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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

1
vote
2answers
3k views

“Dissociate” vs “disassociate”

Both "dissociate" and "disassociate" are defined as removing an association but is there a difference between the two? Does the "associate" part of "disassociate" imply a stronger former connection ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

What is the origin and meaning of “Save some for Jehoshaphat”?

Back in the late 1950's, during Sunday dinner (here in Tennessee), my mom would often exclaim "save some for Jehoshaphat". What is the origin and meaning of that phrase?
0
votes
6answers
7k views

Use of the word “referable”

Can the word "referable" be used to denote something that can be referenced and what is the difference between "referable" and "referenceable"?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “excuse me” and “forgive me”?

I am hesitated when I use the sentence "forgive my fault, please." instead of "excuse me, please." because the word "forgive" has a religious theme and probably carries some additional meanings. Also ...
1
vote
3answers
91 views

Word for “ability to explain”

I want to test your ability to explain. I was thinking present, as in your ability to present — being able to give a good presentation. That's the only choice I can think of, but I feel there's ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Meaning and origin of “the grind of my day”

Somebody told me today in chat: before i get into the grind of my day... is there anything you are waiting on from us or need asap? What does the expression the grind of my day mean? Where does ...
19
votes
4answers
14k views

What's the difference between “mistrust” and “distrust”?

Are mistrust and distrust synonyms? And if so, how have two such similar words coexist for so long? Google N-grams suggests the two words have coexisted since the 1700's.
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What do you call a building, or rooms within it, where doctors see their patients?

My understanding is as follows. Is this universally agreed? The OED sense 2a of surgery explains its use to describe the room where a doctor sees his patients. The OED gives no indication that this ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

appeal a sentence VS appeal the sentence VS appeal against

A. a defendant can appeal a sentence if it's illegal, unconstitutional, or unreasonably excessive. B. a defendant can appeal the sentence if it's illegal, unconstitutional, or ...
1
vote
2answers
344 views

What is the meaning of “lie down and die”? [closed]

"If one still refused to lie down and die, he lost, or loosed, his temper. His temper was like a red dog, and he always had it close to hand." What is the meaning of "lie down and die"? Is it a ...
3
votes
3answers
73 views

Is this subjunctive?

The following is a part of a Lucy Kellaway's column in FT.com. Why do estate agents still exist? Travel agents are gone — or going. Estate agents, who were hated long before Tim Berners-Lee gave ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Does this statement make sense, as someone who cannot read my mind? [duplicate]

"The change into new social contexts and phases of life is a complex process involving a negotiated equilibrium between sacrifices and opportunity. " This is in response to an essay question "The ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

The use of the word “disjunction” in a sentence

I am not a native English speaker. I have been given the task of reviewing a text written in English. I wonder if I by the following use of the word "disjunction", make myself guilty of the very same ...
1
vote
3answers
66 views

Promoting true statements as foolish

What's the term for the propaganda technique where someone quotes a statement that's true or perfectly logical, but they treat it in a sarcastic manner that makes it sound kooky? For example, imagine ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Is this sentence meaningful in the intended context? [closed]

Is it right to say the following? Children should be taught both practically and theoretically in schools. That is, is this sentence meaningful?
1
vote
2answers
106 views

being up to one's job meaning [closed]

"Like all men not really up to their job, he was a stickler for externals and petty quotidian things; and in lieu of an intellect he had accumulated an armoury of capitalized key-words like Discipline ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

The meaning of word “do” in specific

Suppose first person asks second person. "Do you watch TV?" The second person answers, "Yes, i watch TV." the second person can also answer as follows "Yes, i do watch TV." What is the difference ...
3
votes
4answers
174 views

'get a quote' or 'get a quotation'

I'm not an English native, and as it often happens, I've lost something in translation. I asked a travel agent to 'send me a quote' for a travel we've worked on, and in response I got his logo and ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

What is the meaning of “Artisanal landlord price hike sale” ? [closed]

I came across this phrase in an article today, I didn't get the sense of the whole sentence together. would anyone break it into pieces for me please. bundle of thanks in advance.
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Where did the phrase “used to” come from?

I used to wonder about these usages a lot: Why does "used to" mean "accustomed to"? Why is "used to" used to indicate a recurring past event? I used to be used to using it. In that example, ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

What does “Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you” mean? [closed]

I heard this in "Gloomy Sunday" song. is it true that this mean: "the death coach carried you to unknown place..."? I'm tried to translate "Gloomy Sunday lyrics" to "Persian" and i need your help! ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

how to use the word “Best” correctly?

Ok, in the dictionary, the word best has this meaning: Best:of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality So, it seems that we only use best for the top highest quality of a ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What does a phrase “Better by you” mean [closed]

What does "Better by you" phrase mean in the title of a Judas Priest song "Better By You Better Than Me".
0
votes
3answers
274 views

Do these sentences mean the same thing?

Do these sentences all mean the same thing? You are not great because you know many things. You are great not because you know many things. You are great for another reason. As another example, ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

word/phrase to describe something popular due to its availability

How to describe something (tool, method, etc.) that is common in use but not necessarily for its quality, unique features and effectiveness. In fact, it is kind of popular because it's easy to obtain ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

about “ should have to ”

It's not right that he should have to ride the lightning. I found this expression in the story of "Ride the Lightning". I think it is okay to use "should ride" or "have to ride" instead of ...
0
votes
3answers
130 views

What is the difference between 'finished' and 'completed'?

What is the difference between 'finished' and 'completed', As both words gives the same meaning. Ex 1: He finished his homework. Ex 2: He completed his homework. And also how to use or ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

What is the meaning of 'metaphasis'?

In his book Mother Tongue Bill Bryson discusses the Revd. William Spooner, who gave his name to Spoonerisms. He comments saying 'What is certain is that Spooner suffered from a kind of metaphasis of ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

In any but the most vestigial and nostalgic way…?

Once again, here I am with a question raised by the highly unintelligable Hitchens... It can be equally useful and instructive to take a glimpse at the closing of religions, or religious movements. ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

What does the word “short” mean in “two feet short”?

This is from Randall Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet: “Oh yes,” said the mockingbird. “And it was clever of you to have that last line two feet short.” The bat said blankly, “Two feet short?” ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

how to rephrase this sentence to have a better understanding

A rare phenomena in human interaction causing a circular formation (similar to a horseshoe) to create awesome video footage of long arming inside houses/dwellings. with the ambiguous ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

“Collar” meaning “grab or seize by the collar or neck”

Could you give me an example sentence where this verb means this. I can't find anywhere. I don't know if this verb can take a direct object like "neck" or something like that, because if we take a ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

“negotiating a retirement” what is the meaning of “negotiating” here [closed]

Full sentence => "Not only did Chin Shih plunder boats, she defeated the British, Chinese and Portuguese natives, before negotiating a long and wealthy retirement for herself"
8
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the origin and meaning of conniption dido

My mother who was born in 1917 used this term just as someone might use conniption fit. When I asked her where the word dido came from she said that her grandmother used it. I can't find anything that ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Why does moving the adverb to the front remove ambiguity?

Take the sentence Students who study physics rigorously learn math. As it stands, 'rigorously' can modify either 'study' or 'learn'. But if we move the adverb to the front to get Rigorously, ...
1
vote
5answers
7k views

What is the difference between “anticipate” and “expect”?

My understanding is the following: I anticipate everyone will come here by 10. = "I hope it's gonna happen, but I'm not so sure about the result". I expect everyone will come here by 10. = ...
2
votes
5answers
87 views

Word/phrase for negative side effect(s)

In an essay I want to enumerate and describe negative aspects of using a popular and working tool. Since such issues are usually overlooked (or even underestimated), I call them negative side effects. ...
0
votes
0answers
111 views

What is the difference between “matter-containing media” and “matter”?

I'm reading the English Wikipedia entry titled "Radiation". You can find the word in the first paragraph, or by searching. What is the difference between "matter-containing media" and "matter"?
0
votes
2answers
75 views

What is the origin of the use of “Lorem ipsum …” as a placeholder in web design? [closed]

The Wikipedia article pretty much sums up the meaning of this gobbledegook, a mangling of 1st century Latin, but fails to explain WHY variations on this particular filler are used as placeholders on ...
0
votes
4answers
72 views

Noun or Adjective for someone who is good in managing resources and/or money

I am looking to describe someone who is good at keeping track of hir resource use and goods usage behaviour. This can be either for monetary currencies, but also for food, material or other ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

The usage of 'half out' [closed]

I'm reading a book and I've got a problem with the following sentence: Her door crushed open, the woman half out into the street. How to interpret the second part of the sentence? Does it means ...
1
vote
4answers
6k views

Meaning of “If gold rust what shall the iron do”

My teacher asked me to write an essay on this topic, but I have no clear understanding of this phrase. Can someone explain in more simple words? "If gold rust what shall the iron do." – The ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Meaning of “saved my sanity” [closed]

What is the meaning of the phrase saved my sanity? I attempted another sip and winced. He smiled and poured more water in my drink to dilute it. It ruined the scotch but saved my sanity. The ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Does “categorically” always mean “without question”?

I get the sense that "categorically" can imply "only in the strictest sense." One way I see it being used as a qualifier: as if to say, according just to the means by which we regularly assign ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

difference between “teacher's monitoring” and “teacher monitoring”?

What is the difference between "teacher's monitoring in classroom learning activities" and "teacher monitoring in classroom learning activities?
3
votes
3answers
862 views

Upside down vs downside up

Typically when something is reversed or inverted we say it is "upside down", could we also say that it is also "downside up"? For example... "The picture is upside down" could we also say it ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Can anyone explain the meaning of this statement?

The land described herein shall not be deemed to include any house trailer or mobile home standing on said premises.
1
vote
2answers
61 views

How do you reconcile these definitions of the word 'cynical'?

From the Google Search dictionary (similar definition at oxforddicationaries): 1.believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

“should” and “been” with no have in between

My question is in reference to the following headline I came across on a running publication. It is worded as such: "The men's 1500m prelim saw a lot of pushing and shoving. So what do you think ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Is there a difference in meaning between “not to make” and “to make no”?

I was asked today whether In order to make no mistakes was correct. I said yes, but that I found it a bit strange and that I would rather use In order not to make mistakes The outcome is ...