’s memoir, “Tiger Mom” under the title, “The Battle hymn of the Tiger Family” in the ...
3
votes
12answers
176 views

A word for reading something thoroughly until one understands it well?

I was wondering if there was one word in English for "to read something thoroughly until one understands it well"? I am trying to translate a word which has this meaning in Chinese. Thanks.
0
votes
4answers
45 views

Touch an extension - meaning

Joe, the senior developer in a team of six, has a problem with his program. He studies it for hours, with increasing frustration, but cannot figure out the source of the bug. He wouldn’t think ...
3
votes
1answer
351 views

what is the difference between “ Beware” and “Be Aware” ?

Can you please explain what is the difference between " Beware" and "Be Aware" ?
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Analyst vs analyzer/analyser?

What are the scenarios where the meanings of these differ? What is the difference between their meanings and if any, why? I have observed that the term 'analyst' is specifically used in cases of ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

Meaning of “but if one turns it thither ever so little” in context

I am reading the book Pensées, and I can't understand a paragraph. Please help me review it. The difference between the mathematical and the intuitive mind.—In the one, the principles are ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

I can't get it: It will vary amongst database systems who has what function

It will vary amongst database systems who has what function, or even whether they use the same function name. Asked a native English speaker "does this sentence make sense to you?". His answers ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Meaning: one Benghazi revelation away from impeachment

Spoiler alert: he's siding with his friend Vladimir Putin and not with President Obama, whom the action star believes is one Benghazi revelation away from impeachment. I can't get the meaning of ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Comprehension - gave them the run of the base grounds still in Ukrainian hands

During the ordeal, the colonel gave reporters and TV crews the run of the base grounds still in Ukrainian hands, and held impromptu news conferences in front of brigade headquarters. First of ...
0
votes
1answer
320 views

What is the real difference between dilation and dilatation?

In the medical profession we use the terms dilatation and dilation with great frequency. Dilatation is defined as a region of dilation, an area of abnormal enlargement, or the surgical enlargement of ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Meaning of “A Moment's Worth” [closed]

What is the meaning of the "a moment's worth" in the following Using this equation, we can generate the graph with a moment's worth of calculation and plotting. Is it equivalent to "more ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

is gentile used to signify people of indigenous origin?

While "gentile" is used to describe people of non-Jewish or pagan origin, can it be used as a synonym for "indigenous" (with regards to connotation?)
1
vote
3answers
69 views

Difference between domain and dominion

Can anybody give me more examples on how to use these words? I know for sure than you should not use dominion as domain for the Internet but apart from that sight difference both words seem to be ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Does the electricity “go or cut” “off or out”? [closed]

Which of the following choices are correct? While I was reading a book last night, suddenly the electricity ______. cut off cut out went off went out What are the differences ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

What does “this is a reach” mean?

In an answer on ELL it reads: Here - and this is a reach - but it could technically be understood to mean that my mother thinks this girl is the prettiest I can find, though there are prettier ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Meaning of the plural form of yarn

My dictionary defines the following: yarn: thread that has been spun, used for knitting, weaving, etc. I am unsure of the meaning of the plural form "yarns". To illustrate, I'll use two examples: ...