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
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
141 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
votes
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
58 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"?...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Are there any words 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
45 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
43 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
91 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
votes
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
59 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
228 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
744 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
194 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
49 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
43 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-...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

What does it mean to say someone is “of” somewhere?

For example: William Howell of Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, sang Our Gallant Ship.. Does it mean the place where the person was born? Or could it also just mean the place where they lived?
27
votes
1answer
5k views

Is 'godspeed' a religious term? (Can it be used without invoking religiosity nowadays?) [closed]

There is an Urban Dictionary entry saying Of Old English origin, shortening of "Good Speed," and contrary to popular belief has nothing to do with God. People would say this to others who ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Meaning of would in 'He would always help …'

What's the difference in meaning(if there's any) between the two following sentences: "He would always help if you had a problem." "He always helped if you had a problem."
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“Gift with/upon purchase”

What's the difference in meaning between "with purchase" and "upon purchase"? e.g. Enjoy a complimentary tote bag with every purchase of cosmetic goods Enjoy a complimentary tote bag upon every ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Could a non-self-contained program be called as an “app”?

Can an add-on for a browser, a plugin for a text processing (like Word) or a content unit for a software (like an Anki deck) be called an app without misunderstanding? The definition of an app is a ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

I said in my secret [migrated]

Is say 'in my secret' correct usage? So say, a person comes up to you and starts greeting you and what have you. And then you say something to yourself, like this for example: 1: Hey there, it's ...
1
vote
0answers
108 views

“What do you mean by ___? " Is this ambiguous or rude? [migrated]

Is asking someone “What do you mean by ___?" a rude way to ask the meaning of something you don't understand? For example, when I chat with my American friends, and there is a word I don't know the ...
1
vote
1answer
485 views

Meaning of 'jiggelin' - word from the song 'Policeman' of Eva Simons

I can't find any definition about this word. Does anybody knows what does it mean? Maybe some kind of drugs? Here are the opening lines of the song in question: Hey, mister policeman I don't ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

a word for “universal weltanshauung”"

Similar to "weltanshauung" or "worldview"...need to find, or create a word that designates on a cosmic or galactic scale an originated (human-species-life force) comprehensive, elemental defined ...
-4
votes
1answer
39 views

What meaning do words have if everyone can choose their own preferred meanings? [closed]

Looking at the comments regarding the difference between "skeptic" and "cynic" I was amused by the apparent conviction of most commenters that these words have some sort of a priori meaning, a meaning ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Stepping down vs Standing down [closed]

Could someone explain the difference ? Context: BBC headlines "UKIP leader Nigel Farage stands down" "Chris Evans to step down as Top Gear presenter"
1
vote
0answers
60 views

What's the name for a podium with numbers? [migrated]

I don't know what this is called. Is it a podium?
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Grasper Is it a word? [closed]

I want to describe a guy with quick grasp quality. Something like He is a quick ______. So I think grasper would fit in here. But the Oxford dictionary says grasper is a noun. I would like to ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

Difference between 'casualty' and 'victim'

I thought that "casualty" means a person who is hurt due to an accident, war etc. Or an accident itself. But in these examples "casualty" is used in a more general context, doesn't look like there is ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What's the different between electricity plant and electrical plant?

I know the difference between electricity and electrical, but I came across these two words (electricity plant and electrical plants) seeming to be used in the same contexts in the different parts of ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Why do american people use the word “Tube” instead of “TeleVision”? [duplicate]

Do the following sentences make sense in modern English if I replace the word "Television" with "Tube"? Any ball games on the tube tonight? I was watching a horror movie on the tube.
-1
votes
1answer
20 views

Conquest narrows the peaceful fields [closed]

I can't figure out the phrase «conquest narrows the peaceful fields» from the poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. What does it means?
1
vote
1answer
66 views

What is the word for only knowing history from the day you were born?

There is a term that describes people who think that all history began the day they were born. In other words, they think that we have always had income tax, always had social security, women and ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

How to memorise new words? [closed]

I usually spend a lot of time learning new words. It is very difficult to keep them in my brain. I prefer watching cartoons and CNN news (sometimes with subtitles). But, anyway, my listening and ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Regarding the use of the present perfect tense

What tense is being used in the following sentences? I have been here. How often have you been in love in your life? There has been an accident. I think these sentences use the ...
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

Confirming and Agreeing [duplicate]

As I was told to ask a new question, I better do. :) On the Internet I read the folowing conversation: Question: Do people say No to mean they are in agreement with negative statements? Answer: We ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

what the word ''cloth'' means after a ISBN number in a BOOK? [closed]

what the word ''cloth'' means after an ISBN number in a BOOK? For example: ISBN-13:978-0-226-10420-1(cloth).
1
vote
2answers
136 views

What does the word “Canon” (the digicam brand) mean? [closed]

I know word "canon" because the brand of the digital photography. In my language, Portuguese, this word is considered foreign. When say this word only remember the brand! But I translated on google ...